For decades economists have warned that low levels of public investment in education, health, infrastructure, and security would weaken a country’s economic growth and delay its social development. Unfortunately, that describes many Latin American and Caribbean countries. From 1980 to 2016, public investment in the region grew by almost 10 percentage points slower than in … [Read more...] about Why Don’t Voters Demand More Public Investment?
Politics and Institutions
For democracy to function and economies prosper, people need to believe that their fellow citizens are trustworthy: that they are well intentioned, will honor commitments and will not take advantage of them. When people have little to no information about others, it is difficult to believe that. The fact that Latin America and the Caribbean has the lowest rates of trust in … [Read more...] about Employing Information to Boost Citizen Trust and Welfare
It would always get a laugh from readers of Peanuts. Lucy would hold the football for Charlie Brown to kick. Then she would pull it back at the last minute and send him flying onto his back. The gag, repeated over and over throughout the years, was funny because of Charlie's absurdly trusting behavior. Having been tricked so many times by Lucy, didn't he realize she would trick … [Read more...] about Building Trust for Social Cohesion and Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean
Social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp are becoming primary channels of political engagement in Latin America. Throughout the region’s democracies, large majorities of adults now report receiving or sharing political information on social networks. Ten years ago, only a tenth did so. The dramatic growth in social media’s political relevance cannot be overemphasized. … [Read more...] about Is Social Media Remaking Latin American Elections?
Trust and a sense of citizenship are the pillars of thriving democracies. They are essential to the willingness of citizens to make individual sacrifices in pursuit of collective endeavors that drive a society’s success. Unfortunately, that trust and sense of citizenship have been at historical lows worldwide recently and have been declining even more rapidly in Latin America … [Read more...] about Testing the Impact of Social Media on Trust