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The Economic Premise series summarizes good practices and key policy findings on topics related to economic policy. They are produced by the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Network Vice-Presidency of the World Bank.
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Gender Equality and Economic Growth in Brazil(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-03) Agénor, Pierre-Richard ; Canuto, OtavianoThis note studies the long-run impacts of policies aimed at fostering gender equality on economic growth in Brazil. After a brief review of gender issues in Brazil, this note describes a framework for quantifying the growth effects of gender-based policies in developing economies. The analysis is based on a computable overlapping generations (OLG) model that accounts for the impact of access to infrastructure on women's time allocation, as well as human capital accumulation, inter- and intra-generational health externalities, and bargaining between spouses. The model is calibrated for Brazil and is used to conduct two experiments, the first involving improved access to infrastructure, and the second a reduction in gender bias in the marketplace. The key lesson of these experiments, is that fostering gender equality, which may depend significantly on the externalities that infrastructure creates in terms of women's time allocation and bargaining power, can have a substantial impact on long-run growth in Brazil.
The Brazilian Competitiveness Cliff(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-02) Canuto, Otaviano ; Reis, Jose Guilherme ; Cavallari, MatheusBrazilian exports of goods and services have grown sharply in recent years, with sales nearly three times higher in 2010 than in 2000. However, Brazil faces considerable competitiveness challenges: its export performance depends mostly on favorable geographical and sector composition effects. Such challenges increased after the recent global economic crisis. A recent slowdown in industrial exports, production, and investments seems related to supply-side difficulties stemming from a wide range of inefficiencies and rising costs, rather than insufficient demand. Although a stronger currency is one of the factors behind the lower competitiveness of Brazil's manufacturing exports, sluggish productivity performance, lack of dynamism at the firm level, and a real wage uptrend seem to explain a significant part of the overall loss of competitiveness. This diagnostic reinforces the urgency of resuming the agenda of microeconomic reforms, increasing the investment-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio, and advancing toward better-skilled human capital.