Manufacturing and economic development: the actuality of Kaldor's first and second laws
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The objective of this paper is to evaluate the role of the manufacturing sector in the development process based on two laws of Kaldor. The first law states that the higher the growth of the manufacturing output, the more significant is the growth rate of the economy's product as a whole. The second law, known as the Kaldor-Verdoorn law, establishes a deterministic relation between the growth of manufacturing productivity and manufacturing output growth. This paper begins showing stylized facts of the production and exports of manufactured goods to show that these remain related to the income level of countries in recent years. Thereafter, a theoretical reflection on the importance of manufacturing in the process of economic development is performed, associating it to the manufacturing exports and to the exchange rate regime. Then, the paper performs a Kaldorian model systematization to assess the importance of manufacturing and its exports on the economic development. Econometric tests are performed based on a dynamic panel data for a sample of 63 middle and high-income countries, excluding major exporters of fuels for the period between 1990 and 2011, to analyze whether there is any difference in growth dynamics between these two groups. Estimates attest the occurrence of the two Kaldor laws, demonstrating that output growth in the manufacturing sector is essential to increasing economic growth and productivity, particularly in middle-income economies. The results also confirm that manufacturing exports are relevant to the development process and that the exchange rate contributes to this process in middle-income countries. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.