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Industrial Exports and Peronist Economic Policies in Post-War Argentina

  • CLAUDIO BELINI
Abstract

This article studies the growth and decline of Argentine exports of manufactured goods during the 1940s and 1950s. In a context that was favourable due to the global scarcity of manufactured goods, Argentine industry managed to sell its products in several foreign markets, especially in Latin America, during the Second World War. In the post-war period, however, exports declined and returned to the levels of the 1930s. After 1950 the Peronist administration again tried to stimulate exports through the use of various incentives, but they did not revive. The article examines the reasons for this decline, the role played by the economic, commercial and industrial policies of the Peronist era, and the problems that Argentine industry faced in remaining competitive. Based on this analysis, the paper questions the interpretation that argues that exporting manufactured goods was a viable path for development for import substitution industrialisation countries in the post-war world. In this respect the paper contributes to the discussion of different paths towards economic development in Latin America.

Este artículo estudia el crecimiento y la declinación de las exportaciones de manufacturas durante las décadas de 1940 y 1950. En un contexto favorable debido a la escasez de productos industriales en el mercado mundial, la industria argentina logró exportar diversos artículos a distintos mercados, especialmente de América Latina, durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Sin embargo, en los años de la inmediata posguerra, las exportaciones de manufacturas declinaron hasta niveles similares a la década de 1930. A partir de 1950, el gobierno peronista promovió las exportaciones industriales mediante el empleo de diversos instrumentos, pero éstas continuaron estancadas. El artículo examina las razones de la declinación, el papel de las políticas económicas, industriales y comerciales del peronismo, y los problemas de competitividad del sector manufacturero. En base a este análisis, el trabajo cuestiona la interpretación que sostiene que la exportación de manufacturas constituía una alternativa de desarrollo para las economías que habían iniciado el proceso de industrialización por sustitución de importaciones. En este sentido, el artículo busca contribuir a la discusión de los diferentes caminos hacia el desarrollo en América Latina.

Este artigo avalia o crescimento e declínio da exportação de bens manufaturados argentinos durante as décadas de 1940 e 1950. Em um contexto que era favorável devido à escassez mundial de produtos manufaturados, a indústria argentina pôde vender seus produtos em diversos mercados estrangeiros, especialmente da América Latina, durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial. Entretanto, durante o período pós-guerra as exportações diminuíram retornando aos níveis da década de 1930. Após 1950, a administração peronista tentou, através da aplicação de diversas iniciativas, a estimular novamente as exportações, porém elas não reavivaram. O artigo examina as razões desse declínio, o papel desempenhado pelas políticas econômicas, comerciais e industriais da era peronista e os problemas que a Argentina enfrentou para permanecer competitiva. Baseado nestas análises, o artigo questiona a interpretação que sustenta que a exportação de artigos manufaturados foi um caminho de desenvolvimento viável para com a política de industrialização por substituição de importações no mundo pós-guerra. Dessa forma o artigo contribui para a discussão de diferentes caminhos em direção ao desenvolvimento econômico na América Latina.

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1 See Stephen Haber, ‘The Political Economy of Industrialization’, in Victor Bulmer-Thomas, John H. Coatsworth and Roberto Cortés Conde (eds.), The Cambridge Economic History of Latin America, vol. 2: The Long Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 570–83; and Bulmer-Thomas, Victor, The Economic History of Latin America since Independence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 216–24. On the influence of ECLA, see E. V. K. FitzGerald, ‘ECLA and the Theory of Import Substituting Industrialization in Latin America’, in Enrique Cárdenas, José Antonio Ocampo and Rosemary Thorp (eds.), An Economic History of Twentieth-Century Latin America, vol. 3: Industrialization and the State in Latin America: The Postwar Years (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000), pp. 58–97.

2 For a historiographical review, see Lewis, Colin and Suzigan, Wilson, ‘Industry and Industrialization in Latin America: In Pursuit of Development’, Cuadernos de Historia Latinoamericana, 8 (2000), pp. 227316. For Argentina in particular, see Korol, Juan Carlos and Sabato, Hilda, ‘Incomplete Industrialization: An Argentine Obsession’, Latin American Research Review, 25: 1 (1990), pp. 730.

3 Macario, Santiago, ‘Proteccionismo e industrialización en América Latina’, Boletín Económico de América Latina, 9: 1 (1964), pp. 63110; Ferrer, Aldo, La economía argentina (Buenos Aires: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1963).

4 Cardoso, Fernando and Faletto, Enzo, Dependencia y desarrollo en América Latina (Mexico City: Siglo XXI, 1969); Sunkel, Osvaldo and Paz, Pedro, El subdesarrollo latinoamericano y la teoría del desarrollo (Mexico City: Siglo XXI, 1975).

5 A key study for Argentina is Alejandro, Carlos Díaz, Ensayos sobre la historia económica argentina (Buenos Aires: Amorrortu, 1975), pp. 75142. The influence of the new economic history and the institutional approach has been less significant in studies of Argentine industrialisation after 1930 than elsewhere. A collection of analyses from this perspective can be found, though, in Gerardo Della Paolera and Alan Taylor (eds.), A New Economic History of Argentina (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). For the period prior to 1930, see Rocchi, Fernando, Chimneys in the Desert: Industrialization in Argentina during the Export Boom Years, 1870–1930 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006); and Pineda, Yovanna, Industrial Development in a Frontier Economy: The Industrialization of Argentina, 1890–1930 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009). For general analyses of industrialisation after 1930 but from other perspectives, see Schvarzer, Jorge, La industria que supimos conseguir (Buenos Aires: Planeta, 1996); and Jorge Katz and Bernardo Kosacoff, ‘Import-Substituting Industrialization in Argentina, 1940–1980: Its Achievements and Shortcomings’, in Cárdenas, Ocampo and Thorp (eds.), An Economic History, pp. 282–313.

6 Llach, Juan José, ‘El Plan Pinedo de 1940: su significado histórico y los orígenes de la economía política del peronismo’, Desarrollo Económico, 23: 92 (1984), pp. 515–58.

7 Llach, Juan José, ‘La industria, 1945–1983’, in Academia Nacional de la Historia, Nueva historia de la nación argentina, vol. 9 (Buenos Aires: Planeta, 2001), p. 96. With nuances, this interpretation is present in María Inés Barbero and Fernando Rocchi, ‘Industry’, in Della Paolera and Taylor (eds.), A New Economic History of Argentina, pp. 276–9; Waisman, Carlos, Reversal of Development in Argentina (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987); and Lewis, Paul, The Crisis of Argentine Capitalism (Chapel Hill, NC, and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1990), pp. 177210.

8 This interpretation seems to be based on a naive model of ISI ‘exhaustion’. At the same time, it transfers back to the Peronist period a problem which appears in a less dramatic manner some time later, in the mid-1960s. For a critique of the so-called exhaustion of ISI, see Hirschman, Albert, ‘The Political Economy of Import-Substituting Industrialization in Latin America’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 82: 1 (1968), pp. 132.

9 See Pablo Gerchunoff, ‘Peronist Economic Policies, 1946–55’, in Guido Di Tella and Rudiger Dornbusch (eds.), The Political Economy of Argentina, 1946–1983 (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989), pp. 59–85; Rougier, Marcelo, La política crediticia del Banco Industrial durante el primer peronismo (Buenos Aires: CEEED, 2001); and Cramer, Gisela, Argentinien im Schatten des Zweiten Weltkriegs: Probleme der Wirtschaftspolitik und der Ubergang zur Ava Perón (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1999); and Argentine Riddle: The Pinedo Plan of 1940 and the Political Economy of the Early War Years’, Journal of Latin American Studies, 30: 3 (1998), pp. 519–50. Also see Belini, Claudio, ‘El grupo Bunge y la política económica del primer peronismo, 1943–1952’, Latin American Research Review, 41: 1 (2006), pp. 2750; La industria peronista, 1946–1955: políticas públicas y cambio estructural (Buenos Aires: Edhasa, 2009); and Peronismo, empresarios y política industrial, 1946–1955 (Buenos Aires: Lumiere, forthcoming).

10 In this study we limit industrial exports to the products of industrial origin that Argentine statistics denoted as ‘sundries’. We exclude agro-industrial products such as canned meats and edible oils.

11 Osvaldo Barsky, ‘La caída de la producción agrícola en la década de 1940’, in Osvaldo Barsky et al., La agricultura pampeana (Buenos Aires: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1988), pp. 31–112; Yair Mundlak and Marcelo Regúnaga, ‘Agriculture’, in Della Paolera and Taylor (eds.), New Economic History of Argentina, pp. 233–60.

12 See Cámara de Diputados de la Nación, Congreso de la Nación, Argentina, Diario de Sesiones de la Cámara de Senadores de la Nación (hereafter Diario de Sesiones) (1940), vol. 2, pp. 377, 385–8; and Llach, ‘El Plan Pinedo’, pp. 523–4. See also Cramer, Argentinien im Schatten, pp. 97–100; and ‘Argentine Riddle’, pp. 538–9.

13 Llach, ‘El Plan Pinedo’, pp. 524–6. On the inconsistencies of the plan, see Cramer, ‘Argentine Riddle’, pp. 535–7.

14 Diario de Sesiones (1940), vol. 2, p. 377. For an opposing view criticising the absence of clear definitions regarding the desired profile of industry, see ibid., pp. 432–3.

15 Cramer, ‘Argentine Riddle’, p. 537. For Prebisch's views about the change in the economic situation, see Banco Central de la República Argentina (BCRA), Memoria anual, 1942 (Buenos Aires, 1943), pp. 3840.

16 Exports included woollen textiles and leather footwear, and were aimed at satisfying demand from some European countries. Sales of textiles reached a record of 1,000 tons in 1915, and those of shoes some 2,729 dozen in 1919, although in this case Argentina continued importing: see Dirección General de Estadística y Censos, Anuario del comercio exterior de la República Argentina, 1921–1923 (Buenos Aires: Direccioón General de Estadióstica de la Nación, 1924); Schvarzer, La industria que supimos conseguir, pp. 120–1; Rocchi, Chimneys in the Desert, pp. 115–16.

17 Between 1938 and 1944 the depreciation was 23 per cent: see Carlos Díaz Alejandro, ‘Tipo de cambio y términos del intercambio en la República Argentina, 1913–1976’, Working Paper no. 22 (Buenos Aires: Centro de Estudios Macroeconómicos de la Argentina, 1981).

18 Luzzetti, Carlos, ‘Las exportaciones argentinas y el mercado sudafricano’, Revista de Economía Argentina, 40: 280 (1941), pp. 319–20.

19 See Diario de Sesiones (1941), vol. 3, pp. 573–5, 719–20; and Diario de Sesiones (1942), vol. 2, pp. 138–9. Duty drawback schemes typically involve a combination of tariff rebates and exemptions.

20 The other measures were the creation of the Dirección General de Fabricaciones Militares (General Directorate of Military Industries, DGFM) and the state merchant fleet: see Llach, ‘El Plan Pinedo’, p. 540. A Comité de Exportación y de Estimulo Industrial y Comercial (Committee for Exports and the Promotion of Trade and Industry) was also created, with similar functions to those that would be carried out by the CPI: Decreto 87.040/41, Anales de Legislación Argentina (1942), pp. 227–8.

21 Eduardo Mangiante y Aníbal Marquestó, Técnica de control de cambios (Buenos Aires: Editorial Alejandro Bunge, 1952), pp. 33–8.

22 Raúl Prebisch, Obras, 1919–1948 (Buenos Aires: Fundación Prebisch, 1993), vol. 2, p. 751.

23 The CPI's first board of directors comprised: president: Leo Welch; vice-president: Emilio Carbone (Goffre, Carbone y Cía., a company related to General Motors); secretary: Julio Fevre (Fevre y Basset, Chrysler Co. representative); treasurer: Hilary Driscoll (First National Bank of Boston, Sudamtex and Gillette Argentina); directors: H. E. Bettle (General Motors), Ralph Spradling (Armco Argentina), E. P. Clarendon (Agencias Navieras y Marítimas Norteamericanas Moore y McCormack), Frank Griffiths (Ford Motor Co.), Tiburcio Benegas (La Economía Comercial Cía. de Seguros) and Luis Fiore (Duperial and RCA Victor). See Cámara de Sociedades Anónimas (CSA), Guía de Sociedades Anónimas, 1942–1943 (Buenos Aires: CSA, 1943).

24 In 1937, for example, the government of Agustín Justo eliminated import duties on textile machinery and chemical products required by the industry, and granted drawbacks to the food-canning industry, automobile and agricultural machinery assembly plants and tyre factories: see Revista de la Unión Industrial Argentina, 820 (1937), p. 17.

25 Corporación para la Promoción del Intercambio (CPI), Actividades desarrolladas por la CPI desde su creación hasta octubre de 1944 (Buenos Aires: CPI, 1944), p. 5; and Memoria de la Corporación para la Promoción del Intercambio: Ejercicio 1943 (Buenos Aires: CPI, 1944), p. 15.

26 Ibid., pp. 19–20.

27 Ibid., p. 14.

28 The studies were published in the United States in 1943 and translated into Spanish: see Shellenberger, John, Los granos argentinos (Buenos Aires: CPI, 1943); and La industria lechera argentina (Buenos Aires: CPI, 1943); Hopkins, John, La estructura económica y el desarrollo industrial de la República Argentina (Buenos Aires: CPI, 1944); CPI, Estudios sobre cinco industrias argentinas: cueros, maderas, refractarios, cerámica y aceites vegetales (Buenos Aires: CPI, 1944); and La producción de yute en la República Argentina (Buenos Aires: CPI, 1944); Godwin, Francis, La industria química argentina (Buenos Aires: CPI, 1944); Fortunato del Río, Felipe and Palmes, Julio Gómez, La industria del calzado y del cuero en los Estados Unidos y las posibilidades argentinas en aquel mercado (Buenos Aires: CPI, 1945); and CPI, La industria del tiburón (Buenos Aires: CPI, 1945). The last two reports were prepared by the Cámara de la Industria del Calzado (Chamber for the Footwear Industry) together with the CPI, and the Departamento Técnico of the CPI respectively.

29 Hopkins, La estructura económica, pp. 76–82.

30 It was believed that the textile industry would not be able to compete in the world market due to its deficient production and technical organisation: see ibid., p. 79.

31 Hopkins believed that steel production was not worthwhile, even for defence reasons, since, in the event of war, Argentina would be unable to import iron or coal: see ibid., pp. 81–2.

32 Shellenberger, La industria lechera argentina, pp. 6–15.

33 Godwin, La industria química argentina, pp. 10–15.

34 Del Río and Gómez Palmes, La industria del calzado, pp. 24–34.

35 CPI, Memoria de la Corporación para la Promoción del Intercambio: Ejercicio 1945 (Buenos Aires: CPI, 1946), p. 53.

36 The boycott would last till 1949: see Escudé, Carlos, Gran Bretaña, Estados Unidos y la declinación argentina, 1942–1949 (Buenos Aires: Belgrano, 1983), pp. 253330.

37 CPI, Estudio de las perspectivas para los productos argentinos en la posguerra en el mercado estadounidense (Buenos Aires: CPI, 1943), p. 1.

38 CPI, Memoria de la Corporación para la Promoción del Intercambio: Ejercicio 1945, p. 27.

39 Javier Villanueva, ‘Aspectos de la estrategia de industrialización argentina’, in Torcuato Di Tella and Tulio Halperin (eds.), Los fragmentos del poder (Buenos Aires: Álvarez, 1968), pp. 325–55; Llach, ‘El Plan Pinedo’, p. 548.

40 Consejo Nacional de Posguerra (CNP), Ocupación y desocupación en la Argentina (Buenos Aires: CNP 1945), p. 19.

41 League of Nations, Industrialization and Foreign Trade (Geneva: League of Nations, 1945), pp. 56, 16. On the pessimistic outlook of orthodox neoclassical economists, see Love, Joseph, ‘Las fuentes del estructuralismo latinoamericano’, Desarrollo Económico, 36: 141 (1996), pp. 391402. This diagnosis was also present in the CPI's studies: see Shellenberger, Los granos argentinos, p. 16.

42 Belini, ‘El grupo Bunge’, pp. 27–50.

43 Llorens, Emilio, ‘La política industrial y el desarrollo futuro de la industria’, Revista de Economía Argentina, 43: 316 (1944), p. 320.

44 Ibid., p. 316.

45 Llerena, Carlos Moyano, ‘La Unión Aduanera del Sur’, Revista de Economía Argentina, 43: 308 (1944), pp. 3740.

46 Márquez, Javier, Posibilidad de bloques económicos en América Latina (Mexico City: El Colegio de México, 1944).

47 Llorens, Emilio, ‘La exportación y la industria’, Revista de Economía Argentina, 44: 323 (1945), pp. 183–6.

48 Astelarra, José, Apuntes para una política industrial (Buenos Aires: Banco de Crédito Industrial Argentino, 1947), p. 77.

49 Presidencia de la Nación, Plan de Gobierno, 1947–1951 (Buenos Aires, 1946), vol. 2, p. 72.

50 Gerchunoff, ‘Peronist Economic Policies’, pp. 59–71; Brennan, James and Rougier, Marcelo, The Politics of National Capitalism: Peronism and the Argentine Bourgeosie, 1946–1976 (University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2009), pp. 43–6.

51 Novick, Susana, El IAPI: auge y decadencia (Buenos Aires: CEAL, 1986).

52 Secretaría de Industria y Comercio, Un año de labor de la Secretaría de Industria y Comercio (Buenos Aires, 1947), p. 117.

53 Ministerio de Industria y Comercio, Memoria correspondiente al año 1949 (Buenos Aires, 1950), pp. 262–3.

54 Quijada, Mónica, ‘El proyecto peronista de creación de un Zollverein sudamericano’, Ciclos, 6 (1994), pp. 145–73; Porcile, Gabriel, ‘The Challenge of Cooperation: Argentina and Brazil, 1939–1955’, Journal of Latin American Studies, 27: 1 (1995), pp. 129–59.

55 Between 1940 and 1943, agreements proposing customs unions were signed with Uruguay (1940), Brazil (1941), Paraguay and Chile (1943). In 1940 Pinedo was interested in a customs union with Brazil which would permit complementary industrial development based on a broader market: see Cramer, ‘Argentine Riddle’, pp. 531–2; and Porcile, ‘The Challenge of Cooperation’, pp. 133–4. One of the reasons for the failure of these projects was that the bilateral agreements that individual countries had signed previously did not include clauses allowing preferential treatment between South American countries. The ‘most favoured nation’ clause meant that any advantages granted could be extended to include the principal industrialised countries.

56 In the agreement with Chile, the IAPI would provide m$n 300 million to establish, together with CORFO, a joint venture to finance and promote those activities: BCRA, Memoria anual, 1946 (Buenos Aires, 1947), pp. 55–8.

57 Colombo, Luis, ‘Mi concepto sobre las exportaciones industriales’, Revista de la Unión Industrial Argentina, 918 (1945), p. 15.

58 Rougier, La política crediticia; Belini, La industria peronista.

59 Decretos 17.607 and 24.154, Anales de Legislación Argentina (1950), pp. 576, 666–75.

60 Circular 1304, in BCRA, Circulares de Cambios, 1950–1951 (Buenos Aires, undated).

61 Eprime Eshag and Rosemary Thorp, ‘Las políticas económicas ortodoxas de Perón a Guido, 1953–1963’, in Aldo Ferrer et al., Los planes de estabilización en la Argentina (Buenos Aires: Paidós, 1974), p. 79.

62 Presidencia de la Nación, Segundo Plan Quinquenal (Buenos Aires: Plantié, 1953), pp. 311–2.

63 ‘II Plan Quinquenal de Gobierno: medidas económicas a adoptar simultáneamente con su iniciación’, in Ministerio de Finanzas, Actas del Grupo Económico, no. 21 (9 Dec. 1952), Biblioteca Prebisch, MF 460.

64 ‘Situación de la industria textil’, in Ministerio de Finanzas, Actas del Grupo Económico, no. 14 (21 Oct. 1952), Biblioteca Prebisch, MF 460. In mid-1953, the textile industrialists founded the Cooperativa de Fabricantes Asociados (Cooperative of Associated Manufacturers) to promote exports.

65 Se continúa estudiando la posibilidad de exportar productos elaborados’, Metalurgia, 145 (1952), pp. 57.

66 ‘Régimen de fomento de la exportación de artículos manufacturados’, in Ministerio de Finanzas, Actas del Grupo Económico, no. 30 (29 Jan. 1953), Biblioteca Prebisch, MF 460. Moreover, 6 per cent of the foreign currency collected would be earmarked for use abroad, including exhibitions, market studies and advertising.

67 BCRA, Memoria anual, 1954 (Buenos Aires, 1955), pp. 43–8.

68 Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Unión Económica Argentino-Boliviana (Buenos Aires, 1954), p. 35.

69 CEPAL, Estudio del comercio Inter Latinoamericano (New York: CEPAL, 1956), p. 121n. 4.

70 Raúl Prebisch, ‘Informes del señor asesor económico y financiero de la Presidencia de la Nación’, in BCRA, Memoria anual, 1955 (Buenos Aires, 1956), pp. XLVI–L.

71 Ibid., p. XLVIII.

72 Frondizi, Arturo, Industria argentina y desarrollo nacional (Buenos Aires: Qué, 1957), p. 60.

73 ‘La exportación de textiles’, Gaceta Textil, 135 (1946), p. 25.

74 ‘La exportación de maquinarias’, Metalurgia, 80 (1946), p. 5.

75 Díaz Alejandro, ‘Tipo de cambio’.

76 Hirschman, ‘The Political Economy of Import-Substituting Industrialization’, pp. 26–7.

77 La situación argentina y la nueva política económica’, Boletín Económico de América Latina, 1: 1 (1956), p. 38.

78 CEPAL, El desarrollo económico de la Argentina (Mexico City: CEPAL 1959), pp. 32–3.

79 Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones y Estudios Económicos (IAIEE), Materias primas y equipos para la industria argentina: su consumo y su desgaste durante la guerra y su reposición en la posguerra (Buenos Aires: IAIEE, 1944), p. 48. An estimate made by the US government on Latin American requirements for machinery held that Argentina would need U$S 1.167 billion during the first ten post-war years: see Machinery and Equipment for Latin American Needs’, Comments on Argentine Trade, 24: 9 (1945), pp. 1930.

80 Machinery for agriculture comprised 3 per cent and machinery for transport 7 per cent: see CEPAL, Estudio económico de América Latina, 1956 (Mexico City: CEPAL, 1956), p. 150. There are no disaggregated data for 1946 or 1947.

81 Between 1950 and 1955, capital goods for industry represented 11 per cent of imports: see ibid., p. 30.

82 By 1955, 20 per cent of machinery installed in spinning mills and between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of looms were domestically produced: see Belini, La industria peronista, p. 156.

83 Katz, Jorge, Production Functions, Foreign Investment and Growth: A Study Based on the Argentine Manufacturing Sector, 1946–1961 (Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1969), pp. 106–8.

84 James, Daniel, ‘Racionalización y respuesta de la clase obrera: contexto y limitaciones de la actividad gremial en la Argentina’, Desarrollo Económico, 21: 83 (1981), pp. 331–49.

85 CEPAL, Productividad de la mano de obra en la industria textil algodonera de cinco países latinoamericanos (New York: CEPAL, 1951), pp. 1920. An Argentine business magazine, Economic Survey, published several studies on this in 1957. For the wool, cotton and metal industries, see Economic Survey, 12 March 1957, pp. 12–17; 2 April 1957, pp. 9–14; and 16 July 1957, pp. 10–16 respectively.

86 BCRA, Memoria anual, 1963 (Buenos Aires, 1964), pp. 42–3.

87 Stein, Stanley, Brazilian Cotton Manufacture: Textile Enterprise in an Underdeveloped Area, 1850–1950 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1957), pp. 169–71.

88 Cárdenas, Enrique, La hacienda pública y la política económica, 1929–1958 (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2004), p. 96.

89 Max Camiro, ‘La industria textil’, in Carlos Quintana et al., Cuestiones industriales de México (Mexico City: El Colegio de México, 1945), pp. 79–80; Mosk, Sanford, Industrial Revolution in Mexico (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1950), p. 22.

90 ‘Contraction has been more pronounced in fabrics of popular consumption due to the people's lack of purchasing power’: CEPAL, Estudio económico de América Latina, 1950–1951 (New York: CEPAL, 1954), p. 198.

91 Díaz Alejandro, Ensayos, p. 220. Something similar happened in the automobile, machinery and electrical appliances sectors. The metals sector grew at an annual rate of 5 per cent.

92 Between 1946 and 1955, the import capacity of Argentina exhibited the worst performance of the region, falling by 20 per cent. In Brazil it grew 61 per cent and in Mexico 86 per cent: see CEPAL, Estudio económico de América Latina, 1956 (New York: CEPAL, 1957), p. 53.

* An earlier version of this article was presented at the session ‘Import Substitution Industrialization and Economic Openness in Latin America: Sectoral Studies and Networks’, at the Second Latin American Economic History Congress, Mexico City, February 2010. I am grateful for the comments and suggestions received there. I would also like to thank Juan Carlos Korol, Marcelo Rougier and Hilda Sabato, as well as the five anonymous JLAS reviewers for their insightful comments.

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