Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2006


The importance of political institutions in the economic performance of developing countries is generally overlooked. Argentine economic development in the 19th and early 20th centuries relied on the production of rural exports. The production structure in agriculture was supported by the widespread use of tenancy contracts. This paper uses spatial analysis and logistic regression to study the role of Congress in shaping tenancy legislation for the period 1912 to 1943. The finding is that legislative reform was a product of how political institutions worked in Congress providing veto power to Conservatives over the proposals of Radicals. Electoral fraud in the 1930s stopped tenancy legislation and gave rise to revolutionary changes in the 1940s.


Originally published in Revista de Historia Económica, V. 24 I. 2, 2006, 251-296.

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