Bracing for Impact: Preparing Nations for Natural Disasters

The lashing rains and 185-mile-per-hour winds pounding the Caribbean from Hurricane Irma; the toppled homes and flooded streets in Texas and Louisiana from Hurricane Harvey, with its tens of thousands of people made homeless and billions of dollars in property losses: it’s hard to imagine things getting much worse. Unfortunately, they almost surely will. If […]

Argentina’s Residential Real Estate: A Magnet for Savings that Trumps Bank Accounts

When it comes to their savings, households want to make sure they choose a type of investment that keeps their money safe and provides a reliable return. While in developed economies these requirements can be met by a simple bank account, in Latin America lack of trust in financial institutions discourages individuals from investing their […]

Can Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?

To what extent is economic behavior determined by culture and to what extent by the economic environment? In an extensive IDB study entitled Saving for Development: How Latin America and the Caribbean Can Save More and Better, the authors consider culture as a possible factor in the region’s abysmally low savings rates. They enter, in […]

Labor Informality and the Pension Disaster

For two decades beginning in the 1990s, Latin American and Caribbean nations became embroiled in a debate over which type of pension system would best provide for retired seniors. Populations were expected to rapidly age. Budgets were tight, and private and national savings rates, low. A way had to be found to guarantee retirements while […]

Making Saving a State Policy

Over the last three decades, Chile has led the way in promoting greater national savings in Latin America and the Caribbean. Beginning in the early 1980s with a pension reform that introduced mandatory savings through a system managed by the private sector, the country has implemented numerous measures that have boosted its savings rate. Privatizations […]

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