Texto para Discussão, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA) 2208
Since the threshold of the 21st century, the issue of productivity began to occupy a central role in economic debate. From that point, many studies concerning the Brazilian economy have been made, and the unanimous conclusion was that the country has been unable to increase the average productivity of its economy in order to approaches the ones of central countries of the global economy. The resulting diagnostic is that this is a major hindrance for Brazil to overcome its deep social inequality. This study assumes that the average labor productivity of the national economy is so low mainly due to its structural heterogeneity and tries to identify which strata of its productive structure are those with the lowest productivity and responsible for the reduction in the average. It then goes on to identify, both through the analysis of these strata composition and based in international comparisons, that the segment of micro and small businesses is the main responsible for this phenomenon in the country. From that, it analyses the possible trajectories through which this problem could be overcame and assumes that the elevation of the productivity of these firms, instead of a structural change, would be the best course for a process of inclusive development. It also suggests that this trajectory would be the only one able to establish an economic environment in which the overflow of technical progress is absorbed. Finally, it proposes that development policies - particularly the ones of incentive to innovation - should focus on the improvement and modernization of productive and management processes of small businesses.
small business labor productivities development policies