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December 09, 2017


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You can't just stop there! What is this other reason?

A few factors worth expanding:

1. Not all Italian immigrants received the same conditions. Earlier ones (after 1880 and upto 1902) received very good land in the Pampa Húmeda, one of the most productive soil in the world. After a generation or two, the agricultural surpluses allowed these immigrants to expand into other businesses or provide higher education to their descendants.
2. A similar fate in a smaller control group can be observed on the Volga Russians (ethnic Germans?) Which settled in smaller numbers in Argentina's Mesopotamia.
3. Latter immigrants and a higher proportions of Spaniards settled in cities rather than farms.
4. On language and networks there was further division within Italian peoples: Genovese, Piedmontese, Southerners, etc., all settled in different areas. Southerners in particular (mostly Neapolitan) settled more in cities and probably had a lower progress rate than earlier farmers, unless they brought special skills.

What were the regional origins of immigrants from Italy in Argentina, anyway? I know that the earlier generations of French immigrants skewed strongly Pyrenean, Basque and Bearnese especially.

(I suppose the regional origins of Spanish immigrants might also be relevant.)

I know this will make me look sycophantic, but I love reading your blog Noel! Honestly, I have been reading it religiously now that I discovered it! (I found it after I saw your Philippines paper at the SSHA).

Now that I said that, I will say that each time I think of Argentina, I think of Canada (I am biaised though as I am Canadian). The reason for this is that both countries were roughly as rich as each other for most of the 19th century (see notably Altman for incomes and my 2017 paper in Economics & Human Biology on heights being roughly the same in both countries). I am interested to get your take on why Canada took off and Argentina "flat-lined". I saw many papers on this, but few that I find super convincing.

I've pointed out in the past that the high-income economies of the Southern Hemisphere all have experienced some degree of relative decline after the Second World War. Argentina and Uruguay are most obvious, but outside of southern Brazil and South America generally Australia and New Zealand also saw a bit of a slide.

Could it be substantially a matter of geographical distance from markets, and perhaps also of institutional separation from post-war Western institutions?

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