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  • Author: Yume Tamiya
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: In 2018/2019 the CGPE launched an annual Gender & Global Political Economy Undergraduate Essay Prize competition, open to all undergraduate students within the School of Global Studies. The winner of the 2018/2019 competition is Isabella Garcia for the essay “How do global supply chains exacerbate gender-based violence against women in the Global South?” Isabella graduated with a BA in International Relations and Development in July and will join the MA cohort in our Global Political Economy programme for 2019/2020. Given the very strong field of submissions, the award committee further decided to award a second-place prize to Yume Tamiya for the essay “Does the rise of the middle class disguise existing inequalities in Brazil?”. Yume graduated with a BA in International Development with International Education and Development. We are delighted to publish both of these excellent essays in the CGPE Working Paper series.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Inequality, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Felipe Antunes de Oliveira
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: Latin America is once again passing through a crisis. After initially showing promising results, the neodevelopmentalist strategy adopted in Brazil and Argentina has reached its limits. The attempt at 21st century socialism in Venezuela derailed, tearing the country apart. Finally, the neoliberal path dutifully followed by Mexico, Chile, Colombia and smaller countries perpetuated social inequalities, and is now menaced by President Trump's protectionist turn. The current Latin American crisis goes much beyond the reversion of the so-called "Pink Tide". It affects all ideological colours, raising again an old theoretical-political question that stood in the core of dependency theory: is development even possible in Latin America? The key to answer this question – a concept of development that captures non-converging transformation – was not available to Frank, Marini, Bambirra and Dos Santos, among other dependency theorists. Too easily conflating development with catching-up, they reached a dead end. Indeed, as they could see, Latin America was constantly changing, but not in the expected ways. In this paper, I suggest that the concept of uneven and combined development allows for a renewed engagement with dependency theory's core problem, by representing mixed forms of development as the norm, not the exception.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, International Development, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Colombia, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: Samuel Appleton
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: The Bretton Woods conference is conventionally understood as a radical break between the laissez faire order and its ‘embedded liberal’ successor, in which finance was suppressed in the interest of trade and productive growth. The new institutions, particularly the IBRD are often considered emblematic of this. In response to this, the paper argues that the Bretton Woods order required the enlistment, not repression, of private American finance. Firstly, laissez-faire era proposals for international financial institutions provided important precedents for the Bretton Woods institutions. Second, these were predicated on the uniquely deep liquidity of American financial markets following upon Progressive-era reforms, in the legacy of which the Roosevelt administration sought to locate the New Deal. Thirdly, they found new relevance in the 1940s as the IBRD turned by necessity to American financial markets for operating capital. Negotiating the imperative of commercial creditworthiness had two important consequences. First, it entailed the structural and procedural transformation of the IBRD, and allowed management to carve out a proprietary terrain in which its agency was decisive. Second, this suggests that US agendas were mediated by the Bank’s institutional imperatives – and that finance was no more ‘embedded’ during the Bretton Woods era than its predecessor.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, World Bank, Global Markets, International Development, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The accelerating deterioration of Venezuela’s political crisis is cause for growing concern. The collapse in 2014 of an incipient dialogue between government and opposition ushered in growing political instability. With legislative elections due in December, there are fears of renewed violence. But there is a less widely appreciated side of the drama. A sharp fall in real incomes, major shortages of essential foods, medicines and other basic goods and breakdown of the health service are elements of a looming social crisis. If not tackled decisively and soon, it will become a humanitarian disaster with a seismic impact on domestic politics and society, and on Venezuela’s neighbours. This situation results from poor policy choices, incompetence and corruption; however, its gravest consequences can still be avoided. This will not happen unless the political deadlock is overcome and a fresh consensus forged, which in turn requires strong engagement of foreign governments and multilateral bodies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Health, Food, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Joshua Meltzer
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: SMEs are the main drivers of U.S. employment, and the majority of the employment is in SME services firms. Services are also a growing portion of U.S. exports. U.S. services exports are 34 percent of total exports. Including services used in the production of goods for export increases services exports to 50 percent of total U.S. exports. The U.S. runs a services trade surplus and has a competitive advantage in high-skill, high-paying services. The U.S. trade surplus in 2013 was $213 billion. Services exports supported 4.2 million jobs in the U.S. in 2013. Services SMEs are under-represented in U.S. exports. Only 5 percent of high-skilled services companies export, compared to 25 percent in the manufacturing sector. The global growth in Internet access is providing new opportunities for SMEs to export services to customers globally. The Internet also gives SMEs access to services as inputs, which increases the productivity of all SMEs and their ability to compete in overseas markets. Export Promotion Agencies (EPAs) assist SMEs to export. However, EPAs have not developed a comprehensive approach that takes full advantage of the opportunities the Internet provides for growing SME services exports. Some countries have developed new ways to use the Internet to assist SME exports. For example, in the U.S., businessusa.gov collects on a single website relevant trade data and provides information on the export assistance provided by various government agencies. In the U.K., opentoexport.com provides trade data, information on exporting and opportunities to blog and interact with experts. Matchsme.com in Denmark goes further and connects local businesses with local service suppliers. Connectamericas.com is also focused on Latin America and uses the Internet to match customers and suppliers. These different approaches and their successes provide insights into how to scale up an online program that could have a significant impact on SME services exports. The following are the main elements of such a program: Develop an Internet platform. Such a platform would connect services SMEs with overseas buyers and facilitate the transaction through to the export and payment. Build public-private partnerships. The Internet platform should involve the government and the private sector, drawing on their respective expertise. Develop trust in the Internet platform. This is needed if the platform is to succeed. There are various ways to build trust. This could include developing a rating system that is accepted across borders and incorporates into the platform existing trust-building mechanisms. Give services SMEs access to better information. The Internet platform should include all relevant information for services SMEs, including trade data, timely and relevant information on markets, barriers and regulations. Develop online networking opportunities. The Internet platform should allow services SMEs to meet customers and suppliers online. This would also increase the flow of timely information amongst participants on the platform. Such networks can also be used to vet potential business partners, thereby building trust in the Internet platform. Improve access to finance. A lack of finance is a barrier for services SMEs going global. An Internet platform should include information on financing opportunities and innovative financing approaches such as crowd funding. Create opportunities for soft landing in export markets. The ability for services SMEs to have face time with potential customers remains important for achieving export success. An Internet platform could build on the approach of CDMN in Canada and give SMEs opportunities to spend time overseas in start-up incubators or building contacts.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Fabrice Lehoucq
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of civil war on regime change. It focuses on Central America, a region where several countries underwent transitions to democracy in the wake of civil war during the second half of the twentieth century. It argues that armed conflict, not increasing levels of economic development, led to political change. Violence liquidated stubbornly resilient autocracies in El Salvador and Nicaragua, catalyzed the democratization of Costa Rican politics, and was the backdrop to regime liberalization in Guatemala. Postwar negotiations, at a time when Cold War bipolarity was ending, led to the establishment of more open, civilian regimes on the isthmus. This paper also notes that the transition from autocracy was enormously costly in both lives and economic well-being, which helps to explain why political change has given birth to low-quality democracies or mixed regimes on the isthmus, ones that also have witnessed the explosion of criminal and drug-related violence.
  • Topic: Civil War, Crime, Democratization, Development, Regime Change, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The growth rates witnessed in markets across Latin America in the decade to 2010 pulled millions out of poverty, led to rapid growth of the middle class and helped to demonstrate the promise of emerging markets. Since then, however, growth has slowed dramatically across the region. 2015 will mark the fifth successive year of deceleration in Latin America, which has slowed more than any other emerging market region. With concerns over the ability of emerging markets to withstand a slowdown in China and monetary policy normalisation in the US growing, risks to the growth and financing outlook for Latin America persist. However, as economic recovery starts to gather pace in the region, opportunities for investment and growth will also re-emerge. This report provides a snapshot of the current political and economic landscape in the region, and in some of Latin America’s largest economies: Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. Each article analyses key concerns and presents our view of the outlook going forward, helping you to influence decision-making and economic outcomes for your business.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Alexander Stroh, Cordula Tibi Weber, Charlotte Heyl
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the extent to which elected power holders informally intervene in the judiciaries of new democracies, an acknowledged but under-researched topic in studies of judicial politics. The paper first develops an empirical strategy for the study of informal interference based on perceptions recorded in interviews, then applies the strategy to six third-wave democracies, three in Africa (Benin, Madagascar and Senegal) and three in Latin America (Argentina, Chile and Paraguay). It also examines how three conditioning factors affect the level of informal judicial interference: formal rules, previous democratic experience, and socioeconomic development. Our results show that countries with better performance in all these conditioning factors exhibit less informal interference than countries with poorer or mixed performance. The results stress the importance of systematically including informal politics in the study of judicial politics.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Power Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, Argentina, Latin America, Tamil Nadu
  • Author: David Steven, Alejandra Kubitschek Bujones
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In October 2013, Ambassadors from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries in the United Nations (GRULAC), their key negotiators from respective capitals, civil society representatives, and UN System agencies from the region held a retreat on the Post-2015 Agenda.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Latin America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Timmons Roberts, Guy Edwards
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: China's rapidly increasing investment, trade and loans in Latin America may be entrenching high-carbon development pathways in the region, a trend scarcely mentioned in policy circles. High-carbon activities include the extraction of fossil fuels and other natural resources, expansion of large-scale agriculture and the energy-intensive stages of processing natural resources into intermediate goods. This paper addresses three examples, including Chinese investments in Venezuela's oil sector and a Costa Rican oil refinery, and Chinese investment in and purchases of Brazilian soybeans. We pose the question of whether there is a tie between China's role in opening up vast resources in Latin America and the way those nations make national climate policy and how they behave at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations. We focus on the period between the 2009 Copenhagen round of negotiations and the run-up to the Paris negotiations scheduled for 2015, when the UNFCCC will attempt to finalize a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Natural Resources, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America
  • Author: Tiffany Barnes
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last two decades a large number of countries worldwide have adopted a gender quota to increase women's political representation in the legislature. While quotas are designed to achieve equality in legislative power and decision-making, it is unclear if electing more women to legislative office is sufficient to accomplish institutional incorporation. Once women are elected to office, are they being incorporated into the legislative body and gaining their own political power, or are they being marginalized? Using an original data set that tracks committee appointments in the twenty-two Argentine legislative chambers over an eighteen-year period, I evaluate the extent to which women have access to powerful committee appointments—beyond traditional women's domains committees—and how women's access to committee appointments changes over time. I hypothesize that while women may initially be sidelined, as they gain more experience in the legislature they may overcome institutional barriers and develop institutional knowledge that will better equip them to work within the system to gain access to valuable committee appointments.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Gender Issues, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Sam Handlin
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: What are the causes and implications of polarization in new democracies? During Latin America’s “Left Turn” period, highly polarized party systems emerged in some countries–Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and El Salvador–but not the rest of the region. This paper proposes a theory to explain variation, centered on the presence of electorally relevant parties of the left in the pre-Left Turn period and, most critically, the quality of governance in that period. Poor governance created opportunities for partisan actors on the left to politicize a second dimension of political contestation, anti-systemic versus systemic positions on the design and operation of the state, and thus chart alternative paths to electoral viability that required little left-right programmatic moderation. This dynamic empowered radical party factions and drove polarizing dynamics in party systems. High quality governance, in contrast, gave left parties little choice but to moderate their programs in search of electoral viability. This dynamic empowered moderate party factions and drove centripetal dynamics in party systems. Empirically, the paper tests these arguments through a broad overview of the case universe and in-depth case studies of Venezuela and Brazil.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Rohinton Medhora, David Malone
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The familiar world of international organizations principally devoted to development has been upended by two phenomena. First is the emergence of sustained economic success in the developing world (mostly in Asia, but increasingly also in Africa and, in a less spectacular way, Latin America) amid compelling, continuing need among the world's poor. Second, the slow-moving, serious financial and economic crisis of the industrialized world since 2008 has reordered priorities in many of their capitals toward domestic spending and away from costly international projects.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Organization, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: Carl Meacham, Robert Funk
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the first round of Chile's presidential elections on November 17, Michelle Bachelet, of the progressive New Majority (Nueva Mayoría) coalition, commanded a resounding lead. Garnering 46.7 percent of the popular vote—and putting her 20 points ahead of Alliance for Chile (Alianza por Chile) candidate Evelyn Matthei, her nearest rival—the former president is the likely victor in the runoff elections scheduled for December 15.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Douglas Farah, Robert D. Lamb, Carl Meacham
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The project that culminated in this report was conceived just over a year ago as an initiative to assess the major accomplishments in strengthening the Colombian government's efforts to bring peace and stability to its countryside.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Benjamin Leo
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The United States government has made repeated declarations over the last decade to align its assistance programs behind developing countries' priorities. By utilizing public attitude surveys for 42 African and Latin American countries, this paper examines how well the US has implemented this guiding principle. Building upon the Quality of Official Development Assistance Assessment (QuODA) approach, I identify what people cite most frequently as the 'most pressing problems' facing their nations and then measure the percentage of US assistance commitments that are directed towards addressing them. By focusing on public surveys over time, this analysis attempts to provide a more nuanced and targeted examination of whether US portfolios are addressing what people care the most about. As reference points, I compare US alignment trends with the two regional multilateral development banks (MDBs) – the African Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Overall, this analysis suggests that US assistance may be only modestly aligned with what people in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America cite as their nation's most pressing problems. By comparison, the African Development Bank – which is majority-led by regional member nations – performs significantly better than the United States. Like the United States, however, the Inter-American Development Bank demonstrates a low relative level of support for people's top concerns.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America, Latin America
  • Author: Giovanni Grevi
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The international system is changing fast and both the European Union and Brazil will need to adapt. This paper argues that such a process of adjustment may bring the two closer together, even if their starting points differ considerably. Europe looks at the ongoing redistribution of power as a challenge, Brazil as an opportunity. Europe is coping with the detrimental impact of the economic crisis on its international profile; Brazil is enhancing its influence in its region and beyond. Their normative outlook is broadly compatible; their political priorities and behaviour in multilateral frameworks often differ, from trade to development and security issues. Despite the crisis, however, there are signals of renewed engagement by the EU on the international stage, with a focus on its troubled neighbourhood and partnerships with the US and large emerging actors such as Brazil. The latter is charting an original course in international affairs as a rising democratic power from the traditional South with no geopolitical opponents and a commitment to multilateralism. In testing the limits of its international influence, Brazil will need dependable partners and variable coalitions that go well beyond the BRICS format, which is not necessarily sustainable. This contribution suggests that the strategic partnership between the EU and Brazil may grow stronger not only as a platform to deepen economic ties and sustain growth, but also as a tool to foster cooperation in political and security affairs including crisis management, preventive diplomacy and human rights.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Fulvio Castellacci, Hamza Kanar
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The economic reforms recently implemented in Cuba do not adequately deal with the structural issues that hamper the country's economic development. The paper presents a system dynamics model to investigate Cuba's development process, and a simulation analysis to compare different policy scenarios that may be realized in the future as economic reforms will continue. The results indicate that the most effective development policy would be to combine active public policies to enhance the R sector, on the one hand, and foster the emergence of an efficient private sector that will develop the capital infrastructure of the economy, on the other.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Richard Snyder, Kelly Bay, Cecilia Perla
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: This article explores the political economy of social science research in the Global South by analyzing new bibliometric and survey data on Peru, a lower-middle income country with weak domestic funding and institutional support for scholarship. The results of the analysis show that although research in Peru is heavily dependent on foreign funding, the multiplicity of funding institutions gives scholars a surprising degree of autonomy. Still, dependence on foreign funding produces conditions with potentially harmful consequences for the quality and impact of research. Five conditions are considered: multiple institutional affiliations, hyperproductivity, forced interdisciplinarity, parochialism, and a weak national community of scholars.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Peter Andreas, Angelica Duran-Martinez
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Illicit trade has long been a central feature of Latin America's engagement in the world. In this chapter we first briefly sketch the scope and dimensions of illicit trade in the region, and stress the importance of various types of power asymmetries. Drawing on illustrations primarily from drug trafficking (by far the most studied and documented case), we then outline in a preliminary fashion some of the key issues in understanding transnational illicit flows and their impact on Latin America foreign and domestic policy and governance. We concentrate on four themes: 1) the relationship between illicit trade and diplomatic relations with the United States; 2) the relationship between illicit trade and democratic governance; 3) the relationship between illicit trade and organized violence; and 4) the relationship between illicit trade and neoliberalism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Development, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Latin America
  • Author: Jorge Balán
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: Higher education has undergone impressive growth and change over the last few decades in Latin America.This book selectively reviews some dimensions of this transformation, discussing policies, institutions, and programs, as well as their outcomes in terms of access, workforce training, and research. Individual chapters, commissioned from specialists from Latin America and the United States, stand as original, independent contributions focusing on key issues in higher education: changes in institutional autonomy and system governance, the contributions of higher education to advanced workforce development, policy responses to the continuing challenges of access and equity, government-sponsored study-abroad scholarships programs in several countries, trends in academic mobility and its outcomes for brain drain and gain, the changing landscape of U.S. universities' and corporations' investment in the region, and recent development of U.S. government exchange programs with Latin America.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Peter Engelke
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Humankind recently crossed a historic threshold: over half of all human beings now live in cities. In contrast to most of human history, cities have become the default condition for human habitation almost everywhere on earth. Urbanization is proceeding rapidly and at unprecedented scales in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. These regions are poised to join Latin America, Europe, North America, and Australia as having more people living in cities than in rural areas. Between 2010 and 2050, the world's urban population is expected to grow by 3 billion people—a figure roughly equal to the world's total population in 1950—with the great majority living in developing-world cities.3 Our species, in other words, is already an urban one and will become even more so throughout this century.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Environment, Natural Resources, Urbanization, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Australia, North America
  • Author: Katherine E. Bliss, Paulo Buss, Felix Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On November 7, 2011, the Global Health Policy Center of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the Fiocruz Center for Global Health (CRIS) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosted a seminar entitled “New Approaches to Global Health Cooperation.” The event, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, assembled health policy researchers and practitioners from Brazil, Europe, the United States, and sub - Saharan Africa to examine emerging practices in global health co operation. Issues considered included the factors driving greater international engagement on public health challenges, the growing trend of trilateral cooperation, and the role of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and South - South activities in expanding international cooperation on global health. Over the course of the day - long meeting, speakers and audience members examined the reasons for the overall expansion of funding and programming for overseas global health activities durin g the past decade; considered the factors that underpin Brazil's increasing focus on global health as an area of bilateral and multilateral outreach; reviewed the characteristics of successful trilateral cooperation efforts; and debated the future of multi country engagement on health.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Health, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, United States, China, Europe, Washington, India, South Africa, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Liliana Rojas-Suarez, José Luis Guasch, Veronica Gonzales
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, Central American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua—have made significant progress in social and economic areas. In particular, they have stabilized their economies after decades of civil war and the economic volatility that plagued the region through the 1990s. Most countries in Central America have taken important steps to improve their business climates, particularly by enhancing macroeconomic stability, improving the soundness of their financial systems, making improvements in infrastructure services and trade facilitation, reducing red tape, and simplifying their regulatory and tax frameworks. As a result, before the 2008 financial crisis, GDP per capita in Central America grew at an average rate of 3 percent per year from 2003 to 2008, which, albeit modest, was the most robust and stable period of growth the region had witnessed since the early 1990s. However, despite this achievement, Central American economies are still lagging behind the rest of Latin America and other middle-income countries by per-capita growth rates of 0.5 to 2 percentage points. Even more worrying are the levels of poverty and inequality, which show the lack of inclusiveness in their growth models. Moreover, recent developments in the region show a number of red flags that are weakening macroeconomic and democratic stability. Significant structural changes are urgently needed to secure sustained and inclusive growth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Nora Lustig, Luis F. Lopez-Calva, Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Between 2000 and 2010, the Gini coefficient declined in 13 of 17 Latin American countries. The decline was statistically significant and robust to changes in the time interval, inequality measures, and data sources. In-depth country studies for Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico suggest two main phenomena underlie this trend: a fall in the premium to skilled labor and more progressive government transfers. The fall in the premium to skills resulted from a combination of supply, demand, and institutional factors. Their relative importance depends on the country.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Nora Lustig
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We apply a standard tax-and-benefit-incidence analysis to estimate the impact on inequality and poverty of direct taxes, indirect taxes and subsidies, and social spending (cash and food transfers and in-kind transfers in education and health). The extent of inequality reduction induced by direct taxes and transfers is rather small (2 percentage points on average), especially when compared with that found in Western Europe (15 percentage points on average). What prevents Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil from achieving similar reductions in inequality is not the lack of revenues but the fact that they spend less on cash transfers—especially transfers that are progressive in absolute terms—as a share of GDP. Indirect taxes result in that net contributors to the fiscal system start at the fourth, third, and even second decile on average, depending on the country. When in-kind transfers in education and health are added, however, the bottom six deciles are net recipients. The impact of transfers on inequality and poverty reduction could be higher if spending on direct cash transfers that are progressive in absolute terms were increased, leakages to the nonpoor reduced, and coverage of the extreme poor by direct transfer programs expanded.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Health, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Latin America, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia
  • Author: Barbara Kotschwar
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In Latin America, inadequate transportation infrastructure has been identified as an increasingly important impediment to the region's further integration in global trade and a significant factor preventing countries from properly taking advantage of the multitude of regional, plurilateral, and bilateral trade agreements signed in the past decade and a half. This paper examines transport and communications infrastructure initiatives in Latin American and Asian regional trade arrangements and finds several lessons Asia can teach Latin America.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Communications, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Samuel Reynard
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Financial crises have been followed by different inflation paths which are related to monetary policy and money creation by the banking sector during those crises. Accounting for equilibrium changes and non-linearity issues, the empirical relationship between money and subsequent inflation developments has remained stable and similar in crisis and normal times. This analysis can explain why the financial crisis in Argentina in the early 2000s was followed by increasing inflation, whereas Japan experienced deflation in the 1990s and 2000s despite quantitative easing. Current quantitative easing policies should lead to increasing and persistent inflation over the next years.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Eduardo Posada-Carbó
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: By focusing on its electoral role, this paper revises some of the prevailing views regarding the Catholic Church's impact on the politics of Colombia between 1830 and 1930. To this aim, the paper offers a brief general overview of the Church during the period, in an attempt to locate its sources of power. Then, I look at the place the religious cleavage had in the formation of the party system that emerged in the republic by the mid-nineteenth century. Next, I examine the various ways in which the Church was involved in the electoral process both before and after the emergence of the party system. Finally, the concluding section considers the wider implications that such involvement might have represented for the history of democracy in Colombia. Overall, the paper addresses the following questions: What had the historical role of the Catholic Church been in the politics of Colombia since independence? How did the Church—the hierarchy, the clergy and the laity—relate to the electoral history and partisan divisions of the country? And to what extent did the involvement of the Church in electioneering enhance or hinder the process of democratization over this century?
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Manuel Alcántara
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper addresses from a comparative perspective the national elections (legislative and presidential) held between 2009 and 2011 in seventeen Latin American countries. There are five key issues that guide this analysis: the institutional conditions of electoral competition, the electoral offer, election results, party systems, and post-electoral executive-legislative relations. The political consequences of these electoral processes—except perhaps in the cases of Honduras and Nicaragua, where some minor negative trends have arisen—reveal a pattern of apparent normality and political alternation, with a change in the presidential elite and winning proposals that were articulated via institutions. The paper concludes by outlining how countries in the region have successfully overcome challenges of a varying nature and importance, that until recently generated a degree of uncertainty in their respective political systems.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Nicaragua, Honduras
  • Author: Matthew C. Ingram
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Existing research shows that the ideas of judges matter for judicial behavior both on the bench (decision making) and off the bench (lobbying and mobilization for institutional change). Yet there is little empirical evidence regarding the content and distribution of these ideas and even less evidence and fewer theoretical propositions regarding the manner in which ideas transfer or diffuse among judges. Addressing these empirical and theoretical gaps, I survey judges in the Mexican state of Michoacán and apply techniques of network analysis. The project makes four main contributions: (1) original data on the attitudes of judges regarding prominent institutional and jurisprudential changes shaping the legal landscape in Mexico; (2) egocentric data on network structure for the sampled judges; (3) sociocentric data on network structure at the level of judicial district, state supreme court, and entire state generated by aggregating the egocentric data; and (4) a mixed-methods analysis of the causal relationship between network features and judicial attitudes, drawing on egocentric methods, sociocentric methods, and personal interviews with focal individuals. Complementing literatures on political socialization, policy diffusion, and complex systems, the analysis clarifies our understanding of the role of judicial networks in strengthening democracy and the rule of law.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Political Economy, Governance, Law Enforcement, Law
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Timothy A. Wise
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: More than 40% of U.S. corn is now consumed in the production of ethanol. With the United States by far the world's largest producer and exporter of corn, this represents an estimated 15% of global corn production. A recent survey by the National Academy of Sciences estimated that globally biofuels expansion accounted for 20 - 40% of the price increases seen in 2007 - 8, when prices of many food crops doubled. This had a dramatic impact on poor consumers and on net - food - importing developing countries. Expanding U.S. production and consumption of corn - based ethanol, which has been encouraged by a range of U.S. government subsidies and incentives, is considered one of the most important biofuel programs in putting upward pressure on food prices. Mexico now imports about one - third of its corn from the United States. Using conservative estimates from a study on U.S. ethanol expansion and corn prices, we estimate the direct impacts of U.S. ethanol expansion on Mexican corn import costs. We find that from 2006 - 2011, U.S. ethanol expansion cost Mexico about $1.5 billion due to ethanol - related corn price increases. Other methodologies suggest the costs could be more than twice as high, surpassing $3 billion over the period.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Food
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Graciana del Castillo, Daniel García
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: An analysis of trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Uruguay is difficult due to data problems. Nevertheless, balance-of-payments data reveal that inward FDI (IFDI) increased sharply in the second half of the decade 2002-2011 under analysis. IFDI flows relative to GDP rose annually on average to close to 6% in 2005-2011. This compares favorably with annual average flows of only 1% in the decade before the banking crisis and the sharp devaluation of the Uruguayan peso in 2002. At the time, investment in natural resources, including in farmland and real estate in Punta del Este, became very attractive. IFDI flows peaked at 7.5% of GDP in 2006, with the investment in the construction of the first cellulose plant in the country by a multinational enterprise (MNE) from Finland. The rapid increase in IFDI in the second half of the past decade took place amid high rates of economic growth (averaging about 6% a year on average), in combination with an adequate policy and regulatory framework and fiscal incentives to foreign investors. So far, Uruguay remains primarily a host country for FDI, with outward FDI (OFDI) that has been and continues to be insignificant.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Gregory Elacqua, Humberto Santos, Dante Contreras, Felipe Salazar
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: There is a persistent debate over the role of scale of operations in education. Some argue that school franchises offer educational services more effectively than do small independent schools. Skeptics counter that large, centralized operations create hard-to-manage bureaucracies and foster diseconomies of scale and that small schools are more effective at promoting higher-quality education. The answer to this question has profound implications for U.S. education policy, because reliably scaling up the best schools has proven to be a particularly difficult problem. If there are policies that would make it easier to replicate the most effective schools, systemwide educational quality could be improved substantially.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Ravi Kanbur, Dennis Rodgers, Jo Beall
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper argues for a more systemic engagement with Latin American cities, contending it is necessary to reconsider their unity in order to nuance the 'fractured cities' perspective that has widely come to epitomise the contemporary urban moment in the region. It begins by offering an overview of regional urban development trends, before exploring how the underlying imaginary of the city has critically shifted over the past half century. Focusing in particular on the way that slums and shantytowns have been conceived, it traces how the predominant conception of the Latin American city moved from a notion of unity to a perception of fragmentation, highlighting how this had critically negative ramifications for urban development agendas, and concludes with a call for a renewed vision of Latin American urban life.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Samuel W. Bodman, James D. Wolfensohn, Julia E. Sweig
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Brazil has transcended its status as the largest and most resource-rich country in Latin America to now be counted among the world's pivotal powers. Brazil is not a conventional military power, it does not rival China or India in population or economic size, and it cannot match the geopolitical history of Russia. Still, how Brazil defines and projects its interests, a still-evolving process, is critical to understanding the character of the new multipolar and unpredictable global order.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Miriam Shabafrouz, Annegret Mähler, Georg Strüver
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Natural resources are often held responsible for intrastate conflicts. As a consequence, both national and international measures to avoid the detrimental impact of resource endowments have increasingly been discussed and implemented in resource-rich countries. These measures include stabilization funds, subregional development programs, revenue-sharing regimes, and transparency initiatives. However, comparative empirical studies of the actual impact of these measures, particularly regarding their contribution to conflict prevention, are scarce. This paper contributes to the filling of this gap: combining a medium-N sample of oildependent countries and three in-depth case studies (Algeria, Nigeria, and Venezuela), we evaluate different instruments of resource management and their effects on conflict risk factors. On the one hand, the findings do not show any systematic connection between the countermeasures and a reduction in resource-related risks; on the other, the paper highlights common causal factors for the lack of implementation of resource-related countermeasures.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria, Latin America, Venezuela, Nigeria
  • Author: Tessa Bold, Mwangi Kimenyi, Germano Mwabu, Justin Sandefur
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Existing studies from the United States, Latin America, and Asia provide scant evidence that private schools dramatically improve academic performance relative to public schools. Using data from Kenya—a poor country with weak public institutions—we find a large effect of private schooling on test scores, equivalent to one full standard deviation. This finding is robust to endogenous sorting of more able pupils into private schools. The magnitude of the effect dwarfs the impact of any rigorously tested intervention to raise performance within public schools. Furthermore, nearly two thirds of private schools operate at lower cost than the median government school.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Kenya, United States, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Carmen M. Reinhart, Nicolas E. Magud, Kenneth S. Rogoff
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The literature on capital controls has (at least) four very serious apples-to-oranges problems: (i) There is no unified theoretical framework to analyze the macroeconomic consequences of controls; (ii) there is significant heterogeneity across countries and time in the control measures implemented; (iii) there are multiple definitions of what constitutes a "success" and (iv) the empirical studies lack a common methodology-furthermore these are significantly "overweighted" by a couple of country cases (Chile and Malaysia). In this paper, we attempt to address some of these shortcomings by: being very explicit about what measures are construed as capital controls. Also, given that success is measured so differently across studies, we sought to "standardize" the results of over 30 empirical studies we summarize in this paper. The standardization was done by constructing two indices of capital controls: Capital Controls Effectiveness Index (CCE Index), and Weighted Capital Control Effectiveness Index (WCCE Index). The difference between them lies in that the WCCE controls for the differentiated degree of methodological rigor applied to draw conclusions in each of the considered papers. Inasmuch as possible, we bring to bear the experiences of less well known episodes than those of Chile and Malaysia. Then, using a portfolio balance approach we model the effects of imposing capital controls on short-term flows. We find that there should exist country-specific characteristics for capital controls to be effective. From this simple perspective, this rationalizes why some capital controls were effective and some were not. We also show that the equivalence in effects of price- vs. quantity-capital control are conditional on the level of short-term capital flows.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Alex Evans, David Steven
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The Rio 2012 summit on sustainable development is now one year away. Over two decades since the 1992 'Earth Summit', sustainable development has not materialized: as global GDP has risen, so have greenhouse gas emissions, species loss and environmental degradation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Environment, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Regina K. Pritchett
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Wilson Center
  • Abstract: Development literature overwhelmingly argues in favor of formal property ownership (titling) as a practical intervention for poor women's empowerment and to address urban poverty. In this body of literature empowerment is equated with financial, social and politic al gains but it lacks a rigorous definition. Luke's three-dimensional power framework provides a methodology for critical assessment of empowerment. The chapter structures Luke's analysis around a case study from a center city slum in Recife, Brazil. Ultimately the chapter demonstrates how a critical definition of empowerment can move thinking and practice towards re-engineering titling process for gender equity in urban land markets.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Gender Issues, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: J. Samuel Valenzuela
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the 1960s, the sociology of development has drawn its explanations for the inadequate development of Latin American countries from culturalist paradigms, such as modernization theory, or macro-structural ones, like the dependency perspective. Setting such perspectives aside, this paper seeks to reinvigorate a sociological focus on development by arguing that it requires “social fundamentals”—and not only the economic and political ones that have taken center stage in recent discussions of this topic. Such social fundamentals have to do primarily with the synergies that are generated between properly designed welfare institutions and the characteristics of a nation's families.
  • Topic: Development, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America, Sweden, Chile
  • Author: Elizabeth Stuart
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Economic growth in developing countries is desirable and necessary, but it is the distribution of that growth that matters for poverty reduction, rather than the pursuit of growth for its own sake.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Ana-María Poveda Garcés
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from Colombia has increased considerably in the past decade, with its stock growing from US$ 3 billion in 2000 to US$ 23 billion in 2010. This growth reflects the internationalization of the Colombian economy following policy reforms and economic liberalization in the 1990s. The 2000s were characterized by enhanced national security and reforms to the investment framework that have attracted unprecedented levels of inward FDI and facilitated the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A considerable rise in domestic mergers and acquisitions (M) in the past decade has contributed to the development of Colombian multinational enterprises (MNEs) and to increased OFDI from Colombia. In 2010, outflows showed a twenty-fold increase from their value in 2000, including an increase in OFDI to export markets, helped by greater government support for OFDI, for example by the conclusion of more international investment agreements. The rise of Colombian MNEs, or "translatinas" (i.e. Latin American MNEs whose OFDI is primarily within Latin America), reflects Colombia's nascent structural transformation into a knowledge-based economy. Together with Chile and Peru, Colombia has recently created the first regionallyintegrated stock exchange in the region, the Mercado Integrado Latinoamericano (MILA), which is likely to facilitate FDI flows.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Otto Argueta
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: It has become commonplace to explain the proliferation of private security services as causally determined by crime rates and institutional weakness. By contrast, this paper argues that another explanatory factor needs to be emphasized, especially for post-war societies: continuity and change of social control mechanisms. The paper first presents the current situation with commercial and noncommercial private security services in Guatemala (private security companies, as well as neighborhood security committees). Against this background, it reconstructs mechanisms and critical junctures by which the Guatemalan state sourced out policing functions to the private sector during the war, and traces the reinforcement of these mechanisms in the post-war society. It argues that the proliferation of private security services is an outcome of the overlapping of different political processes and sequences. The continuity of social control mechanisms thereby emerges as a stronger explanatory factor for this proliferation, rather than the common justification of high crime rates.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Crime, Development
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Guatemala
  • Author: Alberto Minujin, Louise Moreira Daniels, Javier Curcio
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: Children in Latin American (LA) countries were among the most vulnerable groups that suffered from the adjustment policies promoted by the “Washington Consensus” in the 1980s and 1990s. In that context, several organizations started initiatives to ensure and promote resources allocated by public budgets to children and women. This paper describes and analyzes the characteristics and main activities of such initiatives in a dozen LA countries, with in-depth analysis provided for three countries: Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador. A number of lessons are enumerated, which can serve as orientation for other regions, in particular for Africa.
  • Topic: Development, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa, Washington, Brazil, Argentina, Latin America, Ecuador
  • Author: Miguel Posada Betancourt
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Colombia used to be a synonym for violence and drugs, but not anymore. Today, the country has one of the best performing economies in Latin America, and violence levels have been dramatically reduced. The outgoing administration made improving investor confidence and the business environment one of the pillars of its policy. As a result of important reforms and aggressive campaigns to promote the country as an attractive location, inward foreign direct investment (IFDI) has risen to unprecedented levels. Due to these positive changes, Colombia has been designated a “top reformer” for the past four years in the World Bank's Doing Business reports, and the new Government has promised to maintain and reinforce efforts to attract foreign investment. Even though IFDI flows decreased in the past two years as a consequence of the economic and financial crisis, many foreign affiliates in Colombia achieved positive profits. A country that a decade ago was avoided is now in many investors' plans.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, War on Drugs, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Benjamin Leo
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Four years ago, the G-7 pushed through an unprecedented initiative forcing the international financial institutions to cancel 100 percent of their outstanding debt claims on the world's poorest countries. Through the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), these heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs) stand to receive up to $60 billion in debt relief over time. Moreover, the World Bank, African Development Bank, and IMF shareholders approved a new debt sustainability framework to govern future lending decisions and prevent the need for yet another round of systemic debt relief. All parties emerged from these landmark agreements confident that the dragon of unsustainable debt finally had been slain. However, several unsettling trends raise serious questions about the finality of these actions. First, World Bank and AfDB lending disbursement volumes to these very same HIPC countries remain very high, and nearly the same as compared to pre-MDRI. Emergency IMF lending in response to the global economic crisis has compounded the situation. Second, IMF and World Bank growth projections for HIPCs remain overly rosy compared to actual and historical performance. Our new dataset of IMF growth projections suggests a structural optimism of at least one percentage point per year. Third, HIPCs continue to experience significant volatility in country performance measures that has a direct impact on their ability to carry debt sustainably. Taken together, these findings suggest that donor countries should re-examine the issue of debt sustainability in low-income countries and the system for determining the appropriate grant/loan mix. The upcoming IDA and AfDF replenishment negotiations present a timely opportunity to do so. Absent assertive and corrective action, the international community may be faced with the prospect of a HIPC IV agreement in the not too distant future.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Neil Webster
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: There are two fundamentally different understandings of how to bring about development. One argues that through the right policies it is possible to create an enabling environment for the development of people and societies. The other emphasises that development can only take place if those who are supposed to benefit from it, insist on it themselves. In the second understanding development cannot be created from above or from outside. So-called cash transfer programmes having spread from Latin America to Africa and Asia are based on this understanding as they transfer money to poor people on certain conditions. The question is to what extent these programmes contribute to development.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Eduardo Zimmermann
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The present paper addresses several issues raised by the evolution of the electoral institutions and practices developed in nineteenth-century Argentina, and the role they played in the country's further political development. On the basis of the pioneering works of a new political history, two features of that historical process are considered in particular: first, an early consolidation of democratic principles born out of a widely shared perception of egalitarian social conditions prevalent in the River Plate provinces; second, the development of political and electoral practices that over time were to militate against the establishment of “classical” institutions of political representation. Many of the features of nineteenth-century Argentine electoral life, which would shape a particular democratic culture in the twentieth century, are thus seen as the result of a particular historical combination of early egalitarian politics with weak institutions rather than as a reflection of a strategy of exclusion and control by ruling elites or some vague “antidemocratic” cultural legacy.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Maria del Carmen Vera-Diaz, Robert K. Kaufmann, Daniel C. Nepstad
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: For decades, the development of transportation infrastructure in the Brazilian Amazon has been the government's main social and economic development policy in the region. Reductions in transportation costs have not only opened the agricultural frontier to cattle ranching and logging but have also caused more than two-thirds of Amazonian deforestation. Currently, soybean cultivation is a new economic force demanding improvements to roads in the region. Profitable soybean crops have spread over the Mato Grosso's cerrados and now head toward the core of the Amazon rain forest. One of the main constraints for soy expansion into the Amazon has been the poor condition of roads. In this study, we analyze the effect Amazon transportation infrastructure programs have on soybean expansion by lowering transport costs. The analysis is based on spatial estimates of transportation costs for the soybean sector, first using current road networks and then projecting changes based on the paving of the Cuiabá-Santarém road. Our results indicate that paving the Cuiabá-Santarém road would reduce transportation costs by an average of $10 per ton for farmers located in the northern part of Mato Grosso, by allowing producers to reroute soybean shipments to the Santarém port. Paving the road also would expand the area where growing soybeans is economically feasible by about 70 percent, from 120,000 to 205,000 km2 . Most of this new area would be located in the state of Pará and is covered largely by forests. A Cost-Benefit analysis of the road project indicates that the investments in infrastructure would generate more than $180 million for soybean farmers over a period of twenty years. These benefits, however, ignore the project's environmental impacts. If the destruction of ecological services and products provided by the existing forests is accounted for, then the Cuiabá-Santarém investment would generate a net loss of between $762 million and $1.9 billion. This result shows the importance of including the value of the natural capital in feasibility studies of infrastructure projects to reflect their real benefits to society as a whole.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Environment, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America, Amazon Basin
  • Author: Thomas J Trebat
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Latin American and Iberian Studies at Columbia University
  • Abstract: As the great global crisis eases its grasp, it is a time to reconsider relations between Brazil and the North, especially the United States and the European Union. While the world economy is still reeling, it is very possible that a new and more productive period in Brazil's relations with the US and Europe is possible. This positive outcome derives from numerous factors, most especially Brazil's “peaceful rise” to a more prominent global role and the arrival of the Obama administration whose promise of a new beginning in U.S. foreign policy has been greeted with such evident enthusiasm in Latin America.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Political Economy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Alberto Minujin, Guillermina Comas
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the vulnerability of the middle class in Latin America in face of the neo-liberal policies implemented in the region during recent decades and discusses possible policies and programs that promote the building and strengthening of democratic processes throughout the region. Changes in the Latin American middle class are examined. An important part of the middle class can be active participants in the process of building democracy and developing inclusive and equitable societies. This will require the implementation of policies and programs that promote the participation of the middle class in the public sphere.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Michael Mortimore, Carlos Razo
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Despite the current economic crisis, outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) by Latin American and Caribbean enterprises continued its upward trend in 2008 (annex figure 1). OFDI by firms in the region reached nearly USD 35 billion in 2008, an increase of 42% with respect to 2007 (ECLAC, 2009a). However, several of the factors that fostered such growth have recently changed, possibly affecting OF DI prospects for 2009. This Perspective briefly explores these changes and their potential effects on firms' investing behavior, as well as some important countervailing factors that may cushion the effects of the economic crisis on Latin American firms' investment plan.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Luís Afonso Lima, Octavio de Barros
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The internationalization of Brazilian companies is a relatively recent phenomenon. From 2000 to 2003, outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) averaged USD 0.7 billion a year. Over the four-year period 2004−2008, this average jumped to nearly USD 14 billion. In 2008, when global FDI inflows were estimated to have fallen by 15%, OFDI from Brazil almost tripled, increasing from just over USD 7 billion in 2007 to nearly USD 21 billion in 2008 (annex figure 1 below). Central Bank data put the current stock of Brazilian OFDI at USD 104 billion, an increase of 89% over 2003. Caution is in order about these figures, however, as in Brazilian outflows it is difficult to separate authentic FDI from purely financial investment under the guise of FDI. According to the most recent data, 887 Brazilian companies have invested abroad
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Søren Hvalkof
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This working paper summarizes the discussions and findings of a recent study of the impacts of contemporary land privatization processes and individual titling programs affecting indigenous communities in Latin America, with particular emphasis on indigenous economies and production systems. The study was informed by case studies from Peru, Bolivia and Honduras and Mexico, with the main focus on the indigenous peasant societies of the highlands, where individualization schemes apply. The neoliberal policies of the 1990s promoted market based legal and administrative reforms, with a strong emphasis on developing a dynamic land market that would eventually have an impact on indigenous communal land tenure systems, whether they were the direct target or not. From the present study it can be seen that there are significant contradictions between indigenous communal land arrangements and tenure systems, and the market-based land and agricultural policy reforms being promoted by the multilateral donor agencies. In the conventional economic development discourse land tenure security is considered a prerequisite for economic growth. The study shows, however, that in relation to indigenous communities the question of tenure security is much more complex and closely related to the security of social reproduction, safeguarding of communal control and of the communal decision-making authority. It shows that privatization and individualization of land tenure per se has not generated the expected results.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Luis E. González
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper addresses current problems of democratic instability in continental Latin America, assuming that all its countries have been at least “minimalist” democracies during the years 2000–07. To identify essential factors leading to instability, it focuses on the countries' most recent and acute political crises. It considers two periods in the post–cold war years: 1992–99 and 2000–07. The number of crises is similar in both periods, but their nature changes, from mostly “traditional” crises in the first (essentially elite-led affairs) to mostly non-traditional crises in the second (with crucial participation by the population). The data suggest that the main causes of the 2000–07 crises were already in place before the 1990s. Building on the available literature this leads to an explanation based on two medium-to-long term processes: the accumulation of unsatisfied expectations during a generation or so, and the still-precarious nature of these minimalist democracies. A cluster analysis strongly confirms that this model can explain both acute crises and their opposite, cases of democratic consolidation. The model also produces some post-dictions on electoral volatility (empirically confirmed), and some predictions for the years 2008–15. The discussion leads to some conclusions concerning prospects for democracy in the region. First, in spite of the crises, minimalist democracy is helping to impel democracy beyond minimalism. Second, to define “democracy,” it is not necessary to include stronger political requisites than those of “minimalism,” nor socioeconomic requisites. Both are needed, in any case, merely to stabilize minimalist democracies.
  • Topic: Cold War, Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Scott Mainwaring, Aníbal Pérez-Liñán
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In this paper we analyze the level of democracy achieved by 19 Latin American countries after 1977, in the period between the transitions from authoritarian rule and 2004. Our study shows enduring regime legacies: despite authoritarian interruptions in the past, the best predictor of the current level of democracy is the country's experience with competitive politics during the “first” (1900–44) and the “second” (1945–77) waves (and counter waves) of democratization. We document the impact of regime legacies using a fixed-effects vector decomposition model. Our finding resembles, but does not strictly confirm, theoretical claims about “path dependence” in democratization.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Rafael López Pintor, María Félix Herrera
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), based in Washington in DC, carried out a technical assistance program in support of the 2006 electoral process in Nicaragua, starting in October 2005. The counterpart institution was the Supreme Electoral Council, which together with IFES proceeded to define those areas in which IFES could collaborate. These were concentrated mainly in the fields of public information regarding the verification of the voter registration list, the preparation and distribution of voter identity cards and the direct training of members of the voting tables in all 153 municipalities in the country.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Washington, Latin America
  • Author: Gordon H. Hanson
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Illegal immigration is a source of mounting concern for politicians in the United States. In the past ten years, the U.S. population of illegal immigrants has risen from five million to nearly twelve million, prompting angry charges that the country has lost control over its borders. Congress approved measures last year that have significantly tightened enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border in an effort to stop the flow of unauthorized migrants, and it is expected to make another effort this year at the first comprehensive reform of immigration laws in more than twenty years.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Bert Hoffmann
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: As the 'Washington Consensus' reforms are losing momentum in Latin America, the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB) is calling for shifting the focus from the content of policy choices to the political process of their implementation. As this paper studies the paradigmatic case of telecommunications reform in Costa Rica it underscores the importance of these 'politics of policies'. The analysis finds, however, that the failure of repeated liberalization initiatives was not only due to policy-makers' errors in steering the project through 'the messy world of politics' (IDB); instead, as liberalization remained unpopular, policy content indeed mattered, and only the interaction of both explains the outcome. Particular attention is drawn to the political feed-back effects, as the failed reform, precisely because it had been backed by bi-partisan support, became a catalyst for the disintegration of the country's long-standing two-party system.
  • Topic: Corruption, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Liliana Rojas-Suarez
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The depth of and access to financial services provided by banks throughout Latin America are extremely low in spite of its recognized importance for economic activity, employment and poverty alleviation. Low financial depth and access hurts the poor the most and is due to a variety of obstacles that are presented in this paper in four categories, along with recommendations to overcome them. The first category groups socio-economic obstacles that undercut the demand for financial services of large segments of the population. The second category identifies problems in the operations of the banking sector that impedes the adequate provision of financial services to households and firms. The third category captures institutional deficiencies, with emphasis on the quality of the legal framework and the governability of the countries in the region. The fourth category identifies regulations that tend to distort the provision of banking services. Recommendations to confront these obstacles include innovative proposals that take into consideration the political constraints facing individual countries. Some of the policy recommendations include: public-private partnerships to improve financial literacy, the creation of juries specialized in commercial activities to support the rights of borrowers and creditors, and the approval of regulation to allow widespread usage of technological innovations to permit low-income families and small firms to gain access to financial services.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Ferdinando Regalía, Leslie Castro
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Nicaragua's Red de Protección Social (RPS) is one of the first conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs implemented in a low-income country. Demand-side incentives, in the form of monetary transfers, are provided to poor households on condition that their children attend school and visit preventive health care providers. The design of the program is unique among CCT programs because these demand-side incentives are complemented by supply-side incentives aimed at improving the provision of health care. Health care providers are paid on the basis of their performance against predetermined targets. Both private and nonprofit health care providers contracted by the government extend the coverage of services to previously underserved areas.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Jessica Todd, Marie Gaarder
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In order to support poor families in the developing world to seek and use health care, a multi-pronged strategy is needed on both the supply and the demand side of health care. A demand-side program called Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) strives to reduce poverty and also increase food consumption, school attendance, and use of preventive health care. Since 1997, seven countries in Latin America have implemented and evaluated CCT programs with health and nutrition components. The core of the program is based on encouraging poor mothers to seek preventive health services and attend health education talks by providing a cash incentive for their healthy behavior (with healthy behavior representing performance). Evaluations of these programs measured outputs in the utilization of services; health knowledge, attitudes, and practice; food consumption; the supply and quality of services; as well as outcomes in vaccination rates; nutritional status; morbidity; mortality; and fertility.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Roxana Barrantes Cáceres
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the notions of demand, poverty, information needs, and information and communication technologies (ICTs) to offer a concept of digital poverty, which may be useful to estimate the digital poverty level in Latin America and the Caribbean. The paper is composed of two sections. The first section contains a conceptual discussion of digital poverty, its types and possible levels, and the underlying economic foundations. ICTs are defined based on their use and the conditions for such use. Digital poverty is therefore defined as a lack of ICTs and might be a feature of any population segment, whether or not economically poor. The second section of this paper is an empirical attempt to validate the classification, using data from a household survey (ENAHO) carried out in Peru. The limitations in measuring digital poverty at the household level instead of at the individual level are acknowledged. Lastly, the conclusions reached, possible implications for public policy, and the avenues open for further research are presented.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Caribbean, Peru
  • Author: Nicola Phillips
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The economic rise of China has caused a redrawing of global production and value chains, a restructuring of the global division of labour, and a restructuring of patterns of global demand and of the terms of trade. This paper examines the nature of the emerging economic relationship between Latin America and the Caribbean and China, and seeks to offer some reflections on the significance of this relationship for Latin American and Caribbean development. It begins with an overview of trade and investment relationships between Latin American countries and China, and examines the significance of the emergence of China for the region's development strategies and developmental prospects in greater detail. This paper reflects on the early impact of these emerging arrangements on the existing economic relationship between Latin America and the United States, and seeks in some ways to challenge understandings of this sort based on national economies and instead argues for a focus on global production and value chains, as well the new transnational division of labour.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Asia, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean
  • Author: Heidrun Zinecker
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Abstract: We postulate the following hypothesis: hybrid regimes are typical and are bound to remain the dominant type of political regime in developing countries due to the correlation between regime hybridity and the rent economy that exists in those countries. Regime-Hybrids contain both democratic and non-democratic segments. In contrast to assumptions made in the relevant literature, non-democratic segments are not necessarily authoritarian, and these can exist both within the state and within civil society. This hypothesis requires an expanded definition of the political regime to include not only the state but also the civil society. In countries with regime-hybrids, the civil society is characterized by non-autonomy and fragmentation in general and violent fragmentation in particular.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: George Vojta
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Media Tenor International
  • Abstract: Media Tenor: Even within the BRIC States one cannot say that all three are on the Media Agenda, not mention developing countries. What could be the reason for this salience? Vojta: My sense is that the four BRIC countries are rising in media visibility as they become more significant players in the global system. Very shortly these four countries will surpass the G7countries in annual absolute growth results.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Cheryl R. Doss, Carmen Diana Deere
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Only recently has it been recognized that women may not share in the wealth of men, even within the same household or family. Moreover, there is growing evidence that the gender distribution of wealth matters. This paper first reviews the available evidence for developing countries on the gender asset gap and finds that it is significant. It then considers the constraints on women's asset ownership with particular attention to the role of legal marital and inheritance regimes. The paper then turns to a more detailed examination of women's land ownership in Latin America and Africa. The final section considers the impact of women's land ownership on household income and welfare.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Political Economy, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Seymour Spilerman, Florencia Torche
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper provides a descriptive analysis of wealth ownership and wealth inequality in Latin American countries, using diverse published sources and primary data analysis for 16 nations. We produce estimates of the distribution of home ownership, land, and financial assets, and find very high wealth concentration in all these types of assets, with the partial exception home ownership. The relevance of informal assets and the historical patterns of wealth accumulation and concentration since colonial times are discussed. Mechanisms of intergenerational wealth transmission are analyzed for the Chilean case.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Mehmet Arda
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The importance of supermarkets in the world food economy has increased radically since the early 1990s. They are now major sellers and buyers of food items not only in developed but also in developing countries. Urbanization and the liberalization of the services sector have been important facilitators of this process.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Jonathan Di John
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Taxation provides one of the principal lenses in measuring state capacity, state formation and power relations in a society. This paper critically examines three main approaches (economic, administrative and political economy) to understanding taxation. It also examines differences in tax composition across middle-income developing regions and finds that Latin American economies tax upper income groups much less than in East Asia and Eastern Europe, and explores the political economy and policy implications of these differences. The paper also examines issues of tax reform in low income/post-war economies and explores the problem that capital flight poses for less developed countries.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Third World
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, East Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Guillermo Rozenwurcel
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: After the Great Depression and throughout the rest of the twentieth century, Latin American countries basically approached economic development following two successive and quite opposed strategies. The first one was import substitution industrialization. The second was the so-called Washington Consensus approach. While the two views were founded on quite opposite premises, neither the import substitution industrialization nor the Washington Consensus managed to deliver sustained economic development to Latin American countries. Two domestic elements are crucial to understand this outcome. One is the failure of the state. The second is the inability to achieve mature integration into the world economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Washington, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Richard Lapper
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The popularity of the new political and economic model being developed in Venezuela has been a consistent source of aggravation for the U.S. government. Since first winning the presidency in December 1998, Hugo Chávez has been able through repeated electoral victories and radical constitutional reform to dominate Venezuela's government and public institutions. Undaunted by stiff U.S. opposition, President Chávez has launched what he calls a Bolivarian revolution, named after Simón Bolívar, a nineteenth-century leader of Latin America's independence wars. Chávez has reasserted the role of the state in the Venezuelan economy and developed extensive social programs to advance an anti- U.S., anti-capitalist crusade. New or newly reinvigorated alliances with established U.S. adversaries have helped internationalize Chávez's aims. Most alarming to those concerned with the health of Venezuelan democracy, Chávez and his allies have concentrated political power in the hands of the executive, curtailed the independence of the judiciary, shown limited tolerance for domestic critics, and openly intervened in the electoral politics of neighboring states.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Laurissa Muhlich, Barbara Fritz
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Optimum Currency Area (OCA) approaches turn to be inadequate in the analysis of the new regional monetary integration schemes that have sprung up among developing and emerging market economies. Instead, in accordance with the concept of 'original sin' (Eichengreen et al.) we argue that regional monetary South-South integration schemes that, unlike North-South arrangements, involve none of the international reserve currencies, have specific monetary constraints and implications which need to be duly considered. A first comparative analysis of three cases of monetary South-South cooperation in South Africa (CMA), East Asia (ASEAN) and Latin America (Mercosur) shows that these can indeed provide macroeconomic stability gains but that this strongly depends on the existence of economic hierarchies within these integration schemes.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Exchange, Third World
  • Political Geography: East Asia, South Africa, Latin America
  • Author: John Nellis
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In the last 25 years many thousands of formerly state-owned and operated firms have been privatized in developing and transition countries, generating over $400 billion (US) in sales proceeds. In addition, thousands of firms have been transferred by privatization processes in which no money was raised (though a surprising number of state-owned firms remain in these regions). The vast majority of economic studies praise privatization's positive impact at the level of the firm, as well as its positive macroeconomic and welfare contributions. Moreover, contrary to popular conception, privatization has not contributed to maldistribution of income or increased poverty——at least in the best-studied Latin American cases. In sum, the technical picture is generally positive. Nonetheless, public opinion in the less developed world is generally suspicious of, and often hostile to, privatization. A good part of the problem is that privatization has proven harder to launch, and is more likely to produce errant results, in low-income, institutionally weak states, particularly in the most important infrastructure sectors. Privatization is hard to sell politically; it has become a lightning rod and handy scapegoat for all discontent related to liberalization and globalization. What is needed are reform mechanisms that give incentives and comfort to reputable private investors, that create and sustain the policy and regulatory institutions that make governments competent and honest partners with the private operators, while at the same time protecting consumers, particularly the most disadvantaged, from abuse.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: John Nellis
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In the last 25 years many thousands of formerly state-owned and operated firms have been privatized in developing and transition countries, generating over $400 billion (US) in sales proceeds. In addition, thousands of firms have been transferred by privatization processes in which no money was raised (though a surprising number of state-owned firms remain in these regions). The vast majority of economic studies praise privatization's positive impact at the level of the firm, as well as its positive macroeconomic and welfare contributions. Moreover, contrary to popular conception, privatization has not contributed to maldistribution of income or increased poverty——at least in the best-studied Latin American cases. In sum, the technical picture is generally positive. Nonetheless, public opinion in the less developed world is generally suspicious of, and often hostile to, privatization. A good part of the problem is that privatization has proven harder to launch, and is more likely to produce errant results, in low-income, institutionally weak states, particularly in the most important infrastructure sectors. Privatization is hard to sell politically; it has become a lightning rod and handy scapegoat for all discontent related to liberalization and globalization. What is needed are reform mechanisms that give incentives and comfort to reputable private investors, that create and sustain the policy and regulatory institutions that make governments competent and honest partners with the private operators, while at the same time protecting consumers, particularly the most disadvantaged, from abuse.</p
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Political Economy, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Gabriel Gatti
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: The text proposes the concept of the detained-disappeared as the point from which to analyze social management strategies of a high-caliber theoretical problem in the context of contemporary social sciences, the crisis of representation. To analyze these strategies, this work starts by narrowly defining the concept of the detained-disappeared, thereby suggesting that this is a catastrophe for identity and for language. After considering the social and historical context of the the Latin-American southern hemisphere, the author explains and examines the two forms of narrative that explain how the concept and its consequences have been managed. These forms of narrative are the transitional narrative of the invisible and the highly complex narrative of the void.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Donna Lee Van Cott
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: I explore whether recently formed indigenous political parties in Ecuador and Bolivia are fulfilling their promise to improve the quality of local government by establishing institutions that promote intercultural cooperation and the participation of individuals and civil society groups. To the extent that such improvements have occurred, I seek to identify the conditions under which they succeed. I argue that under certain conditions even "least-likely cases" for the establishment of radical democratic models can produce positive changes in relations among hostile ethnic groups, shift resources toward underserved populations, and create spaces for citizens and civil society groups to deliberate public spending priorities. Such models are most likely to work when indigenous parties and their social movement sponsors are able to (1) maintain internal unity and solidarity; (2) develop distinct, complementary roles; (3) attract charismatic, talented mayors who are willing and able to work across ethnic lines; (4) reelect successful mayors; and (5) attract resources and technical support from external donors.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Ecuador, Bolivia
  • Author: Frances Hagopian
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This article identifies and proposes a framework to explain the responses of Latin America's Roman Catholic churches to a new strategic dilemma posed by religious and political pluralism. Because the church's goals of defending institutional interests, evangelizing, promoting public morality, and grounding public policy in Catholic social teaching cut across existing political cleavages, Church leaders must make strategic choices about which to emphasize in their messages to the faithful, investment of pastoral resources, and alliances. I develop a typology of Episcopal responses based on the cases of Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Mexico, and explain strategic choices by the church's capacity to mobilize civil society, its degree of religious hegemony, and the ideological orientations of Catholics. The analysis draws from 620 Episcopal documents issued since 2000.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, South America, Latin America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: George Mavrotas, S. Mansoob Murshed
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The present paper utilises a short-run theoretical macroeconomic model of a small open economy to look at the impact of macroeconomic policies and financial deepening upon poverty through sectoral changes. This is because an expansion in certain sectors may cause greater poverty reduction. The model involves a non-traded and a traded sector on the formal side of the economy. The former is more capital intensive and the latter more unskilled labour intensive. Increased employment in the traded sector is more pro-poor compared to a similar rise in the non-traded sector as the former draws workers out of poverty in the informal sector. The model in our paper analyses short-run effects of devaluation, a rise in the money supply induced by financial deepening, and taxation to discourage non-traded goods consumption. Financial deepening can induce greater output and reduce poverty. Other results are mixed and taxonomic. We also attempt to differentiate between the stylised experiences of East Asia and Latin America. East Asian economies have relied more heavily on labour-intensive manufactured exports, whereas Latin America has had a relatively greater share of capital intensive and natural resource based exports. In recent decades countries in these two regions have had differing experiences in poverty reduction, with poverty arguably declining more in East Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Anna Gelpern
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Financial collapse usually triggers a flurry of market, academic, and policy innovation. The Latin American debt crisis of the 1980s produced the Brady Bonds and led to the rise of today's emerging markets. In the late 1990s, crises in Pakistan, Ecuador, and Ukraine helped teach the markets how to restructure international sovereign bonds. Crises in Mexico, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, and throughout East Asia raised doubts about the international system's ability to manage vast and rapid capital flows, and prompted a big-picture reassessment under the rubric “international financial architecture.” This included most famously the sovereign bankruptcy proposals discussed elsewhere in this volume.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Middle East, East Asia, Brazil, South America, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Covadonga Meseguer
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: In this paper, I enquire whether 37 governments in industrial and in Latin American countries privatised as a result of learning from experience. Using a rational updating model, I examine whether the decision in the 1980s and 1990s to streamline the public sector was the outcome of a revision of beliefs about the effectiveness of privatisation or whether, alternatively, it was triggered by international pressures or mimicry. The results suggest that rational learning and especially emulation were two important factors in the decision to privatise. International pressures, here proxied by the presence or absence of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund and by European Union membership, are irrelevant to explanations of the decision to privatise. Finally, domestic political conditions appear relevant to the decision to launch privatisation but only when the analysis is carried out for each of the regional sub-samples. In the OECD countries, centre-left governments were more likely to privatise whereas in Latin American more repressive regimes were more willing to divest.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Jorge Saba Arbache
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In the last twenty years, Brazil has undergone several attempts of improving sustainable growth through stabilization programmes, and more recently, structural reforms in line with the Washington Consensus Agenda. The results, however, have been disappointing, as the per capita output growth has remained below its historic trend, and poverty and inequality remain at high levels. This paper investigates why marketoriented reforms such as trade and capital account liberalization, privatization, deregulation and stabilization failed to boost growth in Brazil. We conclude that structural reforms may contribute to growth if accompanied by microeconomic policies tailor-made to address the country's needs, and by appropriate macroeconomic, institutional and political environments.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Washington, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Daniel W. Christman, John G. Heimann, Julia E. Sweig
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The democracies of the Andean region—Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia—are at risk. The problems that characterize other developing regions—including political instability, economic stagnancy, widening inequality, and social divisions along class, color, ethnic, ideological, and urban-rural fault lines—are all present in the Andes. Most important is the region's physical insecurity, due in some countries to ongoing or resurgent violent conflict, and in every country to the lack of state control over significant territory and to porous borders that enable the easy movement of drugs, arms, and conflict. Equally sobering, expectations for strong democracy and economic prosperity in the Andes remain unrealized. Recognizing its interests in the Andes, the United States over the past two decades has spent billions of dollars and significant manpower to stem the flow of illegal drugs from the region northward; to assist local security forces in the fight against drugs, terror, and insurgency; and to promote free markets, human rights, and democratic consolidation. Yet the region remains on the brink of collapse, an outcome that would pose a serious threat to the U.S. goal of achieving democracy, prosperity, and security in the hemisphere.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, South America, Latin America, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia
  • Author: Thomas Carothers
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Although the current rule-of-law promotion field is still expanding as it approaches the end of its second decade, it still faces a lack of knowledge at many levels of conception, operation, and evaluation. There is a surprising amount of uncertainty, for example, about the twin rationales of rule-of-law promotion—that promoting the rule of law will contribute to economic development and democratization. There is also uncertainty about what the essence of the rule of law actually is—whether it primarily resides in certain institutional configurations or in more diffuse normative structures. Rule-of-law promoters are also short of knowledge about how the rule of law develops in societies and how such development can be stimulated beyond simplistic efforts to copy institutional forms. And the question of what kinds of larger societal effects will result from specific changes in rule-of-law institutions is also still open. Although aid institutions engaged in rule-of-law assistance do attempt some—lessons learned—exercises, many of the lessons produced are superficial and even those are often not really learned. Several substantial obstacles to greater knowledge accumulation in this field persist, including the complexity of the task of promoting the rule of law, the particularity of legal systems, the unwillingness of aid organizations to invest sufficient resources in evaluations, and the tendency of both academics and lawyers not to pursue systematic empirical research on rule-of-law aid programs. Whether rule-of-law aid is on the path to becoming a well-grounded field of international assistance remains uncertain.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Tony Addison, Giovanni Andrea Cornia, Sampsa Kiiski
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the trends in within-country inequality during the post- World War II period, with particular attention to the last 20 years, on the basis of a review of the relevant literature and of an econometric analysis of inequality trends in 73 countries accounting for 80 per cent of the world's population and 91 per cent of world GDP-PPP. The paper suggests that the last two decades have been characterized by a surge in within-country inequality in about two-thirds of the developing, developed and transitional nations analysed. It also suggests that in those countries where the upsurge in inequality was sizeable or where inequality rose from already high levels, growth and poverty alleviation slowed down perceptibly. While this trend towards higher inequality differs substantially across countries in its extent, timing and specific causes, it marks a clear departure from that observed during the first 30 years of the post-World War II period during which, with the exception of Latin America and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, a widespread move towards greater egalitarianism was noted in the majority of the socialist, developing and industrialized economies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Political Economy, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
  • Abstract: The enclosed survey was conducted in order to map all regional and sub regional networks working in the field of Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean. The objective of mapping SSR networks in these regions is multi-fold. Firstly it is imperative that at a time when security has taken a truly global dimension and span, academics and practitioners alike are aware of the state of SSR in different regions. Certain similarities and patterns emerge during the analysis that offer lessons and directions for actors wishing to become involved in SSR in a particular region, or searching for guidance in applying best practices and lessons learned to particular situations. Secondly, exchange of experience and ideas is especially important in supporting South-South dialogue, but the value of cooperation cannot be overemphasized given the often-unclear context in which SSR activities take place. The mapping exercise serves as an entry-point for practitioners to identify existing networks and their areas of expertise. Opportunities for collaboration are made possible by identifying other organisations that are pursuing similar goals. Additionally, the map of SSR networks serves to identify possible gaps in scope of activity and highlights entry points for other organisations and networks to further the objectives of security sector management and reform. Lastly, this exercise will serve as a vehicle for the GFN-SSR to develop ways to strengthen its activities. One way in which the GFN-SSR is already adding value is through the development of its website, which, inter alia, offers a newsletter in four languages, i.e., English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. An activity to reinforce the access to information for those in areas of poor connectivity is already being developed through the conception of a CD-ROM containing all the existing website information for distribution on a timely basis to interested organisations.
  • Topic: Security, Development, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Europe, Asia, South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean
  • Author: Ricardo Ffrench-Davis, Guillermo Larraín
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: During the Asian crisis, intermediate exchange rate regimes vanished. It has been argued that those regimes were no longer useful and only the extremes remained valid. The paper analyses three foreign exchange regimes: Argentina (pegged), Chile (band) and Mexico (float). The Argentinean currency board delivered low financial volatility while it was credible, but even then it displayed high real volatility. Mexican float performed well in periods of instability isolating the real sector. The Chilean band delivered a mixed outcome as compared to Argentina and Mexico. This is linked apparently to a loss in the band's credibility, associated to policy mismanagement and an over-appreciation in the biennium before the crisis. Optimal exchange rate regimes vary across time and the conjuncture. Exit strategies are part of the election of the optimal system, including a flexible policy package rather than a single rigid policy tool.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Argentina, South America, Latin America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: Pedro Albarran, Orazio P. Attanasio
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper will use the data from the PROGRESA evaluation to show the extent to which such a programme crowds out private transfers. An interesting aspect of the paper is the fact that it can use the randomization (one-third of the villages in the sample were randomized in the programme for evaluation purposes).
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Raquel Abrantes Pêgo, Célia Almeida
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The purpose of this study is to consider the role played by the community of public health experts in the contemporary health sector reform process. It discusses the issue based on the case of Brazil and Mexico, because, as specialists, public health researchers in both countries have directed their participation to influencing the conflict over the reorientation of health policy in their respective countries. One of their approaches has consisted in developing a new cognitive framework that underpins technical health sector reform projects understood as policy proposals with technical content. Our purpose is to show that these experts manage to influence the national debate over health sector reform when the technical and scientific discussion leaves the academic sphere and goes to the realm of social and political debate. In our opinion, this occurs because this technical and scientific knowledge has been held out, independently of its intrinsic value, as a political and ideological alternative platform for sustaining a health sector reform proposal which, once transformed into a policy project, has served to aggregate certain political and social forces and not others. The study sets out each case separately, in each showing first the emergence of a new body of thinking in the field of public health (Collective Health in Brazil and New Public Health in Mexico). It then demonstrates how these groups of experts have articulated and interacted with specific political and social forces within their respective societies, and analyses how they have become a political stream within health institutions in the struggle to control the sector's future.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America, Central America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Michael G. Donovan, Kwan S. Kim
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the historical development of Japan's economic relationship with Latin America and describes trends observed in the short and medium term. The main types of relations examined are trade, direct foreign investment, and official development assistance. Emphasis is placed on how Japan's postwar economic development is mirrored in its changing relationship with Latin America. The importance of relationships for both Japan and the United States is discussed, as are competing broad theoretical hypotheses about the nature and evolution of these relationships. The concluding section explores the impact of the Asian economic crisis on Latin America and assesses the feasibility of free trade agreements between Japan and certain Latin American nations.
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Asia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: William Krist
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: Market Access Negotiations are a major element of the efforts to create a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by 2020. If successful, these negotiations will remove all tariff and nontariff barriers to trade among the 34 participating countries on all nonagricultural products, including forest and mining products, fish, and manufactured goods.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Joan B. Anderson
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: In pursuit of improved quality and more equity in education, public primary schools in Latin America have utilized several compensatory educational policies that include special interventions such as food aid programs, distribution of free textbooks, classroom libraries, in-service teacher training, extra classes and extra school sessions, tutors and mentors, and scholarships. Using data on children and schools in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico, this paper presents the results of cross-country, empirical estimates of the effects of these interventions on language and math achievement and on the likelihood of promotion, both at the school level and at the level of individual children. Language and math achievement was measured by scores on UNESCO-developed language and math examinations administered to each of the 2,048 children in the sample. In addition, the paper addresses whether a particular intervention is equally effective in poor and non-poor environments and whether these compensatory interventions in fact target those who need them most. Empirical findings suggest that the most effective programs are classroom libraries, distribution of textbooks, distribution of food, and teacher training. For programs to be compensatory, the research indicates that better targeting of scarce resources toward low-income schools and children is needed
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Latin America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: Marcela Szymanski
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The Carter Center has a long history of engagement with Mexico with the shared goal of improving the electoral system in that country. In the early 1990s, the Center helped national observer groups to form and sent international observers to assist in domestic election monitoring. It also invited Mexicans to observe the U.S. elections in 1992. In 1994, the Center was among the first international observers to monitor elections in Mexico, and its observations helped shape electoral reforms that framed those and the 1997 elections, which the Center also observed.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Laura Neuman, Jennifer McCoy
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Venezuela under President Hugo Chávez undertook a bold experiment to revamp its political system and address economic inequities and poverty. The country held seven votes in two years as voters chose Hugo Chávez to lead them in December 1998 and then supported his radical reform program, beginning with a new constitution. A Constitutional Assembly was elected in July 1999 to draft a new constitution, which voters approved in December 1999. Every elected position in the country was then presented to the voters again in a two-stage election in July and December 2000. While we do not believe that the election irregularities would have changed the 2000 presidential results, the significant politicization of the elections and organizational deficiencies contributed to a lack of confidence in the process and the nonpresidential results, thus leading us to characterize the July 2000 elections as flawed.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Anthony T. Bryan
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: Tourism drives economic growth in ways that make it one of the best engines for job creation and development for poor countries that possess natural beauty and relevant infrastructure. The industry is highly labor intensive and encourages entrepreneurship. Under its ambit, property owners, restaurants, and local suppliers of goods and services, among others, develop the habits of risk taking without which no economy can realize its full potential. Tourism holds out the prospect of a better life for those stakeholders who make money from it. Not unlike trade, it improves an economy's competitiveness. Trade does so because it stimulates local suppliers to match the quality and variety of imported goods. Tourism does so because returning travelers to a destination demand the goods and services they have seen in other countries (Elliott 2001).
  • Topic: Development, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Philip Oxhorn
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: During much of the 1970s and 1980s, the principal political struggles throughout Latin America revolved around the creation of democratic political regimes based on the right to vote. Now that this right has been effectively established in virtually every country of the region, 1 the limits of political democracy as traditionally defined are becoming increasingly apparent (Oxhorn and Ducatenzeiler 1998; Agüero and Stark 1998; Chalmers et al. 1997). These countries are indisputably political democracies, yet the quality of democratic rule leaves much to be desired. Recent studies of the democratic deficits in Latin America have focused on a variety of dimensions (including extremes of economic inequality, poverty, growing levels of criminality, limits on citizenship rights, the weakness of civil society, problems of representation, and the weakness of political parties, among others)
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Shelley Sperry
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Agency for International Development
  • Abstract: WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS proliferated during and after the civil war that ravaged El Salvador from 1979 through 1991. By war's end, more than a hundred different women's organizations existed in El Salvador, each generating local and regional projects and frequently working in the national political arena as well. Unlike women's movements in other Latin American nations, the women's movement in El Salvador has grown stronger in the post conflict period of emerging democracy. The two movements—democracy and women's rights—appear to be mutually supportive. The case of El Salvador suggests that helping women's groups establish autonomy and stability during, rather than following, a conflict may be crucial to ensuring future women's activism and a vital democratic civil society.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Gender Issues, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America, El Salvador
  • Author: Roberto Macedo
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on the Brazilian privatization program undertaken in the 1990s, one of the largest in the world, as a result of which over US$71 billion worth of equity capital and US$17 billion of debt owed by the former state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were transferred to private owners, both at the federal and state levels.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America