Thursday, February 14, 2013

The sources of growth: Latin America and its economic growth expectations (I)

Within my summer reading list I included this time a book: “The birth of Plenty : How the prosperity of the western modern world was created “ by William Bernstein(2004). Although, I am far from finish the reading, it is quite clear the central argument about the forces which ignites economic growth in western world specially since 1820 up to the XX century. These are :: a.- Property rights b.- Scientific rationalism c.- Capital markets d.- Transportation and communication facilities Some either might agree or disagree with them, but they get right into the core of the capital accumulation process, key ingredient of economic growth: It all comes down to the institutional setting. Other authors, have also stressed key variables to understand economic growth. But “The Birth of plenty”, place them all that out as boosting forces at a specific period of time (1820), which became like an inflection point in terms of a new trend for improving standard of living of mankind. The book focus the attention on “when”, rather than “how”. ¿Why did world economic growth and the technologies progress underlying it, suddenly exploded when it did?. (Preface ,page VIII). Challenging and interesting question. Following that approach ,economic growth is also a matter of timing, and we might be wondering whether Latin America is currently in the “right timing” for higher expectations concerning steady trend of economic growth, sustainable development and its implications. Sure, we move into trouble waters. The phrase “birth of plenty”, suggest something beyond usual economic, sociological or whatever variables a researcher can identify dealing with the explanation of economic growth forces. It is. The “ State of mind” concept (Harrison,Robinson), which deals with emotions, desires, beliefs, thoughts, perceptions, and intentions leading people to cope with higher goals.Thus, What does influence that State of Mind? .