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Revisiting Import-Substituting Industrialisation in Post-War Brazil

  • Colistete, Renato P.

This article reassesses the classic period of Import-Substituting Industrialisation (ISI) in Brazil between 1945 and 1979. New data presented here show that Brazilian industry achieved significant labour productivity growth during the post-war years and became more technologically sophisticated, when measured by manufacturing exports and evidence of specific industries and firms. We also found that Brazil’s labour productivity growth lagged behind what was achieved in other industrialising and developed countries from the mid-1970s. Technological advances were slow and uneven, and most firms relatively backward. Overall these results suggest that a highly heterogeneous structure became a major feature of Brazilian industrialisation, rather than widespread inefficiency and technological stagnation as argued by the dominant interpretation of ISI in Latin America.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 24665.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24665
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  1. 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.
  2. Sebastian Edwards & Gerardo Esquivel & Graciela Márquez, 2007. "The Decline of Latin American Economies: Growth, Institutions, and Crises," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number edwa04-1, October.
  3. Jagdish N. Bhagwati, 1978. "Anatomy and Consequences of Exchange Control Regimes," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bhag78-1, October.
  4. Giovanni Dosi & Keith Pavitt & Luc Soete, 1990. "The Economics of Technical Change and International Trade," LEM Book Series, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, number dosietal-1990, August.
  5. Jan Fagerberg, 2000. "Technological Progress, Structural Change and Productivity Growth: A Comparative Study," Working Papers 5, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  6. Valpy Fitzgerald & Pablo Astorga, 2003. "Productivity Growth in Latin America during the Twentieth Century," Economics Series Working Papers 2003-W52, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Tito Boeri & J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, 2012. "The Political Economy Of Flexicurity," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 684-715, 08.
  8. Syrquin, Moshe, 1988. "Patterns of structural change," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 203-273 Elsevier.
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