The Goose that laid the golden eggs? Agricultural development in Latin America in the 20th century

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July 2017
Paper author(s): 
Miguel Martín-Retortillo
Vicente Pinilla
Jackeline Velazco
Henry Willebald
Agricultural - Natural Resource Economics

In the last third of the nineteenth century, a large majority of Latin America adopted export-led models of growth, mostly based on agricultural exports. In some countries, this strategy produced significant results in terms of economic development but in most of the countries, the strategy was not successful, either because of too slow growth in exports or because linkages with the rest of the economy were very weak and there was no significant growth-spreading effect. After WWII, Latin America turned to a new model of economic development: the import substitution industrialisation (ISI). The ISI policies penalised export-led agriculture. The 1980s and 1990s were characterised by an expansion of adjustment policies and structural reforms. The new strategy consisted of mobilising resources in competitive export sectors, including agriculture.


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