The Political Economy of Central America since 1920 / Edition 1 available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- Cambridge University Press
In this book Victor Bulmer-Thomas uses his previously unpublished estimates of the national accounts to explore economic and social development in the five Central American republics from 1920. He examines in detail variations in economic policy between countries which help to account for differences in performance. The major political developments are woven into the analysis and linked to changes in internal and external conditions. Growth under liberal oligarchic rule in the 1920s, heavily dependent on exports of coffee and bananas, was accompanied by modest reform programmes. The 1929 depression, which hit the region hard, undermined most of the reforms and ushered in a period of dictatorial rule in all republics except Costa Rica. The Second World War, particularly after the entry of the United States, at first strengthened the dictatorships, but ultimately produced challenges to rule by authoritarian caudillos. The social upheavals accompanying the post-war export-led boom forced governments in each republic to address the question of economic, social and political reform.
Table of Contents
List of figures; List of tables; Preface; List of acronyms; Table of official exchange rate parities to US dollar; Map: Central America; 1. A century of independence: foundations of export-led growth; 2. Central America in the 1920s: reform and consolidation; 3. The 1929 depression; 4. Economic recovery and political reaction in the 1930s; 5. Central America and the Second World War; 6. Post-war economic recovery; 7. The struggle for democracy, the Cold War and the Labour movement in the first post-war decade; 8. The foundations of modern export-led growth, 1954-60; 9. The illusion of a golden age, 1960-70; 10. External shocks and the challenge to the social order, 1970-9; 11. The descent into regional crisis; 12. Conclusions; Methodological appendix; Statistical appendix; Notes; Bibliography; Index.