Models of Economic Liberalization: Business, Workers, and Compensation in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal

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9780521763127: Models of Economic Liberalization: Business, Workers, and Compensation in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal
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This book provides the first general theory, grounded in comparative historical analysis, that aims to explain the variation in the models of economic liberalization across Ibero-America in the last quarter of the 20th century, and the legacies they produced for the current organization of the political economies. Although the macroeconomics of effective market adjustment evolved in a similar way, the patterns of compensation delivered by neoliberal governments, and the type of actors in business and the working class that benefited from them, were remarkably different. Based on the policy-making styles and the compensatory measures employed to make market transitions politically viable, the book distinguishes three alternative models: Statist, Corporatist, and Market. Sebastián Etchemendy argues that the most decisive factors that shape adjustment paths are the type of regime and the economic and organizational power with which business and labor emerged from the inward-oriented model. The analysis spans from the origins of state, business and labor industrial actors in the 1930s and 1940s to the politics of compensation under neoliberalism across the Ibero-American world, combined with extensive field work material on Spain, Argentina, and Chile.

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Book Description:

Most accounts of the politics of pro-market, liberalizing reforms in Ibero-America have assumed that, under the pressure of economic internationalization, governments undergo a common path of fiscal adjustment, tariff and financial liberalization, and privatization. The established wisdom also posits that strong executives concentrate power and preserve autonomy from hostile domestic companies and labor unions that aim to sabotage market reform. But this work shows that liberalizing governments often forge alliances with protected actors such as unions and domestic business through the administration of compensation. These alliances facilitated rather than obstructed the economic reform process, and produced alternative types of market transitions that have enduring consequences.

About the Author:

Sebastin Etchemendy is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Studies, Torcuato Di Tella University, Argentina. He holds a B.A. from the University of Buenos Aires and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He has published in the journals Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Politics and Society and Desarrollo Econmico, as well as in edited volumes on Argentine and Latin American politics. He won the Fulbright Fellowship for graduate studies in the United States and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Dissertation Fellowship. His dissertation, on which this book is based, was nominated by the Department of Political Science at Berkeley for the Almond Prize for Best Dissertation at the American Political Science Association. In 2007, he served as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University.

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