Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap Between Latin America and the United States

Paperback | February 2, 2011

EditorFukuyama, Francis

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In 1700, Latin America and British North America were roughly equal in economic terms. Yet over the next three centuries, the United States gradually pulled away from Latin America, and today the gap between the two is huge. Why did this happen? Was it culture? Geography? Economic policies?Natural resources? Differences in political development? The question has occupied scholars for decades, and the debate remains a hot one. In Falling Behind, Francis Fukuyama gathers together some of the world's leading scholars on the subject to explain the nature of the gap and how it came to be. Tracing the histories of development over the past four hundred years and focusing in particular on the policies of the last fifty years,the contributors conclude that while many factors are important, economic policies and political systems are at the root of the divide. While the gap is deeply rooted in history, there have been times when it closed a bit as a consequence of policies chosen in places ranging from Chile to Argentina.Bringing to light these policy success stories, Fukuyama and the contributors offer a way forward for Latin American nations and improve their prospects for economic growth and stable political development. Given that so many attribute the gap to either vast cultural differences or the consequences of U.S. economic domination, Falling Behind is sure to stir debate. And, given the pressing importance of the subject in light of economic globalization and the immigration debate, its expansive, in-depthportrait of the hemisphere's development will be a welcome intervention in the conversation.

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In 1700, Latin America and British North America were roughly equal in economic terms. Yet over the next three centuries, the United States gradually pulled away from Latin America, and today the gap between the two is huge. Why did this happen? Was it culture? Geography? Economic policies?Natural resources? Differences in political de...

Francis Fukuyama is a Professor of International Political Economy in the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 0.59 inPublished:February 2, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199754195

ISBN - 13:9780199754199

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsEnrique Krauze: Preface1. Francis Fukuyuma: IntroductionPart One: The Historical Context2. Tulio Halperin Donghi: Two Centuries of South American Reflections on the Development Gap between the United States and Latin America3. Enrique Krauze: Looking at Them: A Mexican Perspective on the Gap with the United Status4. Jorge I. Dominguez: Explaining Latin America's Lagging Development in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century: Growth Strategies, Inequality, and Economic CrisesPart Two: The Politics of Underdevelopment in Latin America5. Adam Przeworski and Carolina Curvale: Does Politics Explain the Economic Gap Between the United States and Latin America?6. Riordan Roett and Francisco E. Gonzalez: The Role of High Stakes Politics in Latin America's Development GapPart Three: Institutional Factors in Latin America's Development7. James A. Robinson: Institutions and the Latin American Equilibrium8. Francis Fukuyama: Do Defective Institutions Explain the Development Gap Between the United States and Latin America?9. Natalio R. Botana: Why Institutions Matter: Fiscal Citizenship in Argentina and the United StatesPart Four: Conclusions10. Francis Fukuyama: Conclusion