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Economics Latin America


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


This course analyses the central issues of economic development in Latin America, including various topics such as the informal sector, remittances, regional economic integration, and the influence of China on the Latin America economy. In the final part of the course, an in-depth analysis will be provided for four key Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico, to allow a comparative perspective.

Course objectives

This course has as objective to give students a thorough understanding of the specificities of economic development in Latin America, with special attention to different actors who influence the economy in various ways: the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises, which fulfil a foremost role concerning formal labour, while the informal sector plays an important role concerning another form of labour. Immigrants, abroad, have an impact as they are sending money to their families back home. It will also show the different ways of development in Latin America in a number of case studies. This will allow students to place economic development in a regional context.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

Lecture and tutorials

Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Assessment method

  • 2 partial exams [30%, 40%]: 3 questions, 4 questions / partial exam: total 70 %

  • 1 analysis on paper: 1500 words: total 30 %

A resit is only needed if the total is not 6 or higher.
The resit is only for the written exam. Only the part that is insufficient has to be redone.


Blackboard will be used. Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

  • Javier Santiso, Latin America’s Political Economy of the Possible: Beyond Good Revolutionaries and Free-Marketeers, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2007 (ISBN: 9780262693592) ‬

  • Some articles


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.