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Elite and Structural Inertia in Latin America

An Introductory Note on the Political Economy of Development

Mario Cimoli, Sebastian Rovira

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Paper  204kb pdf

This paper deals with the idea that the production structure and knowledge diversification define the feasible set of conditions for income distribution and elite concentration. The evidence supports the notion that a diversified knowledge structure generates and distributes rents in a more equitable way. Rents are distributed according to the different competencies (skills and capabilities) and complementarities needed to produce complex products that incorporate knowledge. A production structure based on natural resources or on cheap labor generates rent-seeking behavior reinforcing that pattern and resisting structural change. This paper sheds light on the role played by these factors in Latin America.

About the Authors

Mario Cimoli
Professor of Economics
Ca' Foscari University of Venice

M. Cimoli is Professor of Economics at the University of Venice (Ca' Foscari) since 1992 and Economic Affair Officer at ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) of UNITED NATIONS since 1999. He obtained a DPhil at the SPRU (University of Sussex) and he has held a number of visiting appointments in different universities and institutions (University of Pisa, University Metropolitan of Mexico (UAM), University of Campinas, etc).

Sebastian Rovira
Researcher, Division of Production, Productivity and Management
United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC-UN)

Publication Information

Type Working Papers
Program Intellectual Property
Download 204kb pdf
Posted 06/01/08