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 already elapsed since the first attempts were made in Latin America to move towards a development strategy that was more open to external competition and more deregulated, with less participation of the State as a producer of goods and services. Efforts in this direction began in Chile in the early 1970s and Argentina later in the same decade; Mexico and Costa Rica followed suit in the 1980s. Brazil appears as a late reformer, initiating market-oriented reforms only in the early 1990s. Such a paradigmatic change prompted enormous macro-, meso- and microeconomic changes. The production structure and the institutional and regulatory environment of the Latin American countries is currently in the middle of a deep, long-term structural transformation.


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