IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Latin American Development Problem: An Interpretation

  • Diego Restuccia

    ()

By international standards, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in Latin America is low: around one fourth of that of the United States. Moreover, in the last five decades, Latin America has failed to catch-up in wealth to the level of the United States while other countries at similar or even lower stages of development have been successful. The failure to attain higher levels of relative income represents what I call the development problem in Latin America. Using a development accounting framework, I find that the bulk of the dif- ference in GDP per capita between Latin America and the United States is accounted for by low GDP per hour and, in particular, low total factor productivity (TFP) in Latin America. I estimate that to explain the difference in GDP per hour, TFP in Latin America must be around 60 percent of that in the United States. I then consider a model with heterogeneous production units where institutions and policy distortions lead to a 60 percent productivity ratio between Latin America and the United States. Removing the barriers to productivity can increase long-run GDP per hour in Latin America by a factor of 4 relative to that of the United States. This increase is equivalent to 70-years worth of post-world-war-II economic development in the United States.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.brookings.edu/research/journals/2013/economiaspring2013
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION in its journal ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.

Volume (Year): Volume 13 Number 2 (2013)
Issue (Month): Spring 2013 (January)
Pages: 69-108

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:col:000425:010912
Contact details of provider:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Arturo Galindo & Fabio Schiantarelli & Andrew Weiss, 2005. "Does Financial Liberalization Improve the Allocation of Investment? Micro Evidence from Developing Countries," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 625, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Finn E. Kydland & Carlos E. J. M. Zarazaga, 2002. "Argentina's Lost Decade," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 152-165, January.
  3. Raphael Bergoeing & Patrick J. Kehoe & Timothy J. Kehoe & Raimundo Soto, 2001. "A Decade Lost and Found: Mexico and Chile in the 1980s," Documentos de Trabajo 110, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  4. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2010. "A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950-2010," NBER Working Papers 15902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Raphael Bergoeing & Norman Loayza & Andrea Repetto, 2004. "Slow Recoveries," Documentos de Trabajo 188, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  6. Hendricks, Lutz A., 2002. "How Important is Human Capital for Development? Evidence from Immigrant Earnings," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11409, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Jeremy Greenwood & Juan M. Sanchez & Cheng Wang, 2010. "Financing Development: The Role of Information Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1875-91, September.
  8. Guillaume Vandenbroucke & Diego Restuccia, 2011. "Explaining Educational Attainment across Countries and over Time," 2011 Meeting Papers 315, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Omar D Bello & Juan S Blyde & Diego Restuccia, 2011. "Venezuela's Growth Experience," Working Papers tecipa-431, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  10. Restuccia, Diego & Urrutia, Carlos, 2001. "Relative prices and investment rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 93-121, February.
  11. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2007. "The structural transformation and aggregate productivity in Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 6(1), pages 23-46, April.
  12. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2006. "The productivity of nations," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 195-223.
  13. Andrés Erosa & Tatyana Koreshkova & Diego Restuccia, 2010. "How Important Is Human Capital? A Quantitative Theory Assessment of World Income Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1421-1449.
  14. Cole, Harold L. & Ohanian, Lee E. & Riascos, Alvaro & Schmitz, James Jr, 2005. "Latin America in the rearview mirror," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 69-107, January.
  15. Barseghyan, Levon & DiCecio, Riccardo, 2011. "Entry costs, industry structure, and cross-country income and TFP differences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(5), pages 1828-1851, September.
  16. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-83, April.
  17. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  18. James R. Tybout, 2000. "Manufacturing Firms in Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, and Why?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 11-44, March.
  19. Todd Schoellman, 2012. "Education Quality and Development Accounting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 388-417.
  20. Hernan J. Moscoso Boedo & Toshihiko Mukoyama, 2011. "Evaluating the Effects of Entry Regulations and Firing Costs on International Income Differences," Virginia Economics Online Papers 379, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  21. Veracierto, Marcelo, 2001. "Employment Flows, Capital Mobility, and Policy Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(3), pages 571-95, August.
  22. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, Jan-Jun.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:col:000425:010912. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roberto Bernal)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.