Life is full of people who never save, spend like sailors, and find from one day to the next that they’ve maxed out on their credit cards and must cut back on their lifestyle and even long-term investments like their children’s education. Countries are similar. Nations that don’t save sufficiently and finance investment with borrowing from abroad can suffer catastrophes when … [Read more...] about When Too Much External Borrowing to Finance Investment Gets Dangerous
When it comes to their savings, households want to make sure they choose a type of investment that keeps their money safe and provides a reliable return. While in developed economies these requirements can be met by a simple bank account, in Latin America lack of trust in financial institutions discourages individuals from investing their savings in financial products. Some … [Read more...] about Argentina’s Residential Real Estate: A Magnet for Savings that Trumps Bank Accounts
To what extent is economic behavior determined by culture and to what extent by the economic environment? In an extensive IDB study entitled Saving for Development: How Latin America and the Caribbean Can Save More and Better, the authors consider culture as a possible factor in the region’s abysmally low savings rates. They enter, in the process, into a heated debate that has … [Read more...] about Can Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?
For two decades beginning in the 1990s, Latin American and Caribbean nations became embroiled in a debate over which type of pension system would best provide for retired seniors. Populations were expected to rapidly age. Budgets were tight, and private and national savings rates, low. A way had to be found to guarantee retirements while increasing savings and leaving room for … [Read more...] about Labor Informality and the Pension Disaster
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