Conditional cash transfers are powerful tools of social progress in Latin America and the Caribbean. They have reduced short-term poverty for tens of millions of people by providing a monthly stipend and have helped break the intergenerational transmission of poverty by linking financial assistance to behaviors that enhance human capital, like school attendance and health … [Read more...] about Protecting Conditional Cash Transfers
An old Irish joke has a tourist in the rural west of Ireland asking a local if he knows how to get to Dublin. After a long pause and considerable thought, the local replies, “yes, but I wouldn’t start from here.” Unfortunately, with the highest overall fiscal deficit of any region of the world in 2017 (over 6% of GDP) this is a bit how it feels in Latin America and the … [Read more...] about The Big Adjustment: Fiscal Challenges for Latin America and the Caribbean
Not since Italy's Mani pulite ("clean hands") investigations into political corruption has there been anything like it in Europe or the Americas. In Latin America, it is unprecedented. A sitting president is under indictment; a former president has been convicted, and dozens of lawmakers and their corporate allies have gone to jail. A few decades ago, Brazilians might have … [Read more...] about The Truth About Judicial Reform
A healthy democracy requires widespread voting and an informed electorate. But by those standards many, if not most, democracies are ailing. In the United States, less than 60% of the voting age population turned out to vote in the 2016 presidential elections. Even so, many voters have little idea of the basics of the U.S. system and fewer than a quarter know who their senators … [Read more...] about Can Mandatory Voting Improve Democracy?
Over the last three months, tens of thousands of demonstrators have poured into the streets of Brazil's major cities, blocking roads, clashing with police, and bringing public transport to a halt in protests in which pensions loom large. But Brazil's pension crisis, which has the government trying to raise the minimum retirement age and workers angrily pushing back, will not be … [Read more...] about When Poorly Designed Pensions Threaten the Future