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Between the Workshop and the State: Training Human Capital in Railroad Companies in Mexico and Chile, 1850-1930

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  • Guajardo, Guillermo

Abstract

This paper analyzes the human capital training strategies adopted between the 1850s and 1930s by railroad companies in Mexico and Chile. These two countries enable one to contrast the different routes taken by the same type of firm, technology and labor force. A propos of this, we suggest that because of its complexity, capital intensity and new work methods, railway technology had a positive impact on human capital training in the cases studied. During the period when railways were the main form of land transport studied -covered by this study- they combined the labor force with foreign workers and modern technology and it was not until well into the 20th century that a formal system of technical schools was established. Instead, informal and formal learning cycles and routes tended to be followed. That is why this paper considers three aspects: I) the institutional and social factors that helped or hindered industrial operations, maintenance and production training; II) the way learning, training and talent retention cycles were shaped and talent migrated towards other activities or was dispersed or lost; and lastly, III) how training was institutionalized through what were known as “firm schools” responsible for training human capital as an internalization response to coping with shortages in the labor market.

Suggested Citation

  • Guajardo, Guillermo, 2009. "Between the Workshop and the State: Training Human Capital in Railroad Companies in Mexico and Chile, 1850-1930," MPRA Paper 16135, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16135
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jeremy Atack & Michael R. Haines & Robert A. Margo, 2008. "Railroads and the Rise of the Factory: Evidence for the United States, 1850-70," NBER Working Papers 14410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Broadberry, Stephen N., 1993. "Manufacturing and the Convergence Hypothesis: What the Long-Run Data Show," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 772-795, December.
    3. Field, Alexander James, 1983. "Land Abundance, Interest/Profit Rates, and Nineteenth-Century American and British Technology," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 405-431, June.
    4. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2006. "Das Human-Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 85-117.
    5. Roberto Fontana & Marco Guerzoni & Alessandro Nuvolari, 2008. "Habakkuk revisited: A history friendly model of "American and British technology in the nineteenth century"," Jena Economic Research Papers 2008-064, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    6. Mowery,David C. & Rosenberg,Nathan, 1991. "Technology and the Pursuit of Economic Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521389365, October.
    7. José Díaz & Rolf Lüders & Gert Wagner, 2007. "Economía Chilena 1810-2000. Producto Total y Sectorial. Una Nueva Mirada," Documentos de Trabajo 315, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    8. Guajardo, Guillermo, 1998. "Nuevos datos para un viejo debate: Los vínculos entre ferrocarriles e industrialización en Chile y México (1860-1950)," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(258), pages 213-261, abril-jun.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; technology; railways; México; Chile;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
    • N76 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • L3 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise
    • L9 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services

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