Social Issues

Nudging: A Path to Greater Childhood Vaccination

Nudging successfully combated declining rates of childhood vaccination in rural Guatemala.

  How can vaccinations be guaranteed in poor rural areas? Guatemala faced the problem recently when it confronted the declining rates of rural immunization after children’s first year of life, a phenomenon that potentially threatened childhood health and survival. Declining rates of childhood vaccination These biases were taking their toll. Mothers made a big effort […]

Did Education and Job Experience Reduce Inequality in Latin America?

As Joana Silva and I document in a recent book, earnings inequality declined in 16 of the 17 countries in Latin America for which consistent statistics can be calculated, although the intensity and turning points diverged across countries. For example, after a decade of stagnant or slowly increasing inequality, the 90th/10th interquantile range of the […]

Greater Efficiency and the Path to a Prosperous Future for Latin America and the Caribbean

If Latin American and the Caribbean is to enjoy a prosperous future, it must become much more efficient

Latin America and the Caribbean has a difficult puzzle to solve. Growing national income is feeding demands for more and better government services.  At the same time, because many governments increased expenditure during the years of the commodity boom and now face less favorable external conditions, they will need to adjust. In a context of […]

Reforming Regulations that Harm Productivity and Worker Welfare

With the right reforms, Latin America could eliminate barriers that harm productivity and worker welfare

An uncomfortable reality lies behind Latin America’s poor growth performance: gains in productivity have been anemic over the last three decades. The costs in long-term GDP growth, as well as higher wages and living standards for Latin America’s people, are steep. Over the last decades most Latin American nations adopted a broad agenda of economic […]

Will Robots Really Harm Employment?

Employment may actually get a boost from robots and automation

In science fiction films, artificial intelligence and robots are the bogeymen of the future, replacing us and rendering us useless as they impose their mechanical will upon us. Economists, though less apocalyptic, are sounding alarms too. In a study, economist Carl Benedikt Frey and machine learning expert Michael Osborne examine more than 700 occupations in […]

How Latin America Can Be Smarter on Crime

If Latin America is to defeat its crime epidemic, it has to be smarter in its choice of strategies.

Latin America and the Caribbean confronts a paradox when it comes to guaranteeing the lives of its citizens. The region is wracked by organized crime, gangs, and street violence. It suffers a homicide rate (24 per 100,000) that is four times the world’s average and spends a considerable portion of its total budget (5.4%) on […]

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 […]

Ideas matter © 2016