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Misallocation and Productivity in Colombia’s Manufacturing Industries


  • Adriana Camacho
  • Emily Conover


Following Hsieh and Klenow (2009), this paper studies productivity dispersions in Colombian industrial establishments using the Colombian Annual Manufacturing Survey (AMS) from 1982 to 1998. The United States is used as a benchmark to estimate the reallocation of capital and labor to equalize marginal products across plants in Colombia. Gains are found in manufacturing Total Factor Productivity (TFP) of approximately 3-8 percent and TPF is positively correlated with exporting status, age, size, and location in the central region of the country. There is also suggestive evidence that opening the economy in 1991 is associated with an increase in plant productivity levels for firms that export goods. The 1990 reform that reduced dismissal costs is associated with an increase in productivity, while the reform that increased labor costs in 1993 is associated with a decrease in plants’ productivity. Further work is needed to establish a causal relation between productivity and policy changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Adriana Camacho & Emily Conover, 2010. "Misallocation and Productivity in Colombia’s Manufacturing Industries," Research Department Publications 4654, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4654

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christian Broda & Joshua Greenfield & David Weinstein, 2006. "From Groundnuts to Globalization: A Structural Estimate of Trade and Growth," NBER Working Papers 12512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler, 2009. "Labor Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in Developing Countries: Evidence from Colombia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 335-358, January.
    3. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard M. Bird & Michael Smart, 2012. "Financing Social Expenditures in Developing Countries: Payroll or Value Added Taxes?," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1206, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    2. Ryzhenkov, Mykola, 2016. "Resource misallocation and manufacturing productivity: The case of Ukraine," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 41-55.
    3. Dias, Daniel A. & Robalo Marques, Carlos & Richmond, Christine, 2016. "Misallocation and productivity in the lead up to the Eurozone crisis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 46-70.
    4. Kaiji Chen & Alfonso Irarrazabal, 2015. "The Role of Allocative Efficiency in a Decade of Recovery," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 523-550, July.
    5. Muhammad Haseeb & Theresa Thompson Chaudhry, 2014. "Resource Misallocation and Aggregate Productivity in Punjab," CREB Working papers 1-2014, Centre for Research in Economics and Business, The Lahore School of Economics, revised 2014.
    6. Flora Bellone & Jérémy Mallen-Pisano, 2013. "Is Misallocation Higher in France than in the United States?," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-38, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    7. Kaiji Chen & Alfonso Irarrazabal, 2015. "The Role of Allocative Efficiency in a Decade of Recovery," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 523-550, July.
    8. Kaiji Chen & Alfonso Irarrazabal, 2013. "Misallocation and the recovery of manufacturing TFP after a financial crisis," Working Paper 2013/01, Norges Bank.

    More about this item


    Total Factor Productivity; Industry; Reallocating factors of production; Colombia;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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