EH452      Half Unit
Latin American Development and Economic History

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Maria Irigoin SAR.6.11


This course is available on the MRes/PhD in Quantitative Economic History, MSc in Economic History, MSc in Economic History (Research), MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation, MSc in Global Economic History (Erasmus Mundus), MSc in History of International Relations, MSc in International and World History (LSE & Columbia), MSc in Political Economy of Late Development and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course will consider some of the major topics of development and economic history of Latin America. The topics to be explored will be the role of geography, the environment and factor endowments, the role of institutions and policies in the long run development path, problems of taxation and representation in the constitutional and political developments of the 19th and 20th century, the history of labour and migrations into and out of Latin America, the protracted character of Latin America's inequality, the macroeconomics of industrialization and the political economic nature of Latin American populist political culture, the recurrent financial crises and the persistent macroeconomic instability. Using reciprocal comparisons with the US, South East Asia, and between LA countries - and across time - the course will revisit the current interpretations of Latin American development in the long run and will frame the analysis of particular issues of policy-making of the present into the economic historical context.


20 hours of seminars in the LT.

Weekly two-hour seminars in LT.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students are required to write one paper (around 2,000 words) during the term and produce oral presentations.

Indicative reading

V. Bulmer-Thomas, V (2014) The economic history of Latin America since independence CUP; S. Edwards, (2010). Left behind: Latin America and the false promise of populism. University of Chicago Press; P. Franko, (2007). The puzzle of Latin American economic development. Rowman & Littlefield; J. L. Gallup, (2003) Is geography destiny?: lessons from Latin America. World Bank;  E. Stein, et al. (2008). Policymaking in Latin America: how politics shapes policies. IADB; Ocampo, JA and Ross, J (2011). The Oxford handbook of Latin American economics. Oxford; Oxford University Press. Bertola, L and Ocampo, JA (2012), The economic development of Latin America since independence/ Oxford; Oxford University Press. Scartascini, CG, Stein, E. and Tommasi, M. (2010). How democracy works: political institutions, actors, and arenas in Latin American policymaking. [Washington, D.C.]: IADB; Blake, C.H (2007) Politics in Latin America 2nd edition Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company. AAVV (2003) Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean. Breaking with history? IBRD Edwards, S, Esquivel, G, and Marquez, G. (2007) The decline of Latin American economies growth, institutions and crises. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2017/18: 15

Average class size 2017/18: 15

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information