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

By Irma Tirado de Alonso | Go to book overview

and the vicissitudes the interzonal trade has been sbject to. 6 + ̰/ Alternately, the relation detected between Costa Rica and Guatemala may also be explained in part by the devaluation of the real exchange rate of the Costa Rican colon after 1978, which made the Costa Rican exports more competitive.

Next, values were computed for the Index of Relative Acceptance between two pairs of countries: between Guatemala and El Salvador and between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, for selected years between 1965 and 1985. (See Table 6.1.) This index represents the difference between the actual and expected values of the commercial flows divided by the expected value. When the index shows a high value, it is understood that besides the level of trade itself, there exist other important factors that influence trade, indicating the presence of a high degree of integration between these countries.

It can be appreciated from Table 6.1 that in the case of El Salvador's exports to Guatemala, the index shows a rising tendency, particularly after 1977, denoting the importance of the Guatemalan market for El Salvador's exports. Conversely, the index corresponding to Guatemala's exports to El Salvador shows a rising tendency only up until 1980, afterwards there is a decline, which may possibly be due to the significant contraction of El Salvador's economy during this period.

It can be noted also that in the case of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, the index shows consistently higher values for Nicaragua's exports to Costa Rica than for Costa Rica's exports to Nicaragua, although this tendency has decreased over the last decade. This indicates the relative importance of the Costa Rican market to Nicaragua. The index corresponding to Costa Rica's exports to Nicaragua does not demonstrate any clear tendency, which may indicate that in the past decade Nicaragua was not as significant a market for Costa Rica as it had been in the past. All this points to a diminished intensity of Central American trade between 1965 and 1985.


CONCLUSIONS

From the previous analysis it can be concluded that salient flows are evident only among neighboring countries, thus the role of distance is to cushion trade. The salient flows between Guatemala and El Salvador in each year analyzed, as well as those between Costa Rica and Nicaragua until 1981, are noteworthy. Equally noteworthy is the fact that El Salvador and Nicaragua did not show a salient flow at all throughout the period, its relative proximity notwithstanding, while important flows were detected between Costa Rica, on one hand and Guatemala and El Salvador, on the other, even though there is a considerable geographic distance between them. 7 + ̰/

If remoteness is an inhibiting factor of salient flows, then the one country that would be expected to have the most salient flows is Honduras, since it occupies the geographical center of Central America and shares borders with

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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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