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Latin American Growth-Inequality Trade-Offs: The Impact of Insurgence and Independence

  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

Did independence push Latin America down a growth-inequality trade-off? During the late colonial decades, the region completed two centuries of growth unmatched anywhere and inequality reached spectacular heights. During the half century after insurgency and independence, inequality fell steeply and growth was so modest that the period is called the lost decades. With the appearance of the belle époque in the 1870s, growth rose to impressive levels, again even by world standards, and inequality surged to the highest levels ever, where they have remained for a century. This paper explores the connection.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15680.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15680
Note: DAE
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  1. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Tropical Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 8119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  3. Maria Alejandra Irigoin, 2003. "Macroeconomic aspects of Spanish American independence: the effects of fiscal and currency fragmentation, 1800s-1860s," Economic History Working Papers 50687, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  4. Jeffrey G. Williamson & Branko Milanovic & Peter H. Lindert, 2008. "Measuring Ancient Inequality," Working Papers 08-06, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
  5. Studer, Roman, 2008. "India and the Great Divergence: Assessing the Efficiency of Grain Markets in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century India," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(02), pages 393-437, June.
  6. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua & Sangraula, Prem, 2007. "New evidence on the urbanization of global poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4199, The World Bank.
  7. Bates, Robert H. & Coatsworth, John H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Lost Decades: Postindependence Performance in Latin America and Africa," Scholarly Articles 12211559, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Elsa V. Artadi & Xavier Sala-i-Martín, 2003. "The economic tragedy of the XXth Century: Growth in Africa," Economics Working Papers 684, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2006. "Globalization and the Poor Periphery before 1950," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232502, June.
  10. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2002. "Land, Labor, And Globalization In The Third World, 1870 1940," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(01), pages 55-85, March.
  11. Grafe, Regina & Irigoin, Maria Alejandra, 2006. "The Spanish Empire and its legacy: fiscal redistribution and political conflict in colonial and post-colonial Spanish America," Journal of Global History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 241-267, July.
  12. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1999. "Real wages, inequality and globalization in latin america before 1940," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(S1), pages 101-142, March.
  13. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2008. "Globalization and the Great Divergence: Terms of Trade Booms and Volatility in the Poor Periphery 1782-1913," Working Papers 08-07, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
  14. Clingingsmith, David & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2008. "Deindustrialization in 18th and 19th century India: Mughal decline, climate shocks and British industrial ascent," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 209-234, July.
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