Persistence and structural change in the technological specialization of Brazil
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Since the beginning of the nineties, Brazil has been going through a process of trade liberalization. The effects of this process have not been fully under analysis. Most of the literature that deals with this issue has a macroeconomic approach, especially those that concern the trade balance and its fiscal and monetary consequences and the impacts these features have on the growth process. The assessment of the microeconomic consequences of the growth process, apart from being scarce, are limited to studies on the competitiveness of industrial structures, on the productive re-structuring and on consequences over the structure of domestic markets. Trade liberalization may however have deeper consequences on structural transformation than those that have been under investigation and may have effects on the productive specialization of the country (Myro and Alvarez 2003) and particularly on technological competences. A country's technological competences are closely related to its productive and commercial base. Productive transformations may therefore affect the technological structure of a country. This paper aims to investigate changes in the technological specialization of Brazil and to draw a profile of its technological competences before and after the trade liberalization. The paper is organized in four sections apart this introduction and the final conclusions. In the first section, the paper presents a survey of the literature on the determinants of a country's technological specialization and the consequences trade liberalization may have on the allocation of technological efforts across technical fields. The second section describes the database. The third section is dedicated to the analysis of the Brazilian technological specialization through the undertaking of three analyses: (1) the changes in the revealed technological advantages (RTA) as indicator of the technological opportunity; (2) the relative position of Brazil with respect to three groups of countries (leaders, Asian followers and Latin-American followers); and (3) a shift-share analysis of the components of the technological structural change.