Policymakers in Latin America and the Caribbean may be keenly aware that the region's crumbling roads, inefficient energy systems, and inadequate water and sanitation hold their countries back. But efforts to improve these and other infrastructure services get the short end of the stick. When governments reduce fiscal deficits, they consistently shortchange capital spending on … [Read more...] about When Improving Infrastructure Can’t Wait
Microeconomics and Competitiveness
For a long time, economists believed that inequality in the labor market could be explained fundamentally by differences in skills. Workers who were highly educated, experienced and skilled tended to be rewarded better by the labor market than workers who weren't. Firms were essentially irrelevant in this paradigm. Workers were rewarded for their productivity: It didn't matter … [Read more...] about Did Changes Among Firms Reduce Wage Inequality in Latin America?
Most of us are biased. We scan the world, making emotional and often automatic judgments about people based on factors like gender, race and socio-economic status. We misjudge people. When it comes to hiring, this can result not only in unfair decisions that penalize deserving candidates, but to more homogenous—and less creative and productive—groups of employees. As we … [Read more...] about Leveraging Behavioral Insights for a More Equitable Workplace
Do welfare programs create dependency? For decades, that question has roiled the United States where supporters call such programs an essential lifeline for the poor and critics condemn them as encouraging laziness and the welfare trap. Latin America and the Caribbean is no stranger to the debate, especially as it concerns conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs. Those … [Read more...] about Cash Transfer Programs: Challenging the Welfare Myth
Cass Sunstein is a Harvard law professor, a former administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and one of the most prolific and admired legal scholars in the United States. He is also a leading light in the field of behavioral economics whose 2008 pioneering book Nudge, co-written with Nobel Prize laureate Richard Thaler, describes the many … [Read more...] about Cass Sunstein on Misconceptions, Biases and How Latin America Can Harness Behavioral Economics