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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. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2007. "The structural transformation and aggregate productivity in Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 23-46, April.
  2. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski, 2012. "The Rise of the Service Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2540-69, October.
  3. Syrquin, M. & Chenery, H.B., 1989. "Patterns Of Development, 1950 To 1983," World Bank - Discussion Papers, World Bank 41, World Bank.
  4. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott (), 2007. "Great depressions of the twentieth century," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, number 2007gdott.
  5. Norman Loayza & Pablo Fajnzylber & César Calderón, 2004. "Economic Growth in Latin America and The Caribbean: Stylized Facts, Explanations, and Forecasts," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile, Central Bank of Chile 265, Central Bank of Chile.
  6. Donghoon Lee & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2004. "Intersectoral Labor Mobility and the Growth of the Service Sector," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Marcel P. Timmer & Gaaitzen J. de Vries, 2009. "Structural change and growth accelerations in Asia and Latin America: a new sectoral data set," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 3(2), pages 165-190, June.
  8. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2006. "The Role of the Structural Transformation in Aggregate Productivity," 2006 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2006. "The productivity of nations," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 195-223.
  10. Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2001. "Farm Work, Home Work and International Productivity Differences," Department of Economics Working Papers 2002-08, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  11. Berthold Herrendorf & Akos Valentinyi, 2006. "Which Sectors Make the Poor Countries so Unproductive?," 2006 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 304, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. 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.
  13. Gollin, Douglas & Parente, Stephen L. & Rogerson, Richard, 2007. "The food problem and the evolution of international income levels," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1230-1255, May.
  14. 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.
  15. Veloso, Fernando A. & Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti Gomes & Pessoa, Samuel de Abreu, 2006. "The Evolution of TFP in Latin America," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 620, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  16. Laitner, John, 2000. "Structural Change and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 545-61, July.
  17. Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira & Samuel De Abreu Pessôa & Fernando A. Veloso, 2013. "On The Evolution Of Total Factor Productivity In Latin America," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 16-30, 01.
  18. Berthold Herrendorf & Ákos Valentinyi, 2012. "Which Sectors Make Poor Countries So Unproductive?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 323-341, 04.
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