A Comparative Perspective
Edited by Werner Baer and David Fleischer
Chapter 9: Comments on Part III
9. Comments on part III Edmund Amann Chapters 7 and 8 draw our attention to an issue which is perhaps one of the least studied elements in the development process: the role of the services sector. That the sector has been sidelined as a focus for research over the years is not surprising. It is notoriously difficult to measure productivity in parts of the services sector, added to which the existence of informality on a large scale merely compounds the problem of data accuracy and availability. Given the increasingly quantitative nature of development economies it is quite understandable that researchers have focused on sectors for which more plentiful – and reliable – data are available. Still, seeing that by any estimate services account for the bulk of output and employment in most middle-and upper-income developing and emerging economies, it is high time more research effort was made in this direction. Chapter 7, by Ricardo Bebczuk and Chapter 8 by Carlos Azzoni and Joaquim Guilhoto make a welcome contribution. They certainly increase our – all too slender – understanding of the role of services in the ongoing economic development of Argentina and Brazil. In studying the experience of Argentina in the international context, Bebczuk points to the relative growth of the services sector in recent years. For Argentina, the sector currently accounts for no less than 70 per cent of GDP and 82 per cent of employment. Bebczuk’s analysis of Argentina is quick to highlight the role of informality. Interestingly, the data reveal that informality...
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