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Agrarian income distribution, land ownership systems, and economic performance: Settler economies during the first globalization

Author

Listed:
  • Jorge Álvarez

    () (Programa de Historia Económica y Social, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)

  • Henry Willebald

    () (Instituto de Económia, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración, Universidad de la República)

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to explain the impact of the establishment of the system of landownership on the income distribution and economic growth of settler economies (Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay) during the First Globalization. We consider a conceptual framework based on the New Institutional Economic Theory to describe the process of the distribution of the land property rights in historical perspective and to analyze the characteristics of the land tenure system in a comparative perspective. Our results identify two models of distribution of property rights within the “club”. One of them corresponds to Australasia and, the other, to the River Plate countries, and they represented different consequences in terms of productive expansion and inequality. The land rents absorb a much larger part of total output in River Plate than in Australasia and, as result, it represents a negative incentive to productivity growth that contributes to explain the relative failure of Argentina and Uruguay compared to Australia and New Zealand.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorge Álvarez & Henry Willebald, 2013. "Agrarian income distribution, land ownership systems, and economic performance: Settler economies during the first globalization," Documentos de trabajo 30, Programa de Historia Económica, FCS, Udelar.
  • Handle: RePEc:ude:doctra:30
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge Álvarez, 2015. "Technological change and productivity growth in the agrarian systems of New Zealand and Uruguay (1870-2010)," Documentos de trabajo 43, Programa de Historia Económica, FCS, Udelar.
    2. Reto Bertoni & Henry Willebald, 2015. "Do energy natural endowments matter? New Zealand and Uruguay in a comparative approach (1870-1940)," Documentos de trabajo 35, Programa de Historia Económica, FCS, Udelar.
    3. Sebastián Fleitas & Andrés Rius & Carolina Román & Henry Willebald, 2013. "Contract enforcement, investment and growth in Uruguay since 1870," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 13-01, Instituto de Economia - IECON.
    4. Henry Willebald, 2015. "Distributive patterns in settler economies: agricultural income inequality during the First Globalization (1870-1913)," Historia Agraria. Revista de Agricultura e Historia Rural, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria, issue 66, pages 75-104, august.
    5. Hossein Azadi & Eric Vanhaute, 2019. "Mutual Effects of Land Distribution and Economic Development: Evidence from Asia, Africa, and Latin America," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(6), pages 1-15, June.
    6. Emilio Ocampo, 2015. "Commodity Price Booms and Populist Cycles. An Explanation of Argentina’s Decline in the 20th Century," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 562, Universidad del CEMA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Land ownership systems; functional income distribution; River Plate; Australasia;

    JEL classification:

    • N26 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N27 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Africa; Oceania
    • N36 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania

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