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Economic Growth in Colombia: a Reversal of “Fortune”?

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  • Mauricio Cárdenas

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    Abstract

    Since 1979, Colombia’s annual GDP growth has been on average two percentage points lower than what was observed between 1950 and 1980. The sources-of-growth decomposition shows that this deceleration can be accounted entirely by changes in productivity. Indeed, between 1960 and 1980 productivity gains increased output per worker by nearly 1% per year. Since 1980, productivity losses have reduced output per worker at about the same rate. The time series analysis suggests that the implosion of productivity was caused by the increase in criminality which diverted capital and labor to unproductive activities. In turn, the rise in crime was the result of rapid expansion in drug-trafficking activities, which erupted around 1980. Consequently, the fortunes associated with the emergence of Colombia as the world largest producer of cocaine had a significantly negative effect on growth and productivity. This explanation is supported by cross-country evidence that shows that Colombia’s underperformance, especially in the 1990s, is explained by its high homicide rate.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by FEDESARROLLO in its series WORKING PAPERS SERIES. DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO with number 009193.

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    Length: 36
    Date of creation: 27 Feb 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:col:000123:009193

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    Cited by:
    1. Cerro, Ana María & Rodríguez Andrés, Antonio, 2010. "The Effect of Crime on the Job Market: An ARDL approach to Argentina," MPRA Paper 44457, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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