One Hundred Years of Ineptitude

Post by Dr.JoJo Nem Singh who is a lecturer in Development at the department

On Development and the Global Political Economy

The Economist this week features Argentina’s so-called ‘one hundred years of ineptitude‘. It explains the rise and fall of Argentina from being one of the richest in the world in early twentieth century towards a country of uncertainty, poverty and inequality. During its liberal years between 1880s and 1920s, the country ranked among the ten richest in the world – quite comparable to Australia, UK and the United States and certainly ahead of France, Germany and Italy. Its income per head was 92% of the average of 16 rich economies.


The article goes to explain the somewhat odd economic history of the country: it was riddled with popular coups and clientelistic politics; over reliance on primary commodities notably wheat, beef, and export agriculture; and the near absence of a coherent development project that could have sown the seeds of industrialisation. To some extent, the country’s democratisation was almost antithetical…

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