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The awakening of an andean tiger: can Colombia´s recent growth create enough employment?


  • Andres Escobar Espinosa



El crecimiento económico estuvo en ascenso en Colombia, alcanzando y sobrepasando tasas del 6% durante 2006 y 2007. ¿El crecimiento económico ha sido suficiente para absorber a los trabajadores colombianos? El denominado crecimiento sin empleo" parece estar presente en la historia reciente de Colombia. En el transcurso del tiempo, periodos de alto crecimiento económico estuvieron asociados con el aumento del empleo. Durante periodos de alto crecimiento (1974-80 y 1985-1994), el incremento en un punto porcentual del PIB manufacturero colombiano representó un incremento de 0.3 a 0.5 puntos porcentuales en la creación de empleo. Sin embargo, durante el periodo reciente de recuperación económica (2001-2005), el empleo permanente en el sector industrial simplemente se redujo. El crecimiento de las pequeñas empresas, en particular, aquellas involucradas en la industria liviana y pesada, y enfocadas al mercado nacional, representa el segmento de la economía con incrementos en el empleo durante el último periodo." ****** Economic growth has been on the rise in Colombia and surpassed 6% in 2006 and 2007. Has growth been enough to absorb Colombian workers? Jobless growth seems to have marked Colombia’s recent economic history. Over time, periods of high growth in Colombia have been associated with increases in employment. During periods of high growth (1974-80 and 1985-1994), one percent increase in Colombian manufacturing GDP translated into an increase of about 0.3 to 0.5 percent in employment. However, during the most recent growth period (20012005), permanent manufacturing employment simply dropped. Growth in small firms, particularly those in light and heavy industries, producing for the domestic market was the one segment of the economy with employment growth over the latter period.

Suggested Citation

  • Andres Escobar Espinosa, 2009. "The awakening of an andean tiger: can Colombia´s recent growth create enough employment?," REVISTA PANORAMA ECONÓMICO 007085, UNIVERSIDAD DE CARTAGENA.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000407:007085

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mauricio Cardenas & Raquel Bernal, 2004. "Determinants of Labor Demand in Colombia. 1976-1996," NBER Chapters,in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 229-272 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. BUSSOLO Maurizio & LAY Jann, "undated". "Globalization and Poverty Changes in Colombia," EcoMod2003 330700029, EcoMod.
    3. Rómulo A.Chumacero & J.Rodrigo Fuentes, 2006. "Economic growth in Latin America: structural breaks or fundamentals," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 33(2 Year 20), pages 141-154, December.
    4. Luis Eduardo Fajardo & Juan Carlos Guataquí, 2000. "La corte constitucional y la flexibilidad del mercado laboral," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 2(3), pages 80-103, July-dece.
    5. Marcela Meléndez & Katja Seim & Pablo Medina, 2003. "Productivity Dynamics Of The Colombian Manufacturing Sector," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003390, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    6. Juan Carlos Echeverry & Mauricio Santamaria, 2004. "The Political Economy Of Labor Reform In Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003618, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
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    More about this item


    Wage trends; employment-wage trade-off; labour market institutions; comparative economic growth; Tendencias Salariales; Intercambio empleo-salario; Instituciones Laborales; Crecimiento Económico Comparativo.;

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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