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Economic Processes in Latin America


Admission requirements

This course is open to BA students who have taken at least one course in a relevant area of specialization (i.e. in Latin American Studies) in the second year.


Social and political processes are influenced, if not motivated by economic factors. This course discusses the main tenets of economic development in the region, focusing on their impact on the social and political level. The course starts with a characterization of the economic development in Latin America in the 20th century until now. The bulk of the course then focuses on more current issues in Latin American economy such as the role of the State in the economy, the relation between the economy and the environment, monetary reforms and the role of foreign direct investment in Latin American economies.

Teaching materials used: readings and lecture slides.

Course objectives

By the end of this course, students should have acquired an understanding of the following:

  • The nature of basic economic phenomena such as growth, inflation and unemployment

  • How such phenomena have played out in the Latin American case

  • The role of economic processes in the shaping of Latin America’s present reality and the interplay between politics, society and economics

  • The changing role of Latin America in the world, especially in terms of the global economy.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method



  • Paper of 4000-word length on a topic relevant to this course

  • Oral presentation.


To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:
the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average

Essay (4000 words) 60%; Group Presentation 40%


In the case of essays, resubmission in the case of a failed assignment is possible. The maximum possible grade to be obtained for re-submission is a 6.0

Reading list

Key bibliography:

Hira, Anil (2007) ‘Did ISI fail and is neoliberalism the answer for Latin America? Re-assessing common wisdom regarding economic policies in the region’. Revista de Economia Política, 2007, Vol.27(3), p.345.

Hira, Anil & Dean, James W (2004) ‘Distributional effects of dollarisation: the Latin American case’. Third World Quarterly, Vol. 25 (3), pp. 461-482.

Aubourg, R.W. et al. (2008) ‘Debt, Democratization, and Development in Latin America: Hoe Policy can Affect Global Warming’. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 27, No. 1, 7–19

Carneiro, J en Brenes, E.R. (2014) ‘Latin American firms competing in the global economy’. Journal of Business Research 67, pp. 831-836.

Cortés, Fernando (1997) ‘The Metamorphosis of the Marginal: The Debate Over the Informal Sector in Latin America’. Current Sociology, 1997, 45, pp. 71.

D'Andrea, Guillermo (2010) ‘Latin American retail: where modernity blends with tradition’. The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 20:1, pp. 85-101.

Doctor, Mahrukh (2013) ‘Prospects for deepening Mercosur integration: Economic asymmetry and Institutional deficits’. Review of International Political Economy, 20:3, pp. 515-540.

ECLAC (2015) Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2015 (Part C)

ECLAC (2015b) Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2015 Chapter 1

Grugel, Jean and P´ıa Riggirozzi (2012) ‘Post-neoliberalism in Latin America: Rebuilding and Reclaiming the State after Crisis’. Development and Change 43(1), pp. 1–21.

R. Jenkins (2012) ‘Latin America and China: a new dependency?’, Third World Quarterly, 33 (7), pp.1337-1358

O’Dougherty, M. (1999) ‘The Devalued State and the Nation: Neoliberalism and the Moral Economy Discoutrse of the Brazillian Middle Class, 1986-1994’, Latin American Perspectives, 26, p. 151.

Pantelić, Ana (2011) ‘A comparative analysis of microfinance and conditional cash transfers in Latin America’. Development in Practice, 21:6, pp. 790-805.

Paus, E. (2009) ‘The Rise of China: Implications for Latin American Development’. Development Policy Review, 2009, 27 (4), pp. 419-456

Tezanos et al. (2013) ‘Inequality, Aid and Growth: Macroeconomic impact of aid grants and loans in Latin America and the Caribbean’. Journal of Applied Economics, Vol XVI, No. 1, pp. 153-177.

It is recommended, though not essential, that students review the readings cited above prior to the commencement of the course. The readings are available via the library and online.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.

Registration À la carte education, Contract teaching and Exchange

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of À la carte education (without taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of Contract teaching (with taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office:




De Vrieshof

Student Affairs Office for BA International Studies


All other information.