Argentina?s economy is best understood within the context of Latin American economic history. This course includes topics such as the Argentine economy before and after 1930; economic growth and structure; external terms of exchange between agricultural exports and imported industrial goods; foreign currency shortages; structural changes and the process of industrialization; import substitution; relative prices; capital formation; and economic cycles. Inflation, devaluations, recessions and stabilization programs, and hyperinflation will also be discussed. Finally, the course will consider Argentina?s Convertibility Law - a currency board implemented throughout the 1990s ? and more recent trends in inflation, economic growth and unemployment.
(PALAS 310) Argentine Economy
Luis Ignacio Argüero, PhD.
Program in Argentine and Latin American Studies
Universidad de Belgrano
Instruction in English
Once one of the richest and fastest growing economies in the world, Argentina
is now entrenched in the rankings of the less developed countries.
Nevertheless, in the last decade it has grown at a fast pace, one that was hard
to predict in the days of the 2001-2002 crisis. That a country that was viewed
as a pariah, effectively shut out of the international financial markets, could
recover from its worst crisis, is the topic of recent academic and political
discussions. The course will provide a truly comprehensive perspective that will
enable the students to analyze and understand the process experienced by the
Argentine economy from the late 19th Century until the present days, focusing
on the processes that led to the economic crisis at the turn of this century and
the measures implemented to overcome it. In the current world crisis scenario,
Argentina can thus serve as a case study of sorts.
Class attendance is required of all students at UB. A 75% attendance to
classes is mandatory to keep the regular student status. An electronic system
keeps track of attendance. Students have to slide an electronic card every
class to comply with the attendance policy. Class participation is very
important; there will be several class discussions, which will rely heavily on
student participation. Students are expected to conduct research for the final
paper and consult the digital library (EBSCO) for that purpose. UB holds to
the view that plagiarism constitutes intellectual theft and is a serious breach
of acceptable conduct. Any student caught plagiarizing will immediately be
given a ?no credit? for all courses taken in the semester. There will be no
make ups for classes falling on public holidays.
Participation 10 %
Paper presentation (oral & written) 30 %
Midterm 25 %
Final Exam 35 %
Required Textbooks and Materials
Course Reader, edi. Dr. Luis Ignacio Argüero
Introduction. Presentation of the course
Brief description of Argentine economic performance in the long run, trends,
cycles and current situation. Its socioeconomic performance compared to other
Latin American countries.
Brief explanation of development economics? fundamentals. Capital
accumulation, growth and structural transformation.
Economic growth vs. Economic development. The savings ? investment
balance . Diversity of capital Social capital. Institutions.
Assignation of topics on which students will conduct research, prepare a
written paper and make a presentation to the class after the Midterm.
The growth of the Argentine economy 1870-1914. Sources of economic
growth. Changes in the factor of production. Land. Labor supply. Capital
accumulation. The early interwar period. The downturn in the terms of trade.
Causes of the decrease in the rate of capital accumulation.
Argentina from 1930 to 1946.Changes in economic policy from an open
economy to an import substitution industrialized economy. Democracy, coup
d?état and internal migration. The new world?s economic scenario and its
impact on Argentina.
Argentina from 1946 to 1955. The Peronist decade. Different approaches to
economic policy: 1946-1952 , 1952-1955. Shift from an outward orientation
to an inward orientation. Success and failure of the Peronist economic policy.
Argentina from Peron to the early 80?s.Lack of a sustained growth. Oil shocks
and debt crisis. The external bottleneck in the Argentine economy. Armed
forces, Marxism and political instability.
80´s: political tensions. Peronismo without Perón. Union strikes and deindustrialization.
Hyperinflation. Economic and social costs of the Argentine
development strategies. LatAm cooperation: the road to Mercosur.
Argentina in the 90?s. Menem´s economic policy. The Convertibility Plan. Fiscal
policies. Privatization of public firms. The dependence of foreign capital flows.
Economic performance 1992-1995 . The impact of the Mexican crisis. The
impact of the Brazilian devaluation. Economic performance and external
shocks. Evaluation of structural reforms. Employment behavior in the 90?s.
Regions of Argentina. History, autonomy and the federal system. Income and
employment disparities. Agglomeration, knowledge creation and innovative
activity. Tourism and infrastructure.
The path to Argentine crisis (1999 to 2001). Review for the midterm exam.
The schedule for oral presentations will be assigned.
New government and social unrest. The Vice President´s resignation.
Emigration. Debt, tax increases and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Peso´s rigidity and lack of a ?competitive currency?. ?Corralón? and ?corralito?.
Five presidents in ten days. Oral presentation (25?)
Local currencies and bartering system. Consultations about written paper.
Oral presentation (25?)
Destruction of the financial system. Government finances. Central
government-Provinces relationships. Debt default and devaluation. Measures
to start recovery. Nominal and real salary reduction. Social unrest, subsidies
and ?Plan trabajar?. Oral presentation (25?)
The Kirchner era (2003- ). The foundations of the Argentine recovery.
Agroindustrial exports as the key of Argentina turnaround. Brazil, emerging
markets and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Oral presentation (25?)
Renegotiation of the external debt. What does a country own? Free Trade
Agreements in Argentina and South America. Relations with IMF, World Bank,
Interamerican Development Bank and the Paris Club. Oral presentation (25?)
Change of government and continuity. The international financial and
economic crisis of 2008 and its impact on the Argentine economy. The external
and fiscal situation in Cristina Kirchner government. The farmer`s strike in
2008. Evolution of the twin surpluses. Inflation. The Argentine dilemma:
capital flight vs. FDI. Oral presentation (25?)
Argentinean economy in perspective: performance and position in Latin
America. Production-exports-imports. From untrustworthy to case study:
miracle, ?tailwind? or sound policy? Oral presentation (25?)
Final papers presentation. Oral presentations.
Recovered factories and workers self management. Oral presentation (25?)
Review for Final Exam
Oral presentation (25?) Open discussion: Argentine
economy in the 21st Century: Opportunities, threats and projections.
Brackman, Steven, Garretsen Harry , van Marrewijk , Charles , van
Witteloostuijn, Arjen ? Nations and firms in the Global Economy?,
Cambridge University press, 2006.
Camara Neto, A. y Vernengo M. ?Globalization a dangerous obsession . Latin
America in the Post Washington Consensus era ? International Journal of
Political Economy , winter 2202.
Cibils, Alan, Weisbrot Mark and Kar Debayani ?Argentina since default: The
IMF and the Depression ?, Center for Economic and Policy research ,
Cortés Conde, Roberto. ?The growth of the Argentine economy 1870-1914 ?
in Bethell , Leslie ?Argentina since independence ?Cambridge University
Della Paolera Gerardo and Taylor Alan. ?The new economic history of
Argentina? Cambridge University Press. 2003.
Della Paolera Gerardo and Taylor Alan. ?Economic recovery from the
Argentine Great Depression: Institutions , expectations and the change
of marcoeconomic regime.? NBER . National Bureau of Economic
Research . Working paper 6767. October 1998
Della Torre A., Levy Yeyati E y Schmucler S. ?Argentina ?s financial crisis :
Floating money , sinking banking ? World Bank. June 2002
Fischer Bernhard . Trapp Peter ? Argentina : the economic crisis in the 80?s ?
Kiel University. Tubingen 1985.
O?Connell Arturo. ?The recent crisis and recovery of the Argentine Economy:
some elements and background ?from Financialization and the World
Economy edited by Gerald Epstein of the Political Economy Research
Institute. Spring 2005.
Rock, David. ?Argentina from the First World War to 1946 ? in Bethell Leslie ?
Argentina since independence ?Cambridge University Press. 1998
Schuler, Kurt. ?Fixing Argentina?. Cato Institute Working Paper. 2002
Taylor , Alan. Three phases of Argentine Economic growth. National Bureau of
Economic Research. 1194
Taylor Alan. ?Latin America and Foreign Capital in the twentieth Century :
Economics , politics and Institutional change ?. NBER . National Bureau
of Economic research . Workimg Paper 7394. October 1999.
Watkins Thayer. ?Argentine Political Economic History ?Economic Department
Working Papers. San José State University. 2002.
*Course content subject to change. Please contact your ISA Site Specialist for more information.