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Recovery from Depression: Australia in an Argentine Mirror: 1895- 1913


  • Ian W. McLean

    (University of Adelaide)


The recovery from the 1890s depression in Australia was prolonged, and economic growth 1895-1913 was below that in the comparable settler economies of Argentina and Canada. Why? Australia’s hesitant initial recovery is typically attributed to the imbalances in the economy resulting from the preceding boom, and its further delay to severe drought. Drawing on Argentine experience, it is suggested that additional factors need to be considered. Unlike Argentina, the unwillingness or inability of Australian governments to reschedule foreign debt or devalue the exchange rate exacerbated the slump. And the era of low-cost pioneer farming ended earlier than in Argentina (or Canada).

Suggested Citation

  • Ian W. McLean, 2005. "Recovery from Depression: Australia in an Argentine Mirror: 1895- 1913," Economic History 0512001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpeh:0512001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter L. Rousseau & Paul Wachtel, 2016. "Episodes of financial deepening: credit booms or growth generators?," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 16-00013, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    2. McLean, Ian W., 2007. "Why was Australia so rich?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 635-656, October.
    3. Muge Adalet & Barry Eichengreen, 2007. "Current Account Reversals: Always a Problem?," NBER Chapters,in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 205-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Xavier Tafunell & Cristián Ducoing, 2015. "Non-residential capital stock in Latin America. 1875-2008," Economics Working Papers 1472, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

    More about this item


    Australia; 1890s depression; Argentina;

    JEL classification:

    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N16 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N17 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Africa; Oceania

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