"The Rio Grande has become not just a physical border, but an economic and social one as well. How can we explain the existence of two Americas - one prosperous, one poor - physically so close, yet economically so far apart?

This book analyzes how cultural, religious and social institutions have shaped the economic destinies of Latin America. The British wooed their colonists by promising protection of individual rights. The Iberian Peninsula, on the other hand, transplanted to its American colonies the traditions of insecure property rights, unpredictable taxation and governmental economic dominance. Even today's independent Latin American nations have found it difficult to move beyond the mindset established in their colonial days.

What is the region's potential for a better future? This book looks at recent developments and considers the possibilities for an economic turnaround."


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