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Institutional Quality and Economic Growth in Latin America


  • Sawyer W. Charles

    () (Texas Christian University)


The purpose of this paper is to relate total factor productivity to the problem of economic growth in Latin America. Slow economic growth has been the most important problem in the modern history of the region. The paper extensively reviews the literature on the determinants of economic growth in Latin America and shows that the slow growth of total factor productivity (TFP) seems to be the primary problem. Further, this problem is linked to the quality of institutions in the region. Unfortunately, the concept of institutional quality is very difficult to define in a meaningful way. This affects public policy towards economic growth in the region. Finally, it is shown that the problem that has been identified may be crucial for Latin America but the region is hardly unique in this regard.

Suggested Citation

  • Sawyer W. Charles, 2011. "Institutional Quality and Economic Growth in Latin America," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 10(4), pages 1-13, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:10:y:2011:i:4:n:2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ann Owen & Julio Videras & Lewis Davis, 2009. "Do all countries follow the same growth process?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 265-286, December.
    2. Andrés Solimano & Raimundo Soto, 2006. "Economic Growth in Latin America in the Late Twentieth Century: Evidence and Interpretation," Chapters,in: Vanishing Growth in Latin America, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Jaejoon Woo, 2009. "Productivity Growth And Technological Diffusion Through Foreign Direct Investment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(2), pages 226-248, April.
    4. André A. Hofman, 2000. "The Economic Development of Latin America in the Twentieth Century," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1534.
    5. World Bank & International Finance Corporation, "undated". "Doing Business in Egypt 2008," World Bank Other Operational Studies 23989, The World Bank.
    6. Sebastian Edwards, 2009. "Latin America's Decline: A Long Historical View," NBER Working Papers 15171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Hofman, André A., 2000. "The economic development of Latin America in the twentieth century," Copublicaciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 1650 edited by Eclac, December.
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