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Argentina The gap in GDP per capita relative to the upper half of OECD countries remains sizeable, reflecting low productivity and labour utilisation. Investment growth has accelerated, but an important infrastructure gap remains. Poverty and inequality remain high by OECD standards. The quality of education remains poor, contributing to low social mobility. Greenhouse gas emissions per capita are well below the OECD average and population exposure to air pollution is lower than in other emerging-market economies. New sources of renewable energy are being developed. A recent tax reform will reduce highly distortive taxes and strengthen incentives for the formalisation of lowincome earners. Import tariffs have been reduced for selected products and a new competition law has been passed. Progress has also been made on scaling back regressive energy subsidies, freeing resources for spending with a better social and environmental footprint. Reducing trade barriers will allow firms to reap the benefits of integration into the global economy and strengthen competitiveness and export performance. This will translate into more productive and better-paid jobs. More needs to be done in the areas of product market regulation and competition to allow a more efficient allocation of resources. Reducing educational inequalities and improving skills throughout the working life would increase employment and labour productivity. In particular, technical courses will improve the employment prospects of those with low skills. Improving access to quality childcare would encourage higher female labour participation and foster growth and inclusiveness. Growth performance, inequality and environment indicators: Argentina A. Growth Average annual growth rates (%) GDP per capita

2002-08 7.0

C. Gaps in GDP per capita and productivity remain large

2012-18 -1.0

Gap to the upper half of OECD countries3 Per cent 0

B. Inequality and environment Level


2017 Gini coefficient1 Share of national disposable income held by the poorest 20%

GHG emissions per capita2 (tonnes of CO2 equivalent) GHG emissions per unit of GDP2 (kg of CO2 equivalent per USD) Share in global GHG emissions2 (%) * OECD simple average (weighted average for emissions data)

40.6 (31.7)*

2015 8.8 (12.3)* 0.5 (0.3)*

5.2 (7.6)* Average of levels 2010-2012-2015 8.9 (12.8)* 0.5 (0.4)*



-20 -30 -40

-50 -60 -70 GDP per capita

GDP per employee


Source: Panel A: OECD, Economic Outlook Database; Panel B: OECD, Income Distribution and National Accounts Databases and World Bank, World Development Indicators (WDI) Database; International Energy Agency (IEA), Energy Database; Panel C: OECD, Economic Outlook Database; International Labour Organisation (ILO), Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM) Database. StatLink 2

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Policy indicators: Argentina B. Participation of women in the labour market is low

A. Trade protection is high Weighted average of applied tariff rates Manufacturing, 2017 (%)

Gender employment gap for working-age population Percentage points, 2017 40




6 20 4 10




Advanced economies




Advanced economies




Source: Panel A: World Bank, World Integrated Trade Solution Database; Panel B: OECD, Labour Force Statistics Database and Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos de la República Argentina (INDEC). StatLink 2

Beyond GDP per capita: Argentina A. Inequality is higher than in advanced economies Gini coefficient, 2016 or last available year¹ SVK, 24.1


Advanced economies median, 29.7

ZAF, 63.0

Emerging economies median, 46.2

B. Exposure to fine particulate matter is lower than in emerging economies Percentage of population exposed to PM2.5, 20172


Advanced economies

< 10 μg/m³ 10-35 μg/m³

Emerging economies

> 35 μg/m³

World 0









90 100

Source: Panel A: OECD, Income Distribution Database, World Bank, World Development Indicators Database and China National Bureau of Statistics; Panel B: OECD, Environment Database. Note: For the explanation of the sets of indicators above, please go to the metadata annex at the end of this chapter. StatLink 2

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Argentina: Going for Growth 2019 priorities Reduce barriers to trade and regulatory burdens. High trade and regulatory barriers curtail competition, affecting competitiveness, exports and integration into global value chains. 

Actions taken: Tariffs have been cut to zero for notebook and tablet computers in 2017. The number of products subject to non-automatic import licenses has been reduced continuously since 2017 but still contains over 1000 products. Administrative burdens have been eased, including with the creation of a single window in 2017.

Recommendations: Reduce tariffs through a combination of new trade agreements and unilateral action to foster a stronger integration into the world economy. Raise competition by reducing administrative barriers to trade and entrepreneurship.

Enhance outcomes and equity in education. Educational outcomes remain far below OECD standards, and are strongly linked to students’ socio-economic status. Better education can help reduce income inequality. 

Actions taken: A new long-term plan for reforming secondary education has been designed although the exact timing of its implementation is not yet defined.

Recommendations: Invest more in early childhood education to reduce the gap generated by family environments early in life. Reshape teacher careers and support their professional growth early on. Scale up the current offer of vocational and lifelong education, and in particular technical courses and training to help displaced workers find new jobs. Strengthen the linkages between school and tertiary curricula and the labour market. Properly assess and anticipate skills needs to boost innovation and respond to future labour-market needs.

Improve infrastructure and reduce regional disparities. Significant gaps in infrastructure restrain economic growth and job creation, while contributing to wide regional income inequalities. 

Actions taken: In 2017, public infrastructure investment has risen and a number of key projects have been started. A new airport for low-cost flights in Buenos Aires has commenced operations in 2018. In face of fiscal adjustment, several infrastructure projects are now being developed as public-private partnerships.

Recommendations: Implement planned infrastructure projects – both those planned as public investment and as public-private partnerships – to promote connectivity and intraregional trade within the country. Improve the capacity of subnational governments to execute projects without unnecessary delays.

Facilitate labour force participation of women. Increasing participation of women in the labour force can have a significant impact on economic growth and reduce income inequality. 

Actions taken: A draft law to promote gender equality was submitted to Congress in 2018.

Recommendations: Increase spending on active labour market policies to help improve skills and promote employment opportunities for women. Continue improving access to quality childcare for children under 3 years of age. Reduce tax disincentives for women to work. Work towards a more equal system of paternity and maternity leave and promote equal pay. Promote gender diversity in leadership positions in public sector and private companies, notably by promoting transparency on gender balance and establishing gender goals in management.

ď ź 85 Continue improving the efficiency of the tax system by broadening tax bases and moving towards less distortive taxes. Despite recent progress, the tax system could do more to encourage productivity growth and reduce inequality. ď&#x201A;ˇ

Actions taken: A 2017 tax reform has established a timeline for the gradual reduction of provincial revenue-based taxes and has reduced the disincentives for hiring low-wage workers on formal contracts.


Recommendations: Continue with the planned implementation of scaling back distortive taxes such as provincial revenue-based taxes and those on financial transactions. Broaden tax bases in personal income taxation by bringing more people into the personal income tax system and eliminate loopholes like the preferential tax treatment of certain investment incomes.

Profile for OECD

Going for Growth - Argentina  

Going for Growth - Argentina