Latin America

The long and mostly failed history of price controls in Argentina

Though Peronists have sometimes seen short-term success in dictating prices to businesses, these measures have regularly foundered over the long term

The long and mostly failed history of price controls in Argentina
People look at billboards advertising prices at a supermarket in Buenos Aires. Photo: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters via Alamy

While debates about inflation might feel new in the developed world – to younger citizens at any rate –, that certainly isn’t the case in Argentina, where much of the discussion in politics, media, and academia over the last decade has revolved around what causes prices to rise.

For Vice President Cristina Kirchner and her supporters, the words of White House Press Secretary Jen Psak, who blamed recent hikes in the U.S. on “corporate greed,” were music to her ears. “Listen to her carefully. She is not Argentinian and much less a Peronist. She is the spokeswoman for the U.S....

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