Politics and Institutions

Send Us Your Research Papers on Crime and Policy

Researchers are invited to send papers on crime and policy

The latest ranking of the world’s deadliest cities continues a sad pattern: the overwhelming majority—43 out of 50—are in Latin America and the Caribbean,  with Los Cabos in Mexico topping the list. Many of the reasons behind this state of affairs are chronic—weak institutions; impunity; poverty; inequality and growing urbanization—all feeding and, at the same […]

How the Right to Vote Sparks Political Interest

: the right to vote sparks greater political engagement in Latin America

Little more than half of the respondents captured in the latest regional survey of Chile-based Latinobarómetro thought democracy was the best form of government – a ten-year low that indicates weakness in Latin America’s democracies. But does this mean citizens are losing their interest in voting, democracy’s most sacred right? In a recently published study, […]

Are Female Politicians More Honest than Male Politicians?

When it comes to honesty, female mayors in Brazil outperform their male peers

Numerous studies show that female politicians on the whole are associated with less corruption than male ones. But Ugo Troiano and I were able to demonstrate the phenomenon with convincing evidence in a published study comparing male and female mayors in Brazil. We found that female mayors were not only less likely to engage in administrative […]

Boosting Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean

An IDB reports looks at boosting growth in Latin America and the Caribbean

Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean has been disappointing. For commodity exporters, the exceptional 2002-2012 boom boosted investment and relaxed fiscal constraints, but many countries made little progress on improving underlying productivity and their medium-term growth potential. In other countries, particularly some in the Caribbean and Central America, negative shocks, combined with a lack […]

Does Political Patronage Necessarily Lead to Bad Hiring?

patronage in government doesn't have to lead to incompetent employees

Patronage is among the least loved of political practices, often synonymous with malfeasance and incompetence. Civic and development organizations rail against it. Numerous studies show that merit-based career civil services, as opposed to discretionary ones, are associated with higher economic growth, lower corruption, and better bureaucratic performance. But patronage, the discretionary hiring of people to […]

Prestigious Fellowship for Young Researchers Is Accepting Applications

recent graduates can apply now to the IDB's prestigious fellowship

The Research Department of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is accepting applications for its Research Fellow Program. The program provides an ideal opportunity for recent graduates and young professionals interested in working with leading economists on issues related to sustainable and equitable development in Latin America and the Caribbean, including in the areas of labor, […]

What Are the Antidotes to Sudden Stops?

Sudden stops can be less severe when local investors bring their foreign assets home

Policymakers in emerging economies have long suffered sudden stops, those paralyzing episodes in which foreign credit dries up. Such episodes can cause painful domestic adjustments that exact significant losses in GDP. But not all sudden stops are equal, and they do not all inflict the same amount of pain. Take the case of Latin America. […]

Protecting Conditional Cash Transfers

the manipulation of conditional cash transfers by politicians in Brazil is a potentially serious problem.

Conditional cash transfers are powerful tools of social progress in Latin America and the Caribbean. They have reduced short-term poverty for tens of millions of people by providing a monthly stipend and have helped break the intergenerational transmission of poverty by linking financial assistance to behaviors that enhance human capital, like school attendance and health […]

How Political Polarization Holds Latin America Back

There are countries where there is a great deal of consensus on issues of national importance, and countries where that consensus is lacking, where the population is divided, distrustful of political opponents, and unwilling to compromise. The latter are polarized societies, and their cleavages lead to worse outcomes in a whole gamut of areas, ranging […]

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