For much of the 1980s and early 1990s, Latin America and the Caribbean was in the throes of hyperinflation. In 1990, for example, 16 of 20 countries in the region had inflation rates above 20%, while in 2018 only three of those countries had inflation above 8%, according to IMF figures. The main ingredients to that success were fiscal reforms, debt negotiations that allowed … [Read more...] about What Brazil Can Teach About Fighting Inflation
Economic performance has long been considered key to voter behavior. "It's the economy, stupid," said a campaign strategist for Bill Clinton, cementing a view that a government's economic record is what voters care most about. But too much emphasis on the economy may be missing other, no less consequential, factors. A recent study by George Ward of the Massachusetts … [Read more...] about Does Happiness Sway Elections?
When a whale washed up on the shores of the Philippines in March with 88 pounds of plastic inside its stomach, people recoiled with horror. Plastic litter on the beaches and in the oceans is unseemly enough. But the idea of innocent animals dying with shopping bags, rice sacks and other plastic litter inside them seemed altogether too much to bear. Each year an estimated … [Read more...] about Stemming the Tide of Plastic Pollution
Latin America and the Caribbean faces uncertain times. Weaker than expected growth in the United States, together with lower corporate earnings and higher interest rates, could lead to a 2.4% accumulated loss in GDP in our region from 2019-2021. Less demand from China might trigger a drop in GDP over the same period, and Brexit potentially threatens to dampen performance in … [Read more...] about As External Challenges Loom, Boosting Growth from Within
When Brazil's government decided in 1967 to create a free trade zone in Manaus, it had glittering visions of Amazonian development. Located at the meeting point of two tributaries of the Amazon river, the so-called "City of the Forest" had fallen on hard times since the end of the rubber boom nearly a century before. Generous reductions in import tariffs and other tax breaks, … [Read more...] about Migration Can Shape Local Development Policies in Unexpected Ways