The extensive scholarship on ‘varieties of capitalism’ offers some conceptual and theoretical innovations that can be fruitfully employed to analyse the distinctive institutional foundations of capitalism in Latin America, or what could be called hierarchical market economies (HMEs). This perspective helps identify four core features of HMEs in Latin America that structure business access to essential inputs of capital, technology and labour: diversified business groups, multinational corporations (MNCs), low-skilled labour, and atomistic labour relations. Overall non-market, hierarchical relations in business groups and MNCs are central in organising capital and technology in Latin America, and are also pervasive in labour market regulation, union representation and employment relations. Important complementarities exist among these features, especially between MNCs and diversified business groups, as well as mutually reinforcing tendencies between these dominant corporate forms and general under-investment in skills and in well-mediated employment relations. These four features of HMEs, their common reliance on hierarchy, and the particular interactions among them add up to a distinct variety of capitalism, different from those identified in developed countries and other developing regions.