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Microeconomic Flexibility in Latin America

  • Ricardo Caballero G.
  • Eduardo Engel G.
  • Alejandro Micco A.

We characterize the degree of microeconomic inflexibility in several Latin American economies and find that Brazil, Chile and Colombia are more flexible than Mexico and Venezuela. The difference in flexibility among these economies is mainly explained by the behavior of large establishments, which adjust more promptly in the more flexible economies, especially when accumulated shocks are substantial. We also study the path of flexibility in Chile and show that it declined in the aftermath of the Asian crisis. This decline can account for a substantial fraction of the sharp fall in TFP-growth in Chile since 1997 (from 3.1 percent per year for the preceding decade, to about 0.3 percent after). Moreover, if it were to persist, it could permanently shave almost half of a percent off Chile’s structural rate of growth.

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Article provided by Central Bank of Chile in its journal Economía Chilena.

Volume (Year): 7 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 5-26

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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchec:v:7:y:2004:i:2:p:5-26
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  1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," Documentos de Trabajo 6, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  2. Ricardo J. Caballlero & Eduardo Engel & Alejandro Micco, 2004. "Microeconomic Flexibility in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 10398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Carmen Pagés & James J. Heckman, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4119, Inter-American Development Bank.
  4. Simon Burgess & Michael M. Knetter, 1996. "An International Comparison of Employment Adjustment to Exchange Rate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A, 1993. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 359-83, May.
  6. Burgess, Simon & Knetter, Michael & Michelacci, Claudio, 2000. "Employment and Output Adjustment in the OECD: A Disaggregate Analysis of the Role of Job Security Provisions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(267), pages 419-35, August.
  7. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael Porta & Florencio C. Lopez-De-Silanes, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382, November.
  8. Thomas J. Sargent, 1978. "Estimation of dynamic labor demand schedules under rational expectations," Staff Report 27, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Katherine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1993. "Does Employment Protection Inhibit Labor Market Flexibility? Lessons from Germany, France and Belgium," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 93-16, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  10. Shapiro, Matthew D, 1986. "The Dynamic Demand for Capital and Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 513-42, August.
  12. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
  13. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 2000. "Creative Destruction and Development: Institutions, Crises, and Restructuring," NBER Working Papers 7849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  15. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata, 2000. "Employment patterns in OECD countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20198, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  16. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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