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Neoliberalism as a capitalist revolution in Chile: Antecedents and irreversibility

Guillermo Guajardo Soto ()

PSL Quarterly Review, 2019, vol. 72, issue 289, 135-148

Abstract: This essay offers a historical perspective on the economic reforms carried out by the Chilean civic-military dictatorship that governed the country between 1973 and 1990. The regime applied some of the earliest and most extensive neoliberal reforms in Latin America, which included labor flexibilization, the end to agrarian reform, capitalization of the countryside, and privatization of public enterprises in almost all sectors, including pension funds, healthcare and education. Unlike the rest of Latin America, after the mid-1980s these reforms produced high growth, although they generated economic inequality and the concentration of wealth. The reforms must be understood in the context of the ideological polarization of the Cold War, which meshed with an internal conflict between views favoring the free market on the one hand and state intervention on the other. This conflict grew after the Depression of 1929 until it could no longer be contained within Chile's frustrating political and administrative system.

Keywords: Neoliberalism; autoritarism; Chile (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B25 D74 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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