Market, Socialist, and Mixed Economies by de Mesa A.A., Montecinos V., Brenes I.

By de Mesa A.A., Montecinos V., Brenes I.

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174 million in 1972–73, international reserves reduced by 50% below the 1970 level, an average tariff of 94% with a maximum of 600%, a monetary supply increased 30 times in 1970–73, an increase in unemployment although still minor (less than 5%), and real wages reduced more than 28% under the 1970 level. Such a difficult situation, combined with strong internal social turmoil and external pressures, created an explosive economic and political environment that facilitated the breakdown of Introduction 33 Chile’s long-standing democracy through a military coup on September 11, 1973 (Larraín and Meller 1990).

As a result, the total amount of money in circulation increased 30 times in 1970–73, creating acute macroeconomic disequilibria. There was a severe scarcity of essential consumer goods in the domestic market because of the high demand caused by the expansion in the money supply and the price controls imposed by the government on such goods, which created a parallel or illegal (black) market. 3). 4). Allende’s trade policy was characterized by too many import restrictions and excessive protectionism.

There is not a theoretical paradigm for Costa Rica, but basically the original model was that of a planned market (with indicative planning) going well beyond imperfect competition because of the growing role of the state in the provision of services and production of goods. Important departures from a conventional neoclassic, monetarist model took place in Chile even during the military regime. For instance, the government decided, for strategic and economic reasons, not to privatize the copper industry (the most important in the country); wage fixing was not left to market forces in the 1970s but largely controlled by the government in an effort to reduce cost-push inflation (which, combined with banning of unions and strikes placed the burden of adjustment on labor); the exchange rate was not allowed to float in that stage either (which led to an overvalued currency and the first crisis); when open unemployment got out of hand (between 1975 and 1979 and even worse between 1982 and 1985) the government did not sit and wait for an automatic market correction but introduced Keynesian massive emergency employment programs; when the crisis of the early 1980s threatened to unravel the system, a new economic team was temporarily put in charge, and the state intervened in many enterprises and banks until the recovery began.

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