THIS volume is a cooperative undertaking in which each of 17 economists, most of them in government service or formerly so, has written a chapter on some aspect of Latin American economics. Each writes as an expert in the field or area he covers, having devoted considerable time to the study of the particular problem or country of his chapter: It would be regrettable if the results of their studies were interred in government archives. As all who have searched know, economic information on Latin America is nor easily obtained. That is the case even in Latin America, as I learned in the course of a trip there about a year ago. Few books are available that might aid the investigator or lighten his task; much searching--often unsuccessful--is required to obtain but a modicum of essential materials. This volume, then, is in a small way an attempt to correct that situation. I wish to thank each contributor who in spare time from heavy official or business duties took the trouble to write the results of his study for publication here.
The book is divided into three parts. Part I consists of an introduction, which treats of several general economic issues of outstanding importance and common to all countries of Latin America. Part II is devoted to the more important special aspects of Latin American economics. Part III contains studies of 10 countries, covering 80 per cent of the population and 90 per cent of the area of Latin America. We may reasonably assume that the economic problems of the remaining countries differ only to a minor degree, if at all.
I acknowledge the aid of the Seminar on International Economic Relations of the Graduate School of Public Administration of Harvard