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Trade Liberalization and Productivity Growth in Latin American Manufacturing, 1970-98

Eva Paus, Nola Reinhardt and Michael Robinson ()

Journal of Economic Policy Reform, 2003, vol. 6, issue 1, 1-15

Abstract: We examine the relationship between trade liberalization and manufacturing labor productivity growth for 27 industries in seven Latin American countries from 1970 to 1998. Our trade variables are export and import growth and a commercial reform index, which capture the various channels through which productivity and trade liberalization may be related. Using the Arellano-Bond GMM estimator, we find a significant positive correlation between all three variables and productivity growth. US productivity growth and distance behind best-practice technology are also significantly correlated with productivity growth. These results have to be understood in the context of sweeping economic reforms and continuing economic difficulties in the countries under investigation.

Date: 2003
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DOI: 10.1080/13841280309599

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