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

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  • Aurora Gómez Galvarriato
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

Abstract

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?

Suggested Citation

  • Aurora Gómez Galvarriato & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2008. "Was It Prices, Productivity or Policy? The Timing and Pace of Latin American Industrialization after 1870," NBER Working Papers 13990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13990
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tito Boeri & J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, 2012. "The Political Economy Of Flexicurity," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 684-715, August.
    2. Rafael Dobado González & Aurora Gómez Galvarriato & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2006. "Globalization, De-Industrialization and Mexican Exceptionalism 1750-1879," NBER Working Papers 12316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Dobado, Rafael & Marrero, Gustavo A., 2005. "Corn Market Integration in Porfirian Mexico," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(01), pages 103-128, March.
    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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    Cited by:

    1. Dani Rodrik, 2008. "The Real Exchange Rate and Economic Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 365-439.
    2. Cicowiez, Martin & Diaz-Bonilla, Carolina & Diaz-Bonilla, Eugenio, 2009. "Impacts of Trade Liberalization on Poverty and Inequality in Argentina," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 52793, World Bank.
    3. Mashkoor, Asim & Ahmed, Ovais & Herani, Dr. Gobin, 2015. "The relationship between Foreign Currency trading and Economic Development: A case Study of Pakistan," MPRA Paper 64482, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy

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