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URUGUAY AND THE FIRST GLOBALIZATION: ON THE ACCURACY OF EXPORT PERFORMANCE, 1870-1913*

  • Nicolás Bonino-Gayoso (a1), Antonio Tena-Junguito (a2) and Henry Willebald (a3)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

In order to understand Uruguay’s long-run economic evolution it becomes crucial to interpret its export performance during the First Globalization. The lack of accuracy of official figures, especially official prices used, calls for an adjustment of Uruguayan export series. We have used empirical evidence to test the accuracy of quantities and values of export records, first, according to import partners’ records and, second, according to international market prices. Results show a general undervaluation of official export values during the period along with severe distortions in the registers caused by transit trade. We reconstructed new Uruguayan export f.o.b values and an export price index which present a more unstable and less dynamic export evolution than that of neighbouring Argentina.

RESUMEN

Para entender la evolución económica uruguaya de largo plazo se vuelve crucial interpretar su desempeño exportador durante la Primera Globalización. La falta de precisión de los datos oficiales, especialmente los precios oficiales utilizados, demanda un ajuste de la serie de exportaciones de Uruguay. Hemos usado evidencia empírica para contrastar la precisión de los registros de cantidades y valores de las exportaciones, en primer lugar con respecto a los registros de los socios importadores y luego con relación a los precios de mercado internacionales. Los resultados muestran una subvaloración general de los valores oficiales de exportación durante el período a la vez que severas distorsiones en los registros causadas por el comercio de tránsito. Reconstruimos nuevos valores f.o.b. de exportaciones para Uruguay y un índice de precios de exportación, los cuales muestran una evolución de las exportaciones más inestable y menos dinámica que la presentada por su vecino Argentina.

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*

Antonio Tena-Junguito and Henry Willebald are thankful for the financial support of the «Proyecto Ministerio Ciencia y Tecnología de España MCI: ECO2011-25713». The database for this paper was constructed as part of Nicolás Bonino-Gayoso’s Master’s thesis in Economic History at the Universidad de la República, Uruguay. Previous versions of this paper were presented at the following events: III Congreso Latinoamericano de Historia Económica – CLADHE (Bariloche, Argentina, 2012), III Jornadas Académicas de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración — Universidad de la República (Montevideo, Uruguay, 2012), VIII Jornadas de la Asociación Uruguaya de Historia Económica – AUDHE (Montevideo, Uruguay, 2012), IX Jornadas de la Asociación Uruguaya de Historia Económica – AUDHE (Montevideo, Uruguay, 2013), IV Southern Hemisphere Economic History Summer School (Montevideo, Uruguay, 2013), 2º Congreso Chileno de Historia Económica (Valparaíso, Chile, 2013). The authors are grateful for comments and suggestions by Paola Azar, Luis Bértola, Reto Bertoni, Johan Fourie, Sandra Kuntz, María Inés Moraes, Agustina Rayes and Carolina Román. The authors also thank the members of the Economic History Research Group of the Economics Institute (Universidad de la República) for their continuous support and encouragement: Magdalena Bertino, Gastón Díaz, Ulises Garcia Repetto and Cecilia Moreira.

a

Instituto de Economía, Joaquín Requena 1375, Montevideo, Uruguay. nbonino@iecon.ccee.edu.uy; hwillebald@iecon.ccee.edu.uy

b

Departamento de Ciencias Sociales, Instituto Figuerola, Calle Madrid, 126 Getafe, Madrid, España. antonio.tena@uc3m.es

Footnotes
References
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C. Blattman ; J. Hwang , and G.J. Williamson (2007): «Winners and losers in the commodity lottery: the impact of terms of trade growth and volatility in the periphery 1870-1939». Journal of Development Economics, 82(1), pp. 156-179.

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A. Carreras-Marín ; M. Badia-Miró , and J. Peres Cajías (2013): «Intraregional Trade in South America, 1912–1950: The Cases of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Peru». Economic History of Developing Regions, 28 (2), pp. 1-26.

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A. Herranz-Loncán (2011): «The Role of Railways in Export-Led Growth: the Case of Uruguay, 1870-1913». Economic History of Developing Regions, 26 (2), pp. 1-32.

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A. Tena-Junguito , and H. Willebald (2013): «On the Accuracy of Export Growth in Argentina, 1870-1913». Economic History of Developing Regions, 28 (1), pp. 28-68.

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Revista de Historia Economica - Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History
  • ISSN: 0212-6109
  • EISSN: 2041-3335
  • URL: /core/journals/revista-de-historia-economica-journal-of-iberian-and-latin-american-economic-history
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