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Structural Transformation and Productivity in Latin America

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  • Silva, Leonardo Fonseca da
  • Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti

Abstract

We investigate the role of sectorial differences in labor productivity and the process of structural transformation (reallocation of labor across sectors) in accounting for the time path of aggregate productivity across six Latin American countries (Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela) from 1950 to 2003. We used a general equilibrium model with three sectors (agriculture, industry and services) calibrated to those six economies. The model is used to compare the trajectory of productivity in each sector of activity with that of the United States and it impact on aggregate productivity.While in Brazil and Argentina, the Service Sector was responsible for reversing the process of catch up in productivity that occurred until the 1980s, in others, like Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela, low productivity growth of the three sectors explain their poor performance.

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 724.

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Date of creation: 12 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:724

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  1. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
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  3. Douglas Gollin & Stephen L. Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2004. "The Food Problem and the Evolution of International Income Levels," Working Papers 899, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
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  7. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2010. "The Role of the Structural Transformation in Aggregate Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 129-173, February.
  8. Echevarria, Cristina, 1997. "Changes in Sectoral Composition Associated with Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 431-52, May.
  9. Douglas Gollin & Stephen L. Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2004. "Farm Work, Home Work, and International Productivity Differences," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(4), pages 827-850, October.
  10. Syrquin, M. & Chenery, H.B., 1989. "Patterns Of Development, 1950 To 1983," World Bank - Discussion Papers 41, World Bank.
  11. Charles I. Jones, 1997. "On the Evolution of the World Income Distribution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 19-36, Summer.
  12. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2006. "The Structural Transformation and Aggregate Productivity in Portugal," Working Papers tecipa-261, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
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  14. Laitner, John, 2000. "Structural Change and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 545-61, July.
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