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The Standard of Living in Latin America During the Twentieth Century

  • Pablo Astorga

    (Latin American Centre, St Antony’s College, Oxford OX2 6JF)

  • Ame E. Bergés

    (Latin American Centre, St Antony’s College, Oxford OX2 6JF)

  • Valpy Fitzgerald

    (Latin American Centre, St Antony’s College, Oxford OX2 6JF)

Assessing the economic development of Latin America during the twentieth century requires reliable estimates of living standards as measured by per capita income, life expectancy, and literacy. New comparable series for Latin America suggest that these three indicators made the greatest strides during the period from 1940 to 1980. This progress is probably related to state-led industrialisation, improvements in public health, and urbanisation. Comparison with US levels reveals that while average per capita income has generally remained steady, relative living standards (measured by a composite welfare index) have risen gradually as life expectancy in the two regions has converged.

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File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/2290/54fitzgerald.pdf
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Paper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Oxford University Economic and Social History Series with number _054.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nuf:esohwp:_054
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/

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  1. Avner Offer, 2000. "Economic Welfare Measurements and Human Well-Being," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _034, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  2. Elton, Edwin J & Gruber, Martin J & Blake, Christopher R, 1996. "The Persistence of Risk-Adjusted Mutual Fund Performance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(2), pages 133-57, April.
  3. Rudiger Dornbusch & Sebastian Edwards, 1991. "The Macroeconomics of Populism in Latin America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dorn91-1, August.
  4. 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 1072-85, December.
  5. Dan Usher, 1973. "The Measurement of Economic Growth," Working Papers 145, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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