The Take-off, 1914–1929: Coffee, Railways, and Regional Divergence

  • Ivan Luzardo-LunaEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


After a long period of stagnation during the Belle-Époque (1870–1914), Colombia finally experienced an economic take-off early in the twentieth century. The fundamental question in this chapter is: what was the reason behind Colombia’s economic take-off late in the decade of the 1910s, and its consolidation in the 1920s?

Colombia’s economic take-off was export-driven or, more accurately, a coffee-driven one. That was a result of Colombia resuming its access to the international capital market, which allowed it to build up a precarious, but workable, transport infrastructure in the 1910s. Such an infrastructure expanded and consolidated in the 1920s, and Colombia could for the first time integrate the farming areas of the inlands with the ports on the coast in a way that incorporated steam technology.


Economic take-off Export-led growth Coffee Railways Steam navigation The Antioquia railway External debt 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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