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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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