Reformas ecônomicas, mudanças institucionais e crescimento na América Latina

Garcia, Fernando
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Economic reforms implemented by Latin American countries after the second half of the 80s had a lasting effect on the region's scenario. The key objectives behind these measures aimed to foster economic recovery and set the bases for sustainable growth. Recently, many articles have focused on gauging the effects of such reforms on the economic performance of these countries, particularly on the rate of growth. This thesis follows this line of research, which studies the effects of the reforms on the growth of Latin American economies. Yet, the scope of the work is not limited to estimating the impact on the per capita income of these countries. Fundamental determinants of the product were equally taken into consideration: total and partial factor productivity and capital accumulation. The study was build upon the theoretical basis of the neoclassical growth models. The institutional aspect of the reforms allowed to supplement this conceptual framework with elements from models that include institutional-nature variables in the list of per capita income determinants. Consequently, the approach employed in this work enabled to test in what way these measures, seen as institutional changes, have affected the variables under study, something which had not been satisfactorily investigated in the literature. Econometric analysis based on a panel comprised of 17 Latin American countries, between 1970 and 1995, divided into five-year periods, has shown that the five reform areas analyzed - trade opening, capital account liberalization, privatization, and financial as well as tax reforms - had a positive impact on the per-capita GDP. Moreover, empirical investigation demonstrated that the positive effect on the physical-capital productivity was the main channel through which the reforms fostered growth in such economies. There is also evidence that the effect on capital accumulation played an important role.

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