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Energy as an indicator of modernization in Latin America, 1890–1925

Maria del Mar Rubio Varas, Cesar Yañez (), Mauricio Folchi and Albert Carreras

Economic History Review, 2010, vol. 63, issue 3, 769-804

Abstract: In the absence of comparable macroeconomic indicators for most of the Latin American economies before the 1930s, the apparent consumption of energy is used in this paper as a proxy of the degree of modernization of Latin America and the Caribbean. This paper presents an estimate of the apparent consumption per head of modern energies (coal, petroleum, and hydroelectricity) for 30 countries of the region, 1890 to 1925. As a result, it provides the basis for a quantitative comparative analysis of modernization performance beyond the few countries for which historical national accounts are available in Latin America.

Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:63:y:2010:i:3:p:769-804