The comparative analysis will explicate their economies in the last three decades and identify the factors which aided them to sustain amid global economic recession. The first part will detail the basic information of two countries leading and progressing into comparative discussion…
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Costa Rica & Panama: Basics
Costa Rica has an estimated population of 4.6 million as of July 2011 and a growth rate of 1.3% (IndexMundi, 2012). Sixty-four percent of this population is residing in urban centers of which about 94% are white, 3% black, 1% Amerindian, and 1% Chinese (IndexMundi, 2012). Their language is Spanish and the nation has high literacy rate of 94.9% (IndexMundi, 2012). The country allocated 6.3% and 10.5% in health from its GDP in 2009. The nation is located in the border of Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. It is adjacent to Panama. Its rich geographic area is blessed with mineral, petroleum, hydropower and commercial resources (IndexMundi, 2012).
Panama, on the other hand, has a population of 3.5 million and with a growth rate of 1.5% (IndexMundi, 2012). It has a 0.4 migration per a thousand of populace based and 75% of its people are residing in urban communities (IndexMundi, 2012). Panama has bilingual language: English and Spanish with predominant Roman Catholic religion. The country has allocated about 3.8% of its GDP for education and around 8.3% for health. Panama likewise is blessed with copper. Mahogany forests, hydropower and good shrimp culture among many other natural resources of commercial values. Costa Rica’s Pol-Economy Clare, Seanz and Trejos (2002) pointed that there are empirical evidences showing the decline of Costa Rica’s income per capita in the last decade albeit good economic standing in economic input. Clare et al. (2002) opined that the situation seemed amazing because the 80s to the 90s was the period when the country is undertaking serious reform in trading and fiscal performance. Researcher attributed this mediocre 0.7% annual growth rate of income per capita to influential factors of development: demographic changes (Clare et al., 2002). The latter meant an increasing figure of labor productivity in industrial and agricultural sectors. Economists posit that such increase in participation in production, particularly women and immigrants from Nicaragua. While increased number of labor forces meant growth of income, however, economic activity is slowed by poor labor productivity. Labor productivity has only reached a poor rate of 1.57% in Costa Rica compared to 3-4% labor productivity in East Asian countries (Clare et al., 2002). Using growth accounting, researchers pointed that slow labor productivity growth is reflected in slight negative growth rate of total factor productivity (Clare et al., 2002). This finding is bit odd because the in the last four decades, multitude of technological advancements are poured in this country to support the labor forces in production. Further study using sectoral analysis was in fact utilized to determine whether slow growth of productivity is a universal phenomenon or merely underplayed by a particular sector. Oddly, Clare et al. (2002) found that the industrial and agricultural sectors continued to attain high rates labor growth productivity and TFP while the service sector stagnates in the production. Researchers opined that it’s ironic for the service sector to have decreasing production output noting that it’s absorbing a large share of resources. As a matter of fact, the service sector of Costa Rica has been allocated with budget higher than that of Brazil and Chile (Clare et al. 2002). Economists assumed that the service sector have difficulties in capturing its market. In a disaggregate
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