IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/7394.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Latin America and Foreign Capital in the Twentieth Century: Economics, Politics, and Institutional Change

Author

Listed:
  • Alan M. Taylor

Abstract

Latin America began the twentieth century as a relatively poor region on the periphery of the world economy. One cause of a low level of income per person was capital scarcity. Long run growth via capital deepening requires either the mobilization of domestic capital through savings, or large inflows of foreign capital. Latin America's capital inflows were large by global standards at the century's turn, and even up to the 1930s. But after the 1930s, Latin America was not so favored by foreign capital as compared with other peripheral regions for example, the Asian economies. The Great Depression is conventionally depicted as a turning point in Latin America for commercial policy and protectionism, thus marking the onset of import substitution and a long-run increase in barriers in international goods markets. However, this paper argues that policy responses in the 1930s, and subsequent decades of relative economic retardation, can be better understood as the cause and effect of the creation of long-run barriers in international capital markets. To support this notion, I discuss the quantitative extent of these barriers and their effects on economic growth. As for causality, I argue that the political economy of institutional changes in the 1930s in the periphery might be understood in similar terms to those economic historians have used to discuss the macroeconomic crisis in the core. Such a political-economy model might thus have universal (rather than core-specific) use. It might predict the 'reactive' and 'passive' responses by periphery countries to external shocks, and the persistence of such shocks in the postwar period. In conclusion, I touch on the important implications of these ideas for the current situation in Latin America, where recent policy reforms aim to undo the last sixty years of isolation and reintegrate Latin America into the global economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan M. Taylor, 1999. "Latin America and Foreign Capital in the Twentieth Century: Economics, Politics, and Institutional Change," NBER Working Papers 7394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7394
    Note: DAE IFM ITI
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7394.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Taylor, Alan M., 1994. "Tres fases del crecimiento económico argentino," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 649-683, December.
    2. Easterly, William, 1993. "How much do distortions affect growth?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 187-212, November.
    3. Jones, Charles I., 1994. "Economic growth and the relative price of capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 359-382, December.
    4. Rudiger Dornbusch & Sebastian Edwards, 1989. "Macroeconomic Populism in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 2986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Baumol, William J & Wolff, Edward N, 1988. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1155-1159, December.
    6. Howard Pack, 1994. "Endogenous Growth Theory: Intellectual Appeal and Empirical Shortcomings," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 55-72, Winter.
    7. Rudiger Dornbusch & Sebastian Edwards, 1991. "The Macroeconomics of Populism in Latin America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dorn91-1, July.
    8. Dani Rodrik, 1995. "Trade Strategy, Investment, and Exports: Another Look at East Asia," NBER Working Papers 5339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Barro, Robert J, 1996. "Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
    10. Gregory Mankiw, 1995. "The Growth of Nations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 275-326.
    11. Peter Temin, 1991. "Lessons from the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262700441, March.
    12. Rodrik, Dani, 1996. "Coordination failures and government policy: A model with applications to East Asia and Eastern Europe," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1-2), pages 1-22, February.
    13. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 445-502.
    14. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    15. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1995. "Globalization, Convergence and History," NBER Working Papers 5259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Alan M. Taylor, 1994. "Three Phases of Argentine Economic Growth," NBER Historical Working Papers 0060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Edwards, Sebastian, 1992. "Trade orientation, distortions and growth in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 31-57, July.
    18. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, March.
    19. Alesina, Alberto & Özler, Sule & Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 189-211, June.
    20. Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 1998. "The Great Depression as a Watershed: International Capital Mobility over the Long Run," NBER Chapters,in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 353-402 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Baumol, William J, 1986. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: What the Long-run Data Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1072-1085, December.
    22. Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Getting Interventions Right: How South Korea and Taiwan Grew Rich," NBER Working Papers 4964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    24. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
    25. Paul M. Romer, 1994. "The Origins of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Andrés Solimano & Mario Gutierrez, 2008. "Savings, Investment and Capital Accumulation," Chapters,in: International Handbook of Development Economics, Volumes 1 & 2, chapter 19 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Gutiérrez, Mario A., 2007. "Savings in Latin America after the mid 1990s: determinants, constraints and policies," Macroeconomía del Desarrollo 57, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    3. Bresser-Pereira, Luiz Carlos & Nakano, Yoshiaki, 2002. "Economic growth with foreign saving?," Textos para discussão 118, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    4. Gutiérrez, Mario A., 2007. "Economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean: growth transitions rather than steady states," Macroeconomía del Desarrollo 58, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7394. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.