New evidence from Brazil on trade liberalization and productivity growth

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This article presents evidence on the positive effect of international trade on productivity growth using industrial level data preceding and following Brazil's trade liberalization in 1988-90. Our data reveal large and widespread productivity improvement across industries after barriers to trade were drastically reduced. Econometric results confirm the association between trade liberalization and productivity growth and show that the impact was indeed substantial: The observed tariff reduction in the period brought a 6% estimated increase in total factor productivity growth rate and a similar impact on labor productivity.

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