Renos Vakis is a Lead Economist with the World Bank's Poverty and Equity Global Practice and co-head of its Mind, Behavior and Development Unit. An expert on poverty who has written extensively about both Latin America and South Asia, he helps direct the unit's efforts to apply behavioral science to anti-poverty policies in areas ranging from financial inclusion to early … [Read more...] about Behavioral Science and the Struggle for Social Cohesion
For a long time, economists believed that inequality in the labor market could be explained fundamentally by differences in skills. Workers who were highly educated, experienced and skilled tended to be rewarded better by the labor market than workers who weren't. Firms were essentially irrelevant in this paradigm. Workers were rewarded for their productivity: It didn't matter … [Read more...] about Did Changes Among Firms Reduce Wage Inequality in Latin America?
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