Tag Archives: terms of trade

The Terms of Trade and (Under)development in the Long Nineteenth Century

In a forthcoming article in the Journal of Latin American Studies I discuss the origins of Argentina’s expansion in the long nineteenth century. It is largely an optimistic account of how globalisation led to progress in this remote part of the world. However, it does have a sting in its tail.

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The ‘Reversal of Fortune’: Institutions or Globalisation?

The differential impacts of globalisation rather than institutional differences best explain divergence among ex-European colonies.

Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson and James Robinson (AJR, 2002) famously argued that a ‘reversal of fortune’ had taken place among ex-European colonies. Generally speaking, they argued, those ex-colonies that had been richest in 1500 would become the poorest by the end of the twentieth century. This, they claimed, was due to the different institutions established by Europeans.

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Argentina’s Terms-of-Trade Boom, 1780-1913

Argentina’s terms of trade probably improved by more than 2,000 percent during the long nineteenth century.

In a new working paper I report the most important finding of my PhD dissertation. In ‘Resolving the Halperín Paradox: The Terms of Trade and Argentina’s Expansion in the Long Nineteenth Century’ I show that Argentina’s terms of trade improved dramatically during the long nineteenth century.

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The Periphery’s Terms of Trade (Again)

My new paper details the problems of measuring the periphery’s terms of trade in the nineteenth century.

In a previous post I outlined some of the problems encountered by Jeffrey Williamson when he attempted to measure the periphery’s terms of trade in the nineteenth century. I have now uploaded a new ‘Technical Paper’ titled ‘The Periphery’s Terms of Trade in the Nineteenth Century: A Methodological Problem Revisited’, which is a considerably revised version of Chapter 2 of my PhD dissertation. In it I have detailed the methodological issue and why it affects Williamson’s analysis.

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The Descent of José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz

The family history of José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz helps explain the logic of Argentina’s last military dictatorship.

José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz was the product of one of Argentina’s most famous landowning families. As Minister of Economy during the dictatorship of 1976-83, he then became infamous as the architect of an economic programme that left the country racked by stagnation and hyperinflation. To understand why this occurred, it is helpful to look at the origins of the man himself.

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Jeffrey Williamson’s Terms of Trade

Jeffrey Williamson’s estimates of the periphery’s terms of trade in the long nineteenth century are misleading.

Jeffrey Williamson‘s (2011) book Trade and Poverty: When the Third World Fell Behind is one of the most interesting attempts to explain the ‘great divergence’ between rich and poor countries. It is a shame, then, that it is marred by his use of Mickey Mouse numbers.

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