Skip to main content
  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2016

Firm Innovation and Productivity in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Engine of Economic Development

Palgrave Macmillan

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 23.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (10 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxv
  2. Innovation Dynamics and Productivity: Evidence for Latin America

    • Gustavo Crespi, Ezequiel Tacsir, Fernando Vargas
    Pages 37-71Open Access
  3. Innovative Activity in the Caribbean: Drivers, Benefits, and Obstacles

    • Preeya Mohan, Patrick Watson, Eric Strobl
    Pages 73-101Open Access
  4. On-the-Job Training in Latin America and the Caribbean: Recent Evidence

    • Carolina González-Velosa, David Rosas, Roberto Flores
    Pages 137-166Open Access
  5. Business Performance in Young Latin American Firms

    • Hugo Kantis, Juan Federico, Pablo Angelelli, Sabrina Ibarra García
    Pages 167-205Open Access
  6. Different Obstacles for Different Productivity Levels? An Analysis of Caribbean Firms

    • Alison Cathles, Siobhan Pangerl
    Pages 207-243Open Access
  7. Credit Access in Latin American Enterprises

    • Andrea F. Presbitero, Roberta Rabellotti
    Pages 245-283Open Access
  8. International Linkages, Value-Added Trade, and Firm Productivity in Latin America and the Caribbean

    • Pierluigi Montalbano, Silvia Nenci, Carlo Pietrobelli
    Pages 285-316Open Access
  9. Innovation and Productivity in Latin American and Caribbean Firms: Conclusions

    • Matteo Grazzi, Carlo Pietrobelli, Adam Szirmai
    Pages 317-324Open Access
  10. Back Matter

    Pages 325-346

About this book

This volume uses the study of firm dynamics to investigate the factors preventing faster productivity growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, pushing past the limits of traditional macroeconomic analyses. Each chapter is dedicated to an examination of a different factor affecting firm productivity - innovation, ICT usage, on-the-job-training, firm age, access to credit, and international linkages - highlighting the differences in firm characteristics, behaviors, and strategies. By showcasing this remarkable heterogeneity, this collection challenges regional policymakers to look beyond one-size-fits-all solutions and create balanced policy mixes tailored to distinct firm needs.      

This book is open access under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO license.     


  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • enterprise
  • micoreconomics
  • enterprise performance
  • Latin America
  • Caribbean


“Why Latin American productivity growth has been systematically low, and certainly lower than in other regions of the world continues to be a major perplexing paradox…  This book brings fresh air into a highly polluted analytical environment overloaded with macro preconceptions and value judgments concerning market functioning and the sources of economic growth. I strongly recommend its reading.” (Jorge Katz, Professor, University of Chile, Chile; former Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC))      

“Grazzi and Pietrobelli have assembled a highly skilled team of internationally prominent scholars offering careful and meticulous analyses to identify what exactly is holding back this important region and how the challenges for economic development can best be achieved. This book is required reading not just for policy makers and scholars concerned with Latin America and the Caribbean, but for all those interested in what impedes and facilitates economic development.” (David Audretsch, Distinguished Professor, Ameritech Chair of Economic Development, and Director, Institute for Development Strategies, Indiana University, USA)  

“The dearth of productivity growth is the biggest puzzle and the biggest win-win opportunity for Latin American development. This book explores many of the connections that we need to understand to realize this opportunity.” (Ricardo Hausmann, Director of the Center for International Development and Professor of the Practice of Economic Development Harvard Kennedy School , Harvard University, USA; External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute, USA)  

Editors and Affiliations

  • Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, USA

    Inter-American Development Bank, Matteo Grazzi

  • Inst Development Sector, E0603, Inter-American Development Bank, Bethesda, USA

    Carlo Pietrobelli

About the editors

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is an international institution created in 1959 to foster economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean.      

Matteo Grazzi is a Specialist in the Competitiveness and Innovation Division of the Inter-American Development Bank. Before joining the IDB, Grazzi worked as a consultant economist at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile, and as a researcher at the Centre for Research on Latin American and Transition Economies Studies (ISLA) at Bocconi University, Italy. He holds a PhD in International Law and Economics from Bocconi University and an MA in Development Economics from the University of Sussex, UK. His main research interests focus on international and development economics, the economics of innovation, and ICT for development.       

Carlo Pietrobelli is a Lead Specialist in the Competitiveness and Innovation Division of the Inter-American Development Bank. Prior to joining the IDB, he was Professor of Economics at the University of Roma Tre, Italy, and Director of the Center for Studies on the Economics of Institutions (CREI). He also served as Deputy Rector for university-Industry linkages at the same university. Pietrobelli holds a PhD in Economics from Oxford University, UK, and has worked as policy adviser for international organizations like the European Commission, the World Bank, IFAD, UNIDO, UNCTAD, ECLAC, CAF, and OECD in many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. His research interests include innovation and technological change, industrial policy, international trade, and clusters and value chains in developing countries. His research has been published in many academic journals and books. At the IDB, Pietrobelli designs and manages programs to promote competitiveness and innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean.       

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Firm Innovation and Productivity in Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Book Subtitle: The Engine of Economic Development

  • Editors: Inter-American Development Bank, Matteo Grazzi, Carlo Pietrobelli

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan New York

  • eBook Packages: Economics and Finance, Economics and Finance (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Inter-American Development Bank 2016

  • License: CC BY-NC-ND IGO

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-1-349-58150-4Published: 21 May 2016

  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-349-58151-1Published: 01 July 2016

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXV, 346

  • Topics: Development Economics, Microeconomics, International Economics, Regional and Spatial Economics

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 23.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)