When Brazil's government decided in 1967 to create a free trade zone in Manaus, it had glittering visions of Amazonian development. Located at the meeting point of two tributaries of the Amazon river, the so-called "City of the Forest" had fallen on hard times since the end of the rubber boom nearly a century before. Generous reductions in import tariffs and other tax breaks, … [Read more...] about Migration Can Shape Local Development Policies in Unexpected Ways
When it comes to urban economic development, everything is a question of tradeoffs. There are, as economists like to say, "no free lunches." Consider California. The astronomical wages paid by firms like Google, Apple and other digital firms draw thousands of people to the Silicon Valley/San Francisco area, and the high wages of the Hollywood studios lure people to Los … [Read more...] about Who Benefits from Job Creation in Cities?
What's the big fuss over 2 degrees Celsius? That's the temperature increase to which 195 countries agreed to limit global warming at the 2015 Paris climate talks. And it would seem to be trivial. A 2-degrees-Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) increase from 4.4 to 6.4 Celsius (40-43.6 Fahrenheit), after all, doesn't have us shedding our Shetland sweaters for shorts and a tank top. … [Read more...] about Global Warming: Why a Couple Degrees Makes All the Difference
The IDB’s 2016 Macro Report Time to Act outlines the tough policy conundrum facing the region: low growth to 2020, monetary policy—where it exists—limited by higher inflation and many countries being forced into pro-cyclical fiscal adjustment. What can countries do to boost economic activity, lower the risks of a high debt-low growth spiral and defend the social gains made in … [Read more...] about The Policy Conundrum in Latin America and the Caribbean: Let’s Revisit the Trade Agenda!
The policy recommendations of the IDB’s 2016 Macro Report Time to Act include deepening regional trade integration, a long-sought but still largely elusive goal. A casual observer may wonder why that goal matters. Even though the Free Trade Area of the Americas process failed to produce an agreement, Latin America and the Caribbean have fared well until relatively recently and … [Read more...] about Trade and Regional Integration: What We Don’t Have To Worry About