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La economía argentina y su conflicto distributivo estructural (1930-2015)

Gerchunoff, Pablo and Rapetti, Martin (2015): La economía argentina y su conflicto distributivo estructural (1930-2015). Forthcoming in: El Trimestre Económico , Vol. 330, (2016)


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We provide an interpretation of the macroeconomic performance of Argentina between 1930 and 2015, in which distributive conflict plays a central role. Following a tradition in the Argentine social sciences, we see a structural inconsistency between the income aspirations rooted in society and the productive capacity of the economy. We give this inconsistency a precise definition: as a gap between two equilibrium levels of the real exchange rate (RER). The macroeconomic equilibrium RER is the one that allows the economy to simultaneously attain full employment and balance of payments sustainability. The social equilibrium RER occurs when fully employed workers obtain the real wage that they bargain/claim. These two levels of RER may not coincide. There is a structural distributive conflict when the macroeconomic equilibrium RER is significantly higher than social equilibrium RER. We build a model to provide a stylized characterization of Argentina's economy and precise definitions of the two levels of RER. We then use the model to characterize macroeconomic policy and performance during the 1930-2015 period.

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