Chile's new entrepreneurs and the "economic miracle": The invisible hand or a hand from the state?

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The Chilean economy has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade, thanks to a dramatic increase in export activities (and earnings), and the emergence of a more entrepreneurial capitalist class. This article attempts to explain that remarkable phenomenon using original data on entrepreneurs in one of Chile's most important new export industries, namely, fishing. The central argument of the article is that domestic entrepreneurship flourished during the Pinochet period not because the state "got the economic environment right," as the neoliberal ideologues are wont to argue, but rather because the Pinochet government behaved, in several important senses, like a "developmental state," a la the states of East Asia. The analysis also reveals a heretofore ignored role of a developmental state, which is to help produce a new capitalist class culture. In the Chilean case, it was state policy as well as ideology that gave rise to a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-109
Number of pages27
JournalStudies in Comparative International Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


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