Cover of Industrial Development in a Frontier Economy by Yovanna Pineda
Industrial Development in a Frontier Economy
The Industrialization of Argentina, 1890–1930
Yovanna Pineda

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2009
224 pages.
$57.50

Cloth ISBN: 9780804759830

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In 1890, Argentina was a wealthy nation on the brink of industrialization. Industrial Development in a Frontier Economy examines Argentina's failure over the next forty years to develop an efficient manufacturing sector, even as countries in similar circumstances—Meiji Japan, Brazil, and Mexico—successfully modernized their economies. Yovanna Pineda conducts a pioneering microanalysis of 59 domestic corporations, spanning ten manufacturing sectors, to show that Argentina's macroeconomic conditions led domestic manufacturers to concentrate on survival at the expense of innovation and growth. Her analysis reveals that the resulting risk-averse, monopolistic business practices, more than any collective action or governmental policy, forestalled the country's industrialization.

About the author

Yovanna Pineda is Associate Professor of Latin American history at St. Michael's College.

"She attempts to answer a question that has bedeviled attempts at analysis for decades. Why did Argentine industrialization not take off in the period before 1930? . . . Using the tools of economists, Pineda examines such factors as manufacturing productivity and concentration, importation of machinery, and profits. She concludes that more traditional explanations for lack of sustainable industrialization, such as the nature of the industrial class and the lack of government aid, did not work. She argues that both financial and political responses were inadequate."

—Joel Horowitz, Latin American Research Review

"Industrial Development in a Frontier Economy displays outstanding scholarship. The number of tables and the statistical evidence is impressive. The author is clear and concise and has provided significant evidence to support her thesis . . . [T]his work will introduce graduate students to an important issue of Argentine history and provide an example of the new approaches that economic historians use. Any future discussions of Argentine economic growth will most certainly need to consider the conclusions that Pineda reaches on the issues surrounding Argentina's failure to maintain sustainable industrial growth and manufacturing's inability to surpass agricultural sector growth."

—Vera Reber, H-Net

"A useful volume for those interested in Latin American history and economic development"

—R. J. Alexander Choice

"The fresh insight of the cliometric perspective of Pineda's book, the array of topics covered in the research, and the impressive datasets make Industrial Development in the Frontier Economy mandatory reading for those interested in Latin American industrialization and, in general, for those who enjoy the study of the region's economic history."

—Fernando Rocchi, EH.Net

"Yovanna Pineda's work fills an important lacuna in the literature, the data set is unique and comprehensive, and the author's essentially cliometric approach is an excellent means to answer the important questions she poses. Industrial Development in a Frontier Economy will be a seminal work in Argentine economic history."

—Noel Maurer, Harvard Business School