Month – October 2017

The FinTech Boom: China vs Latin America

Over the last five years, a new wave of upstarts has burst the confines of traditional finance. These are far from the hallowed institutions of classical pillars and marble. Rather they are children of Silicon Valley, exploiting the latest in digital technologies to offer everything from online shopping and payments to lending and wealth management. […]

Behavioral Economics and the Messaging That Works

“Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” said the United States’ Benjamin Franklin. And few things are less pleasurably anticipated. But at least when it comes to taxes, the avoidance can make running a government especially hard. Behavioral economics, with its psychological insights into how information can be used to change citizens’ […]

Macroeconomic Challenges for Latin America and the Caribbean

As the October 2017 meetings in Washington wind down, the good news is that Latin America and the Caribbean is out of recession and set to grow at 1.2% this year. Only three countries (Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela—of the 26 borrowing IDB members) will post negative growth, as opposed to seven countries last […]

How Nobel Ideas Inspired the IDB

Richard Thaler, the University of Chicago professor who fused psychological insights and economics to reveal how biases affect decision-making, was awarded Oct. 8 the 2017 Nobel Prize in economics. The award, which recognizes Thaler’s work in overturning assumptions about economic behavior as rational and demonstrating how people could be “nudged” to make better choices, brings […]

When Globalization and Populism Meet

It amounts to an upheaval. Populist movements claiming to speak directly for the people and opposed to everything from bankers to immigrants and the institutions of liberal democracy have altered the political landscape in large areas of the world. Think Brexit in Great Britain, Syriza and Podemos in Greece and Spain, and the populist candidates in […]

Should Reform Tackle Rules and Institutions Together?

In the wake of its banking and economic crisis of 2002, Uruguay took some bold steps. Unlike other countries that squandered the commodities boom of the subsequent years, delaying fiscal reforms and, in many cases, worsening their long-term fiscal stance, the country embarked on a series of integral reforms in virtually every policy area, from […]

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