The Current State of Business History in Latin America


  • Carlos Dávila

    1. Universidad de los Andes
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    • The author acknowledges the support of the School of Management at the University of the Andes and in particular the History, Business and Entrepreneurship Research Group. I am indebted to a number of colleagues for the extended and fruitful exchanges of ideas on the topic of this article over the past years. In particular, the leaders of the Iberoamerican Business History Network: María Inés Barbero (Argentina), Adolfo Meisel (Colombia), Mario Cerutti (Mexico), Martin Monsalve (Peru), and Javier Vidal (Spain). To them, Marcelo Bucheli (United States), Raúl García-Heras (Argentina), Raúl Jacob (Uruguay), Geoffrey Jones (United States), Andrea Lluch (Argentina), Carlos Marichal (Mexico), and Rory Miller (United Kingdom) should be added. I am also grateful to my colleagues at the History, Business and Entrepreneurship Research Group at Universidad de los Andes: Luis F. Molina, Marco Palacios, and Xavier Durán. The comments and suggestions of an anonymous referee were most helpful.


Business history in Latin America has seen significant growth in the past 25 years, most notably since the beginning of this century. Although the sub-discipline benefitted from seminal studies by British and U.S. scholars, most works of note are currently produced by local scholars. Latin American business history holds great comparative potential for business historians in other parts of the world undertaking studies in the areas of emerging economies, business-state relationships, the role of entrepreneurship, business groups, entrepreneurial families, and foreign investment and imperialism.