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Free Trade Zone of Manaus: An Impact Evaluation using the Synthetic Control Method

Vitor Augusto Possebom


I apply the synthetic control method for Brazilian city-level data during the 20th Century in order to evaluate the economic impact of the Free Trade Zone of Manaus (FTZM). I find that this enterprise zone had positive significant effects on real GDP per capita and Services Total Production per capita, but it also had negative significant effects on Agriculture Total Production per capita. My results suggest that this subsidy policy achieved its goal of promoting regional economic growth at the cost of provoking mis-allocation of resources among economic sectors. They also reject the view that an industrialization policy will benefit all economic sectors due to positive spill-overs of the manufacture sector that are strong enough to compensate for the negative effect of the mis-allocation of resources.


Free Trade Zone of Manaus; Enterprise Zones; Synthetic Control Method

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ISSN 0034-7140 (print) ISSN 1806-9134 (online)