Liberty Review América Latina

Classical Liberalism in Guatemala

ECON JOURNAL WATCH 12.3 (2015): 460-478

Abstract: We give an account of classical liberalism in Guatemala, its successes, failures, and main figures. Classical liberalism is a young tradition in the country and relatively small. The three most important organizations are Universidad Francisco Marroquín, the Center for Economic and Social Studies (CEES), and the Center for National Economic Research (CIEN). The most important individual for liberalism in Guatemala has been Manuel Ayau, who passed away in 2010.

Filed under: Ciencia Política, Economía, Historia, Sociedad

Venezuela: Without Liberals, There Is No Liberalism

ECON JOURNAL WATCH 12.3 (2015): 375-399

Abstract: The Venezuelan economy evolved from a growth miracle (1920–1957) to a growth disaster (1960 to the present). This paper describes the institutional collapse behind this reversal of fortunes. To cast light on Venezuela’s U-turn we provide a brief historical account, and we discuss the role played by educational organizations, the media and culture, and political and entrepreneurial elites in the destruction of liberal institutions. We also describe the most prominent liberal reactions to the pervasive institutional decay endured by the country. Finally, a major lesson emerges from this case study: illiberal mindsets coupled with the absence of leadership bring dire consequences for the people’s standard of living.

Filed under: Ciencia Política, Economía, Historia, Sociedad

Tracing the Reversal of Fortune in the Americas: Bolivian GDP Per Capita since the Mid-nineteenth Century


Abstract: In the centuries before the Spanish conquest, the Bolivian space was among the most highly urbanized and complex societies in the Americas. In contrast, in the early twenty-first century, Bolivia is one of the poorest economies on the continent. According to Acemoglu et al. (Q J Econ 117(4):1231–1294, 2002), this disparity between precolonial opulence and current poverty would make Bolivia a perfect example of “reversal of fortune” (RF). This hypothesis, however, has been criticized for oversimplifying long-term development processes by “compressing” history (Austin in J Int Dev 20:996–1027, 2008). Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economía, Historia

Pre-Independence Spanish Americans: Poor, Short and Unequal…Or the Opposite?


Abstract: This paper attempts to establish a debate between alternative views of living standards in Spanish America during the viceregal period. Since 2009, a growing literature has shared a «common language» based on a similar, though not identical, methodology. As never before, this «new generation» of studies is built upon long series of quantitative data and international comparisons of nominal wages and prices which, in some cases, cover the whole Early Modern Era. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Historia

Cádiz y el Experimento Constitucional Atlántico

POLÍTIC Y GOBIERNO 21.1 (2014): 3-24

Este trabajo analiza la pertenencia y el lugar de la Constitución de Cádiz dentro del conjunto de la experiencia constitucional atlántica. Después de ubicar contextualmente el debate historiográfico entre quienes reducían el resultado de la deliberación gaditana a meras imitaciones de códigos importados del extranjero y aquellos que argumentaban su defensa en términos nacionalistas e históricos, es posible posicionar el experimento de Cádiz más cerca del ciclo constitucional hispanoamericano que del francés o estadounidense. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ciencia Política, Historia

Crises and Crashes: Argentina 1825-2002


The objective of this paper is twofold. First, it identifies and categorizes the currency crises suffered by Argentina from 1825 to 2002. Second, it looks for regularities in the behavior of key macroeconomic variables in the neighborhood of crises by means of graphic analysis, non-parametric and econometric techniques Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economía, Historia

América Latina Archive

Recent Posts: Liberty Review

The ethics of pure entrepreneurship: An Austrian economics perspective

THE REVIEW OF AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS ISRAEL M. KIRZNER Abstract: This paper focuses on the justice of income distribution in a system of private property rights. Milton Friedman argued that the “ethical principle that would directly justify the distribution of income in a free society is ‘to each according to what he and the instruments he owns […]

A short history of constitutional liberalism in America

CONSTITUTIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY ROGER D. CONGLETON Abstract: American liberalism emerged before the most famous European liberal intellectuals put their pens to paper. It was grounded partly on liberal ideas that were in the air before those works were written, but mostly on the attractive communities generated by liberal institutions and policies. American liberalism is empirically, rather […]

Barriers to prosperity: the harmful impact of entry regulations on income inequality

DUSTIN CHAMBERS, PATRICK A. MCLAUGHLIN, LAURA STANLEY PUBLIC CHOICE Abstract: Entry regulations, including fees, permits and licenses, can make it prohibitively difficult for low-income individuals to establish footholds in many industries, even at the entry-level. As such, these regulations increase income inequality by either preventing access to higher paying professions or imposing costs on individuals choosing […]

Individualism, Collectivism, and Trade

AIDIN HAJIKHAMENEH, ERIK O. KIMBROUGH EXPERIMENTAL ECONOMICS Abstract: While economists recognize the important role of formal institutions in the promotion of trade, there is increasing agreement that institutions are typically endogenous to culture, making it difficult to disentangle their separate contributions. Lab experiments that assign institutions exogenously and measure and control individual cultural characteristics can allow […]

Trust, Trade and Moral Progress: How Market Exchange Promotes Trustworthiness

JONATHAN ANOMALY SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY AND POLICY, Volume 34, Issue 2 Abstract: Trust is important for a variety of social relationships. Trust facilitates trade, which increases prosperity and induces us to interact with people of different backgrounds on terms that benefit all parties. Trade promotes trustworthiness, which enables us to form meaningful as well as mutually beneficial […]

Socialized View of Man vs. Rational Choice Theory: What Does Smith’s Sympathy Have to Say?

JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR & ORGANIZATION ELIAS L. KHALIL Abstract: To explain the anomaly of cooperation in finitely repeated games, some economists advance a socialized view of man as an antidote to rational choice theory. This paper confronts these economists insofar as they trace the socialized view to Smith’s theory of sympathy in The Theory of Moral […]

Ludwig Lachmann’s peculiar status within Austrian economics

VIRGIL HENRY STORR THE REVIEW OF AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS Abstract: Lachmann occupies a strange position within modern Austrian economics. He is viewed as something of an outsider and his views are often regarded as outside the mainline of modern Austrian thought. But, on several key issues – especially subjectivism and institutions – Lachmann’s positions are the dominant […]

‘A Burthen Too Heavy For Humane Sufferance’: Locke on Reputation

STUART-BUTTLE, T. HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT, Volume 38, Number 4 Abstract: Locke emphasized that a concern for reputation powerfully shaped the individual’s conduct. Most scholarship suggests that Locke portrayed this phenomenon in negative terms. This article complicates this picture. A concern for reputation served a constructive role in Locke’s theory of social development, which offered a […]

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