Social Issues

How Latin American Countries Became World Champions of Happiness

Despite many problems, Latin American countries are champions of happiness

Consider two regions: one ranks high in GDP, equality, government transparency, and health care, the other one lags behind, sometimes by a wide margin. Where do you think people feel more upbeat? The answer is anything but intuitive. Many countries in Latin America knock out Western Europe and other advanced economies with their positive energy. […]

China’s Dockless Biking Boom and the Lessons for Latin America

Dockless bikes could solve many problems for Latin America if the regulations are right

They have set off a surge in bike riding, sparked explosive investment, and helped cut air pollution and carbon emissions. But the “dockless” — or stationless — bikes that have transformed China’s cities also have come with significant social and economic costs. As Latin America prepares to embrace them, it would do well to take […]

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 […]

New National Parks Can Help Latin America Tackle its Drought Problem

millions of hectares in new national parks will help combat deforestation in Latin America

The last few months have been big ones for conservation in Latin America. New and expanded national parks covering millions of hectares have been created, encompassing everything from the towering tepuis and ancient rock art of Colombia’s Amazon to the lowland rivers of the Peruvian Amazon and the temperate rain forests of Chile’s Patagonia. It […]

Minimum Wages and the Fight Against Inequality

Fighting inequality with minimum wages depends on gauging the circumstances and timing

Many policymakers say minimum wage hikes are crucial to reducing inequality. They look at Latin America and see abundant evidence, including the fact that in various countries large minimum wage increases during the commodity boom of the 2000s coincided with large inequality declines. There is certainly some truth to the idea. Minimum wage increases during times […]

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