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Structural Change in Argentina, 1935–1960: The Role of Import Substitution and Factor Endowments

  • Dario Debowicz (a1) and Paul Segal (a2)

This article investigates structural change in Argentina between 1935 and 1960, a period of rapid industrialization and of relative decline of the agricultural sector. We use a dynamic three-sector computable general equilibrium model of the period to analyze the effects of the policies of import-substituting industrialization (ISI), and changing factor endowments, on the structure of the economy. We find that the declining land-labor ratio was more important than ISI in explaining relative stagnation in agriculture. ISI gave a substantial boost to manufacturing, but primarily at the expense of non-traded services, rather than of agriculture.

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The authors would like to thank Sudhir Anand, Tony Atkinson, Luis Beccaria, Ingrid Bleynat, Markus Eberhardt, Peter Neary, Kevin O'Rourke, Jonathan Temple, Sherman Robinson, Jeffrey Williamson, Adrian Wood, and two anonymous referees. Remaining errors are, as ever, the responsibility of the authors.

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