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Real wages, inequality and globalization in latin america before 1940

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 April 2010


Jeffrey G. Williamson
Affiliation:
Harvard University

Abstract

By 1914, there were huge economic gaps between the Southern Cone plus Cuba and the rest of Latin America. Can they be explained by the varying ability of these countries to exploit the first great globalization boom after about 1870? Or did the gaps appear much earlier? And what about the gaps between Latin America and the Mediterranean, let alone with industrial leaders like Britain? What role did geographic isolation, globalization and demographic forces play in the process? Conventional GDP estimates are much too coarse to confront these questions. This essay uses a new data base on real wages and relative factor prices for seven Latin American and three Mediterranean regions, the latter being a source of so many of immigrants for the former. These ten regions, plus comparative information from Britain and the United States, form the data base for the paper.


Resumen

Hacia 1914 existían notables diferencias económicas entre los países del Cono Sur y Cuba y el resto de América Latina. El artículo indaga las razones de estas diferencias, cuando aparecieron, así como la distancia existente entre los países latinoamericanos, los de la cuenca mediterránea y el líder industrial. Se ocupa de examinar el papel que desempeñaron las fuerzas demográficas, la localización geográfica y el grado de globalización e integracion económica. El trabajo utiliza nuevos datos de salarios reales y precios relativos de los factores de siete países latinoamericanos y de tres regiones mediterráneas. Estos datos se comparan con la información disponible para Gran Bretaña y los Estados Unidos.


Type
Segunda parte: Estudios de historia económica latinoamericana
Copyright
Copyright © Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid 1999

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