Productivity Growth in Latin America Over the Long Run
21 Pages Posted: 11 May 2011
Date Written: May 1, 2011
The low pace of Latin American productivity growth in recent decades, despite extensive economic reforms, has yet to be understood in a longer-run context where factors such as demographic changes, structural shifts, and investment levels can be taken fully into account. The OxLAD database provides comparable sectoral output and workforce series over 1900-2000 for the six leading economies in the region for the first time. Our analysis of this new dataset shows that: intersectoral resource reallocation reduced aggregate productivity growth in all three periods; total factor productivity growth was low throughout the century, and even negative in the closing three decades; and thus factor accumulation investment in fixed capital and skilled laborwas the main source of productivity growth in Latin America during the twentieth century.
Keywords: aggregate productivity and growth, agriculture, manufacturing, total factor productivity, human capital
JEL Classification: O1, O4, N3, N5, N6
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