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date: 18 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article argues that Latin American capitalism should be considered, firstly, as distinct from other regions and, secondly, with consequential intraregional variations. The article is organized as follows. Section 2 provides some brief background on successive attempts since the 1960s to identify distinctive features of capitalism in Latin America, especially dependency, statist, and neoliberal approaches. Section 3 then turns to an extended analysis of liberal, coordinated, network, and hierarchical capitalisms, and highlights examples of the last in Latin America. This section analyzes core components of hierarchical capitalism—family-owned business groups, multinational corporations, low skills, and anomic labor relations—that are common across most countries in Latin America. Section 4 examines how recent trends in globalization, commodity booms, and the revival of state intervention in the economy largely reinforced elements of hierarchical capitalism.

Keywords: Latin American capitalism, liberal capitalism, coordinated capitalism, network capitalism, hierarchical capitalism, globalization, commodity boom, state intervention

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