Contrasting Capitalisms

Ben Ross Schneider

in The Oxford Handbook of Latin American Political Economy

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199747504
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Contrasting Capitalisms

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  • Public Economics
  • Economic Development and Growth


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This article argues that Latin American capitalism should be considered, firstly, as distinct from other regions and, secondly, with consequential intraregional variations. The article is organized as follows. Section 2 provides some brief background on successive attempts since the 1960s to identify distinctive features of capitalism in Latin America, especially dependency, statist, and neoliberal approaches. Section 3 then turns to an extended analysis of liberal, coordinated, network, and hierarchical capitalisms, and highlights examples of the last in Latin America. This section analyzes core components of hierarchical capitalism—family-owned business groups, multinational corporations, low skills, and anomic labor relations—that are common across most countries in Latin America. Section 4 examines how recent trends in globalization, commodity booms, and the revival of state intervention in the economy largely reinforced elements of hierarchical capitalism.

Keywords: Latin American capitalism; liberal capitalism; coordinated capitalism; network capitalism; hierarchical capitalism; globalization; commodity boom; state intervention

Article.  9698 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Public Economics ; Economic Development and Growth

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