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Trade and Industrial Policy Reform in Latin America

  • Sebastian Edwards

This paper documents and evaluates the process of trade reforms in Latin America from the mid-1980s until 1993. It provides an analytical and historical discussion of the consequences of industrial policies in the region, from the early 1950s when import-substitution ideas were supported by the Economic Commission for Latin America to the 1990s when liberal regimes were embraced. A careful distinction is made between policies based on strict import substitution and policies that combine high and uneven import tariffs with export promotion. Additionally, the role of supporting policies to assure the success of trade liberalization is assessed. Important questions related to the sequencing of economic reform are discussed in detail, with particular emphasis on the proper sequencing of stabilization and trade reform policies. The extent of trade reform in Latin America is also discussed. The analysis concentrates on the evolution of productivity and exports, and it deals with several countries' experiences. The role of real exchange rates in the trade liberalization process is studied, and the recent trend towards appreciation observed in many countries in the region is scrutinized. Finally the paper contains an analysis of the recent attempts at reviving regional integration agreements, and of the consequences of the completion of GATT for Latin American nations.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4772.

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Date of creation: Jun 1994
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Publication status: Published as "The Short-Run Relation Between Growth and Inflation in Latin America: Comment", American Economic Review, Vol. 73, no. 3 (1983): 477-482.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4772
Note: ITI IFM
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  1. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1992. "Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America," MPRA Paper 13843, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Tybout, James R, 1992. "Linking Trade and Productivity: New Research Directions," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(2), pages 189-211, May.
  3. Corden, W.M., 1984. "The normative theory of international trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 63-130 Elsevier.
  4. Fischer, Stanley, 1986. "Issues in Medium-term Macroeconomic Adjustment," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 1(2), pages 163-82, July.
  5. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1988. "A New Set of International Comparisons of Real Product and Price Levels Estimates for 130 Countries, 1950-1985," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(1), pages 1-25, March.
  7. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Edwards, Sebastian, 1990. "Macroeconomic populism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 247-277, April.
  8. McKinnon, Ronald I., 1982. "The order of economic liberalization: Lessons from Chile and Argentina," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 159-186, January.
  9. Anne O. Krueger, 1980. "Trade Policy as an Input to Development," NBER Working Papers 0466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Saborio, Sylvia & Michalopoulos, Constantine, 1992. "Central America at a crossroads," Policy Research Working Paper Series 922, The World Bank.
  11. Condon, Timothy & Corbo, Vittorio & de Melo, Jaime, 1985. "Productivity growth, external shocks, and capital inflows in Chile: A general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 379-405.
  12. Fischer, Stanley, 1988. "Recent Developments in Macroeconomics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 294-339, June.
  13. Bruton, Henry, 1989. "Import substitution," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 30, pages 1601-1644 Elsevier.
  14. Rodriguez, Carlos Alfredo, 1982. "The Argentine stabilization plan of December 20th," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 10(9), pages 801-811, September.
  15. McGreevey, W., 1990. "Social security in Latin America: issues and options for World Bank," World Bank - Discussion Papers 110, World Bank.
  16. Nouriel Roubini & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Financial Repression and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. De Gregorio, Jose, 1992. "Economic growth in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 59-84, July.
  18. Jeffrey J. Schott, 1991. "Trading Blocs and the World Trading System," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 1-18, 03.
  19. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  20. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1990. "From Stabilization to Growth," NBER Working Papers 3302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Bonelli, Regis, 1992. "Growth and productivity in Brazilian industries : Impacts of trade orientation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 85-109, July.
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