The fifteen essays in this volume apply the methods of the new economic history to the history of the Latin American economies since 1800. The authors combine the historian's sensitivity to context and contingency with modern or "neoclassical" economic theory and quantitative methods.
The essays shed new light on the economic history of all the major economies from Mexico and Cuba to Brazil and Argentina. Some focus on comparing macroeconomic policies and performance, others analyze key sectors such as foreign trade, finance, transportation, and industry, and still others focus on the impact of property rights, government regulation, and political upheaval.
Examining a number of key themes—from property rights in the Amazon to the rise and fall of the Gold Standard—this volume provides a series of engaging and original insights into the forces that have shaped Latin American economic development over the past two centuries. Undoubtedly, the striking feature that unites the diverse chapters is their dependence on the use of quantitative techniques, which allow the statistical relationships between economic variables to be ascertained. Combining these with an extensive reliance on freshly assembled numerical data, all of the contributors manage to shed new light on old questions.
This collection of interdisciplinary essays breaks new ground by showcasing the work of scholars who evidence an economist’s appreciation for formal theory, testing, and empirical research, as they look with the eyes of historians at processes of change in the political and institutional context of economic activity.
This superb, ambitious book, the result of two international conferences on Latin American economic history, offers both ‘validations’ of the existing interpretations of Latin American history and ‘rejections’ of the old historical analyses by providing new perspectives based on quantitative methodologies… This is an admirable contribution to Latin American history…[and] a credible economic history.
This is an exciting moment in the study of the economic history of Latin America. It is now being done by scholars with good economic tools, asking questions that speak to the present, and with the grit to data-mine the archives. Equally important, economists and historians are now listening, after decades of deaf ears. Two of the best Latin American economic historians—a spectacular new young star teamed with a wise, long-established leader—have combined to edit papers from the best Latin American economic historians in the field. The book is a land mark.
This is an important collection of papers on the under-researched domestic aspects of the Latin American economies since 1800. The authors combine the new institutionalism approach with a high quality and wide range of data to explain key developments in capital markets, wages and prices, the role of the lobby groups, and the emergence of modern business and financial enterprises in Latin America. In short, these are highly original essays that present stimulating results. The volume mounts an effective challenge to existing orthodoxies.
- 502 pages
- 6 x 9 inches
- David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
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