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The effects of institutional changes on business landscapes: evidence from Brazil


Business landscapes are a way of describing how clustered firm performance varies across industries in a country (Ghemawat, 2000). Despite the fact that the importance of industry effects has been empirically examined (Rumelt, 1991; McGahan and Porter, 1997), there is still an empirical gap concerning how institutional changes affect the configuration of business landscapes. Intititutional changes are typical to emerging markets. From the hyperinflation era in the 1980s to monetary stabilization and liberalization in the 1990’s, institutional change is an important part of business life. We propose to fill this empirical gap using evidence from Brazil. In this country, the analysis focusing on the importance of industry on performance has had a rapid development since the first half of the 2000’s (Brito and Vasconcelos 2004, 2005). As an example, Bandeira-de-Mello and Marcon (2004) built business landscapes for Brazil and proposed a metric based on observed return variance to capture industry effects on the effectiveness of the positioning strategy. Carvalho et al. (2009) analyzed performance variance in Latin American countries and found evidences that the institutional setting played a role in producing observed country differences. We elaborate several business landscapes and test differences in industry performance averages among different institutional settings. We use the Brazilian environment as a “natural experiment” to show how institutional changes affect the distribution of industry performance averages.


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