When people think of climate change's effects on the Caribbean, they tend to think of rising seas and extreme weather, like Irma and Maria - the Category 5 hurricanes that ripped through the region in September 2017, killing hundreds and causing billions of dollars in damage. Those calamities are a key reason that the Caribbean region, though a small emitter of greenhouse … [Read more...] about Surging Temperatures and the Threat to Caribbean Growth
Latin America needs to increase its rate of tax collection. With budgets tight and capital spending meager, the region can't tolerate rates of evasion for personal and corporate income taxes of up to 50% in many countries. Moreover, in a region already very unequal, tax evasion tends to increase inequality. But the challenges of improving tax collection are immense. Apart … [Read more...] about The Pros and Cons of Simplified Tax Notices and Amnesties
Ask anyone in a Western society what makes the world go round, and they are likely to say selfishness, or at least self-interest. It is an idea drilled into us by Thomas Hobbes more than three hundred years ago and by Adam Smith, who argued for the benefits of self-interest in economic progress. It seems more than obvious in our dog-eat-dog world. But psychology and … [Read more...] about Some Economists Say We’re Less Selfish Than We Think. Why?
When a evening stroll to the corner store or a neighbor's house feels treacherous; when communities feel besieged by burglars, pickpockets, and muggers; it is tempting to call for stricter and more severe jail sentences. Locking up criminals, after all, gets them off the street. It is one reason why there has been a popular drive towards greater incarceration in Latin America … [Read more...] about How Better Ambient and Street Lighting Reduces Crime
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