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Trade Reforms and Manufacturing Industry in Chile

  • Roberto Alvarez
  • Rodrigo Fuentes

The Chilean economy underwent a deep structural change in the mid-seventies, through several economic reforms. Among these, the most impressive one was trade liberalization. This process caused a string of bankruptcies in the manufacturing industry and a reduction in the share of this sector in GDP, which some authors have used to imply that Chile has become a less industrialized economy. This paper describes the main policy changes that are relevant to understand the evolution of the manufacturing industry in Chile after the reforms, and analyzes the evolution of productivity using plant-level data. Our findings challenge the hypothesis that trade liberalization stifled the manufacturing sector and pushed the economy toward exporting raw materials. Also, our results show that the Chilean industry, after these economic reforms, became more efficient and competitive.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 210.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:210
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  1. Guillermo R. Le Fort, 1988. "The Relative Price of Nontraded Goods, Absorption, and Exchange Rate Policy in Chile, 1974-82," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(2), pages 336-370, June.
  2. Edwards, Sebastian, 1992. "Trade orientation, distortions and growth in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 31-57, July.
  3. Deraniyagala, Sonali & Fine, Ben, 2001. "New Trade Theory versus Old Trade Policy: A Continuing Enigma," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(6), pages 809-25, November.
  4. Tybout, James & de Melo, Jamie & Corbo, Vittorio, 1991. "The effects of trade reforms on scale and technical efficiency : New evidence from Chile," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 231-250, November.
  5. Pavcnik, Nina, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvement: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 245-76, January.
  6. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Jere H. Behrman, 1976. "Appendices to "Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development: Chile"," NBER Chapters, in: Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development: Chile, pages 313-390 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rodrigo Fuentes, 1995. "Openness and economic efficiency: evidence from the Chilean manufacturing industry," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 22(2 Year 19), pages 357-387, December.
  9. Sangho Kim & Gwangho Han, 2001. "A Decomposition of Total Factor Productivity Growth in Korean Manufacturing Industries: A Stochastic Frontier Approach," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 269-281, November.
  10. Lee, Jong-Wha, 1995. "Capital goods imports and long-run growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 91-110, October.
  11. Jere H. Behrman, 1976. "Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development: Chile," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number behr76-1, June.
  12. Liu, Lili, 1993. "Entry-exit, learning, and productivity change Evidence from Chile," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 217-242, December.
  13. Rodrik, Rani, 1995. "Trade and industrial policy reform," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 45, pages 2925-2982 Elsevier.
  14. Meeusen, Wim & van den Broeck, Julien, 1977. "Efficiency Estimation from Cobb-Douglas Production Functions with Composed Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 435-44, June.
  15. Sebastian Edwards, 1994. "Trade and Industrial Policy Reform in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 4772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Costello, Donna M, 1993. "A Cross-Country, Cross-Industry Comparison of Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 207-22, April.
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