Do welfare programs create dependency? For decades, that question has roiled the United States where supporters call such programs an essential lifeline for the poor and critics condemn them as encouraging laziness and the welfare trap. Latin America and the Caribbean is no stranger to the debate, especially as it concerns conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs. Those … [Read more...] about Cash Transfer Programs: Challenging the Welfare Myth
An uncomfortable reality lies behind Latin America’s poor growth performance: gains in productivity have been anemic over the last three decades. The costs in long-term GDP growth, as well as higher wages and living standards for Latin America's people, are steep. Over the last decades most Latin American nations adopted a broad agenda of economic liberalization and … [Read more...] about Reforming Regulations that Harm Productivity and Worker Welfare
In science fiction films, artificial intelligence and robots are the bogeymen of the future, replacing us and rendering us useless as they impose their mechanical will upon us. Economists, though less apocalyptic, are sounding alarms too. In a study, economist Carl Benedikt Frey and machine learning expert Michael Osborne examine more than 700 occupations in the United States. … [Read more...] about Will Robots Really Harm Employment?
Patronage is among the least loved of political practices, often synonymous with malfeasance and incompetence. Civic and development organizations rail against it. Numerous studies show that merit-based career civil services, as opposed to discretionary ones, are associated with higher economic growth, lower corruption, and better bureaucratic performance. But patronage, the … [Read more...] about Does Political Patronage Necessarily Lead to Bad Hiring?
The Inter-American Development Bank is offering a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on social policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, including poverty and inequality, early childhood development, education, health, social protection and employment. Entitled Latin American Social Reality, the free, seven-week, introductory course is intended to give journalists, … [Read more...] about IDB Offers MOOC on Social Policy