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Growth in a Dual Economy

  • Blomström, Magnus
  • Wolff, Edward N

Growth and structural transformation of the manufacturing sector in developing countries are generally considered to be the result of the expansion of the `modern' (large-scale) sector relative to the `traditional' (small-scale) sector. Examining the sources of labour productivity growth in Mexican manufacturing, however, does not provide support for this conclusion. Although we find that labour productivity levels vary almost in direct relation to establishment size, labour productivity growth shows no systematic variation by size class. In fact, small establishments have had the same rate of labour productivity growth as larger ones, partly because of the `excise-effect' (the exiting of low-productivity, small plants). Moreover, most of the variation in labour productivity across plant class sizes is found to be due to differences in capital intensity. The variation in TFP levels across size classes tends to be small. Thus, our results remove some justification of the policy measures that favour large firms in developing countries.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 861.

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Date of creation: Jan 1994
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:861
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  1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  2. Ranis, Gustav, 1988. "Analytics of development: Dualism," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 73-92 Elsevier.
  3. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-63, September.
  4. David Dollar & Edward N. Wolff, 1993. "Competitiveness, Convergence, and International Specialization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262041359, June.
  5. Magnus Blomstrom & Edward N. Wolff, 1989. "Multinational Corporations and Productivity Convergence in Mexico," NBER Working Papers 3141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Magnus Blomstrom & Edward N. Wolff, 1993. "Growth in a Dual Economy," NBER Working Papers 4433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kokko, Ari, 1994. "Technology, market characteristics, and spillovers," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 279-293, April.
  8. Patricio Meller, 1976. "Efficiency Frontiers for Industrial Establishments of Different Sizes," NBER Chapters, in: Explorations in Economic Research, Volume 3, number 3, pages 77-105 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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