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Structural Transformation and Productivity in Latin America

  • Silva, Leonardo Fonseca da
  • Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti

We investigate the role of sectorial differences in labor productivity and the process of structural transformation (reallocation of labor across sectors) in accounting for the time path of aggregate productivity across six Latin American countries (Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela) from 1950 to 2003. We used a general equilibrium model with three sectors (agriculture, industry and services) calibrated to those six economies. The model is used to compare the trajectory of productivity in each sector of activity with that of the United States and it impact on aggregate productivity.While in Brazil and Argentina, the Service Sector was responsible for reversing the process of catch up in productivity that occurred until the 1980s, in others, like Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela, low productivity growth of the three sectors explain their poor performance.

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 724.

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Date of creation: 12 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:724
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  1. Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira & Samuel De Abreu Pessôa & Fernando A. Veloso, 2013. "On The Evolution Of Total Factor Productivity In Latin America," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 16-30, 01.
  2. Samuel de Abreu Pessoa & Fernando A. Veloso & Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira, 2008. "The Evolution of TFP in Latin America," 2008 Meeting Papers 633, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  4. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2006. "The Role of the Structural Transformation in Aggregate Productivity," 2006 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2007. "The structural transformation and aggregate productivity in Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 23-46, April.
  6. Donghoon Lee & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2004. "Intersectoral Labor Mobility and the Growth of the Service Sector," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Charles I. Jones, . "On the Evolution of the World Income Distribution," Working Papers 97009, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  8. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski, 2009. "The Rise of the Service Economy," NBER Working Papers 14822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gollin, Douglas & Parente, Stephen L. & Rogerson, Richard, 2000. "Farm Work, Home Work And International Productivity Differences," 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL 21797, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  10. Norman Loayza & Pablo Fajnzylber & César Calderón, 2005. "Economic Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean : Stylized Facts, Explanations, and Forecasts," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7315, October.
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  14. Marcel P. Timmer & Gaaitzen J. de Vries, 2009. "Structural change and growth accelerations in Asia and Latin America: a new sectoral data set," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 3(2), pages 165-190, June.
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  16. Berthold Herrendorf & Akos Valentinyi, 2006. "Which Sectors Make the Poor Countries so Unproductive?," 2006 Meeting Papers 304, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Laitner, John, 2000. "Structural Change and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 545-61, July.
  18. Berthold Herrendorf & Ákos Valentinyi, 2012. "Which Sectors Make Poor Countries So Unproductive?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 323-341, 04.
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