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Structural Change in Argentina, 1900-1973: The Role of Import Substitution and Factor Endowments

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  • Paul Segal

Abstract

This paper investigates structural change in Argentina between 1900 and 1973. It has been argued that trade policy under import-substituting industrialization disfavoured agriculture and led to a "technological lag" in the sector, and that this explains agriculture's relative decline during a period of rapid industrialization. I find that there is no technological lag to be found in the data and, moreover, that relative prices had no discernible effect on agricultural output. A three-by-three model based on these findings is developed in which structural change is caused by exogenous changes in factor endowments. A simulation of the model replicates the observed structural changes from the 1920s onwards, suggesting that the decline of agriculture and rise of manufacturing can be explained by population growth once the land frontier had been reached.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Segal, 2009. "Structural Change in Argentina, 1900-1973: The Role of Import Substitution and Factor Endowments," Economics Series Working Papers 437, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:437
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper437.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John F. Henry & L. Randall Wray, 1998. "Economic Time," Macroeconomics 9811004, EconWPA.
    2. Echevarria, Cristina, 1997. "Changes in Sectoral Composition Associated with Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 431-452, May.
    3. Valpy Fitzgerald & Pablo Astorga, 2003. "Productivity Growth in Latin America during the Twentieth Century," Economics Series Working Papers 2003-W52, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Baumol, William J & Blackman, Sue Anne Batey & Wolff, Edward N, 1985. "Unbalanced Growth Revisited: Asymptotic Stagnancy and New Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 806-817, September.
    5. Bruton, H.J., 1998. "A Reconsideration of Import Substitution," Center for Development Economics 156, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    6. Henry J. Bruton, 1998. "A Reconsideration of Import Substitution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 903-936, June.
    7. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "A New View of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 79(315), pages 573-578, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Argentina; Economic growth; Structural change; Trade policy;

    JEL classification:

    • N56 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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