- During the nineteenth century, the newly born nations of Latin America strived to leave behind their colonial legacy and join capitalism. The results were uneven; while some nations, such as Argentina, witnessed substantial economic growth, others hardly reaped the benefits of the world economic expansion. Colombia was in the latter group. Studies of post-independence Latin American economies emphasized for several decades’ commodity exports and industrialization as the main sources in explaining economic take-offs. More recently, the analysis of institutional factors influencing these developments has thrived. Yet, the performance of monetary policy and fiscal institutions has received little attention, and there are relatively few works, except for studies on Mexico and Brazil.1 Insofar as economic policy is a source of stability or instability, understanding the institutions through which it is designed and implemented provides a more complete view of the relative success or failure of these nations in their race for growth.