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The Standard of Living in Latin America During the Twentieth Century

  • Pablo Astorga, Ame R. Berges and Valpy FitzGerald

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 1940-80. 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://www3.qeh.ox.ac.uk/RePEc/qeh/qehwps/qehwps103.pdf
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Paper provided by Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford in its series QEH Working Papers with number qehwps103.

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Handle: RePEc:qeh:qehwps:qehwps103
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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. 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.
  3. Dan Usher, 1973. "The Measurement of Economic Growth," Working Papers 145, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Edwards, Sebastian, 1989. "The macroeconomics of populism in Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 316, The World Bank.
  5. 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.
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