Explorations in Latin American economic history

Javier López Arnaut

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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More than in other regions, the long-term economic development of Latin America has been used to exemplify how historical legacies shape the present. This thesis takes a closer look into some of these legacies by examining four major economic subjects of the history of the region: fiscal sustainability, real wages, structural change, and productivity catch up. The analysis employs a cliometric approach to show a more nuanced view of various critical junctures depicted in the Latin American economic historiography: the fiscal demise of colonialism in the Americas; the regional wage dynamics in Mexico prior the 1910 revolution; productivity growth during import substitution; and catching up under institutional change.
Following the subjects accordingly, the results indicate that in spite of major financial difficulties, Spanish American local finance followed fiscally sustainable patterns across the colonial period; in Mexico there was no dramatic and secular deterioration of regional real wages before the revolution; structural change in Latin America accounted meagerly for productivity growth within manufacturing during the import substitution era; and the effect of institutional change on Latin American productivity catch up materializes unevenly across economic sectors.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • de Jong, Herman, Supervisor
  • Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, Assessment committee
  • Elhorst, J.Paul, Assessment committee
  • Frankema, Ewout, Assessment committee
Award date11-May-2017
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-9798-6
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9797-9
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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