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Structural transformation and economic reform in El Salvador: Economic performance in the 1990s and its effects on growth, poverty and income distribution

Segovia Caceres, Alexander Ernesto; (2002) Structural transformation and economic reform in El Salvador: Economic performance in the 1990s and its effects on growth, poverty and income distribution. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis analyses the structural changes in the Salvadoran economy over the last two decades, as a result of the war, the economic crisis of the eighties and the economic policy response to it; the inflow of external resources mainly from official grants and family remittances sent by Salvadorans living in the United States; and the adoption of economic reforms with the basic objective of installing new economic models able to substitute the agroexport economic model. While the analysis covers the 1980-1999 period, attention is focussed on the nineties as it was then that the changes in the operation of the country's economy became manifest. It was also then that one of the most important economic reforms in the country's history was adopted. Six main themes are developed in this thesis. The first is related to the long and contested search for new' economic models which has occurred in El Salvador since 1980 and its implications in terms of short-term economic management, macroeconomic behaviour and the correlation of forces between the main political internal and external actors. The second theme analysed is the collapse in the nineties of the agroexport model which had existed since the last quarter of the XIX century. The aim is to demonstrate empirically the end of this model and to determine the political, economic and social effects of this phenomenon. The third theme tackled is the new growth pattern evidenced in the nineties and its effects on labour markets, employment and wage equity. This required a detailed analysis of the mam characteristics of the economic growth during the nineties together with the changes occurring in labour markets and in the wage differentials between skilled and unskilled, male/female, economic activity' and geographical area. Further, the evolution of income distribution at national level and by geographical area is highlighted. The fourth theme analysed here has to do with the evolution and composition of poverty and its relationship with economic growth. For this a decomposition exercise was carried out looking at various categories, such as sex, economic sector, market segment, educational levels, employment category and geographical area, as well as an econometric exercise of some determinants of poverty. The fifth theme relates to the new economic model in formation. The question which we attempt to answer is whether as a result of the process of structural change and adoption of economic reform, a new economic model has already been installed (and to what degree), and who are the beneficiaries. A characterisation of the essential features of the new economic model in formation tries to answer the question. Finally the theme of future economic perspectives for El Salvador is broached, via an analysis of the main economic and social challenges together with some suggested measures to tackle them.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Structural transformation and economic reform in El Salvador: Economic performance in the 1990s and its effects on growth, poverty and income distribution
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; El Salvador
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100190
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