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Microeconomic Flexibility in Latin America

Author

Listed:
  • Ricardo J. Caballero
  • Eduardo M.R.A. Engel

    () (Dept. of Economics, Yale University)

  • Alejandro Micco

Abstract

We characterize the degree of microeconomic inflexibility in several Latin American economies and find that Brazil, Chile and Colombia are more flexible than Mexico and Venezuela. The difference in flexibility among these economies is mainly explained by the behavior of large establishments, which adjust more promptly in the more flexible economies, especially when accumulated shocks are substantial. We also study the path of flexibility in Chile and show that it declined in the aftermath of the Asian crisis. This decline can account for a substantial fraction of the large decline in TFP-growth in Chile since 1997 (from 3.1 percent per year for the preceding decade, to about 0.3 percent after that). Moreover, if it were to persist, it could permanently shave off almost half of a percent from Chile's structural rate of growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & Alejandro Micco, 2004. "Microeconomic Flexibility in Latin America," Working Papers 884, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:884
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel, 1993. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 359-383.
    2. Ricardo Caballero & Eduardo Engel & Alejandro Micco, 2005. "Microeconomic Flexibility in Latin America," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Jorge Restrepo & Andrea Tokman R. & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Edi (ed.), Labor Markets and Institutions, edition 1, volume 8, chapter 10, pages 329-366 Central Bank of Chile.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo Caballero & Eduardo Engel & Alejandro Micco, 2005. "Microeconomic Flexibility in Latin America," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Jorge Restrepo & Andrea Tokman R. & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Edi (ed.), Labor Markets and Institutions, edition 1, volume 8, chapter 10, pages 329-366 Central Bank of Chile.
    2. Bergoeing, Raphael & Loayza, Norman & Repetto, Andrea, 2004. "Slow recoveries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 473-506, December.
    3. Sara Guerschanik Calvo, 2010. "The Global Financial Crisis of 2008-10: A View from the Social Sectors," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-18, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    4. Etienne Gagnon, 2009. "Price Setting during Low and High Inflation: Evidence from Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1221-1263.
    5. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Cowan, Kevin N. & Engel, Eduardo M.R.A. & Micco, Alejandro, 2013. "Effective labor regulation and microeconomic flexibility," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 92-104.
    6. William Maloney & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2007. "Innovation Shortfalls," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 665-684, November.
    7. Marcela Eslava & John Haltiwanger & Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler, 2010. "Factor Adjustments after Deregulation: Panel Evidence from Colombian Plants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 378-391, May.
    8. Norman V. Loayza & Luis Servén, 2010. "Business Regulation and Economic Performance," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2554.
    9. World Bank, 2007. "Chile : Investment Climate Assessment, Volume 2. Background Chapters," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7716, The World Bank.
    10. William Maloney & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2005. "Insuficiencias de innovación," Research Department Publications 4430, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    11. Pablo Egaña & Alejandro Micco, 2011. "Labor Market in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Missing Reform," Working Papers wp345, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    12. Hernando Zuleta & Orlando Gracia, 2004. "The Free Trade Agreement between Colombia and USA: What can happen to Colombia?," INVESTIGACIÓN ECONÓMICA EN COLOMBIA 003594, FUNDACIÓN PONDO.
    13. Orlando Gracia & Hernando Zuleta, 2009. "Tratado de Libre Comercio entre Colombia y Estados Unidos: ¿Que? impacto puede tener en Colombia?," COYUNTURA ECONÓMICA, FEDESARROLLO, June.
    14. Almeida, Rita K. & Carneiro, Pedro, 2007. "Inequality and Employment in a Dual Economy: Enforcement of Labor Regulation in Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 3094, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Esteban Puentes & Dante Contreras & Claudia Sanhueza, 2007. "Self-Employment in Chile, long run trends and education and age structures changes," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 34(2 Year 20), pages 203-247, December.
    16. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2008. "Mandated benefits, employment, and inequality in a dual economy," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 45051, The World Bank.
    17. Loayza, Norman V. & Oviedo, Ana Maria & Serven, Luis, 2005. "Regulation and macroeconomic performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3469, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Microeconomic rigidities; creative-destruction; job flows; restructuring and reallocation; productivity growth;

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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