Dr Tori Knight
Argentina, from the top to the bottom
In this essay, I explore the Argentine economy, first targeting its ups and downs from the
1975 and on, going through the economic crisis of the early 1980s that submerged the country in
hyperinflation leading to a currency change from “Peso Argentino” to “Austral” during the
government of Raul Alfonsin. The second hyperinflation that forced the country to change the
currency back to “Pesos” during the government of Carlos Saul Menem. And second, the crisis of
2001/2002 and the responses of the Kirchner government post-crisis.
To begin, I will give a broad overview of what Argentina was (from an economic and social
standpoint) during the colonial and post-colonial era.
The time between 1860 and 1930 was called the golden ages of Argentina, these seventy
years of growth, modernization, and relatively stable politic environment, took millions of immigrants
from Europe to Argentina in hope of a better life. There were thousands of kilometres of railroads
which connected the fertile land of the Pampa with the ports of Buenos Aires and allowed for export
of goods, which at the time were mainly meat, leather, and other agricultural products all sent to
Europe and the world. Buenos Aires grew into a big metropolis with beautiful buildings, theatres and
culture all around, for these, until now Buenos Aires is called the Paris of South America. And even
though the beautiful buildings, fancy theatres and big avenues are still standing in the city to these
days, the economic prosperity years are not anymore. The great depression of 1930 along with the
world war, changed the world economic environment, with this, the level of exports (the basic
promoter of the Argentine economic growth) stagnated and the country moved towards its first fall.
As the export of raw goods like beans, wheat, meat and leather was declining because of a price fall,
the country was forced to move towards industrialization, which gave the country some room for
growth again. World war II was undergoing in Europe, this made that the industrialized products that
they provided to South American countries stop to come and Argentina’s industrial production served
as replacement to supply the less developed countries of South America, changing the main source of
growth from the traditional export of goods at an intercontinental market to an industrial and more
The beginning of the republic was one of shining ages, the country grew exponentially in
production and infrastructure to come to stagnation and crisis. Argentina underwent ups and downs in
political matter as well as economic since the 1930s. It was ruled by military dictatorships that were
stepping up and down from the administration of the country, causing a lot of instability. From 1955
when president Juan Domingo Peron stepped down from the government until he came back on
October 1973, there were ten different...