Institutions and the Historical Roots of Latin American Divergence

Luis Bértola

in The Oxford Handbook of Latin American Economics

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199571048
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Economics

 Institutions and the Historical Roots of Latin American Divergence

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This chapter notes that although Latin America has fallen behind the more developed countries as regards per capita income, there is still much debate about when and why this happened, analysing the relation between long-term growth and institutional development in Latin America. It proposes some guidelines to interpreting long-run Latin American development that try to capture the contributions of recent research, but also finds some inspiration in previous structuralist and Marxist writings on Latin America. The first part of the chapter presents a few stylized facts about Latin American relative performance, to which the institutional discussion is related. The second part starts with a conceptual discussion of institutions and relations of production, and discusses different applications to the Latin American context.

Keywords: institutional development; Latin America; per capita income; Marxist writings; structuralism

Article.  10400 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Public Economics ; Economic History

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