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Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo and Mr. Krishna Srinivasan

Abstract

Brazil is at crossroads, emerging slowly from a historic recession that was preceded by a huge economic boom. Reasons for the historic bust following a boom are manifold. Policy mistakes were an important contributory factor, and included the pursuit of countercyclical policies, introduced to deal with the effects of the global financial crisis, beyond the point where they were helpful. More fundamentally, it reflects longstanding structural weaknesses plaguing the economy, that also help explain Brazil’s uninspiring growth performance over the past four decades.

Ms. Andrea Schaechter

The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx

Mr. Daniel Kaufmann, Aart Kraay, and Pablo Zoido-Lobatón

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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
Mr. Mauricio Vargas
As emphasized by Hausmann, Rodrik and Velasco, the policy challenge of boosting growth requires prioritization and identifying what are the most binding constraints. This paper draws on firm-level data from the World Bank Enterprise Survey, which suggests that the obstacles for the functioning of firms is related to firm size. Recognizing the potential endogeneity and simultaneity between firms' constraints and firm size, we implement an Ordered-Probit model with a potential categorical endogenous regressor to estimate, for the case of Bolivia, the conditional probability of facing obstacles given the firm size category, while controlling for other factors. The results confirm the importance of allowing for the roles of firm size in identifying constraints and suggest priorities for policies to remove constraints to economic performance.