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Revisiting Import-Substituting Industrialisation in Post-War Brazil

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  • Colistete, Renato P.

Abstract

This article reassesses the classic period of Import-Substituting Industrialisation (ISI) in Brazil between 1945 and 1979. New data presented here show that Brazilian industry achieved significant labour productivity growth during the post-war years and became more technologically sophisticated, when measured by manufacturing exports and evidence of specific industries and firms. We also found that Brazil’s labour productivity growth lagged behind what was achieved in other industrialising and developed countries from the mid-1970s. Technological advances were slow and uneven, and most firms relatively backward. Overall these results suggest that a highly heterogeneous structure became a major feature of Brazilian industrialisation, rather than widespread inefficiency and technological stagnation as argued by the dominant interpretation of ISI in Latin America.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 24665.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24665

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Keywords: Import-Substituting Industrialisation; Productivity; Technology; Brazil; Latin America;

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  1. Norman Loayza & Pablo Fajnzylber & César Calderón, 2005. "Economic Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean : Stylized Facts, Explanations, and Forecasts," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7315, October.
  2. Sebastian Edwards & Gerardo Esquivel & Graciela Márquez, 2007. "The Decline of Latin American Economies: Growth, Institutions, and Crises," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number edwa04-1, May.
  3. Fagerberg, Jan, 2000. "Technological progress, structural change and productivity growth: a comparative study," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 393-411, December.
  4. Giovanni Dosi & Keith Pavitt & Luc Soete, 1990. "The Economics of Technical Change and International Trade," LEM Book Series, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, number dosietal-1990, June.
  5. Syrquin, Moshe, 1988. "Patterns of structural change," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 203-273 Elsevier.
  6. Pablo Astorga & Ame R. Bergés & Valpy Fitzgerald, 2003. "Productivity Growth in Latin America during the Twentieth Century," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _052, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  7. Jagdish N. Bhagwati, 1978. "Anatomy and Consequences of Exchange Control Regimes," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bhag78-1, May.
  8. Tito Boeri & J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, 2006. "The Political Economy of Flexicurity," Working Papers 2006-15, FEDEA.
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  1. > Economic History > Regional Economic History > Latin American Economic History > Economic History of Brazil
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Cited by:
  1. Alexandre Macchione Saes & Felipe Pereira Loureiro, 2012. "From Foreign to State Investment in the Brazilian Electric Power Sector: the Expropriation of the American Foreign and Power in Brazil (1959-1965)," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2012_08, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
  2. Jose Peres Cajias & Marc Badia-Miro & Anna Carreras-Marin, 2012. "Intraregional trade in South America, 1913-50. Economic linkages before institutional agreements," Working Papers in Economics 270, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  3. Dante Aldrighi & Renato P. Colistete, 2013. "Industrial Growth and Structural Change: Brazil in a Long-Run Perspective," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2013_10, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).

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