Trade, Industrialization, and Integration in Twentieth-Century Central America

By Irma Tirado de Alonso | Go to book overview
bananas had become the number one export, with a share of 31.1 percent. Coffee still remained significant, at 22.7 percent (up from 1975), while wood exports slipped to 4.7 percent. Honduras also expanded its primary exports to include sugar and beef, which now represented 3.4 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.In Nicaragua, the main primary export of 1975 was cotton, with a share of 25.4 percent. Other important exports were coffee, with a 12.8 percent share; sugar, with an 11.3 percent share; and beef, with a 7.1 percent share. By 1985, cotton was still the leading export with 34.1 percent, but coffee had risen significantly to challenge this lead, with a share of 30.4 percent. Beef exports fell to 4.5 percent, while sugar exports had disappeared altogether. The pattern for Nicaragua appears to be one of increasing dependence on only a few primary exports. This was the case for El Salvador, and it seems to be the direction in which Guatemala is headed. Panama is a particularly unusual case in that it shifted almost completely away from its main export of 1975--refined petroleum. In 1975, refined petroleum represented 45.5 percent of total exports. Bananas were the second leading export, with a share of 21.0 percent, and shrimp was in third place, with 6.7 percent. By 1985, refined petroleum had fallen to only 6.0 percent of total exports, while banana exports rose slightly, to 23.3 percent, to become Panama's leading primary export. The share of shrimp exports increased dramatically, to 17.8 percent, and sugar was added to the list of exports. Sugar is now the third most important export in Panama, with a share of 8.1 percent. Panama's shift away from petroleum exports reflects a significant change in the allocation of resources within that society.
SUMMARY
A review of this chapter indicates that the 1960s was a period of rapid growth in both GDP and trade, while the decades that followed were marked by turbulent politics and declining (sometimes negative) growth in trade. The latter period was also accompanied by significant transformations in regional markets and in the product composition of exports. Five important trends were identified and are summarized below.
1. A positive correlation existed between GDP growth and export growth in the 1980s.
2. The relative size of imports fell over the years, particularly with respect to industrial supplies, machinery, and transportation-related goods.
3. The relative size of exports also fell, accompanied by an increase in the concentration of primary-good exports, particularly coffee.

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Trade, Industrialization, and Integration in Twentieth-Century Central America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface xi
  • PART I INTRODUCTION 1
  • 1: CENTRAL AMERICA: THE CHALLENGES OF TRADE, INDUSTRIALIZATION, and INTEGRATION IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY 3
  • 2: A MACROECONOMIC ASSESSMENT OF CENTRAL AMERICA 15
  • SUMMARY AND OVERVIEW 36
  • Note 36
  • PART II TRADE IN CENTRAL AMERICA 39
  • 3: THE STRUCTURE OF TRADE IN CENTRAL AMERICA 41
  • SUMMARY 58
  • Notes 59
  • References 59
  • 4: IDUSTRIALIZATION and TRADE IN CENTRAL AMERICA 61
  • Notes 85
  • References 85
  • 5: MEXICO AS A POTENTIAL MARKET FOR CENTRAL AMERICAN and CARIBBEAN PRODUCTS 87
  • Notes 98
  • PART III INDUSTRIALIZATION AND INTEGRATION IN CENTRAL AMERICA 101
  • 6: THE INTENSITY OF CENTRAL AMERICAN ECONOMIC INTEGRATION 103
  • CONCLUSIONS 111
  • Notes 113
  • Notes 114
  • 7: ASSEMBLY OPERATIONS IN CENTRAL AMERICA 117
  • References 149
  • 8: PANAMA: ECONOMIC INTEGRATION ALTERNATIVES, IMPLICATIONS, and PERSPECTIVES 153
  • Notes 178
  • References 179
  • 9: THE CENTRAL AMERICAN COMMON MARKET: AN ANALYSIS Of WELFARE EFFECTS FROM 1970 TO 1984 183
  • Conclusion 202
  • Notes 203
  • Notes 204
  • PART IV SPECIAL ISSUES 207
  • 10: ECONOMIC PROSPECTS FOR CENTRAL AMERICA IN THE DECADE OF THE 1990S 209
  • Notes 220
  • REFFERENCES 220
  • 11: A REVIEW OF ECONOMIC POLICIES and STRATEGIES FOR TRADE and INDUSTRIALIZATION IN CENTRAL AMERICA 223
  • CONCLUSION: WHERE TO FROM HERE? 232
  • References 235
  • 12: THE DILEMMA OF EXPORT RIVIVAL: NICARAGUAN AGRICULTURE AT A TURNING POINT 237
  • Notes 251
  • References 251
  • 13: CHALLENGES and PROSPECTS FOR CENTRAL AMERICA IN A GLOBAL TRADE CONTEXT 253
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY 271
  • SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 277
  • Index 279
  • ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS 289
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