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date: 25 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines patterns of structural transformation in Latin America, with particular emphasis on the changing role of industrialization and export structures in the region’s development process. The discussion draws on the notion of ‘dynamic efficiency’—that the capacity to constantly generate new dynamic activities, with increasing knowledge contents, is the key to rapid economic growth. The chapter first provides an overview of the commodity export age before analysing the period of rapid industrialization termed ‘state-led industrialization’. It then considers the process of structural change during the period of market reforms, specifically the long de-industrialization that it generated and the more recent re-primarization of the region’s export structure. It shows that state-led industrialization was a period of success for Latin American economies in terms of structural transformation and economic growth, whereas market reforms have been associated with slow economic growth.

Keywords: structural transformation, Latin America, industrialization, export structure, dynamic efficiency, economic growth, commodity export, state-led industrialization, market reforms, de-industrialization

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