Argentine Trade Policies in the XX Century: 60 Years of Solitude
45 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2010
Date Written: September 21, 2010
At the turn of the last century, the Argentine economy was on a path to prosperity that never fully developed. International trade and trade policies are often identified as a major culprit. In this paper, we review the history of Argentine trade policy to uncover its exceptional features and to explore its contribution to the Argentine debacle. Our analysis tells a story of bad trade policies, rooted in distributional conflict and shaped by changes in constraints, that favored industry over agriculture in a country with a fundamental comparative advantage in agriculture. While the anti-export bias impeded productivity growth in agriculture, the import substitution strategy was not successful in promoting an efficient industrialization. In the end, Argentine growth never took-off.
Keywords: tariffs, export taxes to agriculture, La Rural Argentina
JEL Classification: F13, F14
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