IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Old and new dualisms in Latin America and Asia: labour productivity, international competitiveness and income distribution

Listed author(s):
  • Escaith, Hubert

Using sectoral growth accounting techniques from a structural perspective à la Lewis, the paper analyzes the structural determinants of labour productivity in Asia and Latin America, indicating a contrasted situation between both developing regions. While Asia appears to be engaged in a relatively smooth transition from the low productivity traditional activities to a more industrialized economy, the pattern emerging out of the Latin American data indicates the presence of polarizing forces, and the resurgence of a new dualistic economy. From a systemic perspective, Asia has been progressively closing the productivity gap with industrialised countries, gaining international competitiveness, while Latin America has been losing ground despite advances at the microeconomic level. Two structural trends led to the deterioration of the income distribution in Latin America: strong demand for high qualification workers, pushing up the salary of professionals and technicians (same happened in Asia); and a deficit of job opportunities in the manufacture sector, leading to an excess supply of labour in the services sector and a decline in value added per worker. The emergence of a large urban informal sector in Latin America epitomizes this situation. The structural models used for the analysis suggest also some lines of action for policy making, facilitating resource reallocation from low to high productivity sectors, while limiting spurious inter-sectoral shifts. This text is an unpublished author's translation of the original article "Dualismos antiguos y contemporáneos en América Latina y Asia" Revista Trabajo no.5, año 3, 2007; OIT/UAM México.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 14510.

in new window

Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision: 2008
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14510
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Helene Poirson Ward, 2000. "Factor Reallocation and Growth in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 00/94, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Siegfried Bender & Kui-Wai Li, 2002. "The Changing Trade and Revealed Comparative Advantages of Asian and Latin American Manufacture Exports," Working Papers 843, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14510. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.