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Chile’s Economic Growth

  • Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel

Chile’s average per-capita GDP growth of 4.1% during 1991-2005 was significantly higher than average world growth during the same period and was a strong break from its own past. How much of Chile’s recent growth is trend growth and how much is cyclical, influenced largely by external conditions? Which are the main determinants of Chile’s longterm growth and cyclical fluctuations, according to the recent empirical literature? Which are the country’s main growth strengths and weaknesses, and, based on the latter, which are the policy reforms advocated by recent technical studies and campaign proposals? This review article addresses the latter questions, starting with the facts about Chile’s average growth and growth volatility at the aggregate, regional, and economic-sector level. Then the paper surveys trend growth studies for Chile that range from decomposition by sources of growth to econometric and simulation studies of deep growth determinants, based on international panel-data and national time-series evidence, and on research focused on individual reforms. Studies on short-term output fluctuations and cyclical recoveries in Chile, also comprising cross-country and national time-series evidence, are presented next. The May 2006 issue of Cuadernos de Economía publishes six new, relevant research papers on Chile’s growth, which are briefly introduced. Then the paper reviews selectively growth-enhancing policy proposals that have been put forward by academic authors, international organizations, and presidential candidates in their 2005 campaign programs. An epilogue with brief thoughts about Chile’s growth potential and policy reform challenges closes the paper.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 365.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:365
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