RHE 2009 n. 03 invierno

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  • Publication
    Un Zaibatsu Fuera de Lugar: Los Orígenes del Grupo Fierro (1870–1939)
    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola de Historia Económica, 2009) San Román, Elena
    This work focuses on the origins of the Fierro Group. Ildefonso Fierro (1882-1961) was one of the most prominent businessmen of Franco’s regime. Fierro’s case study presents two features that distinguish it from other Spanish family firms founded in the first half of the twentieth century: its high degree of diversification and its peculiar financial history. Prior to the commencement of the Franco dictatorship, Fierro had managed to form a diversified family business and had bought a bank to finance his industrial activity. This article analyzes how he achieved this and compares his path with that of the Japanese Zaibatsu.
  • Publication
    Producción y productividad agrícolas en la isla de Mallorca, 1590- 1860
    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola de Historia Económica, 2009) Jover Avellà, Gabriel; Manera Erbina, Carles
    This paper proposes a detailed measurement of the agricultural development of the island of Majorca from the late sixteenth century to the midnineteenth century, with an emphasis on the products which made up the bulk of the island’s agricultural production. The authors have organized most of the existing databases in the island’s archives and have also incorporated quantitative and qualitative material from their own research and that of other colleagues. Due to their quality and regularity, the data are among the richest known for pre-industrial Europe. These sources lead to some conclusions which link with recent debates in European economic history concerning the calculation of economic growth in economies for periods before statistics were kept. The text presents a methodological analysis covering almost 80 per cent of agricultural production of the island of Majorca and leaves conclusions to be supplemented by further studies of the manufacturing and service sectors.
  • Publication
    Venezuela’s Nascent oil Industry and the 1932 US Tariff on Crude oil Imports, 1927-1935
    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola de Historia Económica, 2009) McBeth, Brian S.
    After a brief description of the initial development of Venezuela’s crude oil industry, this paper examines the impact the 1932 US tariff on crude oil imports had on the country. The US tariff on crude oil imports stabilised domestic crude oil prices but prevented consumers from benefiting from lower prices in refined petroleum products. The large US international integrated crude oil companies gained from higher crude oil prices for their domestic production while supplying their European markets with mostly cheap crude oil from their newly developed Venezuelan oilfields. The tariff increased the Venezuelan oil industry’s vulnerability to international events because it narrowed the competitive edge it had over domestic US crude oil production. Consequently, the Gómez dictatorship in Venezuela at the time became more dependent on the oil companies operating in the country since they could reduce production considerably, or even leave the country as quickly as they entered with a negative impact on government revenues.
  • Publication
    Equality or Growth: a 20th Century Argentine Dilemma
    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola de Historia Económica, 2009) Gerchunoff, Pablo; Llach, Lucas
    Argentina’s long term economic performance between 1880 and 2000 (convergence with the rich followed by divergence) can be understood in terms of the economic and political consequences of its peculiar factor endowments. Skewed endowments meant huge gains from trade during the First Globalization boom; but, conversely, disintegration of world commerce in the Depression was a heavier blow for such a naturally specialized economy. The extreme protectionism, characteristic of the post-war period, was related to the country’s peculiar economic structure: comparative advantages in food production and disadvantages in (labor-intensive) manufacturing implied that closing the economy was a political winner, though it eventually hampered growth. The road to openness followed in the last quarter of the 20th century would have meant, correspondingly, an increase in inequality. Attempts to moderate it through debt accumulation and exchange rate appreciation destabilized the economy and contributed further to Argentina’s comparative decline.
  • Publication
    The Expansion of Mass Education in Twentieth Century Latin America: A Global Comparative Perspective
    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola de Historia Económica, 2009) Frankema, Ewout
    This paper studies the expansion of mass education in Latin America in the twentieth century from a global comparative perspective. The paper argues that expansion in terms of enrolment and attainment levels was quite impressive. A comparative analysis of the grade enrolment distribution demonstrates, however, that the rapid expansion of primary school enrolment did not correspond with an equally impressive improvement in educational quality. The persistently large tertiary education bias in public education spending suggests that part of the poor quality performance is related to a lack of fiscal support for primary education and that the political economy explanation for educational underdevelopment, as advanced by Engerman, Mariscal and Sokoloff for the 19th century, still applied to Latin America during most of the 20th century.