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The Brazilian Competitiveness Cliff

Author

Listed:
  • Canuto, Otaviano

    () (World Bank)

  • Cavallari, Matheus

    () (World Bank)

  • Reis, José Guilherme

    () (World Bank)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Canuto, Otaviano & Cavallari, Matheus & Reis, José Guilherme, 2013. "The Brazilian Competitiveness Cliff," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 105, pages 1-8, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:prmecp:ep105
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Cebeci, Tolga & Fernandes, Ana M. & Freund, Caroline & Pierola, Martha Denisse, 2012. "Exporter dynamics database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6229, The World Bank.
    3. 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.
    4. Ricardo Hausmann & Jason Hwang & Dani Rodrik, 2007. "What you export matters," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-25, March.
    5. Canuto, Otaviano & Cavallari, Matheus & Reis, Jose Guilherme, 2013. "Brazilian exports : climbing down a competitiveness cliff," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6302, The World Bank.
    6. Gaulier, G. & Santoni, G. & Taglioni, D. & Zignago, S., 2013. "Market Shares in the Wake of the Global Crisis: the Quarterly Export Competitiveness Database," Working papers 472, Banque de France.
    7. Jose Guilherme Reis & Thomas Farole, 2012. "Trade Competitiveness Diagnostic Toolkit," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2248, June.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alicia Garcia-Herrero & Enestor Dos Santos & Pablo Urbiola & Marcos Dal Bianco & Fernando Soto & Mauricio Hernandez & Rosario Sanchez & Arnulfo Rodriguez, 2014. "Competitiveness in the Latin American manufacturing sector: trends and determinants," Working Papers 1411, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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