Argentina's Economic Reforms of the 1990s in Contemporary and Historical Perspective: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Argentina's Economic Reforms of the 1990s in Contemporary and Historical Perspective

1st Edition

By Domingo Cavallo, Sonia Cavallo Runde


296 pages

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Why has Argentina suffered so much political and economic instability? How could Argentina, once one of the wealthiest countries in the world, failed to meet its potential over decades? What lessons can we take from Argentina's successes and failures? 

Argentina’s economy is - irresistibly - fascinating. Argentina's economic history - its crises and its triumphs cannot be explained in purely economic terms. Argentina's economic history can only be explained in the context of conflicts of interest, of politics, war and peace, boom and bust. Argentina's economic history is also intertwined with ideological struggles over the ideal society and the on-going struggle of ideas.  

The book comprises two distinct components: an economic history of Argentina from the Spanish colonial period to 1990, followed by a narrative by Domingo Cavallo on the last 25 years of reform and counter reform.

Domingo Cavallo has been at the centre of Argentina's economic and political debates for 40 years. He was one of the longest serving cabinet members since the return of democracy in 1983. He is uniquely qualified to help the reader make the connection between historical and current events through all these prisms. His daughter, Sonia Cavallo Runde, is an economist specialized on public policy that currently teaches the politics of development policy. The two Cavallos offer academics and students of economics and finance a long form case study. This book also seeks to offer researchers and policymakers around the world with relevant lessons and insights to similar problems from the Argentine experience.


"Cavallo's book superbly travels the economic history legacy of Argentina to give a unique perspective on the contemporaneous policymaking process in a resilient conflictive Society."

Gerardo della Paolera, Professor of Economics at Universidad de San Andres and Central European University (CEU)

"Domingo Felipe Cavallo and his daughter Sonia Cavallo Runde, have produced a masterful book. Superb! Full of fascinating insights. Highly instructive, thoughtful and very well researched. The authors provide a compelling analysis of Argentina, connecting its historical episodes with current events. Domingo Cavallo presents a first-hand insider’s view from the battlefields of economic policies. He is a courageous and patriotic warrior who fought hard to save Argentina from itself. This book is a must read! "

Dr Jacob A. Frenkel, Chairman, JPMorgan Chase International, Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Group of Thirty (G30) and Former Governor of the Bank of Israel

"The history the economics and the politics of Argentina, which promised so much at the onset, has been a long tragedy. This book provides a fascinating account that will benefit all those who want to understand better, students, scholars and practioners. Domingo Cavallo has been fully engaged, with all his energy, in the workings of that history and he takes the reader with him in his passion."

Christophe Chamley, Professor of Economics at Boston University and Directeur d'Etudes Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) at Paris School of Economics

"Argentina’s history of policy mistakes and corrections has important lessons for all countries. Bad policies created high rates of inflation that weakened growth and destroyed financial institutions. Argentina has recovered in the past and is trying to do so again. This book is the best source for understanding this complex history. Domingo Cavallo brings unique insights and technical understanding to these complex issues."

Martin Feldstein, Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Table of Contents

Argentina’s Economic Reform of the 1990s in Historical Perspective



Part I

The southernmost territory of Imperial Spain turns into the Argentine Nation

Chapter 1: Spanish Heritage

Chapter 2: From the May Revolution to the National Organization

Part II

1953-1913, six decades of increasing integration into the global economy

Chapter 3: From the National Organization to First World War

Chapter 4: Split, reunification and the `Historical Presidencies'

Chapter 5: The years when Roca dominated politics

Part III

From the beginning of World War I to the end of World War II

Chapter 6: The traumatic 30 years from 1914 to 1944

Chapter 7: The "Radical Republic"

Chapter 8: From the fall of Yrigoyen to the rise of Perón

Part IV

Four and a half decades of political and economic instability

Chapter 9: Inflation, stagflation and hyperinflation

Chapter 10: Perón and Evita

Chapter 11: The 18 years when Peronism was outlawed

Chapter 12: The return of Perón and the Military

Chapter 13: Transition to democracy and Alfonsín’s Presidency

Part V

Reform and counter reform

Chapter 14: The Latin American Consensus of the 90s

Chapter 15: Menem and De La Rúa

Chapter 16: The origin of Duhalde’s decision and Kirchner’s metamorphosis

Chapter 17: Duhalde and the Kirchners

Part VI

Conclusions and Epilogue

Chapter 18: Conclusions

About the Series

Europa Perspectives: Emerging Economies

The Europa Emerging Economies series from Routledge, edited by Robert E. Looney, examines a wide range of contemporary economic, political, developmental and social issues as they affect emerging economies throughout the world. Complementing the Europa Regional Surveys of the World series and the Handbook of Emerging Economies, which was also edited by Professor Looney, the volumes in the Europa Emerging Economies series will be a valuable resource for academics, students, researchers, policy-makers, professionals, and anyone with an interest in issues regarding emerging economies in the wider context of current world affairs.

There will be individual volumes in the series which provide in-depth country studies, and others which examine issues and concepts; all are written or edited by specialists in their field. Volumes in the series are not constrained by any particular template, but may explore economic, political, governance, international relations, defence, or other issues in order to increase the understanding of emerging economies and their importance to the world economy.

Robert E. Looney is a Distinguished Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, who specializes in issues relating to economic development in the Middle East, East Asia, South Asia and Latin America. He has published over 20 books and 250 journal articles, and has worked widely as a consultant to national governments and international agencies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development