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Foreign Capital in Latin America in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

  • Alan M. Taylor

This paper examines the history of foreign investment in Latin America in the two centuries since independence. Investment flows to the region were sometimes large and always volatile. Symptoms of overborrowing, sudden stops, debt, default and crises have been evident from the beginning. In general the economies in the hemisphere struggled for most of the nineteenth century to develop reputations for macroeconomic stability and sound finance, and foreign capital was thus repelled for the long periods. In the twentieth century, most of the region, like the rest of the world, turned inward and against foreign capital markets, a policy trend that emerged in the interwar period and has only recently begun to reverse. These historical perspectives shed light on the region's current relative isolation and its future economic challenges.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9580.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9580.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9580
Note: DAE IFM ITI
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  1. Deepak Lal, 1993. "Poverty and Development," UCLA Economics Working Papers 707, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Obstfeld, Maurice & Taylor, Alan M., 1997. "The Great Depression as a Watershed: International Capital Mobility over the Long Run," CEPR Discussion Papers 1633, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 1-48, February.
  4. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1989. "Developing Country Debt and the World Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number sach89-3, 07.
  5. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, June.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521457385 is not listed on IDEAS
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