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Human Capital and the Urban and Structural Transformation of Countries


  • Pedro Ferreira

    (Fundação Getulio Vargas)

  • Alejandro Badel

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

  • Alexander Monge-Naranjo

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)


We calibrate the model to match some of the salient patterns of structural transformation (sectoral TFP and allocation of labor), urban development (migration, urbanization) and income distribution observed in Brazil since 1960. We use the model to address a prevalent question in development: Why doesn't labor flow from seemingly less productive sectors (e.g. agriculture) to more productive sectors (e.g. manufacturing and services) in developing countries? In our model this lack of reallocation is explained by the lack of skills and qualifications of rural workers and by the cost of housing in cities. In the model, a large share of rural-urban migrants dwells in slums and works providing low-skill services. This feature of our model also explains why average TFP in services fall in periods of large rural-urban migrations.

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Ferreira & Alejandro Badel & Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2013. "Human Capital and the Urban and Structural Transformation of Countries," 2013 Meeting Papers 704, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:704

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    Cited by:

    1. Cavalcanti Ferreira, Pedro & Monge-Naranjo, Alexander & Torres de Mello Pereira, Luciene, 2014. "Education Policies and Structural Transformation," Working Papers 2014-39, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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