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  • Author: Nora Lustig
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper examines the redistributive impact of fiscal policy for Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and South Africa using comparable fiscal incidence analysis with data from around 2010. The largest redistributive effect is in South Africa and the smallest in Indonesia. While fiscal policy always reduces inequality, this is not the case with poverty.
  • Topic: Economics, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Africa, South America, 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: Enrique Dussel Peters
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Weeks before Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with President Barack Obama in Washington, the Atlantic Council's Latin America Center launched a new report that unravels the complexities of the Latin America-China relationship. Titled China's Evolving Role in Latin America: Can it Be a Win-Win?, the report provides five recommendations to help both China and Latin America usher in a mutually beneficial post-commodity-boom relationship. The key to long-term success will be to insure that the relationship promotes—rather than delays—economic growth and social progress in the hemisphere. In the report, renowned Mexico-based China Expert Enrique Dussel Peters, an Atlantic Coucil author and Professor at the Graduate School of Economics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), calls for a ratcheting up of strategic planning and multilateral support so the relation¬ship is a win-win for all parties, including the United States. A deep dive of the state of play is provided for five countries: Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela. These countries illustrate the spectrum of ties with China, ranging from those with long and complex historical relation¬ships to those almost entirely structured around recent opportunities for economic cooperation.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America
  • Author: Marcio Garcia
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: From 2009 until 2011, Brazil utilized capital controls to deter real exchange rate appreciation. These measures may have obstructed necessary changes in the fiscal policy stance from occurring. In Chile, which employed capital controls heavily in the 1990s and then decided not to use them again during the commodity super-boom in the 2000s, suggests that an adequate fiscal policy stance provides better results than the use of capital controls. In addition, the recent experiences of Colombia and Peru demonstrate capital controls are not always necessary. This paper makes recommendations for capital control surveillance and coordination, using the Brazilian experience as an example, and draws on experiences in other Latin American countries. When analyzing the implications for surveillance and coordination, international institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, should take into consideration that, no matter how many caveats are listed before its guidelines, capital controls mainly serve to bypass needed changes in macroeconomic policy, thereby jeopardizing economic performance.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Monetary Fund
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Juan Camilo Castillo, Daniel Mejia, Pascual Restrepo
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Using the case of the cocaine trade in Mexico as a relevant and salient example, this paper shows that scarcity leads to violence in markets without third party enforcement. We construct a model in which supply shortages increase total revenue when demand is inelastic. If property rights over revenues are not well defined because of the lack of reliable third party enforcement, the incentives to prey on others and avoid predation by exercising violence increase with scarcity, thus increasing violence. We test our model and the proposed channel using data for the cocaine trade in Mexico. We found that exogenous supply shocks originated in changes in the amount of cocaine seized in Colombia (Mexico's main cocaine supplier) create scarcity and increase drug-related violence in Mexico.
  • Topic: Crime, Economics, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Oeindrila Dube, Omar Garcia-Ponce, Kevin Thom
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We examine how commodity price shocks experienced by rural producers affect the drug trade in Mexico. Our analysis exploits exogenous movements in the Mexican maize price stemming from weather conditions in U.S. maize-growing regions, as well as export flows of other major maize producers. Using data on over 2,200 municipios spanning 1990-2010, we show that lower prices differentially increased the cultivation of both marijuana and opium poppies in municipios more climatically suited to growing maize. This increase was accompanied by differentially lower rural wages, suggesting that households planted more drug crops in response to the decreased income generating potential of maize farming.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Poverty, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Andrew Powell
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: There are many dimensions to the international use of a nation's currency. These include the use of a currency for trade invoicing and settlement, the use of a currency to denominate assets to be held as a store of value, for example, as central bank reserves, and the use of a currency to denominate liabilities such as loans or bonds.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Marília Leão, Renato S. Maluf
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Brazil has achieved promising results in the fight against hunger and poverty. This paper describes the path toward building a new governance framework for the provision of public policies that initiated a virtuous cycle for the progressive elimination of hunger and poverty. However, it is important to emphasize that the country continues to be characterized by dynamics that generate inequalities and threaten social and environmental justice.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Poverty, Food, Governance
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Patrice Franko
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Brazil is a puzzling new player in the global system. Emerging as a complex international actor, it has come to be seen as a significant economic competitor and dynamic force in world politics. But transformational changes in the economic and political realms have not been accompanied by advances in military power. While Brazil has entered the world stage as an agile soft power exercising influence in setting global agendas and earning a seat at the economic table of policymakers, its military capacity lags. The national security strategy announced under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2008 intended to redress this power gap. President Dilma Rousseff 's 2011 White Paper—so detailed that it is called a "White Book"—provides the conceptual roadmap to achieve a new military balance. But military modernization is still a work in progress.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Jennifer Leavy, Naomi Hossain
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Who wants to farm? In an era of land grabs and environmental uncertainty, improving smallholder productivity has become a higher priority on the poverty and food security agenda in development, focusing attention on the next generation of farmers. Yet emerging evidence about the material realities and social norms and desires of young people in developing countries indicates a reasonably widespread withdrawal from work on the land as an emerging norm. While de-agrarianisation is not new, policymakers are correct to be concerned about a withdrawal from the sector: smallholder productivity growth, and agricultural transformation more broadly, depend in part on the extent to which capable, skilled young people can be retained or attracted to farming, and on policies that support that retention. So who wants to farm, and under what conditions? Where are economic, environmental and social conditions favourable to active recruitment by educated young people into farming? What policy and programmatic conditions are creating attractive opportunities in farming or agro-food industry livelihoods?
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Elling N. Tjønneland
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Much has been written about the role of the rising or emerging powers and their accelerating economic engagement in Africa. Much less is known about how they contribute to or impact on the African peace and security agenda. This report takes a comparative look at the roles of China, India, Brazil and South African in relation to the African Union and its African Peace and Security Architecture. Each of these four countries has a distinct commercial and corporate approach to Africa, despite a shared political commitment to South-South cooperation. However, as they extend their economic engagement they are becoming more sensitive to insecurity and volatility. The Asian and Latin American countries, which traditionally have strongly emphasised non-intervention, are gradually becoming more involved in the African security agenda. They are increasingly concerned about their image and reputation and the security of their citizens and business interests, and are becoming more prepared to act multilaterally and to work with others in facilitating security and stability. As an African power, South Africa plays a more direct role and has emerged as a major architect of the continent's evolving peace and security architecture. This report summarises elements from a broader research project on rising powers and the African peace and security agenda undertaken by CMI in cooperation with NOREF.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, 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: Liliana Rojas-Suarez, Maria Alejandra Amado
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes Latin America's Financial Inclusion Gap, the difference between the average financial inclusion for Latin America and the corresponding average for a set of comparator countries. At the country level, we assess four types of obstacles to financial inclusion: macroeconomic weaknesses, income inequality, institutional deficiencies and financial sector inefficiencies. A key finding of this paper is that although the four types of obstacles explain the absolute level of financial inclusion, institutional deficiencies and income inequality are the most important obstacles behind the Latin America's financial inclusion gap. From our analysis at the individual level, we find that there is a Latin America-specific effect of education and income. The results suggest that the effect of attaining secondary education on the probability of being financially included is significantly higher in Latin America than in its comparators. Furthermore, the difference in the probability of being financially included between the richest and the poorest individuals is significantly higher in Latin America than in comparator countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Human Rights, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: David L. Goldwyn, Cory R Gill
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: It has been nearly ten years since the launch of Petrocaribe, a program designed to win the political loyalty of the Caribbean states through generous credit subsidies to help import Venezuelan crude oil and products. Recipient states have grown dependent on high-cost, high-carbon fuels for power generation and Venezuelan credit to balance their budgets.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Caribbean, Venezuela
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This report is based on the themes and messages discussed during the Business Opportunities in Housing for the Base of the Pyramid event held in São Paulo, Brazil on 2 September 2013. The event brought together between key actors developing housing solutions for low-income communities in Brazil. More than 70 members from the United Nations Development Programme in Brazil, city government, civil society, real estate developers, private-sector companies and investors attended this invite-only event, a collaborative effort between Business Call to Action (BCtA) and Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) Brazil Chapter which enabled participating stakeholders to discuss challenges and solutions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Roberto Alvarez, José De Gregorio
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Latin American performance during the global fi nancial crisis was unprecedented. Many developing and emerging countries successfully weathered the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Was it good luck? Was it good policies? In this paper we compare growth during the Asian and global fi nancial crises and fi nd that a looser monetary policy played an important role in mitigating crisis. We also fi nd that higher private credit, more fi nancial openness, less trade openness, and greater exchange rate intervention worsened economic performance. Our analysis of Latin American countries confi rms that eff ective macroeconomic management was key to good economic performance. Finally, we present evidence from a sample of 31 emerging markets that high terms of trade had a positive impact on resilience.
  • Topic: Economics, Global Recession, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Vegard Bye
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Cuban society is undergoing deep changes, more than fifty years after the Revolution and the same number of years with a Castro government. The focus of study is mostly on economic reforms. But economic transition also has great impact - gradually manifesting itself - on the entire political system. The direction of these changes is still quite unclear. In this Working Paper, "The Politics of Cuban Transformation - what Space for Authoritarian Withdrawal?", NUPI Research Fellow Vegard Bye analyzes the choice of direction and some scenarios in the political transformation process.
  • Topic: Communism, Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean
  • 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: Nicholas Carnes, Noam Lupu
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Does it matter that working-class citizens are numerically underrepresented in political offices throughout the world? For decades, the conventional wisdom in comparative politics has been that it does not, that lawmakers from different classes think and behave roughly the same in office. In this paper, we argue that this conclusion is misguided. Past research relied on inappropriate measures of officeholders' class backgrounds, attitudes, and choices. Using data on 18 Latin American legislatures, we show that lawmakers from different classes bring different economic attitudes to the legislative process. And using data on one least-likely case, we show that pre-voting decisions like sponsoring legislation often differ dramatically along social class lines, even when political parties control higher-visibility decisions like roll-call votes. The unequal numerical or descriptive representation of social classes in the world's legislatures has important consequences for the substantive representation of different class interests.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Social Stratification, Socialism/Marxism
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Land distribution in Colombia is extremely unequal, with concentration of land ownership among the highest in the world, and second highest in Latin America after Paraguay. Inequality in access to land is closely linked to rural poverty, and is both a cause and a consequence of the internal armed conflict that has ravaged the country for more than half a century. During this period, violence and forced displacement have caused dispossession involving up to 8 million hectares – more than the area currently devoted to agriculture throughout the country.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Democratization, Economics, Reform
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Richard Snyder, Maria Angelica Bautista, Angelica Duran-Martinez, Jazmin Sierra
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: How do international inequalities in funding, institutional support and research capacity affect the production of social science knowledge? New data on the political economy of research in Latin America shows that funding for social science is organized in sharply contrasting ways across countries, with three types of capital -- foreign, domestic public, and domestic private -- playing distinct roles. This cross-national variation in the role played by each type of capital, in turn, has contrasting consequences for (1) who produces knowledge, that is, for the professional credentials and networks needed to gain access to funding for research; and (2) for the kind of knowledge produced, especially for the comparative scope and policy relevance of research. A focus on cross-national variation in how social science is funded provides a stronger understanding of knowledge production in the Global South.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Colombia, Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Richard Snyder, Kelly Bay, Cecilia Perla
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, 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: 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: 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
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For too long, the United States and Europe have failed to embrace Latin America as a partner in a broader transatlantic community. Modern Latin America, like the United States, springs from a common European heritage and shares the historical, political, and philosophical roots that bind the West so closely together. The region is of growing strategic importance, with its expanding markets, energy resources, and global economic reach. But while Latin America is changing rapidly, the United States and Europe have been slow to sufficiently recognize and embrace this new world, missing crucial policy and business opportunities.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Latin America
  • Author: David J. Goldwyn
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Mexico's Congress passed its final hurdle to reform the Constitution and allow for private investment in the energy industry on December 12, 2013. This significant achievement heralds the most comprehensive energy reform in the last seventy-five years of the country's history.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Deborah Elms, C. L. Lim
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement currently under negotiation between nine countries in three continents, including Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam. In late 2011 three additional countries--Japan, Canada and Mexico--announced their intention to join as well. The TPP has always been called a "high quality, 21st century" agreement that covers a range of topics not always found in free trade agreements. This includes not just trade in goods, services and investment, but also intellectual property rights, government procurement, labor, environment, regulations, and small and medium enterprises. This paper traces the complex negotiations and evolution of the talks since the early 2000s to the present.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Labor Issues, Intellectual Property/Copyright
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, Israel, Vietnam, Latin America, Australia, Australia/Pacific, Mexico, Singapore, Chile, Peru, New Zealand, Brunei
  • Author: Liliana Rojas-Suarez, Carlos Montoro
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The financial systems in emerging market economies during the 2008–09 global financial crisis performed much better than in previous crisis episodes, albeit with significant differences across regions. For example, real credit growth in Asia and Latin America was less affected than in Central and Eastern Europe. This paper identifies the factors at both the country and the bank levels that contributed to the behavior of real credit growth in Latin America during the global financial crisis. The resilience of real credit during the crisis was highly related to policies, measures and reforms implemented in the pre-crisis period. In particular, we find that the best explanatory variables were those that gauged the economy's capacity to withstand an external financial shock. Key were balance sheet measures such as the economy's overall currency mismatches and external debt ratios (measuring either total debt or short-term debt). The quality of pre-crisis credit growth mattered as much as its rate of expansion. Credit expansions that preserved healthy balance sheet measures (the “quality” dimension) proved to be more sustainable. Variables signalling the capacity to set countercyclical monetary and fiscal policies during the crisis were also important determinants. Moreover, financial soundness characteristics of Latin American banks, such as capitalization, liquidity and bank efficiency, also played a role in explaining the dynamics of real credit during the crisis. We also found that foreign banks and banks which had expanded credit growth more before the crisis were also those that cut credit most. The methodology used in this paper includes the construction of indicators of resilience of real credit growth to adverse external shocks in a large number of emerging markets, not just in Latin America. As additional data become available, these indicators could be part of a set of analytical tools to assess how emerging market economies are preparing themselves to cope with the adverse effects of global financial turbulence on real credit growth.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Florencia Torche, Luis F. Lopez-Calva, Jamele Rigolini
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Middle class values have long been perceived as drivers of social cohesion and growth. In this paper we investigate the relation between class (measured by the position in the income distribution), values, and political orientations using comparable values surveys for six Latin American countries. We find that both a continuous measure of income and categorical measures of income-based class are robustly associated with values. Both income and class tend to display a similar association to values and political orientations as education, although differences persist in some important dimensions. Overall, we do not find strong evidence of any “middle class particularism”: values appear to gradually shift with income, and middle class values lay between the ones of poorer and richer classes. If any, the only peculiarity of middle class values is moderation. We also find changes in values across countries to be of much larger magnitude than the ones dictated by income, education and individual characteristics, suggesting that individual values vary primarily within bounds dictated by each society.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Social Stratification, Culture
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • 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: Theodore H. Moran, Julia Muir, Barbara Kotschwar
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: China's need for vast amounts of minerals to sustain its high economic growth rate has led Chinese investors to acquire stakes in natural resource companies, extend loans to mining and petroleum investors, and write long-term procurement contracts for oil and minerals in Africa, Latin America, Australia, Canada, and other resource-rich regions. These efforts to procure raw materials might be exacerbating the problems of strong demand; "locking up" natural resource supplies, gaining preferential access to available output, and extending control over the world's extractive industries. But Chinese investment need not have a zero-sum effect if Chinese procurement arrangements expand, diversify, and make more competitive the global supplier system. Previous Peterson Institute research (see Moran 2010) and new research undertaken in this paper, show that the majority of Chinese investments and procurement arrangements serve to help diversify and make more competitive the portion of the world natural resource base located in Latin America. For a more comprehensive analysis, the authors conduct a structured comparison of four Peruvian mines with foreign ownership: two Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development-based, and two Chinese. They examine what conditions or policy measures are most effective in inducing Chinese investors to adopt international industry standards and best-practices, and which are not. They distill from this case study some lessons for other countries in Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere that intend to use Chinese investment to develop their extractive sectors: first, that financial markets bring accountability; second, that the host country regulatory environment makes a significant difference; and third, that foreign investment is a catalyst for change.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Latin America, Australia
  • Author: Brandon Fite
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iran pursues cooperation with states on the geographic and strategic periphery of the competition between the US and Iran in order to create a network of diplomatic and economic relationships or “partners” that can lessen the blow of international sanctions and generally oppose Western attempts to constrict its ambitions. These peripheral “partners” located mainly in Africa and Latin America, also serve as alternative markets for Iranian oil, provide diplomatic cover for Iran's nuclear efforts, and aid Iran's acquisition of goods proscribed by international sanctions.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Iran, Latin America
  • Author: Juliana Martínez Franzoni, Diego Sánchez-Ancochea
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: How are universal social programs built in countries on the periphery, where resources are more limited and initial inequalities higher than any ever seen in OECD countries? Historically it has been very difficult, and even those countries that committed themselves to serious welfare efforts did so with stratified, rather than universal, transfers and services. Yet there have been some exceptions, and Costa Rica ranks among the most successful. The bottom-up expansion of social security, along income/class rather than occupational lines, was very important in the creation of a basic floor of benefits among the low and low-middle salaried population. Gradually, the middle and upper-middle groups were later on brought on board as well, in sharp contrast with the rest of the region where social insurance was shaped for and according to the preferences of various middle-class groups.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Poverty, Social Stratification, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Malte Gephart
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: While the current international and transnational anti‐corruption campaign (ITACC) has been successful in calling worldwide attention to the topic, several critics have argued that the term “corruption” and the concepts that underlie it are ambiguous and that corruption and anti‐corruption have various meanings. This paper empirically explores these supposedly divergent meanings by comparing the ITACC with the anti‐corruption discourse in Paraguay. In order to explore not only the tensions but also possible coalitions between the ITACC and the Paraguayan discourse, I have conducted discourse analysis and constructionist interviews. The empirical exploration shows that differences, and thus tensions, exist between both levels with respect to the causes and effects attributed to corruption, as well as with regard to the ultimate goal of the fight against corruption. However, there also is a strong discourse coalition between the ITACC and Paraguay concerning concrete countermeasures, which indicates the dominance of the international anti‐corruption approach in the Latin American country. Very different actors with divergent understandings of corruption are able to act collectively against corruption via this discourse coalition, while still interpreting these actions according to their respective political agendas.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Government, International Cooperation, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Liliana Rojas-Suarez, Arturo J. Galindo, Marielle del Valle
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: A number of banks in developed countries argue that the new capital requirements under Basel III are too stringent and that implementing the proposed regulation would require raising large amounts of capital, with adverse consequences on credit and the cost of finance. In contrast, many emerging market economies claim that their systems are adequately capitalized and that they have no problems with implementing the new capital requirements. This paper conducts a detailed calculation of capital held by the banks in four Latin American countries—known as the Andean countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru—and assesses the potential effects of full compliance with the capital requirements under Basel III. The conclusions are positive and show that while capital would decline somewhat in these countries after they make adjustments to comply with the new definition of capital under Basel III, they would still meet the Basel III recommendations on capital requirements. More importantly, these countries would hold Tier capital to risk-weighted-asset ratios significantly above the 8.5 percent requirement under Basel III. That is, not only the quantity, but also the quality of capital is adequate in the countries under study. While encouraging, these results should not be taken as a panacea since the new regulations are only effective if coupled with appropriate risk management and supervision mechanisms to control the build-up of excessive risk-taking by banks. Further research into these areas is needed for a complete assessment of the strength of banks in the Andean countries.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia
  • 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: 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: Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) database provides information about the carbon dioxide emissions, electricity production, corporate ownership, and location of more than 60,000 power plants in over 200 countries. Originally launched in 2007, CARMA is provided freely to the public at www.carma.org and remains the only comprehensive data source of its kind. This paper documents the methodology underpinning CARMA v3.0, released in July, 2012. Comparison of CARMA model output with reported data highlights the general difficulty of precisely predicting annual electricity generation for a given plant and year. Estimating the rate at which a plant emits CO2 (per unit of electricity generated) generally faces fewer obstacles. Ultimately, greater disclosure of plant-specific data is needed to overcome these limitations, particularly in major emitting countries like China, Russia, and Japan. For any given plant in CARMA v3.0, it is estimated that the reported value is within 20 percent of the actual value in 85 percent of cases for CO2 intensity, 75 percent for annual CO2 emissions, and 45 percent for annual electricity generation. CARMA's prediction models are shown to offer significantly better estimates than more naïve approaches to estimating plant-specific performance.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, America, Latin America
  • Author: Carlos Portales
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Caracas on 3 December 2011, locating it within the current context of cooperation and integration in Latin America and the Caribbean. This new body is based on an agreement that includes political cooperation functions and the task of seeking inter-governmental coordination of public policies.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Pedro L. Rodríguez, José R. Morales, Francisco J. Monaldi
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Venezuela is a textbook example of a resource-dependent country—between 1950 and 2008, oil generated over a trillion dollars of income for the state. Nevertheless, Venezuela currently combines an economy that is stagnant, despite high oil prices, with an increasingly authoritarian government. The authors argue that large oil rents that accrue to the state, together with a lack of formal and transparent mechanisms to facilitate citizen oversight, are a large part of the problem. They consider the nature of the fiscal contract between the Venezuelan government and its people. This has been characterized by increasing discretion of the executive; only a small share of the rents is now subject to political oversight within the framework of the budgetary system. The authors consider the case for direct distribution of rents, distinguishing it from a populist approach to transfers as effected through Venezuela's misiones. They also report on focus group discussions of the directdistribution approach and the political viability of direct transfers.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Energy Policy, Government, Oil, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin 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: Fulvio Castellacci
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The paper presents an empirical analysis of the innovative activities of business groups in Latin America. It compares the innovativeness of group-affiliated firms (GAFs) and standalone firms (SAFs), and it investigates how country-specific institutional factors – financial, legal, and labor market institutions – affect the group-innovation relationship. The empirical analysis is based on the most recent wave of the World Bank Enterprise Survey (period 2010-2011), and it focuses on a sample of 6500 manufacturing firms across 20 Latin American countries. The econometric results point out two major conclusions. First, GAFs are more innovative than SAFs: we estimate the innovation propensity of GAFs to be 9% higher than that of SAFs. Secondly, across countries, the innovativeness of GAFs is higher for national economies with a better institutional system than for countries with a less efficient institutional set up.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Perrin Beatty, Andrés Rozental
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Both Canada and Mexico are recovering well from the global economic recession of 2008-2009, but must work harder to make their bilateral relationship work to their mutual benefit. Bilateral trade and investment have grown steadily from very low pre-North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) levels, but there remains enormous, untapped potential, particularly in Mexico. Student, tourist, investor and temporary worker exchanges are enhancing familiarity with each other, but unhelpful stereotypes remain common. New investment and trade opportunities should flow from the new Mexican administration's commitment to open up the energy sector to foreign participation. The assessment and recommendations contained in this special report point to the benefit of efforts that will intensify bilateral partnerships, not only in their own right, but also in strengthening the two countries' ability to deal more effectively with the United States in pursuing matters of mutual concern.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, Latin America, North 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: Alexandra Starr
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Latino immigrant entrepreneurs are making important contributions to the U.S. economy. They have founded highly successful companies in the frozen food, construction, financial services, and high-tech industries. Many of these companies owe their success to cultural connections with Latin American markets abroad and U.S. Latino consumers at home—markets that are set to grow rapidly in the coming years. Small-scale Latino immigrant entrepreneurs, meanwhile, have helped revitalize city commercial strips and small-town Main Streets across the country.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Immigration
  • Political Geography: 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: Luigi R. Einaudi
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Washington's identification of Brazil with Latin America and the Third World hampers its appreciation of Brazil's power and importance to the United States. It is true that Brazil is geographically part of Latin America, and it is also true that Brazil, a founder of the Group of 77, was, with India, among the original leaders of the “Third World.” But Brazil is Brazil—as large and every bit as unique as the United States or China. Brazil, for many years the seat of the Portuguese empire, is the world's largest Portuguese-speaking country. It never had the large settled Amerindian populations that became a repressed underclass in the Andes and Mesoamerica; Brazilians today are as diverse as their North American cousins but growing faster.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Michael Cohen
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: International narratives on Argentina's recovery from the crisis of 2001-02 tend to emphasize the role of rising commodity prices and growing demand from China. Argentina is said to have been 'lucky', saved by global demand for its agricultural exports. The international narrative has also been used by local agricultural exporters to justify their objections against higher export taxes during periods of high commodity prices. These narratives are not correct. Data on the country's recovery show that it was not led by agricultural exports but was fuelled by urban demand and production. When the Convertibility period ended and the peso was devalued in 2002, price increases for imports stimulated the production of domestic goods and services for consumers. This production in turn generated multiplier effects which supported small and medium-sized firms and helped to create many new jobs. This later produced a revival of the construction and then the manufacturing sectors as well.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: China, Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Lissette Aliaga Linares
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Unlike in most Latin American cities, street vendors organized in farmers' markets popularly known as ferias libres in Santiago de Chile, gained legal recognition early in the twentieth century. Since then, comunas, or local municipalities, have provided vendors with individual licenses that stipulate the place and time of operations, and have defined a clear set of rules regarding customer service. However, this early legal recognition has not necessarily overcome the embedded conflict over the economic use of public space. As supermarkets become spatially positioned along the main streets within easy access of the city's transportation system, feriantes, or licensed street vendors, are being relocated in less profitable areas. Moreover, coleros, or unlicensed vendors, are still flourishing despite efforts to restrict their numbers.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Eduardo Lora, Andrew Powell
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A growing number of cities around the world have established systems of monitoring the quality of urban life. Many of those systems combine objective and subjective information and attempt to cover a wide variety of topics. This paper introduces a simple method that takes advantage of both types of information and provides criteria to identify and rank the issues of potential importance for urban dwellers. The method combines the so-called 'hedonic price' and 'life satisfaction' approaches to value public goods. Pilot case results for six Latin American cities are summarized and policy applications are discussed.
  • Topic: Economics, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • 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: Kate Kilpatrick
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In contrast to intensive agricultural practices that require widespread forest clearing, agroforestry systems combine tree growing with the production of other crops or animals. By promoting tree planting, biodiversity, and long-term resource husbandry, agroforestry can be an economically and environmentally sustainable option for small-scale farmers who are struggling to combat the impacts of climate change. For hungry and food-insecure communities, agroforestry creates more resilient agricultural systems where the risk of crop failure is spread between diverse crops.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Food
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Nora Lustig, Darryl McLeod
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Latin America is known to have income inequality among the highest in the world. That inequality has been invoked to explain low growth, poor education, macroeconomic volatility, and political instability. But new research shows that inequality in the region is falling. In this paper we summarize recent findings on inequality, present and discuss an assessment of how the type of political regime matters and why, and investigate the relationship between changes in inequality and changes in the size of the middle class in the region. We conclude with some questions about whether and how changes in income distribution and in middle-class economic power will affect the politics of distribution in the future.
  • Topic: Economics, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: 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: 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: Miguel Haubrich Seco
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In its external relations, the EU advances regional cooperation as a successful means of achieving peace and prosperity. In doing so, the EU promotes its own model as the most successful case of regional integration. A wide-reaching set of instruments, spanning from trade to political dialogue and aid, is used to promote regional cooperation and integration. Noneheless, regional organisations supported by the EU are far from accomplishing their set objectives. Using as a test case the Andean Community, the oldest Latin American regional organisation and a prominent case of EU support for regional integration, this paper examines the reasons behind the EU's lack of impact in promoting regional integration. Stemming from this analysis, the paper proposes a recalibration of EU policy by decoupling trade relations from political engagement and by increasing support for physical and visible integration as opposed to formal institutions detached from the perceived needs of the public.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America
  • 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: Jose Brambila-Macias, Isabella Massa, Matthew J. Salois
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In this paper, we use a mixed-effects trade gravity model on a sample of 83 developing countries over the period 1990-2007 to assess the impact of trade finance and foreign aid on bilateral export flows. In addition to traditional variables, we also include a banking crises variable and a global economic downturns variable among the regressors. Differences across developing regions are taken into account. Our results suggest that: (i) trade finance has a positive and significant impact on bilateral export flows in all developing regions except Latin America; (ii) foreign aid matters in all regions; (iii) global economic downturns exert a negative and significant impact on export flows in all developing countries, and especially in Latin American and Sub-Saharan African economies; (iv) banking crises appear to have no significant impact in most developing regions.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Aid, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Colin Bradford
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Reporting from 13 G20 countries reveals that, through the eyes of the national media, the euro crisis “overwhelmed,” “dominated,” “totally sidetracked” or “hijacked” the Cannes G20 Summit on Thursday night through Friday afternoon, November 4-5, 2011. Only Argentina seems to have been captivated by the bilateral meeting between US President Barack Obama and their leader, President Cristina Kirschner, to such a degree that it overshadowed the global preoccupation with the Greek debt crisis and its implications for the euro zone and the global economy. As she did at other G20 summits, Cristina Kirschner found a way to project her own priorities and portray them to the Argentine public through deliberate preparation with her cabinet beforehand and in regional consultations, and this also held true at her appearance at the B20 (G20 business summit) held just before the G20.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Cooperation, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America
  • 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: Jewellord (Jojo) Nem Singh
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: In the most recent attempt of Latin America's primary intellectual hub to res-pond to the world-wide financial crisis, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) argued for the need to tackle 'growth with equity' as an organising principle of development strategies in the Americas. Crucially, this opens up two main discussions. Firstly, neoliberal economics, though a complex political project aimed at controlling inflation, curbing state inefficiency and addressing debt management via fiscal discipline, has failed to deliver its promise of economic development through unfettered market opening. After twenty years of reforms, uneven patterns of economic growth, sustained inequality, and environmental exploitation have been its key consequences for Latin American countries (CEPAL 2010: 17, 20, 53). Having said this, macroeconomic stabilisation policy has been widely adopted since the debt crisis, which successfully addressed fiscal disequilibria and is now considered a pillar of sound policymaking in the region and elsewhere. But as neoliberal reforms induced the eclipse of state activism, social inequality remains unaddressed, even in cases where sustained economic growth was occurring, specifically Chile whose growth hardly came together with social equality despite the rhetoric of its left-centre La Concertación governments. Equality, whether in terms of access to the market or to decision-making, does not come naturally with economic growth.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Liliana Rojas-Suarez, Arturo J. Galindo, Alejandro Izquierdo
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper explores the impact of international financial integration on credit markets in Latin America. Using a cross-country dataset covering 17 Latin American countries between 1996 and 2008, the authors find that financial integration amplifies the impact of international financial shocks on aggregate credit and interestrate fluctuations. Despite this pernicious effect, the net impact of integration on deepening credit markets is positive and dominates for the large majority of states of nature. The paper also uses a detailed bank-level dataset covering more than 500 banks in Latin America for a similar time period to explore the role of financial integration—captured through the participation of foreign banks—in propagating external shocks. The authors find that interest rates charged and loans supplied by foreign-owned banks respond more to external financial shocks than those supplied by domestically owned banks. However, this result does not hold for all foreign banks: Spanish banks in the sample behave more like domestic banks and do not amplify the impact of foreign shocks on credit and interest rates. Important policy recommendations to avoid foreign banks' amplification of external financial shocks include the establishment of ring-fencing mechanisms, the development of early-warning systems, and the incorporation for agreements between domestic and foreign supervisors.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Spain
  • Author: Liliana Rojas-Suarez
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The international financial crisis of 2008–09 exposed the strengths and weaknesses of the current paradigm of development in Latin America, a paradigm based on liberalized capital accounts and significantly improved macroeconomic conditions. This paper presents lessons derived from the crisis, not only for the region itself, but also for other developing countries that might seek economic growth in the context of greater integration to the international capital markets. Some of the lessons are not new but have been reinforced by the crisis, such as Latin America's imperative need for export diversification (not only in products but in partners). Other lessons break with longstanding myths about the region, such as its inability to undertake counter-cyclical policies—at least on the monetary side. Yet other lessons reflect new developments in the current growth paradigm, such as a renewed assessment of (1) the relative roles of foreign and domestic banks in shielding the financial system against external shocks and (2) the potential costs of adopting blanket international financial regulations that do not account for a country's degree of development. Taken together, the lessons in this paper bring a new sense of optimism for growth in Latin America.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Augusto de la Torre, Felipe Valencia Caicedo
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In this paper we analyze the Washington Consensus, which at its original formulation reflected views not only from Washington but also from Latin America. We trace the life of the Consensus from a Latin American perspective in terms of evolving economic development paradigms. We document the extensive implementation of Consensus-style reforms in the region as well as the mismatch between reformers' expectations and actual outcomes, in terms of growth, poverty reduction, and inequality. We then present an assessment of what went wrong with the Washington Consensus-style reform agenda, using a taxonomy of views that put the blame, alternatively, on (i) shortfalls in the implementation of reforms combined with impatience regarding their expected effects; (ii) fundamental flaws—in either the design, sequencing, or basic premises of the reform agenda; and (iii) incompleteness of the agenda that left out crucial reform needs, such as volatility, technological innovation, institutional change and inequality.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Washington, Latin America
  • Author: Almut Schilling-Vacaflor
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In Bolivia, rights to increased political participation and the recognition of indigenous political systems are interrelated. The new constitution of 2009, a prime example of the “new Andean constitutionalism,” defines Bolivia as a representative, participatory and communitarian democracy. It incorporates enhanced mechanisms and institutions for participatory democracy. Moreover, new social rights have been anchored in the constitution and a plurinational state is supposed to be constructed. The article raises the question of whether the new constitution will change the relations between state and civil society considerably and whether a new democratic model is being established in Bolivia. I argue that there are many limiting factors when it comes to putting the emancipatory elements of the constitution into practice. These include the increased strength of the executive branch, the intent of the government to co‐opt civil society organizations and to exclude dissident views, the resistance of the conservative opposition to loosing some of its privileges, the deep‐rooted social inequality, the social conflicts and polarization, the resource dependence of the current economic model, and the authoritarian characteristics of indigenous self‐governance structures. The article demonstrates that the new Bolivian constitution cannot create a new society but that the processes around the elaboration of a new basic law have contributed to considerable changes in the social, political and symbolic order.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Pedro Aravena Lavin
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the support for democracy in Chile from an economic, institutional and political perspective. It uses data from Latinobarómetro for the period 1996–2007 and a statistical method of estimation, “ordered logit,” in order to answer the question of why support for Chilean democracy is not connected with economic growth. The analysis generates three key results of interest. First, regardless of the fact that GDP per capita does not have any effect on the level of support for democracy, it does affect individuals' perceptions of economic performance, since the variable “economic situation” is one of the most explanatory variable of the model. Second, the analysis demonstrates the importance of the degree of confidence in the Congress at the moment that perceptions of democracy are evaluated. Third, “political ideology” is the most useful variable in explaining support for democracy, a fact which suggests that the adherents of the right wing do not support the democratic system. This is the most reliable reason for the moderate level of support for democracy in Chile.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Robert Kappel
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: As the conception of and debates on regional powers have been led by political science, this paper aims to contribute to the discussion from an economics perspective. Based on the discussion of different concepts of economic power—such as those of Schumpeter, Perroux, Predöhl, or Kindleberger—concepts of technological leadership, and the global value chain approaches, the paper develops a research framework for the economics of regional powers. This framework is then tested using descriptive statistics as well as regressions analysis, with a focus on the four regional powers Brazil, China, India, and South Africa. As economic power is relational, the relationship of regional powers to other nations in the region is analyzed.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Latin America
  • 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 Chavez, Jaime Dupuy
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Peru has shifted from being a small FDI player in the Latin America and Caribbean region in the 1990s to being the sixth largest FDI host country in 2008. With inflows of US$ 6.9 and US$ 4.8 billions in 2008 and 2009, respectively, Peru has managed to contain the impact of the financial crisis on inward FDI (IFDI). The main determinants of the improved FDI performance were: a stable economic and FDI policy since 1992;) vast natural resources; strong gross domestic product (GDP) and market growth; and an export-oriented economy, especially during the past decade. In recent years, Peru has become one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America and a diversified commercial hub for IFDI in the region.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean, Peru
  • Author: Mikael Wolfe
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In this paper I examine the little explored historical relationship between advances in “ecotechnical” knowledge of Mexico's scarce and fragile water resources and the state developmental imperatives of agrarian reform from the 1920s to the 1960s. In particular, I focus on how this relationship played out in the Comarca Lagunera of north-central Mexico, which was the emblematic region of Cardenista agrarian reform in the 1930s. Drawing on primary documentation, technical journals, newspapers, and secondary sources, I argue that the key actor in this history, hydraulic engineer-agronomist and Secretary of Agriculture Marte R.Gómez, epitomized the contradictions among advances in scientific understanding of Mexico's hydrology, agricultural development, and business. I further contend that these contradictions were at the heart of Mexican agrarian reform and its long-term ecological as well as social and economic unsustainability.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Hal Brands
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph analyzes Brazilian grand strategy under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. During Lula's nearly 8 years in office, he has pursued a multipronged grand strategy aimed at hastening the transition from unipolarity and Western economic hegemony to a multipolar order in which international rules, norms, and institutions are more favorable to Brazilian interests. Lula has done so by emphasizing three diplomatic strategies: soft balancing against the United States, building coalitions to magnify Brazilian negotiating power, and seeking to position Brazil as the leader of a more united South America.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Mikael Wolfe
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In this paper I examine the little explored historical relationship between advances in “ecotechnical” knowledge of Mexico's scarce and fragile water resources and the state developmental imperatives of agrarian reform from the 1920s to the 1960s. In particular, I focus on how this relationship played out in the Comarca Lagunera of north-central Mexico, which was the emblematic region of Cardenista agrarian reform in the 1930s. Drawing on primary documentation, technical journals, newspapers, and secondary sources, I argue that the key actor in this history, hydraulic engineer-agronomist and Secretary of Agriculture Marte R. Gómez, epitomized the contradictions among advances in scientific understanding of Mexico's hydrology, agricultural development, and business. I further contend that these contradictions were at the heart of Mexican agrarian reform and its long-term ecological as well as social and economic unsustainability.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Natural Resources, Water
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Alejandro Foxley
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: While middle-income countries have pursued regional trade agreements since the 1960s, these ties are becoming more important as the global economic crisis curtails demand from the United States and other major markets. With the Doha Round of multilateral trade talks stalled, regional trade agreements (RTAs) offer an alternative approach to increase trade, spur stronger economic growth, and lower unemployment rates in participating countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Robert McMahon
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Interview with Michael Chertoff, Former Homeland Security Secretary, on how immigration reforms are essential to normalize labor flows. The global economic crisis has triggered calls in some U.S. policy circles for tightening immigration rules to prevent non-Americans from competing for scarce jobs. Yet despite conditions, lawmakers should be preparing changes to immigration policy in anticipation of the country's economic revival, says former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who had jurisdiction over immigration issues. "We are going to need to have some workers coming from other parts of the world to do the jobs that Americans will not be willing to do," Chertoff said. In addition, he said, U.S. officials should increase contacts with Mexican authorities to work out a system for rationalizing the legal flow of migrant workers into the United States. He also stressed that tough enforcement of immigration laws, at the workplace and border, must be at the core of comprehensive reforms.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Human Rights, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Tom Slayton
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The world rice market was aflame last spring and for several months it looked as if the trading edifice that had exhibited such resilience over the last two decades was going to burn to the ground. World prices trebled within less than four months and reached a 30- year inflation-adjusted high. Many market observers thought the previous record set in 1974 would soon be toast. The fire was man-made, not the result of natural developments. While the governments in India, Vietnam, and the Philippines did not to set the world market on fire, that was the unintended result of their actions which threatened both innocent bystanders (low-income rice importers as far away as Africa and Latin America) and, ultimately, poor rice consumers at home. This paper describes what sparked the fire and the accelerants that made a bad situation nearly catastrophic. Fortuitously, when the flames were raging at peak intensity, rain clouds appeared, the winds [market psychology] shifted, and conditions on the ground improved, allowing the fire to die down. It remains to be seen, however, if the trading edifice has been seriously undermined by the actions of decision makers in several key Asian rice exporting and importing countries. In describing the cascading negative effects of these seemingly rational domestic policies, this paper aims to help policy makers in the rice exporting and importing nations to avoid a repeat of the disastrous price spike of 2008.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Health, Humanitarian Aid, Markets, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, India, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Gunilla Pettersson, Jere R. Behrman
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Latin America is characterized by high and persistent schooling, land, and income inequalities and extreme income concentration. In a highly unequal setting, powerful interests are more likely to dominate politics, pushing for policies that protect privileges rather than foster competition and growth. As a result, changes in policies that political elites resist may be postponed in high-inequality countries to the detriment of overall economic performance.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Globalization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: An overview of the region up to 30 January 2009 by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (cepal) argues that the larger economies have been more directly affected by the global economic crisis (because in general they are more integrated with the global markets, especially finance), but are also better equipped to respond to it. In particular, Cepal sees South America as diverging from Central America and the Caribbean, which seem to be both less resilient in terms of their economies, and more exposed to the slump in the USA. They are being driven back to aid as the last/only resort. Mexico is in a category of its own, the most exposed to the US downturn, but as a large economy and an oil exporter, better placed to withstand the downturn than its Caribbean basin neighbours.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Kenneth Shadlen
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: National policies toward intellectual property (IP) were revolutionized in the 1990s, as countries adopted new systems to conform to the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). TRIPS-style IP regimes make patents available for more types of knowledge, grant long periods of patent protection, and endow patent owners with strong rights of exclusion. This paper analyzes two contrasting patterns of political mobilization and pressures for change that newly-introduced, TRIPS-style regimes became subject to by the early 21st Century. Most governments faced pressures to address aspects of their IP systems regarding pharmaceutical patents; governments came under pressure to reform their new patent systems, calling into question the appropriateness and utility of broad and strong private rights of exclusion as tools for disseminating knowledge. Most governments also faced pressures to modify aspects of their patent systems more broadly related to science, technology, and indigenous innovation (STI); governments came under pressure to reinforce their new patent systems, buttressing the role of private rights of exclusion as mechanisms to incentivize the creation and distribution of knowledge and technology. I provide a political explanation for the contrasting trajectories of reform and reinforcement by examining how different policy arrangements generate and mobilize interests for continuity and discontinuity. The focus is on asymmetric patterns of interest mobilization: those actors who benefit from policy interventions tend to mobilize more than those who suffer; those actors who suffer retain the capacities for mobilization and resistance more in the area of health-drugs than STI.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Intellectual Property/Copyright
  • Political Geography: 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: Fabiola Rodríguez Barba
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: En un contexto de globalización económica y de múltiples tratados comerciales de integración económica, asistimos a un creciente interés por el tema de la diversidad cultural. Desde esta perspectiva, la promoción y protección de la diversidad cultural se han convertido en una preocupación de la comunidad internacional, particularmente en la última década, como lo demuestra la publicación de diversos documentos: Reporte mundial sobre Cultura, creatividad y mercados ; Reporte mundial sobre la cultura 2000 . Diversidad cultural, conflicto y pluralismo; Informe sobre el Desarrollo Humano 2004 . La libertad cultural en el mundo diverso hoy ; así como la adopción de la Declaración universal de la UNESCO sobre la diversidad cultural proclamada en noviembre de 2001; y la Convención sobre la protección y promoción de la diversidad de las expresiones culturales (en adelante, Convención ) del mismo organismo, adoptada en 2005, y que entró en vigor en 2007.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, International Law
  • 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: Alejandro Foxley
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: No country has proved immune to the devastating effects of the current global financial crisis. But the middle-income countries of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and East Asia, which previously had achieved significant progress—economically and socially— have shown themselves to be particularly vulnerable. The crisis has high- lighted important lessons for these countries, which inhabit a twilight zone between the developed and developing worlds –and those that aspire to join their ranks – as they rebuild
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, East Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Sebastian Huhn
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The Costa Rican talk of crime is fundamentally based on the assumption that a formerly explicitly nonviolent nation has been transformed into a battleground for social violence—that is, on the belief that an alarming “crime wave” is occurring today while there was no crime at all in the past. On the basis of this assumption, the fear of crime and the call for zero tolerance and drastic law enforcement actions have been increasing. In this paper I discuss the Costa Rican talk of crime from a historical perspective to demonstrate that crime has always been a topic that has generated pervasive feelings of insecurity and social pessimism. I argue that social changes in Costa Rican society and the paradigmatic shift in economic and social‐welfare politics since the 1980s have been essential in the transformation of the talk of crime. As part of this transformation, the politicization of crime since the 1990s has been one of the most powerful changes in the dominant discourse.
  • Topic: Crime, Economics, Politics, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: David S. Jacks, Kevin H. O'Rourke, Jeffrey G. Williamson
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Poor countries are more volatile than rich countries, and we know this volatility impedes their growth. We also know that commodity price volatility is a key source of those shocks. This paper explores commodity and manufactures price over the past three centuries to answer three questions: Has commodity price volatility increased over time? The answer is no: there is little evidence of trend since 1700. Have commodities always shown greater price volatility than manufactures? The answer is yes. Higher commodity price volatility is not the modern product of asymmetric industrial organizations - oligopolistic manufacturing versus competitive commodity markets - that only appeared with the industrial revolution. It was a fact of life deep into the 18th century. Does world market integration breed more or less commodity price volatility? The answer is less. Three centuries of history shows unambiguously that economic isolation caused by war or autarkic policy has been associated with much greater commodity price volatility, while world market integration associated with peace and pro-global policy has been associated with less commodity price volatility. Given specialization and comparative advantage, globalization has been good for growth in poor countries at least by diminishing price volatility. But comparative advantage has never been constant. Globalization increased poor country specialization in commodities when the world went open after the early 19th century; but it did not do so after the 1970s as the Third World shifted to labor-intensive manufactures. Whether price volatility or specialization dominates terms of trade and thus aggregate volatility in poor countries is thus conditional on the century.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Asia, Latin America
  • 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: 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: Col Jay Cope
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Based on 5 busy months as commander, U.S. Southern Command, including visits to eight countries, General Douglas Fraser shared his impressions of opportunities and challenges in Central and South America and the Caribbean. He set the stage for his emphasis on cooperation by discussing geographical, economic, cultural, and military-to-military linkages between the United States and its southern neighbors, citing numerous examples of collaboration, particularly among the armed forces.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, Regional Cooperation, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: hael Cohen
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: Though countries generate more than half their GDP in urban-based economic activities, the G-20 discussions in London and Pittsburgh devoted no recorded attention to urban infrastructure. Policy makers and designers of stimulus packages ignored two fundamental aspects of this crisis: Where the greatest impact of economic contraction are and where demand can be stimulated to generate the largest possible multipliers. This paper argues that while industrialized countries take urban and spatial dimensions of their economies for granted, this perspective is counterproductive for Latin American countries that are the most urbanized among developing countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Industrial Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Stefan A. Schirm
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: The last 20 years have witnessed the economic emergence of several countries, which are considered today to be “pivotal states”, “regional powers”, and “emerging powers” in world politics. These emerging powers encompass countries such as China, India, Brazil and Russia, (the BRICs), which have in common both that they have experienced rapid economic growth and that they seek to influence the global economy and world politics to a greater degree than they did before their rise. The BRICs have become leading exporters and lenders (especially China to the US) as well as holders of currency reserves, and they (plus Mexico) are expected to surpass the GNP of the G7 industrialized countries by the year 2040. The reasons for the assignment of a new role, and often of increased power, to these states are their demographic and geographic size, their economic and military capacities, and their political aspirations.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, India, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Alejandro Foxley
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: No country has proved immune to the devastating effects of the current global financial crisis. But the middle-income countries of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and East Asia, which previously had achieved significant progress—economically and socially—have shown themselves to be particularly vulnerable. The crisis has highlighted important lessons for these countries, which inhabit a twilight zone between the developed and developing worlds?and those that aspire to join their ranks—as they rebuild.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, East Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Alejandro Foxley
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The global financial crisis has reignited the fierce debate about the roles of the market and the state in modern economies. Latin America, in particular, revisits this debate every time it suffers an external shock. While some blame unregulated markets, others fault states' inability to design institutions or implement policies capable of neutralizing the negative impact of these shocks on output, employment, and social welfare.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: This Task Force report takes stock of the current situation in Latin America and the main challenges and opportunities for U.S.-Latin America relations. Latin America has benefited greatly in recent years from democratic opening, stable economic policies, and increasing growth. Many countries are taking advantage of these developments to consolidate democratic institutions, broaden economic opportunities, and better serve their citizens. Yet Latin American nations face daunting challenges as they integrate into global markets and work to strengthen historically weak state institutions. These challenges increasingly matter for the United States, as deepening economic and social ties link U.S. well-being to the region's stability and development.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Paulina Ennis
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Latin American and Iberian Studies at Columbia University
  • Abstract: The aim of this thesis is to provide actionable recommendations for banks to target the Mexican immigrant market. To achieve this, I analyze survey data collected from the Mexican immigrant population to amplify a subject commonly seen from a sociological viewpoint – the immigrants' use of bank accounts with the objective of accumulating money to send home. Specifically, the objective of this paper is to answer the following questions: Does having a bank account entail larger amounts of savings sent to Mexico at the end of the migration spell? What is the profile of a bank account user within the Mexican migrant population? What does this mean in terms of targeting the Mexican migrant market?
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Migration
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Karl Sauvant
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Latin American and Iberian Studies at Columbia University
  • Abstract: With $1.8 trillion (according to UNCTAD), world foreign direct investment (FDI) flows reached an all-time high last year. All major regions benefitted from increased flows. But that was then. What is, and will be, the impact of the financial crisis and the recession on FDI flows this year and next?
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Central Asia, 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: Marc-Andreas Muendler, Jennifer Pamela Poole, Ernesto Aguayo-Tellez
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Comprehensive linked employer{employee data allow us to study the relationship between domestic formal sector migration in Brazil and globalization. Considerable worker flows in the formal labor market between 1997 and 2001 are directed toward lower income regions|the reverse flows of those often posited for informal labor markets. Estimation of the worker's multi-choice migration problem shows that previously unobserved employer covariates are significant predictors associated with migration flows. These results support the idea that globalization acts on internal migration through job stability at exporting establishments and employment opportunities at locations with a concentration of foreign owned establishments. A 1% increase in exporter employment predicts a 0.3% reduced probability of migration. A 1% increase in the concentration of foreign owned establishments at potential destinations is associated with a 0.2% increase in the migration rate.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Markets, Migration, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Latin 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