The case of Argentina has long been a puzzle for growth theorists — a country with a magnificent endowment of natural resources and a well-educated population after a century of (mostly European) immigration. A country that in the early 20th century was among the top dozen countries of the world in terms of per capita GDP, foreign investment, economic growth and other indicators, only to see her output and her international standing stall and eventually go down to Third World standards after World War II. The country’s long secular decline had its lowest point with repeated episodes of rocketing hyperinflation in 1989–1990, which induced people in poor neighbourhoods to loot supermarkets and grocery stores in search of (otherwise unaffordable) food. At that time, about 40 % of the people had incomes below a very meagre poverty line, a big increase on the estimated five per cent living in poverty in 1970.


Exchange Rate Agricultural Sector Real Exchange Rate Foreign Currency Structural Adjustment 
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  1. 2.
    See Ignacio Llovet (1991), and J. C. del Bello (1991).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    An analysis of these policies can be found in Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro (1975) and also (1981); see also Adolfo Sturzenegger (1990). Sturzenegger’s analysis covers the period up to 1985.Google Scholar
  3. 20.
    The National Institute for Agricultural Technology (INTA) estimates that significant increases could be achieved in cereal yields without changing the prevailing genetic material. Only a fraction of farmers achieve yields near the maximum for each kind of seed. See INTA (1994).Google Scholar

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© Institute of Latin American Studies 1995

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  • Hector Maletta

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