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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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File URL: http://www.bcentral.cl/estudios/revista-economia/2004/ago/Vol7N2ago2004pp5_26.pdf
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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. 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.
  2. Carmen Pagés-Serra & James J. Heckman, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," Research Department Publications 4227, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata, 2000. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0448, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1994. "Does Employment Protection Inhibit Labor Market Flexibility? Lessons from Germany, France, and Belgium," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Rebecca M. Blank (ed.), Social Protection Versus Economic Flexibility: Is There a Trade-off?, pages 59-93 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  5. Ricardo Caballero & Eduardo Engel & Alejandro Micco, 2005. "Microeconomic Flexibility in Latin America," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Jorge Restrepo & Andrea Tokman R. & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Edi (ed.), Labor Markets and Institutions, edition 1, volume 8, chapter 10, pages 329-366 Central Bank of Chile.
  6. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 2001. "Creative Destruction and Development : Institutions, Crises and Restructuring," DELTA Working Papers 2001-04, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Thomas J. Sargent, 1978. "Estimation of dynamic labor demand schedules under rational expectations," Staff Report 27, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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