Yet Another Tale of Two Cities: Buenos Aires and Chicago

50 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2009 Last revised: 14 Jul 2009

See all articles by Filipe R. Campante

Filipe R. Campante

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2009

Abstract

Buenos Aires and Chicago grew during the nineteenth century for remarkably similar reasons. Both cities were conduits for moving meat and grain from fertile hinterlands to eastern markets. However, despite their initial similarities, Chicago was vastly more prosperous for most of the 20th century. Can the differences between the cities after 1930 be explained by differences in the cities before that date? We highlight four major differences between Buenos Aires and Chicago in 1914. Chicago was slightly richer, and significantly better educated. Chicago was more industrially developed, with about 2.25 times more capital per worker. Finally, Chicago's political situation was far more stable and it wasn't a political capital. Human capital seems to explain the lion's share of the divergent path of the two cities and their countries, both because of its direct effect and because of the connection between education and political instability.

Suggested Citation

Campante, Filipe R. and Glaeser, Edward L., Yet Another Tale of Two Cities: Buenos Aires and Chicago (June 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15104. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1426455

Filipe R. Campante

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-384-7958 (Phone)

Edward L. Glaeser (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Room 315A
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2150 (Phone)
617-496-1722 (Fax)

Brookings Institution

1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036-2188
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
24
Abstract Views
370
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations will be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information