رشد بهره وری در امریکای لاتین: محدوده اصلاحات نئو لیبرالی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|11323||2004||19 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9730 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : World Development, Volume 32, Issue 3, March 2004, Pages 427–445
This paper explores some of the main elements behind poor productivity performance in Latin America under neoliberal reforms. I argue that free market reforms addressed only some of the elements shaping productivity growth, while neglecting others that are complementary and necessary for increases in productivity. A means comparison of different indicators for Latin America and a comparison income group shows that Latin American countries demonstrate, on average, poorer performance in technological capabilities, secondary enrollment rates and infrastructure. More activist government policies need to address these issues, if productivity is to rise in the future.
After 15 years of neoliberal reforms in Latin America productivity growth has been very disappointing. This paper explores some of the underlying reasons. Productivity growth results from the interplay of a number of different elements, which complement each other and cumulatively build on each other. I argue that the neoliberal reforms addressed only some of these elements, most importantly access to technological change, while ignoring others that are also important, particularly firms’ technological capabilities and the countries’ relatively low levels of secondary education. The evidence is mixed on how successful the free market reforms have been with respect to the productivity-enhancing elements that they did address. On the one hand, there is econometric evidence supporting a positive link between trade liberalization and productivity growth. On the other hand, trade liberalization has led to a renewed export concentration in natural-resource based goods for South American countries, products which tend to have lower productivity growth and face lower income elasticities. The evidence also indicates limited linkages between multinational corporations (MNCs) and national enterprises in Latin America. The conceptual framework for the analysis is deliberately comprehensive to highlight the importance of the different factors behind productivity growth. But the analysis does not aim to cover all possible interactions among the different factors or to quantify the relative importance of each of them. Rather the investigation focuses on some of the key complementarities among productivity-shaping factors that were addressed or neglected by neoliberal reforms. The neglect of this complementarity plays an important explanatory role in past productivity performance and demands a set of different policies for the future. The paper is structured as follows. Section 2 provides a brief description of productivity performance in Latin America during the last two decades. Section 3 lays out the conceptual framework for the discussion in this paper. The analysis in Section 4 explores the impact of free market reforms on productivity growth in Latin America, while Section 5 discusses the state of key productivity-shaping elements that neoliberal reforms did not address. The paper concludes with a discussion of policy implications in Section 6.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper explored some of the main elements behind poor productivity growth in Latin America in the 1990s, a period of widespread implementation of free market reforms. Productivity growth is the result of a multitude of factors, which interact in complex and complementary ways. I argue that neoliberal reforms addressed only some of these factors, while neglecting others, which have to be in place in order to achieve sustained productivity growth. Trade liberalization and an open-arms approach to direct foreign investment were corner stones of the neoliberal reform package They were expected to lead to higher productivity growth and economic growth, with increased competitive pressures on domestic producers, greater domestic access to international best practice technologies and production processes and positive spillovers from MNCs to Latin American producers. The expected benefits cannot materialize, however, if the requisite complementarities are not in place. Market liberalization does not happen in a vacuum. If domestic technological capabilities are not developed sufficiently to take advantage of access to new technology from abroad, then trade liberalization may not lead to sustained productivity growth and spillovers from FDI will be limited. Comparing Latin American countries with other countries at similar income levels I found that several critical indicators of domestic technological capabilities are worse in Latin America. If productivity growth is to increase in the future, these issues have to be addressed and governments have to adopt a more activist stance to overcome market failures in critical areas. In contrast to the trend in the global export structure and in Asian countries, primary and resource-based exports continue to dominate the exports of South American countries after the adoption of free-market reforms. By definition that means that high-technology-intensive exports are small and have a limited impact on productivity growth. Path dependency does not mean that paths are unchangeable, but that it takes time to change them. Countries’ revealed comparative advantages do change over time. Fifty years ago, the countries in Latin America tried to change their revealed comparative advantage by pursuing an import substitution strategies. That is not an option at this juncture. The Latin American countries that were most successful in changing their comparative advantage in the Nineties were those where multinational corporations played a major role. But a change in export structure toward greater skill intensity based on direct foreign investment will not lead to overall higher productivity and economic growth, unless there are positive spillover effects. Technological spillovers and linkages do not happen automatically. Domestically-owned companies have to be in a position to be able to absorb the new technology, and develop the product quality, on-time delivery and efficiency to establish lasting linkages with foreign-owned producers. The findings of this paper suggest a number of policy implications, though the exact nature and combination of policies has to be informed by country-specific conditions, of course. Free-market reforms did not address the issue of whether openness to skill-intensive FDI would actually attract it to start with, and then generate linkages. In the post-Washington Consensus era governments need to adopt a more activist approach and develop the policies needed to enable corporations to absorb change, to form clusters, and more generally to overcome market failures regarding technology information and training. In general, it will be critical to develop aggressively the human capital base. Latin American countries enroll a much smaller percentage of students of the relevant age group in secondary school and the quality of public education is poorer than in the average non-Latin American country in the same income group. Thus, it will be critical to adopt policies aimed at improving the quality of public education and making it more possible for students to finish primary school and move on to secondary school. The fact that it takes time to improve the human capital base makes it all the more urgent to start now. Improvements in human capital broadly defined are in many ways an end in itself, as they expand people’s choices and possibilities and enrich their lives. In addition, they are an absolute necessity for future productivity growth, which is an important means towards improving people’s well-being. Infrastructure is another area in which Latin American countries seem to be less competitive than their counterparts, and where improvements are necessary. Finally, the government needs to adopt policies, which increase national companies’ access to financial resources and raise the incentive to adopt and adapt new technology. Detailed specification and execution of the policies above will require increased public investment. But increased resources by themselves will not be enough. Building or strengthening national institutions to foster domestic technological capacity, from research institutes to private sector-university cooperation to institutionalized technical training and management will be equally important in fortifying an overall economic and political environment conducive to the absorption and development of technological change and thus productivity growth.