Download Who Gains From Free Trade: Export-Led Growth, Inequality by Vos & Ganuza PDF

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By Vos & Ganuza

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Greater reliance on direct investment in financing the external balance and related imports of new technologies and rising intraindustry trade seem important factors behind this trend (De Ferranti et al. 2002; CEPAL 2003). Other external variables, like worker remittances and official transfers played a substantial role in some countries of the region, but these have not been sources of major shocks for the Latin American economy as a whole. As discussed in the country studies, increases in worker remittances induced substantial positive balance-of-payments shocks of greater than 2 per cent of GNP in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay during the 1990s.

To assess the nature and degree of shocks, we adopt a basic balance-of-payments decomposition methodology originating from Balassa (1981) and refined by Avila and Bacha (1987) and FitzGerald and Sarmad (1997). We follow the latter approach here. 1. In the methodology, external shocks and policy responses are determinants of changes in the current account of the balance of payments. Imports are linked to the domestic absorption, and the export volumes are linked to the world trade volume (a measure of export penetration).

But it is not working out that way for most of the countries in the region. Instead of accelerating, growth has decelerated, especially in the countries of South America. 1). 6 per cent in 1999–2001. Only a few countries (Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua and Suriname) did better in the last 5 years than they did in the first five of the decade. However, also these countries saw a steep fall in growth rates towards the end of the decade and into the twenty-first century. 1 saw average incomes decline during 1999–2001.

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