Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-78bd46657c-lnsrr Total loading time: 0.245 Render date: 2021-05-08T20:36:51.633Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }


Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 October 2018

Claudia Kedar
Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Through the analysis of Argentina-World Bank (WB) relations between 1971 and 1976, this article examines how democracies and dictatorships, as well as political and economic constraints did (or did not) impact WB lending to Latin America. This period is especially revealing. Between May 1971 and September 1976, the WB did not grant any new loans to Argentina, thereby generating an exceptional and unusually long break in WB lending to the country. Drawing on previously undisclosed files from the WB Archives and additional primary sources from Argentina and the United States, this article unveils the actual mechanisms, criteria and justification that stood behind the decision to lend or not to lend to Argentina. It maintains that the WB’s self-imposed principle of «neutrality» played a crucial role in facilitating the WB’s relations with Argentina during the politically and economically unstable early 1970s.


Por medio del análisis de las relaciones entre Argentina y el Banco Mundial durante los años 1971-1976, el presente artículo examina de qué manera dictaduras y democracias, así como limitaciones políticas y económicas han influido (o no) la actividad financiera del Banco Mundial en América Latina. Este período resulta revelador. Desde Mayo 1971 y hasta Septiembre 1976, el Banco Mundial no le otorgó ningún préstamo a Argentina, generando así una excepcionalmente larga interrupción en la actividad financiera del Banco en el país. En base a una variada serie de documentos del Banco Mundial, nunca antes consultados, así como fuentes primarias de Argentina y de Estados Unidos, este artículo revela los mecanismos, criterios y justificaciones que condujeron a la decisión de otorgar o no otorgar préstamos a Argentina. El artículo intenta demostrar que el principio de «neutralidad» que se ha auto-impuesto el Banco Mundial ha jugado un rol crucial en las relaciones y las interacciones que el Banco ha mantenido con Argentina durante la inestable primera mitad de los años ’70.

© Instituto Figuerola, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid 2018 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.



Department of Romance and Latin American Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Clarín (newspaper).Google Scholar
El Economista (newspaper).Google Scholar
International Monetary Fund Archive (Washington, DC).Google Scholar
La Nación (newspaper).Google Scholar (Latin American Newsletter since 1967).Google Scholar
La Opinión (newspaper).Google Scholar
Memoria Anual Banco Central de la República Argentina (Buenos Aires), 1974-1975.Google Scholar
Mercado (newspaper).Google Scholar
The National Archives Washington DC, Record Group 59: General Records of the US Department of State.Google Scholar
The New York Times.Google Scholar
World Bank Group Archives (Washington, DC).Google Scholar
Bacha, E. , and Feinberg, R. (1985): The World Bank and Structural Adjustment in Latin America. Available at http://www.econ.puc- Scholar
Belini, C. Y. , and Rougier, M. (2008): El estado empresario en la industria argentina: conformación y crisis. Buenos Aires: Manantial.Google Scholar
Biglaiser, G. (2002): Guardians of the Nation? Economists, Generals, and Economic Reform in Latin America. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
Birchler, K. , Limpach, S. , and Michaelowa, K. (2016): “Aid Modalities Matter: The Impact of Different World Bank and IMF Programs on Democratization in Developing Countries”. International Studies Quarterly 60 (3), pp. 427-439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brands, H. (2008): «Third World Politics in an Age of Global Turmoil: The Latin American Challenge to U.S. and Western Hegemony, 1965–1975». Diplomatic History 32, pp. 105-138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brands, H. (2010): «The United States and the Peruvian Challenge, 1968-1975». Diplomacy & Statecraft 21, pp. 471-490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brennan, J. (1998): «Industrialistas y bolicheros. Business and the Peronist Populist Alliance, 1943-1976», in J. Brennan (ed.), Peronism and Argentina. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, pp. 79-124.Google Scholar
Brennan, J. (2007): «Prolegomenon to Neoliberalism: The Political Economy of Populist Argentina, 1943-1976». Latin American Perspectives 34 (3), pp. 49-66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brennan, J. , and Rougier, M. (2009): The Politics of National Capitalism: Peronism and the Argentine Bourgeoisie, 1946-1976. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
Brown, C. (2009): «Democracy’s Friend or Foe? The Effects of Recent IMF Conditional Lending in Latin America». International Political Science Review 30 (4), pp. 431-457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cantón, D. , and Jorrat, J. (1978): «Occupation and Vote in Urban Argentina: The March 1973 Presidential Election». Latin American Research Review 13 (1), pp. 146-157.Google Scholar
Cavarozzi, M. (1983): Autoritarismo y democracia, 1955-1983. Buenos Aires: Centro Editor Latino America.Google Scholar
Clark, W. (1981): «Reconsiderations: Robert McNamara at the World Bank». Foreign Affairs 22, pp. 167-184.Google Scholar
Cox, R. (1979): «Ideologies and the NIEO: Reflections on Some Recent Literature». International Organization 33 (2), pp. 257-302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Di Tella, G. (1989): «Argentina’s Economy Under a Labour-Based Government, 1973-6», in G. Di Tella, and R. Dornbusch (eds), The Political Economy of Argentina, 1946-83. Hampshire: McMillan Press, pp. 213-246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Easterly, W. (2007): The White’s Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and so Little Good? Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Filippini, M. , and Olcese, M. (1989): «Transitional Economic Policies, 1971-3», in G. Di Tella, and R. Dornbusch (eds), The Political Economy of Argentina, 1946-83. Hampshire: McMillan Press, pp. 189-212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
García Heras, R. (2008): El Fondo Monetario y el Banco Mundial en la Argentina. Buenos Aires: Lumiere.Google Scholar
García Heras, R. (2018): «Multilateral Loans, Banking Finance, and the Martínez de Hoz Plan in Argentina, 1976-1981». Revista de Historia Económica, Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History 36 (2), pp. 215-240.Google Scholar
Gwin, C. (1987): «U.S. Relations with the World Bank, 1945-1992», in D. Kapur, J. Lewis, and R. Webb (eds), The World Bank vol. 2 Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, pp. 195-268.Google Scholar
Haggard, S. , and Webb, S. (1993): «What Do We Know about the Political Economy of Economic Policy Reform?». The World Bank Research Observer 8 (2), pp. 143-168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Harmer, T. (2017): «Dialogue or Détente: Henry Kissinger, Latin America, and the Prospects for a New Inter-American Understanding», in B. Sewell, and M. Ryan (eds), Foreign Policy at the Periphery. The Shifting Margins of US International Relations since World War II. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, pp. 229-262.Google Scholar
Hira, A. (1999): Ideas and Economic Policy in Latin America. Regional, National, and Organizational Case Studies. Westport, CT: Prager Publishers.Google Scholar
James, D. (1988): Resistance and Integration, Peronism and the Argentine Working Class, 1946-1979. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Kedar, C. (2010): «The Beginning of a Controversial Relationship: The IMF, the World Bank and Argentina, 1943-46». Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 35 (60), pp. 201-230.Google Scholar
Kedar, C. (2012): «Chronicle of an Inconclusive Negotiation: Perón, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank (1946–1955)». Hispanic American Historical Review 92 (4), pp. 637-668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kedar, C. (2013): The International Monetary Fund and Latin America. The Argentine Puzzle in Context. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
Kedar, C. (2016): “The World Bank–United States–Latin American Triangle: The Negotiations with Socialist Chile, 1970–1973”. The International History Review 39, pp. 667-690.Google Scholar
Kiguel, M. (2015): Las crisis económicas argentinas. Una historia de ajustes y desajustes. Buenos Aires: Sudamericana.Google Scholar
Kofas, J. (2002): The Sword of Damocles: U.S. Financial Hegemony in Colombia and Chile, 1950–1970. London: Praeger.Google Scholar
Leyba, C. (2003): Economía y política en el tercer gobierno de Perón. Buenos Aires: Editorial Biblos.Google Scholar
Lozoya, J. , and Estevez, J. (eds). (1980): Latin American and the New International Economic Order. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
Marongiu, F. (2006): «Políticas de shock en la agonía del estado peronista. El Rodrigazo y el Mondelliazo». MPRA Paper 6338. Available at Scholar
Melón Pirro, J. C. (2009): El Peronismo después del Peronismo. Buenos Aires: Siglo veintiuno.Google Scholar
Montinola, G. (2010): «When Does Aid Conditionality Work?». Studies on Comparative International Development 45, pp. 358-382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moyano, M. J. (1995): Argentina’s Lost Patrol: Armed Struggle, 1969-1979. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Muchnik, D. (1998): Argentina modelo. De la furia a la resignación: Economía política entre 1973 y 1998. Buenos Aires: Manantial.Google Scholar
Nelson, S. , and Wallace, G. (2016): “Are IMF Lending Programs Good or Bad for Democracy?” Review of International Organizations, 12, pp. 523-558.Google Scholar
Nuñez Miñana, H. Y. , and Porto, A. (1982): «Inflación y tarifas públicas: Argentina, 1945-1980». Desarrollo Económico 21 (84), pp. 469-484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
O’donnell, G. (1988): Bureaucratic Authoritarianism: Argentina 1966-1973 in Comparative Perspective. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Pastor, J. M. (1993): «Managing the Latin American Debt Crisis: The International Monetary Fund and Beyond», in G. Epstein, J. Graham, and J. Nembhard (eds), Creating a New World Economy. Forces of Change and Plans of Action. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, pp. 289-313.Google Scholar
Pinto, A. (1960): «Estabilidad y Desarrollo: ¿metas incompatibles o complementarias?». Trimestre Económico 27 (2), pp. 258-273.Google Scholar
Potash, R. (1996): The Army and Politics in Argentina, 1962-1973. From Frondizi’s Fall to the Peronist Restoration. California: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Rapoport, M. , Madrid, E. , Musacchio, A. , and Vicente, R. (2000): Historia económica, política y social de la Argentina. Buenos Aires: Macchi.Google Scholar
Rougier, M. Y. , and Fiszbein, M. (2006): La frusrtación de un proyecto económico. El gobierno peronista de 1973-1976. Buenos Aires: Manantial.Google Scholar
Rouquié, A. (1988): Poder militar y sociedad política en Argentina, 1943-73 vol. II Buenos Aires: Emecé Editores.Google Scholar
Saiegh, S. (2005): «Do Countries Have a ‘Democratic Advantage’? Political Institutions, Multilateral Agencies, and Sovereign Borrowing». Comparative Political Studies 38 (4), pp. 366-387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schultz, K. , and Weingast, B. (2003): «The Democratic Advantage: Institutional Foundations of Financial Power in International Competition». International Organization 57 (1), pp. 3-42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Seoane, M. (2002): El burgués maldito. Buenos Aires: Debolsillo.Google Scholar
Sharma, P. (2013): «The United States, the World Bank, and the Challenges of International Development in the 1970s». Diplomatic History 37 (3), pp. 572-604.Google Scholar
Sharma, P. (2015): «Between North and South: The World Bank and the New International Economic Order». Humanity 6 (1), pp. 189-200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sheinin, D. (2013): «Making Friends with Perón: Developmentalism and State Capitalism in U.S.-Argentine Relations, 1970-1975». Federal History Journal 5, pp. 99-120.Google Scholar
Sidicaro, R. (2011): Los tres Peronismos. Estado y poder económico. Buenos Aires: Siglo Veintiuno Editores.Google Scholar
Smith, W. (1983): «The Return of Peronism», in F. Turner, and J. E. Miguens (eds), Juan Perón and the Reshaping of Argentina. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, pp. 97-146.Google Scholar
Staples, A. (2002): «Seeing Diplomacy through Bankers’ Eyes: The World Bank, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Crisis, and the Aswan High Dam». Diplomatic History 26 (3), pp. 397-418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stein, H. (2008): Beyond the World Bank Agenda. An Institutional Approach to Development. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stiglitz, J. (2003): Globalization and its Discontents. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
Sunkel, O. (1963): «El fracaso de las políticas de estabilización en el contexto del proceso de desarrollo latinoamericano». Trimestre Económico 30 (120), pp. 620-640.Google Scholar
Swedberg, R. (1986): «The Doctrine of Economic Neutrality of the IMF and the World Bank». Journal of Peace Research 23 (4), pp. 377-390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thacker, S. (1998): «The High-Politics of IMF Lending». World Politics 52 (1), pp. 38-75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Torre, J. C. (2009): Los sindicatos en el gobierno, 1973-1976. Buenos Aires: CEAL.Google Scholar
Urzúa, C. (1997): «Five Decades of Relations Between the World Bank and Mexico», in D. Kapur, J. Lewis, and R. Webb (eds), The World Bank vol. 2 Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, pp. 195-268.Google Scholar
Veigel, K. (2003): The Elusive Quest for Stability. The United States, the IMF and Economic Transformation in Argentina during the 1970s. Available at Scholar

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *