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External Dependence, Demographic Burdens, and Argentine Economic Decline After the Belle Époque

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 March 2009

Alan M. Taylor
Academy Scholar and Mellon Fellow at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies and the Department of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.


Once one of the richest countries in the world, Argentina has been in relative economic decline for most of the twentieth century. The quantitative records of income growth and accumulation date the onset of the retardation to around the time of the Great War, and patterns of aggregate saving and foreign borrowing show that scarcity of investable resources significantly frustrated interwar development. A demographic model of national saving demonstrates that the burdens of rapid population growth and substantial immigration depressed Argentine saving, contributing significantly to the demise of the Belle Époque following the wartime collapse of international financial markets.

Copyright © The Economic History Association 1992

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