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This paper focuses on a model in which low (high) export demand elasticities and the fact that developing countries are importers of capital goods help explaining the slow (high) growth of these countries. The question arises whether export demand elasticities are low or high. For answering this question, export demand elasticities for the case of Brazil are estimated using a growth model. As a by-product of estimating the model, we obtain estimates for total-factor productivity growth and for scale economies. Based on the results from estimation we calculate steady-state growth rates, engine and handmaiden effects of growth as well as dynamic steady-state gains from trade. The model and the results are discussed in regard to several strands of literature.

Prebisch and Singer have initiated several debates in economics, which have generated much research. Some of these debates may have coerged to a compromise, whereas others are much less researched. We briefly summarize them in the next section in order to point out that the implications for growth theory have been largely neglected. Then we will present a growth model and estimate which show that income and price elasticities matter for long-run growth.