By Marina Bassi and Matias Busso Each year tens of thousands of young Latin Americans drop out of school to take low-skilled jobs. The low-level of graduation, with less than 50% of 24-year-olds having completed secondary school, is not only a stumbling block for individuals destined to lives of menial labor. It is a drag on the region's ability to innovate, generate … [Read more...] about How to Keep Kids in School
The aftershocks of earthquakes can go on for months and even years in the ground. But how long do the aftershocks go on in human lives? Disruptions in living conditions and income seem likely to have major impacts on individuals and families over time, particularly in developing countries, but until recently little work has been done to test that intuition against hard data. A … [Read more...] about Quake’n and Shake’n…Forever!
The costs of Latin America’s alarming levels of crime and violence go far beyond even the suffering of the direct victims. They have very real economic, as well as social, repercussions. In Uruguay, crime-related costs absorb 3.2 percent of GDP, diverting critical resources from more productive economic priorities. In Mexico, violence increases unemployment, closes businesses, … [Read more...] about Crime and Violence: An Expensive Problem
How can governments guide people to make choices that would improve their welfare? Traditionally, the focus has been on changing prices; for instance, higher cigarette taxes encourage people to smoke less. Lately, “nudges” have become a favorite tool, and are becoming increasingly popular in developed and developing countries alike. Latin American governments are no … [Read more...] about The Do’s and Don’ts of “Nudging”
Among Latin American nations, Chile has achieved rare success in developing strong macroeconomic fundamentals, a transparent regulatory system, and improving in other indicators of economic and social wellbeing. That should come as no surprise. Chile has good policy features and strong government capabilities. Its congress consists largely of well-educated politicians with … [Read more...] about The Weakest Link: Government Capabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean