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L'intégration économique internationale de la Colombie (1990-2010) : une approche en termes d'économie politique internationale

Abstract : The opening of the Colombian economy, decided in 1990, was supposed to promote a new model of growth and development based on exports (and Foreign Direct Investment). This dissertation argues that the opening was not made in order to promote growth and development, and that these two phenomena did not live up to what was expected. This result is based on an International Political Economy approach: taking into account power relationships may give a better explanation of economic phenomena. The first chapter shows that the structural characteristics of the Colombian economy made its opening unable to generate growth and development. This assertion is based on the analysis of the lack of competitiveness and of the institutional flaws of the Colombian economy, as well as on the potential increase in the spatial inequalities of development resulting from the opening. The second chapter thus highlights that the opening aimed at achieving some objectives peculiar to the United States. These objectives are made of economic considerations (typically the access to foreign markets and to raw materials) as well as political ones (dealing with the threats caused by Marxist guerrilla groups within the framework of the American foreign policy). This second chapter explains a series of means at the disposal of the United States to obtain the opening. These means go from coercion (such as sanction threats) to legitimation (to give rise to a Colombian pro-opening government). The third chapter shows that the opening did not lead to an export-led growth. On the contrary, it led to an unstable growth regime. The latter is based on the foreign capital flows. The latter feed the purchase of real estate assets by credit. The housing sector is thus stimulated, which in turn stimulates other economic activities, within the framework of spill-over effects. However, when foreign capital flows lack, real-estate asset purchases are penalized, thus preventing the expansion of the housing sector and eventually of aggregate production itself (spill-over effects no longer work). However, given the power relationship exercised by the United States, the Colombian government had to purchase American military equipment massively, in order to fight against the Colombian guerrillas. By doing so, the economic policy could not stabilize the economy at that time. Besides, the subsequent intensification of the conflict increased the violence within the Colombian territory, thus leading to the migration of skilled workers and to the destruction of infrastructures. The recession had thus been exacerbated. This scenario occurred a few years after 1990, resulting in the worst economic crisis of the 20th century in Colombia with a -5 % recession in 1999. The fourth chapter questions the changes followed by the production and exchange structures because of the opening, to show that these changes did not really contribute to development. Colombia tends to neglect its historic international specialization in coffee and other cultures like wheat, rice, barley, sorghum or cotton, to privilege other cultures whose positive effects on development are lower. As regards the industries of extraction of raw materials (in particular hydrocarbons), they are oriented toward exportation but they promote few development. In addition, the Colombian productive system may lack of this type of input in the future. Finally, if the manufacturing industry was able to increase at the rate of the growth regime, it owes it to the protection still remaining with the differential treatment for developing countries in the World Trade Organization, and less to the export opportunities given by the opening. When this treatment will be eliminated or at least decreased, a whole part of the Colombian economy will be threatened.
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Jenny Paola Danna Buitrago. L'intégration économique internationale de la Colombie (1990-2010) : une approche en termes d'économie politique internationale. Economies et finances. Université de Grenoble, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012GRENE013⟩. ⟨tel-00913260⟩

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