The lashing rains and 185-mile-per-hour winds pounding the Caribbean from Hurricane Irma; the toppled homes and flooded streets in Texas and Louisiana from Hurricane Harvey, with its tens of thousands of people made homeless and billions of dollars in property losses: it's hard to imagine things getting much worse. Unfortunately, they almost surely will. If scientists agree … [Read more...] about Bracing for Impact: Preparing Nations for Natural Disasters
They are like exhibits in a gallery of dread: the Tequila Crisis of 1994; the Asian and Russian crises of 1997 and 1998, and the global financial crisis of 2008. They represent moments when foreign investors pulled away from Latin America and the Caribbean; when foreign credit and investment were withdrawn and the region suffered. They instill fear to this day. With a low … [Read more...] about Financial Integration: Friend or Foe of Low-Saving Countries?
When it comes to their savings, households want to make sure they choose a type of investment that keeps their money safe and provides a reliable return. While in developed economies these requirements can be met by a simple bank account, in Latin America lack of trust in financial institutions discourages individuals from investing their savings in financial products. Some … [Read more...] about Argentina’s Residential Real Estate: A Magnet for Savings that Trumps Bank Accounts
To what extent is economic behavior determined by culture and to what extent by the economic environment? In an extensive IDB study entitled Saving for Development: How Latin America and the Caribbean Can Save More and Better, the authors consider culture as a possible factor in the region’s abysmally low savings rates. They enter, in the process, into a heated debate that has … [Read more...] about Can Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?
For two decades beginning in the 1990s, Latin American and Caribbean nations became embroiled in a debate over which type of pension system would best provide for retired seniors. Populations were expected to rapidly age. Budgets were tight, and private and national savings rates, low. A way had to be found to guarantee retirements while increasing savings and leaving room for … [Read more...] about Labor Informality and the Pension Disaster