The Rise of the Textile District of Buenos Aires and the Limits of Import Substitution Industrialization in the First Half of Twentieth Century


  • Claudio Bellini CONICET / Universidad de Buenos Aires



textile industry, industrial district, import substitution industrialization, Argentina


This paper analyzes the origins of the textile district of Buenos Aires in the first half of the twentieth century. In this period, the cotton branch led import substituting industrialization. The growth of the textile industry accentuated the characteristics that the industrial location had assumed in Argentina; especially the spatial concentration in the City of Buenos Aires and its outskirts. It is shown that Argentine textile development partially fits the industrial district model. Although industrial concentration in Buenos Aires allowed the textile industry to benefit from Marshallian external economies, this industrial growth assumed typical forms of the “late, late industrialization” characterized by Albert Hirschman. On this subject, the article analyzes the factors that shaped the formation of the industrial district and the limits of industrial agglomeration advantages in the context of import substituting industrialization.