Trade barriers and productivity growth: cross-industry evidence

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1999-03-01
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This article investigates the impact of trade protection on the evolution of labor productivity and total factor productivity (TFP) of the Brazilian manufacturing sector. An annual panel-dataset of 16 industries for the years 1985 through 1997, a period that includes a major trade liberalization, was used. The regressions reported here are robust to openness indicator (nominal tari®s and e®ective protection rate were used), control variables and time period and suggest that barriers to trade negatively a®ects productivity growth at industry level: those sectors with lower barriers experienced higher growth. We were also able to link the observed increase of industry productivity growth after 1991 to the widespread reduction on exective protection experienced in the country in the nineties.


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