Date of Award


Degree Type



Moore School of Business

Director of Thesis

Dr. Nancy Buchan

First Reader

Professor Dean Kress

Second Reader

Professor Dean Kress


South America, a region full of economic competitive advantages, intellectual capital, and a rapidly consolidating population, has experienced a sluggish emergence into international business affairs. Hindered by a myriad of historically pervasive and newly emerging issues, the South American region has been unable to effectively capitalize on its assets and has subsequently witnessed an economic stagnation. Including, but not limited to, political, economic, socioeconomic, and societal disruptions, both a macro and micro analytical approach is used to better understand the regional issues facing South America as a whole as well as those faced by individual countries. This thesis explores five principal inhibitors that are prevalent throughout the region including wealth disparity, dependency on commodity-based industries, inefficient and inconsistent approaches to international trade, agglomeration around city-centers, and governmental corruption. In breaking down the ubiquitous obstacles, providing an in-depth analysis, and offering recommendations going forward, a more thorough understanding of South America’s current state is apparent. Inherently overlapping in nature, though, no particular issue can be accredited with South America’s delay in international influence. Despite the plethora of regional setbacks, it is evident that South America, with the correct governmental restructuring, social reinvestments, and economic diversification, has the potential to reverse course and emerge as a key player in international affairs.

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