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Magallania (Punta Arenas)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2244

Abstract

VERA GIUSTI, JOSÉ. MAGALLANES: ECONOMIC AND DEMOGRAPHIC DYNAMICS 1960-2006: SPECIAL DEVELOPMENT LAWS; WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO AVOID. Magallania [online]. 2008, vol.36, n.2, pp.63-78. ISSN 0718-2244.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-22442008000200004.

For decades, the economy of Magallanes has been growing at a rate significantly slower than the rest of the country. Even though there haven't been substantial changes in economic dynamics since 1960 onwards, two distinct periods can be identified: 1960-2000 and 2000 onwards. The reason for separating them is that between 1999 and 2000 important institutional changes carne about (laws of exception), along with changes in the regional productive structure that were already in progress. Along with its poor economic performance, the Region's demographic dynamics has also been discreet, particularly in Tierra del Fuego and even more if compared with the argentine population in the island. While total population in Argentine Tierra del Fuego grew almost 40 times since 1920 until 2002, it only quintupled in Magallanes and in Chilean Tierra del Fuego increased by a factor of less than three. There is also a long term regional human capital impoverishment trend, linked to perverse institutional stimuli: There are no rewards for the settlement of professionals in Magallanes, while there are important incentives attracting people with little if any qualification. Lastly, a brief scrutiny of the legal setting, particularly exception law N° 18.392 (Navarino) provides some surprises. This law has required substantial disbursements by the Chilean State as incentives for investors in Tierra del Fuego. The subsidies' counterparts are some US$ 25 million in investments in Tierra del Fuego (up until 2004), along with the creation of around 1,200 new jobs in the island. However, available data tells us that neither regional productive structural changes ñor the opera-tion of Law Navarino have brought upon changes on the economic dynamics or long term demographic trends in the Región. At the same time, justifiable doubts arise regarding the justification and efficiency of the law in its present form.

Keywords : Gross Domestic Product (GDP; Regional Economic Activity índex (REAI); Región of Magellan and Chilean Antárctica; Decree N° 889; Law N° 18.392 (Law Navarino).

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