"What keeps you up at night?" That was a question posed to a gathering of leaders from government institutions around Latin America and the Caribbean some 25 years ago. In asking that question, the Research Department at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) laid down a mission that it has zealously pursued ever since. It's not just asking government leaders what worries … [Read more...] about The Unique and Essential Mission of Multilateral Research Departments
Politics and Institutions
How can we manage Latin America's lackluster economic growth and its problems of inequality? And what are we to make of the lack of trust in institutions and the rise in populism? To answer some of those questions, Andrés Velasco, the Dean of the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, recently spoke at the IDB as part of the Research … [Read more...] about The Collapse of Trust and the Rise of Populism
If justice is blind in a perfect world, it rarely is so in the real one. Research shows that in the United States, minorities like African-Americans, are more likely to be given harsh bail terms and be incarcerated than whites. Similar prejudices probably exist in Latin America. Rigorous research on the issue is lacking, but it is possible that the low level of trust in the … [Read more...] about Can Algorithms Improve the Criminal Justice System?
As if we couldn't think for ourselves when it comes to pouring hot liquids down our throats, the warnings about hot tea and coffee are ubiquitous. “Caution Handle with Care I’m Hot,” says one cup. "Caution Contents Hot," says another, with variations on the theme repeated in thousands of restaurants and cafes around the world. Businesses, it seems, don't trust us to be careful … [Read more...] about When Too Much Choice Distorts Electoral Results
The awarding of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer hits close to home for several reasons. First, in bringing "an experimental approach to alleviating global poverty," as the Nobel committee said in its Oct. 14 announcement of the prize, these distinguished economists have changed the way we do research at the Research … [Read more...] about A Nobel Prize for Development: A Look From Inside the IDB