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Productivity Growth in Latin America during the Twentieth Century

Author

Listed:
  • Pablo Astorga

    (Oxford Economic Forecasting)

  • Ame R. Bergés

    (Latin American Centre, University of Oxford)

  • Valpy Fitzgerald

    (Latin American Centre, St Antony’s College, Oxford OX2 6JF)

Abstract

Analysis of new comparable series on output and employment between 1900 and 2000 for Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela indicates that productivity growth was significantly higher and less volatile during the middle decades of the century than in the opening and closing decades. The first estimate of total factor productivity (TFP) growth for Latin America during the twentieth century as a whole, derived from the residuals of a skill-augmented production function, indicates that unembodied technical progress was low and that the accumulation of fixed and human capital accounted for almost all recorded economic progress. Sectoral disaggregation suggests that this factor accumulation was associated with increased levels of capital per worker during industrialization on the one hand; and with both out-migration from agriculture and the lagged consequences of a demographic transition on the other. The relatively low rates of human and physical capital accumulation in Latin America remain to be explained, although these are more likely to be associated with inadequate public provision of infrastructure and education than with the cycle of protection and liberalization as such.

Suggested Citation

  • Pablo Astorga & Ame R. Bergés & Valpy Fitzgerald, 2003. "Productivity Growth in Latin America during the Twentieth Century," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _052, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:esohwp:_052
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/2288/52fitzgerald.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard H. Steckel, 2004. "Fluctuations in a Dreadful Childhood: Synthetic Longitudinal Height Data, Relative Prices and Weather in the Short-Term Health of American Slaves," NBER Working Papers 10993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Renato Perim Colistete, 2011. "Revisiting Import-Substitutingindustrialisation In Post-War Brazil," Anais do XXXVIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 38th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 203, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    3. Regina Grafe & Camilla Brautaset, 2006. "The Quiet Transport Revolution: Returns to Scale, Scope and Network Density in Norway`s Nineteenth-Century Sailing Fleet," Economics Series Working Papers 2006-W62, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Mario Cuevas & Sigfrido Lée & Bismarck Pineda, 2010. "Industrial Policy in Guatemala: A Case of Policy Inertia under Changing Paradigms," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 3027, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. Guillaume Daudin, 2008. "Domestic Trade and Market Size in Late Eighteenth-Century France," Economics Series Working Papers 69, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Astorga, Pablo, 2010. "A century of economic growth in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 232-243, July.
    7. Paul Segal, 2009. "Structural Change in Argentina, 1900-1973: The Role of Import Substitution and Factor Endowments," Economics Series Working Papers 437, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    8. Colistete, Renato P., 2010. "Revisiting Import-Substituting Industrialisation in Post-War Brazil," MPRA Paper 24665, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Ame Bergés & Valpy Fitzgerald, 2005. "Endogenous Growth and Exogenous Shocks in Latin America During the Twentieth Century," Economics Series Working Papers 2005-W57, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    10. J.Humphries & T. Leunig, 2007. "Cities, Market Integration and Going to Sea: Stunting and the standard of living in early nineteenth-century England and Wales," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _066, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    11. Barrientos Quiroga, Paola Andrea, 2013. "Convergence Clubs determined by Economic History in Latin America," MPRA Paper 50191, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah, 2006. "Educational Disparity in East and West Pakistan, 1947–71: Was East Pakistan Discriminated Against?," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _063, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    13. Regina Grafe, 2004. "Popish habits vs. nutritional need: Fasting and fish consumption in Iberia in the early modern period," Economics Series Working Papers 2004-W55, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    14. Natalia Mora-Sitja, 2006. "Exploring Changes in Earnings Inequality during Industrialization: Barcelona, 1856-1905," Economics Series Working Papers 2006-W61, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    15. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2005. "Growth, inequality, and poverty in Latin America: historical evidence, controlled conjectures," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wh054104, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    16. repec:oxf:wpaper:75.2 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2007. "When Did Latin America Fall Behind?," NBER Chapters,in: The Decline of Latin American Economies: Growth, Institutions, and Crises, pages 15-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Jane Humphries, 2006. ""Because they are too menny..." Children, Mothers and Fertility Decline: The Evidence from Working-Class Autobiographies of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _064, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    19. Valpy FitzGerald, 2008. "Economic development and fluctuations in earnings inequality in the very long run: The evidence from Latin America 1900-2000," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(8), pages 1028-1048.
    20. Astorga, Pablo, 2007. "Real exchange rates in Latin America : what does the 20th century reveal?," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp07-03, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    21. repec:oxf:wpaper:69.2 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Aggregate Productivity and Growth; Agriculture; Manufacturing; Total Factor Productivity; Human Capital;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
    • N5 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries
    • N6 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction

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