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Was It Prices, Productivity or Policy? The Timing and Pace of Latin American Industrialization after 1870

  • Aurora Gómez Galvarriato
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

Brazil, Mexico and a few other Latin American republics enjoyed faster industrialization after 1870 than did the rest of Latin America and even faster than the rest of the poor periphery (except East Asia). How much of this economic performance was due to more accommodating institutions and greater political stability, changes that would have facilitated greater technology transfer and accumulation? That is, how much to changing fundamentals? How much instead to a cessation in the secular rise in the net barter terms of trade which reversed de-industrialization forces, thus favoring manufacturing? How much instead to cheaper foodstuffs coming from more open commercial policies ('grain invasions'), and from railroad-induced integration of domestic grain markets, serving to keep urban grain prices and thus nominal wages in industry low, helping to maintain competitiveness? How much instead to more pro-industrial real exchange rate and tariff policy? Which of these forces contributed most to industrialization among the Latin American leaders, long before their mid 20th century adoption of ISI policies? Changing fundamentals, changing market conditions, or changing policies?

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13990.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13990.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13990
Note: DAE EFG
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  1. Galvarriato, Aurora Gómez & Gonzales, Rafael Dobado & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2007. "Globalization, De-Industrialization and Mexican Exceptionalism 1750-1879," CEPR Discussion Papers 6300, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Rafael Dobado González & Gustavo A. Marrero, 2004. "Corn Market Integration in Porfirian Mexico," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 0402, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
  3. Tito Boeri & J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, 2006. "The Political Economy of Flexicurity," Working Papers 2006-15, FEDEA.
  4. Catao, Luis A V, 1998. "Mexico and Export-Led Growth: The Porfirian Period Revisited," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 59-78, January.
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