Protección y productividad: Causas y consecuencias de aislar sectores en una economía pequeña
This paper aims to identify the productive sectors that can be isolated from international competition, analyzing the impact on productivity arising from a trade liberalization process. We focused on the case of Uruguay and select a basket of goods that show signs of not being competitive on a non-national scale and, at the same time, have a protection tool that takes the form of non-tariff barriers. In turn, we analyze the effects of protection on sector productivity through a difference-in-difference approach, finding that domestic protection in a context of economic liberalization has a negative impact on firms' productivity. Finally, a quick analysis from the political economy reveals that there are winners and losers in the process of trade liberalization. This makes the exclusion of sensitive sectors a viable mechanism for an opening that otherwise would not be a political equilibrium.
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