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Progress, Poverty and Exclusion: An Economic History of Latin America in the Twentieth Century (Inter-American Development Bank) [Paperback]

Professor Rosemary Thorp
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

September 18, 1998 1886938350 978-1886938359

What did the Latin American economies achieve in the course of a hundred years? Per capita income increased fivefold, yet today it is lower in proportion to the industrial countries than it was a century ago. Modern infrastructure was built and industry grew to 20 percent of GDP, but the region's share of world trade was halved. Social indicators such as life expectancy and literacy improved dramatically, but inequity and poverty worsened.

This comprehensive economic history examines the political, institutional and economic forces that shaped Latin America's complex and often paradoxical development process over the twentieth century. By examining quantitative data alongside the region's political economies, the book provides historical context for the development strategies, choices, successes, and failures of the Latin American countries.

Commissioned by IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias, the book draws on studies and consultancies prepared by a number of specialists on Latin America. A comprehensive Statistical Appendix provides regionwide and country-by-country data in such areas as GDP, manufacturing, sector productivity, prices, trade, income distribution, and living standards.

Moving chronologically through the century, the book focuses on two dramatic waves of expansion that shaped regional growth: first, an export boom as the century began, and second, import-substitution industrialization corresponding to renewed expansion of the international economy following the Depression and the two World Wars. Following the debt crisis of the 1980s, Latin America at century's end has returned to where it began, with reliance on the free market and export-led growth. However, the book outlines the changes in economic structures and approaches that make today's economic scenario radically different from the old.

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Editorial Reviews


"This valuable and densely packed book is the core outcome of a commission from the Inter-American Development Bank. May all their investments prove equally fruitful!" -- Charles Jones, Business History

"[This book] offers a wide-ranging overview of Latin American economic history that is non-ideological, and it succinctly abstracts the major trends through the region. By distilling common themes and identifying interesting variations, Thorp outlines the contours of Latin American economic experience in the twentieth century." -- Gail D. Triner, Latin American Research Review

"Rosemary Thorp has produced an accessible text that will be applauded by the specialist and welcomed by the informed reader, whether interested in Latin America or comparative development." -- Colin M. Lewis, Journal of Development Studies

About the Author

Rosemary Thorp is Reader in the Economics of Latin America at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of St. Antony's College, and Director of the Latin America Centre.

Product Details

  • Series: Inter-American Development Bank
  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Inter-American Development Bank (September 18, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886938350
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886938359
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,399,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Way to Study History!!! February 10, 2001
By A Customer
"Progress, Poverty and Exclusion. An Economic History of Latin America in the 20th Century" is a fascinating book from the cover to the annexes. The contrast between a XX th century modern city and a shanty town showed in the cover gives the reader an initial idea of the position of the writer regarding Latin American economic development. Poverty, exclusion and income concentration are problems that are inherent to the vast majority of Latin American economies and Rosemary Thorp makes sure that the reader remembers that throughout the book. Her social focus is perfectly compatible with a serious economic analysis based on well-documented facts and statistical data. Every student of Latin American history, politics and economics should have this book in his or her shelves. Furthermore, any scholar dealing with Latin American issues should not forget to read Thorp's work "every morning" to remember what is that the Latin American economies achieved in the course of a hundred years. Finally, I highly recommend accompanying the reading of this book with another masterpiece, "The Economic History of Latin America" by Victor Bulmer-Thomas
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