Latin America’s Wild Economic History, Explained | The Wealth of Nations

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The economic history of Latin America is filled with promise and tragedy. From Argentina in 1895 becoming the wealthiest country in the world per capita, to Venezuela in 2019 becoming the human rights crisis in the western world.

Latin America is a land of incredible wealth and incredible corruption. Using the data from The Maddison Project and the power of Flourish. Studio’s visualization software, I tell the story of Latin America, from an economic perspective.

From 1800 to modern times. This video is a part of an ongoing project I’m calling The Wealth of Nations. I am using the incredible Maddison project database to visualize the economic history of every country in the modern world, as far back as I can. I also hope to narrate and explain the most significant movements within the viz.

The hope is to learn and teach economic history and spread economic literacy. In this visualization, we just have a basic bar chart race, showing the relative and absolute changes over time within Africa. It has no additional graphics or narration. I

If you would like to know any specific, then please tell me what you would like to see in the comments. Economic Data, showing GDP Per Capita by year, comes from the Maddison Project Database. All dollar values are adjusted for inflation using 2011 dollars.

Studio Music credit to This viz uses GDP per capita normalized to 2011 dollars. It’s colored by region and divides the data between South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and North America.

It does not include some countries traditionally associated with Latin America. I defined the region by culture and limited it to only Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries in the region.

I included Puerto Rico because even though it’s a commonwealth of the US, it is still very much culturally tied to the U.S.

The countries included are:

Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and Tobago, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Uruguay Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Panama, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Peru, Guatemala, Paraguay, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Bolivia.

GDP stands for Gross domestic product and is a way of calculating the total economic output of a country. GDP Per Capita simply divides the total economic output of a country by its total population.

The Wealth of Nations is named after the book written by Adam Smith of the same name. Part of the reason I am naming the series after the book is how robust his arguments have proven when looking at the macro-economic world.

Adam Smith’s prescription of free trade and minimal safety nets and fiscal responsibility are an exceptionally robust method for achieving wealth in the modern world. Proving to be more reliable than policy suggestions created in the modern world.

Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

Economic History concerns itself with the history of economic development between countries. Mostly focusing on the times since the industrial revolution but can go further back.

The Maddison project is an attempt to determine the economic production of every country in the world in any given year. It is the culmination and the continuation of the life’s work of Angus Maddison

Source: Noble Datum

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