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The Industrialization of South America Revisited: Evidence from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia, 1890-2010

Gerardo della Paolera, Xavier H. Duran Amorocho, Aldo Musacchio

NBER Working Paper No. 24345
Issued in February 2018
NBER Program(s):Program on the Development of the American Economy

We use new manufacturing GDP time series to examine the industrialization in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Colombia since the early twentieth century. We uncover variation across countries and over time that the literature on industrialization had overlooked. Rather than providing a single explanation of how specific shocks or policies shaped the industrialization of the region, our argument is that the timing of the industrial take off was linked to initial conditions, while external shocks and macroeconomic and trade policy explain the variation in the rates of industrialization after the 1930s and favorable terms of trade and liberalization explain de-industrialization after 1990.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24345

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