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Decades lost and found: Mexico and Chile since 1980

Author

Listed:
  • Raphael Bergoeing
  • Patrick J. Kehoe
  • Timothy J. Kehoe
  • Raimundo Soto

Abstract

Both Chile and Mexico experienced severe economic crises in the early 1980s, yet Chile recovered much faster than Mexico. This study analyzes four possible explanations for this difference and rules out three, explanations based on money supply expansion, real wage and real exchange rate declines, and foreign debt overhangs. The fourth explanation is based on government policy reforms in the two countries. Using growth accounting and a calibrated growth model, the study determines that the only policy reforms promising as explanations are those that primarily affect total factor productivity, or how inputs are used, not the inputs themselves. Interpreting historical evidence with economic theory, the study concludes that the crucial difference between Chile and Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s is earlier government policy reforms in Chile, particularly reforms in policies affecting the banking system and bankruptcy procedures.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael Bergoeing & Patrick J. Kehoe & Timothy J. Kehoe & Raimundo Soto, 2002. "Decades lost and found: Mexico and Chile since 1980," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 3-30.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:2002:i:win:p:3-30:n:v.26no.1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37.
    2. Edwards, Sebastian, 1998. "Two Crises: Inflationary Inertia and Credibility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 680-702, May.
    3. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 245-273, April.
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    Keywords

    Economic development;

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