Productive development policies in Latin America: Past and present

Manuel R. Agosin

This paper reviews industrial policy in Latin America from the Great Depression to our days. Its purpose is to derive some lessons for what Latin American and Caribbean countries (LAC) should do in this area. It has become clear over the last few years that LAC, if they are to accelerate their growth rates, need more than a good macroeconomic framework and the protection of property rights: they need to be more proactive in transforming their production structures, still too dependent on primary commodity exports or the assembly of final goods from imported components, sectors that are ill-suited to the productive development jumps that have been associated with high growth in the developing world over the past 60 years.

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