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Venezuela's Growth Experience

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Listed:
  • Omar D Bello
  • Juan S Blyde
  • Diego Restuccia

Abstract

The standard of living, measured as gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, increased dramatically in Venezuela relative to that of the United States from 20 percent in 1920 to 90 percent in 1958, but since then has collapsed to around 30 percent nowadays. What explains these remarkable growth and collapse episodes? Using a standard development accounting framework, we show that the growth episode is mainly accounted for by an increase in capital accumulation and knowledge transfer associated with the foreign direct investment in the booming oil industry. The collapse episode is accounted for equally by a fall in total factor productivity and in capital accumulation. We analyze Venezuela during the collapse episode in the context of a model of heterogeneous production units were policies and institutions favour unproductive in detriment of more productive activities. These policies generate misallocation, lower TFP, and a decline in capital accumulation. We show in the context of an heterogeneous-establishment growth model that distortionary policies can explain between 80 to 95 percent of the current differences in TFP, capital accumulation, and income per capita between Venezuela and the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Omar D Bello & Juan S Blyde & Diego Restuccia, 2011. "Venezuela's Growth Experience," Working Papers tecipa-431, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-431
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    3. Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2002. "The Role of Agriculture in Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 160-164, May.
    4. SchmitzJr, James A., 2001. "Government production of investment goods and aggregate labor productivity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 163-187, February.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Venezuela's downfall
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-06-29 19:22:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Jose Maria Da-Rocha & Marina Mendes Tavares & Diego Restuccia, 2014. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Endogenous Establishment-Level Productivity," Working Papers tecipa-523, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    2. Betty Agnani & Amaia Iza, 2005. "Growth in an oil abundant economy: The case of Venezuela," DEGIT Conference Papers c010_053, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    3. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2013. "Misallocation and productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 1-10, January.
    4. Diego Restuccia, 2013. "The Latin American Development Problem: An Interpretation," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 69-108, January.
    5. Dhritman Bhattacharya & Nezih Guner & Gustavo Ventura, 2013. "Distortions, Endogenous Managerial Skills and Productivity Differences," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 11-25, January.
    6. Kaiji Chen & Alfonso Irarrazabal, 2015. "The Role of Allocative Efficiency in a Decade of Recovery," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 523-550, July.
    7. Cakir Melek, Nida, 2014. "Productivity, nationalization, and the role of "news": lessons from the 1970s," Research Working Paper RWP 14-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    8. Kaiji Chen & Alfonso Irarrazabal, 2015. "The Role of Allocative Efficiency in a Decade of Recovery," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 523-550, July.
    9. Javad Sadeghzadeh, 2014. "Innovation Subsidies: Misallocation and Technology Upgrade," 2014 Papers psa1207, Job Market Papers.
    10. Miguel Santos, 2016. "The Right Fit for the Wrong Reasons: Real Business Cycle in an Oil-dependent Economy," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 53(1), pages 61-94, December.
    11. Alain Gabler & Markus Poschke, 2013. "Experimentation by Firms, Distortions, and Aggregate Productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 26-38, January.
    12. Pastor, Manuel & Wise, Carol, 2015. "Good-Bye financial crash, hello financial eclecticism: Latin American responses to the 2008–09 global financial crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 200-217.
    13. Ranasinghe, Ashantha, 2014. "Impact of policy distortions on firm-level innovation, productivity dynamics and TFP," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 114-129.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Productivity; physical capital; misallocation; policies;

    JEL classification:

    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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