The Argentine economy has followed a typically Latin American development path, although overall more fortunate due to various factors. At the beginning the breeding mainly supplied skins and hides (the production of meat was limited, locally processed in large saladeros); in the second half of the nineteenth century. the invention of cold storage rooms and their introduction on ships have allowed for a much more profitable exploitation of livestock farming, thanks to the export of meat to Europe. As a country of South America defined by homosociety, com, Argentina soon became a major exporting country: to the adventurous and pioneering action of the gauchos a complex productive and commercial organization has been replaced which has brought prosperity to the country, allowed the formation of a solid urbanism (always centered fundamentally on Buenos Aires) and allowed the creation of roads, railways and ports. Foreign investments, especially British, were also important at this stage. At the same time, agriculture has also developed, which has proved to be equally profitable (especially in the grain sector), prompted by the demands of growing urbanism. Agricultural activities first occupied the Pampean lands and then pushed inland, into the plains of Paraná, into the basins and valleys of the pre-Aneand. Despite the inevitable downturns due to contingent factors and the to establish itself on the world market of other meat and grain producing countries (the United States and Canada above all), the Argentine economy has never been diversified, as the local bourgeoisie considered itself paid and secure in a kind of activity that maintained a constant relationship with Europe and seemed to guarantee Argentina unalterable possibilities. A first industrialization was started only during the last war, thanks to the growing demand for wheat and meat from Europe, the proceeds of which could be reinvested in industries.
The regime subsequently intervened to stimulate this process Perón, which, however, with its nationalistic and rather demagogic policy has ended up sending the entire economy into crisis. However, in the decade 1960-70 there was a notable growth in the national product (6-7% per year); but the strengthening of the industry, which was also taking place because it could count on considerable natural resources and infrastructures of a European level, had to deal with the basic contradiction of Argentina, that is to say, on the one hand, the presence of an internal market that is too small to be able to absorb its own manufacturing production and on the other hand, the inability to present itself on the international market as a highly advanced industrial country. The very serious world economic crisis of 1973 had immediate repercussions in Argentina, causing the rise in the prices of industrial products that the country needed, while at the same time the EEC made heavy cuts in the importation of meat and other agricultural and livestock products, registering inflation rates of 500% and even 900% in 1976. At the same time, there was a collapse in industrial production, a drastic fall in foreign investments and a massive flight of capital abroad. Therefore, all the conditions for the coup d’état of 1976 seemed to be in place, which allowed the military to maintain power until 1983. The soaring cost of living, limited between the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s by ” adoption of a rigorous austerity policy and thanks to increased oil extraction, it started to grow again as a consequence of the expenses incurred for the Falklands war (1982) and following the worsening of the terms of trade (in the first place, due to the fall in the prices of raw materials). Overall, from the end of the seventies and throughout the following decade, the inflation rate remained constantly above 100%; the trend of the gross domestic product was negative (–0.2% per annum) and the average income per capita ($ 2,370 in 1987), although one of the highest among Latin American countries, has decreased in real terms by 2% per year. Between the late 1980s and early 1990s Argentina went through a long period of uncertainty, characterized by a high rate of inflation, heavy foreign debt and a sharp decline in productivity. In the following years, the government promoted numerous economic reforms, which led to the privatization of public enterprises, the reduction of customs barriers and the opening to international markets (in 1995 MERCOSUR entered into force), while maintaining strict weight parity with the dollar. The nineties were also the decade in which the three major crises of the Argentine economy were concentrated, which made it clear how much the country’s internal fragility was also linked to the rapid processes of liberalization and opening towards international markets, responsible for a excessive economic exposure to external disturbances, in particular the financial crisis in Mexico which occurred in 1995, the collapse of the Asian stock exchanges in 1997-98 and the economic-financial crisis in Brazil generated by the devaluation of the real in 1999. Mexico’s financial performance has indeed damaged the Argentine financial economy, causing a massive withdrawal of investors’ capital, a decrease in bank deposits of about 20%, the failure of numerous small and medium-sized credit institutions and a dramatic increase in unemployment with peaks of 17%), the country was able to react quickly, witnessing a rapid period of recovery, which coincided with increases in productivity, an increase in exports and the reabsorption of a significant share of workers.