A city of trades: Spanish and Italian immigrants in late-nineteenth-century Buenos Aires, Argentina

LETICIA ARROYO ABAD, BLANCA SÁNCHEZ-ALONSO

CLIOMETRICA

Abstract: The city of Buenos Aires in the 1890s is an extreme case in immigration history since the native workers accounted for less than one-third of the labour force. In this paper, we look at the labour market performance of Argentineans vis-à-vis the largest two immigrant groups, Italians and the Spaniards. We find that, on average, Argentineans enjoyed higher wages, but workers specialised in particular occupations by nationality. Immigrants clustered in occupations with lower salaries. Despite higher literacy levels and the language advantage, Spaniards did not outperform Italians in earnings. Ethnic networks facilitated the integration of immigrants into the host society and played a role in the occupation selection of immigrants. Our results suggest that Italian prosperity in Buenos Aires was not based on superior earnings or skills but on older and powerful networks.

The Economics Impact of Sovereign Defaults in Latin America 1870-2012

TJEERD MENNO BOONMAN

REVISTA DE HISTORIA ECONOMICA, Volume 35, Issue 1

Abstract: This article analyzes sovereign debt defaults in four Latin American countries—Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico—for the period 1870-2012. The impact of sovereign defaults on real GDP growth is generally short-lived, while the impact in terms of output losses is deep and lasts long. Defaults in the period 1972-2012 show a deep and long-lasting impact compared to defaults in earlier periods. Moreover, the length of the contraction that follows a default is associated with favourable international conditions in the run-up to a default, while the depth of the contraction is associated with an expansive domestic economy in the run-up to a default. The results fit with boom–bust theories and sudden stop models.

The rise and fall of income inequality in Chile

FRANCISCO PARRO & LORETO REYES

LATIN AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW

Abstract: This paper presents evidence on a rise and fall in income inequality in Chile during the past two decades. We show that income inequality rises from 1990 to 2000 and then falls from 2000 to 2011. We perform simple but informative decompositions to figure out the contributing factors behind that dissimilarity in the behavior of inequality across those two subperiods. Our results are consistent with a story in which economic growth increases the demand for more educated workers, initially increasing inequality. However, those higher returns to education encourage agents to invest in higher education, producing a subsequent human capital deepening that reduces inequality at later stages of the development process.

Vinculaciones Políticas en un Régimen de Banca Libre: El Caso de la Crisis Bancaria de 1878 en Chile

IGNACIO BRIONES

REVISTA DE HISTORIA ECONOMICA, Volume 34, Issue 3

Abstract: In 1878 Chile experienced a banking crisis which brought an end to the Chilean free-banking period based on convertibility initiated in 1860. Using monthly bank balance sheets and other primary sources, I analyze the period and argue that one important explanation for the crisis was the growing relationship between banks and government through state loans to finance fiscal deficits and privileges to the issuing banks. I claim that the crisis emerged from a large bank loan in late 1877 which induced over-issuance and depreciation expectations leading, logically, to a bank run. The Chilean case provides valuable evidence of an element frequently neglected by the free-banking literature: the links between banks and government.

 

 

Cartas Españolas de Jean-Baptiste Say: Evidencias Para el Estudio de la Circulación de Ideas Económicas

JOSÉ M. MENUDO

Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, Volume 34, Issue 2

Abstract: Este trabajo transcribe cinco cartas inéditas dirigidas a Jean-Baptiste Say por Manuel María Gutiérrez, Álvaro Flórez Estrada y el Marqués de Valle Santoro, respectivamente. Esta correspondencia acredita la proximidad de los autores españoles a las obras canónicas de la Economía clásica. Destacamos algunas evidencias de interés para el estudio de la transmisión de las ideas económicas. En primer lugar, la traducción de la obra de Say es un proyecto colectivo, estructurado en torno a la Real Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País de Madrid. Describimos también la tarea de expurga de los pasajes condenables para poder publicar en castellano el Traité d`économie politique, concretamente aquellos relativos al papel de la religión en el desarrollo económico y en la educación pública.

The Roots of Brazil’s Heavy Taxation

GABRIEL ONDETTI
JOURNAL OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES 47.4 (2015): 749-779

Abstract: Latin America is widely known as a low-tax region, but Brazil defies that description with a tax burden almost double the regional average. Though longstanding, Brazil’s position atop the tax burden ranking is not a historical constant. As recently as the early 1950s three other countries, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, had similar or even heavier burdens. However, by the early 1980s Brazil had emerged as the most heavily taxed country in Latin America, and subsequent decades reinforced that status. This article seeks to uncover the roots of Brazil’s heavy taxation by examining the process through which it rose to the top of the regional ranking and managed to stay there. It emphasises two variables, the social class bases of public sector growth and the degree of support for democracy among key political actors. Despite changing over time, these variables have consistently interacted in ways that favour rising taxation.

Classical Liberalism in Guatemala

ANDRÉS MARROQUÍN AND FRITZ THOMAS
ECON JOURNAL WATCH 12.3 (2015): 460-478

Abstract: We give an account of classical liberalism in Guatemala, its successes, failures, and main figures. Classical liberalism is a young tradition in the country and relatively small. The three most important organizations are Universidad Francisco Marroquín, the Center for Economic and Social Studies (CEES), and the Center for National Economic Research (CIEN). The most important individual for liberalism in Guatemala has been Manuel Ayau, who passed away in 2010.