Policymakers in emerging economies have long suffered sudden stops, those paralyzing episodes in which foreign credit dries up. Such episodes can cause painful domestic adjustments that exact significant losses in GDP. But not all sudden stops are equal, and they do not all inflict the same amount of pain. Take the case of Latin America. During the Tequila Crisis, when foreign … [Read more...] about What Are the Antidotes to Sudden Stops?
Why do governments need to save? In large part, for some of the same reasons people and firms need to save: to invest and help their economies grow and prosper. Public saving may make up less of national saving than household or corporate saving in Latin America and the Caribbean. But it is nonetheless vital to overall economic health. Greater public saving would allow … [Read more...] about Trimming the Fat for Better Growth
Colombian Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas once posed a question in an international meeting that has resounded as among the most significant for government planners. A finance minister has limited resources and a narrow window of reform. In which sectors will reform pay off most in terms of increasing per capita incomes? As countries in Latin America and the Caribbean—and … [Read more...] about A New Tool to Help Boost Incomes
How should Latin American countries invest in capabilities to boost their per capita incomes? Research at the IDB suggests that much of the gap in income per-capita levels between Latin American countries and the United States is due not to the amount of capital accumulated. Rather it is a result of drops in the region's productivity levels vis-à-vis the U.S. The trick is … [Read more...] about Jumping to Higher Productivity and Income