Structural Change and Economic Growth under External Constraint in Brazil: An Empirical Analysis
By exploring the implications of a Multi-Sector Thirlwall’s Law, this paper reports empirical exercises that contribute to an understanding of the relationship between structural change, external constraint and growth in Brazil in the 1962-2006 period. Given the sectoral nature of these exercises and their connection to the literature about the II National Development Plan, the results were used to evaluate each sectors’ contribution to the evolution of the weighted income elasticities of exports and imports during the period. These findings provide additional support to the existing debate about the external adjustment promoted between 1974 and 1984. The results suggest that Castro’s (1985) interpretation has empirical support, even if evaluated using a different metric than the one used by the author. But, the results also support Fishlow’s (1986) qualification that the improvement in the trade balance in 1983-1984 was due to a greater extent to the behavior of exports than to the behavior of imports.
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