As 2019 draws to a close, Latin America and the Caribbean faces at least four big challenges. First, growth this year is well below potential. Second, potential growth is low. Third, the region remains subject to large shocks. And fourth, despite recent gains, inequality remains high and aspirations are outstripping the meagre outlook, contributing to protests across the region … [Read more...] about Towards Inclusive Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean
The crash on the New York stock exchange in 1929 brought depression to the world. That is probably why when the global financial crisis broke in 2008, some observers thought the contagion originating in New York would again spread south, causing a collapse in Latin America and the Caribbean. But that didn't happen. Why? The region's internal situation in 2008 was "lean and … [Read more...] about How Can Latin America and the Caribbean Avoid the Next Financial Crisis?
A Latin American president faces a steep economic downturn. She introduces fiscal austerity measures, perhaps a tax hike, to try to contain the damage. Mass protests erupt, police clash with demonstrators, and the political mood grows darker by the day. Can the president and her party survive? The short answer is usually no. In a recent study, Martín Ardanaz, Mark Hallerberg … [Read more...] about When Tax Hikes Doom Governments at the Polls
Economists have long known that aggregate measures of economic activity vary during recessions. Unemployment rates increase, for example, while both GDP growth and investment rates decrease. But when we look at actual firms, the individual units of production in an economy, during a recession do they all behave in the same way? And if not, can we use that information to learn … [Read more...] about When Worsening Credit Conditions Trigger Recessions
On Sept. 15 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy heralding the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression. A couple of years after, I was at a conference and a senior (European) official gave a presentation entitled The Global Financial Crisis, Lessons for Latin America. I asked whether there was a typo. Shouldn’t that be lessons from Latin America?, I … [Read more...] about Banks and the Global Financial Crisis 10 Years On: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean