Departamento de Economía

Economic History Conference

Economic History @ UdeSA Conference 2019

Buenos Aires, Argentina

May 23-24, 2019

Universidad de San Andrés (UdeSA, is pleased to host a two-day economic history conference in the spring (austral autumn) of 2019, organised by the Economics Department of UdeSA and sponsored by Banco Ciudad. It will feature papers on all subjects in economic history, have as keynote speakers Bob Margo (Boston University), Cormac Ó Gráda (University College Dublin) and Leandro Prados de la Escosura (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid), and include a round table discussion on Argentine economic history by Roberto Cortés Conde and Gerardo della Paolera.



The conference will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina at Universidad de San Andrés. On May 23rd it will take place in downtown Buenos Aires, and on May 24th on the main campus of the university, located in the neighborhood of Victoria:

May 23rd: Universidad de San Andrés at Downtown - Riobamba 1276, CABA.

May 24th: Universidad de San Andrés Campus – Vito Dumas 284, Victoria, Buenos Aires Province.


Attendance and registration

During the conference, there will be room for a limited number of visitors. If you want to attend, please send an e-mail containing your name, affiliation, and days you want to attend to Tamara Sulaque by 10 May 2019 at the latest. Attendance is free of charge.


Organizing committee

Mauricio Drelichman (UBC),

Carola Frydman (Northwestern University)

Tommy E. Murphy (UdeSA)



PDF Program


Thursday May 23 (Downtown – CABA)


8.45–9.00         Opening words


9.00–10.20       Session 1

Mara Squicciarini (Bocconi), “Knowledge Elites and Modernization: Evidence from Revolutionary France”

Santiago Pérez (UC Davis), Southern (American) Hospitality: Italians in Argentina and the US during the Age of Mass Migration


10.20–10.35     Coffee break


10.35–12.05     Session 2

Eric Hilt (Wellesley College), Asymmetric Information, Liquidity and Corporate Finance: Evidence from the Introduction of Credit Ratings

Michela Giorcelli (UCLA), “Reconstruction Aid, Public Infrastructure, and Economic Development”


12.05–13:30     Lunch break


13:30–14:50     New Researchers Session

Fernando Arteaga (GMU), “The Historical Legacy of (Pre?)Colonial Indigenous Settlements in Mexico”

Gianluca Russo (BU), “Mass Media and Cultural Homogenization: Evidence from the Golden Age of Radio in the United States 1920-1940”


14:50–15:05     Coffee break


15.05–16:25     Session 3

Martín Wasserman (UBA-CONICET), “Actors, resources and economic interaction. The role of fiscal spending during the emergency of Buenos Aires (17th century)”

Martín Fiszbein (BU), Staple Products, Linkages, and Development: Evidence from Argentina


16:25–16:40     Coffee break


16:40–17:40     Roundtable

Roberto Cortés Conde (UdeSA) – Gerardo della Paolera (Fund. Bunge y Born), “New Economic History of Argentina: A Conversation with Roberto Cortés Conde and Gerardo della Paolera”

Chair: Javier Ortiz Batalla (Banco Ciudad)


17:40–18:00     Short break


18:00–19:00     Keynote speech

Leandro Prados de la Escosura (Carlos III), “Human Development in the Age of Globalisation”

Chair: Mauricio Drelichman (UBC)


20.00–22.00     Dinner


Friday May 24 (Campus UdeSA – Victoria)


8.15–9.30         Transportation to UdeSA Campus / light breakfast


9.30–10.30       Keynote speech

Cormac Ó Gráda (UCD), “A New View of the Industrial Revolution”

Chair: Tommy E. Murphy (UdeSA)


10.30–10.45     Coffee break


10.45–12.05     Session 4

Mauricio Drelichman (UBC), “The Long Run Effects of Religious Persecution: Evidence from Spanish Inquisition, 1480-2015”

Amanda Guimbeau (Brandeis), The Brazilian Bombshell? The Long-Term Impact of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic the South American Way


12.05–13:30     Lunch break


13:30–14:50     Session 5

Paolo Vanin (U Bologna), “The Legacy of Historical Political Instability: Evidence for Europe”

Felipe Valencia Caicedo (UBC), “Trust Unraveled: The Long Shadow of the Spanish Civil War”


14:50–15:05     Coffee break


15:05–16:25     Session 6

María del Pilar López-Uribe (U de los Andes), “Buying off the Revolution: Evidence from the Colombian National Peasant Movement, 1957-1985”

Christopher Kam (UBC), “The Economic Origins of Political Parties: Party slates at nineteenth-century parliamentary elections in England and Wales


16:25–16:40     Coffee break


16:40–17:40     Keynote speech

Bob Margo (BU), “Tasks and the Industrial Revolution”

Chair: Carola Frydman (Northwestern University)


18:00–19:00     Return downtown



Conference arrangements



Here are some suggested hotels that are located nearby the downtown conference venue:

Recoleta Grand Hotel:

Address: Av. General Las Heras 1745, Recoleta, CABA



Howard Johnson Hotel Boutique Recoleta

Address: Peña 2049, Recoleta, CABA




Ministro Pistarini International Airport, Ezeiza (EZE): The biggest airport in Argentina is located in Ezeiza, 32km (20 miles) from the center of the city of Buenos Aires. This is most likely where you will arrive if you are flying to Buenos Aires from abroad. Note that the journey from the airport to the center of the city takes about 50 minutes without traffic, and up to 1.5 hours if traffic is heavy.

Jorge Newbery Airport, known as Aeroparque (AEP): Located in the city itself, in the Palermo neighbourhood, this airport is within 25 minutes of the main hotels in Buenos Aires. It serves mainly domestic flights.

The conference will start on May 23rd at 8.45 AM. Given the long commute from Ezeiza to downtown, plan to arrive to Buenos Aires on May 22nd.

To travel from the airports to the hotel, we strongly suggest to use official cars hired on counters located inside the airport, called remise.  At Ezeiza, we have good experience with a company called Transfer Express ( Its booth can be found after clearing customs (you will see the security-style scanners) BUT BEFORE EXITING INTO THE ARRIVALS HALL. A remise ride downtown will cost around USD $40. You will prepay at the counter – they accept US dollars, Euro, Argentine Pesos, or a credit card. They will summon a driver, who will lead you to the car.

For a cheaper alternative, Tienda León runs buses from Ezeiza airport to its base in Puerto Madero, in the center of Buenos Aires city. A one-way bus ticket costs about USD $9.

While hailing taxis in Buenos Aires is generally safe, doing so at an airport is not recommended due to the operation of “taxi mafias,” which inflate prices and are not beyond taking foreigners for an extended ride.

DO NOT accept transportation services offered outside an official booth. You will be putting yourself in serious jeopardy if you do so.



The currency in Argentina is the peso.  There are $1000, $500, $200, $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5 paper bills.  We also have $10, $5, $2, $1 and 50 cents coins.

The International Exchange Rate is: USD $ 1 = Argentina $ 42,40 at the time of writing – but this is Argentina, where annual inflation rates can easily reach 40%, so check for the updated exchange rate shortly before travel.

Withdrawing money from ATMs using international bank cards is extremely expensive. You will be charged USD 10 per transaction, and will generally not be allowed to withdraw more than the equivalent USD 100 at a time. A better alternative is to bring US or EURO cash and exchange it at the Banco Nación branch at the airport (next to the remise counters). They will give you the best rate available in Argentina. Credit cards are generally accepted, so you will only need cash for small purchases, such as paying for taxis, and for tips.



It is customary to tip around 10% of the bill at restaurants. When paying for taxis and cars tipping is not necessary, but good service is often rewarded by rounding up a little.



While Buenos Aires is a generally safe city, bustling with activity well into the wee hours, certain precautions are in order.


* Do not carry bags that can easily be snatched – unfortunately snatching thefts from passing motorcycles are somewhat common. If you must carry a purse, make sure it is not on the side of the street. Backpacks, well secured cross-body purses, and wallets in your pocket are best.

* Do not tempt street muggers. Leave your jewelry at home, and minimize the use of cellphones while walking on the street.

* You will need to carry official identification on you if you want to pay with a credit card – merchants will almost always ask to see it. This likely means that you will have to carry your passport. Make copies of it and leave them at the hotel. In the unlikely event your passport is stolen, this will facilitate replacing it at a consulate.

* Do not accept services from street vendors or people that want to befriend you. Be rude if needed.

* Almost every landmark and tourist attraction is in a safe area. If you want to venture off the beaten path, however, ask first. Straying into a shantytown or a dangerous neighborhood is not recommended.


Taxis are plentiful in Buenos Aires, and hailing one on the street is generally safe. There are nonetheless some unscrupulous drivers that may take you for an extended ride. If you take a taxi, make sure you know where you are going, and track your ride on a mapping app. You may also ask the hotel to call you a radio-taxi or a remise, which are unlikely to scam you.

If you are at an entertainment venue or a bar and you ask them to call you a taxi, it is quite likely that the vehicle will show up with the meter already running and showing a large amount. This is illegal – the meter should only be started when you get on the car, regardless of whether you hailed it on the street or called it on the phone. Do not get on a taxi with the meter already running unless you want to pay a hefty bill.

While Uber works well, it operates in a legal limbo, and sometimes taxi drivers will harass Uber cars. If you hail an Uber, the driver may ask you to sit on the front seat and pretend you are a friend, so that taxi drivers cannot identify the vehicle as an Uber. An alternative is to use Cabify, a ridesharing app that is legal in Argentina. They only accept argentine credit cards, but offer an option to pay cash (you select it within the app).



Most tourist operators and their staff will speak English. Most everyone else will not. If you do not have at least a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish, try to hang out with someone who does. Google Translate is also your friend.



If you are planning on sightseeing in Buenos Aires, you may find the official tourism website of the city of Buenos Aires (CABA) quite useful (and it is available in English!):