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

  • Paul Segal

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.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 437.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:437
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  1. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "A New View of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 79(315), pages 573-78, September.
  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 431-52, May.
  3. Pablo Astorga & Ame R. Bergés & Valpy Fitzgerald, 2003. "Productivity Growth in Latin America during the Twentieth Century," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _052, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  4. Henry J. Bruton, 1998. "A Reconsideration of Import Substitution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 903-936, June.
  5. Bruton, H.J., 1998. "A Reconsideration of Import Substitution," Center for Development Economics 156, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  6. Baumol, William J. & Batey Blackman, Sue Anne & Wolff, Edward N., 1984. "Unbalanced Growth Revisited: Asymptotic Stagnancy and New Evidence," Working Papers 84-02, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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