Structural Reforms, Productivity and Technological Change in Latin America

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Profound structural reforms have moved Latin America and the Caribbean from closed, state-dominated economies to ones that are more market-oriented and open to the rest of the world. This publication looks at the effects of these reforms in an effort to determine whether such expectations as growth, increased productivity, the creation of new jobs and greater equity have been fulfilled. Focusing on technological change, the publication also examines the impact of the reforms on the process of innovation.




More than two decades have passed since the region’s first attempts to move towards a development strategy that was more open to foreign competition and more deregulated, in which the State had a smaller role in production activities. Those earliest efforts were made at the start of the 1970s by Chile and were later followed by similar initiatives in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica and Brazil in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The change in development paradigm, which entailed the abandonment of the inward-oriented, state-led model of the postwar period, brought about great macro-, meso- and microeconomic changes. The production structure and the institutional and regulatory regime of the countries of the region underwent significant change as part of a profound, long-term structural transformation that is far from finished.


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