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The Brazilian Competitiveness Cliff

Listed author(s):
  • Canuto, Otaviano

    ()

    (World Bank)

  • Cavallari, Matheus

    ()

    (World Bank)

  • Reis, José Guilherme

    ()

    (World Bank)

Brazilian exports of goods and services have grown sharply in recent years, with sales nearly three times higher in 2010 than in 2000. However, Brazil faces considerable competitiveness challenges: its export performance depends mostly on favorable geographical and sector composition effects. Such challenges increased after the recent global economic crisis. A recent slowdown in industrial exports, production, and investments seems related to supply-side difficulties stemming from a wide range of inefficiencies and rising costs, rather than insufficient demand. Although a stronger currency is one of the factors behind the lower competitiveness of Brazil’s manufacturing exports, sluggish productivity performance, lack of dynamism at the firm level, and a real wage uptrend seem to explain a significant part of the overall loss of competitiveness. This diagnostic reinforces the urgency of resuming the agenda of microeconomic reforms, increasing the investment-to–gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, and advancing toward better-skilled human capital.

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Article provided by The World Bank in its journal Economic Premise.

Volume (Year): (2013)
Issue (Month): 105 (February)
Pages: 1-8

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Handle: RePEc:wbk:prmecp:ep105
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  1. Gaulier, Guillaume & Santoni, Gianluca & Taglioni, Daria & Zignago, Soledad, 2013. "In the wake of the global crisis : evidence from a new quarterly database of export competitiveness," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6733, The World Bank.
  2. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
  3. Cebeci, Tolga & Fernandes, Ana M. & Freund, Caroline & Pierola, Martha Denisse, 2012. "Exporter dynamics database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6229, The World Bank.
  4. Tibor Besedes & Thomas Prusa, 2006. "Ins, outs, and the duration of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 266-295, February.
  5. Ricardo Hausmann & Jason Hwang & Dani Rodrik, 2007. "What you export matters," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-25, March.
  6. Canuto, Otaviano & Cavallari, Matheus & Reis, Jose Guilherme, 2013. "Brazilian exports : climbing down a competitiveness cliff," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6302, The World Bank.
  7. Corden, W Max & Neary, J Peter, 1982. "Booming Sector and De-Industrialisation in a Small Open Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 825-848, December.
  8. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  9. Jose Guilherme Reis & Thomas Farole, 2012. "Trade Competitiveness Diagnostic Toolkit," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2248.
  10. Krugman, Paul R, 1996. "Making Sense of the Competitiveness Debate," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 17-25, Autumn.
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