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Bolivia: Urban System and Economic Dynamics

Sarah Castillo Camacho ()
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Sarah Castillo Camacho: LEG - CNRS UMR 5118 - Université de Bourgogne

No 2009-04, LEG - Document de travail - Economie from LEG, Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion, CNRS, Université de Bourgogne

Abstract: In Bolivia the urban and economic evolution, especially in terms of spatial configuration, has been influenced by the Extractable Cycles. Those were the origin of the emergence of “centers of production” that have changed depending on the natural resources and on the period of Bolivian history. Close to the Andean Region, the productive axis has been transferred during the last half century. The last decades have testified the emergence and consolidation of a bipolar urban structure. This paper focuses on the two principal Bolivian agglomerations that polarise the economic and urban dynamics. They have different economic specialisations. On the one hand, La Paz, the political capital, concentrates administrative services and on the other hand Santa Cruz is the economic capital, playing the role of the “economic lung” of this Less Developed Country. Firstly, the goal is to analyse and describe the roles and the impact of departments of La Paz and Santa Cruz in the Bolivian economic development. Secondly, this paper explains the emergence and consolidation of Santa Cruz as an important economic pole that nowadays has taken some advantage in terms of economic growth at national scale. To reveal the nature of economic specialisation of the two agglomerations of this bipolar economic and urban structure is also a priority of the present research. In sum, there was a take-off process in favor of Santa Cruz thanks to its regional polarisation of hydrocarbons and agricultural export. This hegemonic change, in terms of economic power, from La Paz to Santa Cruz, principally feed by raw material export that caracterizes Bolivian economy, results also in a widening of international relationship for Bolivia.

Keywords: Economic growth; bicephalous structure; Spatial configuration; Bolivia; Urban growth. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 15 pages
Date: 2009
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