Thirty years ago, as part of their development strategy, and after many years of protectionism, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean embarked on a process of ambitious trade liberalization. This was only one of many different reforms made in the framework of the Washington consensus. But it was without question the most important one. Tariffs were eliminated, … [Read more...] about Ensuring that the Gains from Trade are Inclusive and Sustainable
Is free trade beneficial to Latin America and the Caribbean? Most economists believe it is. Free trade allows countries to specialize in what they do best, developing competitive advantages and leading to greater consumer choice and lower prices. Most citizens seem to agree. An IDB-commissioned poll, included in the cross-regional Latinobarómetro survey, finds popular … [Read more...] about The Psychology of Support for Trade
One of the most complicated areas of the political economy of public policy in Latin America is related to the difficulties of coordination. While many policies can be carried out by a ministry or public agency without the need to coordinate with other ministries and agencies, the success of policies in other cases depends on cooperation and coordination. And, unfortunately, … [Read more...] about Coordination: Key to the Success of Public Policies
Over the last two years, Latin America has experienced significant movements in nominal exchange rates. Between June 2014 and October 2015, most of the larger countries in the region —including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Uruguay — saw nominal depreciations of at least 15 percent. The Brazilian Real lost more than 42 percent of its value vis-à-vis the US … [Read more...] about Have Latin American Countries Become More Competitive?
Productive development policies (or industrial policies) can prove to be a key tool for a country’s development. Yet, as experience in Latin America clearly shows, they can also create serious problems. Nevertheless, these policies take a variety of forms. The key question is: what types of industrial policies should be adopted and which ones should not? This issue was the … [Read more...] about Productive Development Policies in a Nutshell: A Tale of Two Interventions