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John
Coatsworth
Provost, Columbia University. Professor of International and Public Affairs and of History.
Low Library, Room 205
212-854-2404

Biography

John H. Coatsworth is a leading scholar of Latin American economic and international history.

Coatsworth served as Dean of SIPA for four years before being named Provost of Columbia University in 2012. He previously served as the Monroe Gutman Professor of Latin American Affairs at Harvard University (1992 – 2007), where he was the founding director of Harvard's David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the chair of the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies.

Prior to his work at Harvard, Coatsworth was a member of the faculty at the University of Chicago (1969 – 1992). Other academic posts have included visiting professorships at El Colegio de México, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the National University of Buenos Aires, the Instituto Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires, and the Instituto Ortega y Gassett in Madrid.

Coatsworth is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Board of Directors of the Tinker Foundation and numerous professional associations. He is the former president of the American Historical Association and Latin American Studies Association. Coatsworth has served on the editorial boards of scholarly journals including the American Historical Review, the Journal of Economic History, the Hispanic American Historical Review and other social science journals published in Britain, Chile, Germany, Mexico, Peru, and Spain.

In 1986, Coatsworth was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He has served as Senior Fulbright Lecturer three times, with appointments in Argentina and Mexico, and has received numerous research and institutional grants from public agencies and private foundations. He has acted as a consultant for program design or review to numerous U.S. universities and foundations.

Coatsworth received his BA in History from Wesleyan University and his MA and PhD in Economic History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For a complete CV, click here.

Publications:

Coatsworth is the author or editor of eight books and many scholarly articles, focusing on comparative economic, social, and international history of Latin America, especially Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

His most recent book is Living Standards in Latin American History: Height, Welfare and Development, 1750–2000 (Cambridge: David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University, 2010), edited with Ricardo Salvatore and Amilcar Challu.

Other recent books include:

  • The Cambridge Economic History of Latin America (2 vols., Cambridge University Press, 2006), edited with Victor Bulmer-Thomas and Roberto Cortes Conde.
  • Culturas Encontradas: Cuba y los Estados Unidos, edited with Rafael Hernandez and published jointly by the Harvard's David Rockefeller Center and Cuba's Juan Marinello Center in 2001.
  • Latin America and the World Economy Since 1800 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998), edited with Alan M. Taylor.
  • The United States and Central America: The Clients and the Colossus (New York: Twayne, 1994).
  • Los origenes del atraso: Nueve ensayos de historia economica de Mexico, siglos xviii y xix (Origins of Backwardness: Nine Essays on Mexican Economic History, 18th and 19th Centuries), published in Spanish by Alianza Editorial Mexicana in 1990.
  • Images of Mexico in the United States, co-edited with Carlos Rico, a collection of essays commissioned by the Bilateral Commission on the Future of Mexican-United States Relations in 1988.
  • Growth Against Development: The Economic Impact of Railroads in Porfirian Mexico (1976).

He has published numerous scholarly articles and essays. A selection of these include:

  • “Economic History of Latin America,” with William Summerhill, in  Handbook of Latin American History edited by José C. Moya (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2010), pp. 407-23.
  • “The Cold War in Central America, 1975-1991” in The Cambridge History of the Cold War edited by Melvin Leffler and Arne Westad (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 201-21.
  • “Inequality, Institutions, and Economic Growth in Latin America,” Journal of Latin American Studies, 40 (2008): 545-69; Spanish translation, “Desigualdad, instituciones y crecimiento económico en América Latina,” Economía (Lima, Peru), 35:69 (Jan-Jun, 2012): 204-30.
  • “Lost Decades: Post Independence Performance in Latin American and Africa,” with Robert H. Bates and Jeffrey G. Williamson Journal of Economic History, 67:4 (December 2007): 917-43.
  • “Political Economy and Economic Organization,” chapter 7, volume 1 of Cambridge Economic History of Latin America, edited by Victor Bulmer Thomas, John H. Coatsworth, and Roberto Cortes Conde (2 vols., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 237-73; 541-45.
  • "Inequality, Institutions and Economic Growth in Latin America,* Journal of Latin American Studies, 40, 545–569, 2008.
  • “Lost Decades: Post Independence Performance in Latin America and Africa,” with Robert H. Bates and Jeffrey G. Williamson Journal of Economic History, 67:4 (December 2007): 917-43.
  • "Lost Decades: Lessons from Post-Independence Latin America for Today’s Africa,” National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 12610, October 2006.
  • “Institutions and Long-Run Economic Performance in Mexico and Spain, 1800-2000,” with Gabriel Tortella Casares, Working Papers on Latin America, Paper No. 02/03-1 (David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University, (2002); Spanish translation, “Crecimiento económico y atraso: México y España,” Debate y Perspectivas (Madrid), 5 (2006): 39-58; republished in Desarrollo Económico Comparado: España y México edited by Aurora Gomez Galvarriato (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2008, forthcoming).
  • “Democracia y contexto internacional,” Enfoque (Sunday magazine of Reforma, Mexico City daily newspaper), May 13, 2007.
  • “Convertir la incertidumbre en oportunidad: Las empresas y el vuelco político de América Latina hacia la izquierda,” with James Austin, Harvard Business Review (Latin America Regional edition, February 2007), pp. 48-55.
  • “Structures, Endowments, and Institutions in the Economic History of Latin America,” Latin American Research Review 40:3 (October 2005): 126-44; Spanish translation to appear in Desarrollo Económico (Buenos Aires), 2006.
  • "Always Protectionist? Latin American Tariffs from Independence to Great Depression,” with Jeffrey G. Williamson, Journal of Latin American Studies, 36:2 (May 2004): 205-32.
  • "Counterfactual Mexicos,” History Compass, 3 (2005): 1-5.
  • “Crecimiento Económico en el Espacio Peruano 1681-1800: una visión a partir de la agricultura,” with Carlos Newland, Revista de Historia Económica (Madrid), 18:2 (2000): 377-91.
  • "Presidential Address: Welfare," American Historical Review, 101:1 (February 1996): 1-12; Spanish edition, “En torno de la historia del bienestar,” Desarrollo Económico: Revista de Ciencias Sociales (Buenos Aires), 36:144 (Enero-Marzo, 1977): 991-1003.
     

Some of the book chapters and encyclopedia entries include:.

  • "Cycles of Globalization, Economic Growth, and Human Welfare in Latin America," in Globalization and the Rural environment edited by Otto T. Solbrig, Robert Paarlberg, and Francesco di Castri ( David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, July 30, 2001).
  • “Political Economy and Economic Organization,” chapter 7, volume 1 of Cambridge Economic History of Latin America, edited by Victor Bulmer Thomas, John H. Coatsworth, and Roberto Cortes Conde (2 vols., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 237-73; 541-45.
  • “Globalization, Growth, and Welfare in History” in Marcelo Suarez Orozco and Desiré Baolian Qin-Hilliard, eds., Globalization: Culture and Education in the New Millennium (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), pp. 38-55.
  • “Mexico” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History edited by Joel Mokyr (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 501-09.
  • "Cycles of Globalization, Economic Growth, and Human Welfare in Latin America" in Globalization and the Rural Environment edited by Otto T. Solbrig, Robert Paarlberg, and Francesco di Castri (Cambridge, MA: David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and Harvard University Press, 2001), pp. 23-47.
  • “Introduction to the Harvard Edition” of Stephen Kinser and Stephen Schlesinger, Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), pp. ix-xviii.
  • “The United States and Democracy in Mexico” in The United States and Latin America edited by James Dunkerley and Victor Bulmer-Thomas (London: University of London, Institute for Latin American Studies, 1999), pp. 141-55.

Research & Publications

Cambridge: David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University
2010
John H. Coatsworth
The Cambridge History of the Cold War
2009
John H. Coatsworth
Journal of Latin American Studies Vol 40 Issue 3 pp545-569
2008
John H. Coatsworth