Manufacturing expansion has been special as a vehicle for job creation, productivity increases, and growth in non-advanced economies since the second half of the last century. First in Latin America, followed by Asia, and a renewal of production systems in Eastern Europe, rising manufacturing levels served as a channel to transfer labor from low-productivity occupation to activities using more modern technology coming from abroad.
Related blogs to Otaviano Canuto
The cruise speed with which Latin American economies are starting 2018 will be constrained by low investments and weak productivity growth in the recent past. Positive global economic prospects, the regional cyclical recovery, and policy initiatives to lift productivity are presenting Latin America’s leaders the opportunity to improve that trajectory. Nevertheless, political risks loom ahead.
After a strong rising tide starting in the 1990s, financial globalization seems to have reached a plateau since the global financial crisis. However, that apparent stability has taken place along a deep reshaping of cross-border financial flows, featuring de-banking and an increasing weight of non-banking financial cross-border transactions. Sources of potential instability and long-term funding challenges have morphed accordingly.
Dual transitions are under way in Cuba. The island is slowly opening its economy, and a new crop of younger political leaders, potentially more open to democratic norms, waits in the wings. A third transition, the rise of digital access, is also in an early stage. But it is this third transition that arguably has the most momentum and could significantly accelerate the first two.
Brazil’s labor and total-factor productivity (TFP) have featured anemic increases in the last decades (Canuto, 2016). As we illustrate here, contrary to common view, sector structures of the Brazilian GDP and employment cannot be singled out as major determinants of productivity performance. Horizontal, cross-sector factors hampering productivity increases seem to carry more weight.
The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Robert Lighthizer as United States Trade Representative last week, rounding out President Donald Trump’s cabinet and giving momentum to his trade agenda. At his swearing-in ceremony on May 15, Ambassador Lighthizer predicted that President Trump would permanently reverse “the dangerous trajectory of American trade,” and in turn make “U.S. farmers, ranchers and workers richer and the country safer.” This policy shift will begin in earnest in the coming weeks, when Lighthizer meets with congressional trade leaders to discuss the administration’s plan to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Last week the World Bank released a Staff Note (2017) analyzing the pension reform proposal sent last December by Brazil’s Federal Government to Congress. It concludes that (p.16, our emphasis):
“… the proposed pension reform in Brazil is necessary, urgent if Brazil is to meet its spending rule, and socially balanced in that the proposal mostly eliminates subsidies received under the current rules by formal sector workers and civil servants who belong to the top 60 percent of households by income distribution.”
Turkey has been approaching a crossroads for some time now. Soon enough it will have to choose a direction.
On April 16, 2017 Turks will vote in a referendum on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s proposed constitutional amendment that would shift the country’s power center from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.