Politics and Institutions

To Boost Education, Latin America Needs to Spend More Efficiently

If it is to boost education to the standards of the OECD, Latin America and the Caribbean needs to spend more efficiently

Over the last two decades, Latin America and the Caribbean has made huge efforts to improve education. Investment in the sector has grown from 3.6% to 5.3% of GDP; the percentage of adolescents who finish primary school has reached well over 90%, and results on PISA, the international exam that measures core competencies in mathematics, […]

Tackling Soaring Drug Prices in Latin America and the Caribbean

With more use of generics, Latin America and the Caribbean could better tackle soaring drug prices

Faced with soaring drug prices, officials in the United States are taking on the pharmaceutical companies, desperate to stop the hemorrhage of up to thousands of dollars a month in family income towards prescription drugs. Individual states in just the last year have passed 37 drug laws, conscious that current trends are unsustainable. But the United […]

How Vulnerable Are Latin American and Caribbean Economies to a Sudden Stop in Capital Flows?

Latin America and the Caribbean remain vulnerable to a sudden stop in capital flows

As the U.S. economy continues to grow and the labor market tightens, there is an increasing likelihood that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. The consequences will reverberate in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our research suggests there are reasons for concern, but also ways countries can offset the risks. It is key that countries […]

Boosting Efficiency En Route to Universal Health Coverage

By boosting efficiency in health spending, Latin America could significantly increase its health coverage

Latin America and the Caribbean has made real progress in expanding health services to its citizens over the last two decades, boosting spending, increasing overall life expectancy and contributing to a decline in mortality rates for children under five. But despite those improvements, the region needs to become more efficient to achieve its goal of […]

What Do Voters Want: Help or Skills?

Boosting skills is essential for entering the ranks of the richest nations. Better education and skills, most economists agree, generate the innovation and productivity that lift countries from middle-income to high-income levels such as those enjoyed by the United States and the wealthiest nations in Europe and Asia. Indeed, along with rule of law and […]

Mexico: The Elusive Quest for Prosperity

Problematic policies and institutions have led to an elusive quest for prosperity in Mexico

Imagine a country that does everything that development economics says is right: guarantee macroeconomic stability, maintain an open trade regime and invest in physical capital and education. Now imagine, that this this country suffers anemic growth and has done so for over two decades. What in the world could be wrong? This is the agonizing […]

When Central Bank Autonomy Makes All the Difference

Central Bank autonomy can make all the difference for controlling inflation and providing macroeconomic stability

Since the late 1990s, a broad reform movement has swept Latin America, aimed at granting independence to central banks and freeing them from government pressure to print money to finance government spending. Laws have been passed and constitutions changed to allow independent central banks to focus on the fight against inflation. A more complicated case […]

Ideas matter © 2016