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Political Conflict and Economic Growth in Post-Independence Venezuela

Kronick, Dorothy and Rodriguez, Francisco (2023): Political Conflict and Economic Growth in Post-Independence Venezuela.

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Venezuela has suffered three economic catastrophes since independence: one each in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. Prominent explanations for this trilogy point to the interaction of class conflict and resource dependence. We turn attention to intra-class conflict, arguing that the most destructive policy choices stemmed not from the rich defending themselves against the masses but rather from pitched battles among elites. Others posit that Venezuelan political institutions failed to sustain growth because they were insufficiently inclusive; we suggest in addition that they inadequately mediated intra-elite conflict.

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