Provides access to the current state of expert knowledge about Latin America's economic past from the Spanish conquest to the beginning of the twenty-first century. It includes work from diverse perspectives, disciplines, and methodologies from qualitative historical analysis of policies and institutions to cliometrics, the new institutional economics, and environmental sciences. Each chapter provides a comparative analysis of economic trends, sectoral development, or the evolution of the institutional and policy environment. Volume one includes the colonial and independence eras up to 1850. Volume two treats the 'long twentieth century' from the onset of modern economic growth to the present.