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date: 23 April 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the politics of development in Latin America and East Asia, focusing on eight countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Thailand. It begins by analyzing levels and changes of GDP per capita and income inequality in these countries from 1960 to 2010, showing that the capitalist economies of Latin America grew more slowly and had higher income inequality than their East Asian counterparts. It identifies government policies that contributed to this divergence, including land tenure, education, promotion of manufactured exports, and cautious macroeconomic management. It then explores historical legacies and social-structural factors that help explain these cross-regional (as well as some intra-regional) policy differences, including colonial heritage, the geopolitical situation after World War II, natural resources, and class structure.

Keywords: politics, development, Latin America, East Asia, GDP, income inequality, government policies, colonial heritage, natural resources, class structure

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