Trust is rare in Latin America, and only getting rarer. Economic and financial mismanagement, corruption scandals, and inequality have taken their toll. According to Latinóbarometro, an annual public opinion survey of 18 countries from the region, trust in government dropped from 45% in 2009 to 22% in 2018, and the share of people who are discontent with democracy soared from … [Read more...] about Can Government Commitments Win Back Citizens’ Trust in Latin America?
As Joana Silva and I document in a recent book, earnings inequality declined in 16 of the 17 countries in Latin America for which consistent statistics can be calculated, although the intensity and turning points diverged across countries. For example, after a decade of stagnant or slowly increasing inequality, the 90th/10th interquantile range of the labor earnings … [Read more...] about Did Education and Job Experience Reduce Inequality in Latin America?
Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean has been disappointing. For commodity exporters, the exceptional 2002-2012 boom boosted investment and relaxed fiscal constraints, but many countries made little progress on improving underlying productivity and their medium-term growth potential. In other countries, particularly some in the Caribbean and Central America, negative … [Read more...] about Boosting Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean
Many policymakers say minimum wage hikes are crucial to reducing inequality. They look at Latin America and see abundant evidence, including the fact that in various countries large minimum wage increases during the commodity boom of the 2000s coincided with large inequality declines. There is certainly some truth to the idea. Minimum wage increases during times of strong … [Read more...] about Minimum Wages and the Fight Against Inequality
To work in the informal sector, as roughly half of Latin Americans do, is to labor in the shadows. It often means working for firms that neither register with authorities, pay taxes or abide by labor regulations. It is to be deprived of health insurance and contributory pensions. And it generally means limited career advancement, as most firms employing informal workers do … [Read more...] about When Less Informality Means Less Inequality