This chapter notes that commodity exports were a continuing subject of attention and concern well before the contributions of Raul Prebisch and Hans Singer in the postwar period. Countries will have to design their trade policies in accordance with a changing pattern of comparative advantage. Massive intervention designed to modify that reality runs the risk of repeating past import-substituting industrialization all over again. Argentina has been unable to translate its resource richness into a source of continuous advance over the last 50 years. Chile has achieved impressive gains over the last two decades. Venezuela is the third case. Petroleum has not served to underwrite sustained economic growth. Instead, the cyclical heights and depths have reflected themselves in domestic economic instability. Brazil has managed a remarkable transition over this same period. Import substitution has worked to develop a domestic industrial base of significant magnitude and one capable of international competition.
Keywords: commodity exports; trade policies; Latin America; import substitution; Brazil; Chile; Venezuela
Article. 8153 words.
Subjects: Economics ; Economic Development and Growth ; Agricultural, Environmental, and Natural Resource Economics
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