The Evolution of Labor Productivity in Chile’s exporting sector: a Micro-level Perspective

Juan Carlos Castillo, Bocconi University Milan

This paper studies labor productivity trends in Chile’s exporting sector from 1995-2013, both at the aggregate and at the firm-level. At the aggregate level, we indicate that exporting firms report higher productivity levels than those in the domestic sector given Chile’s increasing outward orientation during the early 2000’s. Our micro-level analysis reveals that foreign and domestically owned firms producing for exports and operating in the context of local value chains are key drivers behind such productivity expansion. While capital deepening and higher use of highly skilled labor remain as common elements for the productivity growth of these exporting firms, our research highlights that higher expenditures on marketing innovation activities constitutes an additional channel by which domestically owned exporters obtain further productivity improvements. Our general econometric evidence also suggest that higher use of imported intermediate does not seem to play a major role on the productivity performance of Chilean top exporting firms.



About the speaker

Juan Carlos Castillo is a post-doctoral research fellow in Applied Economics at Bocconi University and an affiliated researcher at UNU-MERIT. He obtained his PhD degree from UNU-MERIT (2018), under the specialisation track on “Structural Change and Industrialisation” which was sponsored by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). He also holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Business (research) from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands (2012) and, a Licenciatura degree in Economics (honors) from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (2009). Over the course of his PhD studies, he also acted as a tutor for several bachelor level courses (International Economics, Network Economics and, Macroeconomics), as well as a master level course (Innovation). As a research intern for UNIDO and, as a consultant for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), he provided technical assistance for two major policy reports; UNIDO’s 2016 Industrial Development Report and, UNCTAD’s 2018 World Investment Report. 

His main areas of interest are manufacturing micro-level datasets, global input-output systems, multinational firms, industrial policy, global value chains and export processing zones.

Please contact us via jointseminars@merit.unu.edu for Zoom meeting details. 



Venue: via Zoom

Date: 14 May 2020

Time: 14:00 - 15:00


UNU-MERIT