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Latin America faces old and new development challenges. While, over the last two decades, some countries have implemented solid macroeconomic policies and many have improved their financial regulatory and supervisory frameworks, large segments of the population have not reaped the benefits from economic growth. The COVID-19 crisis has only made things worse—poverty reduction is expected to suffer a setback of more than 10 years and inequality continues to rise.
Structural problems, including very low productivity, the substantial size of the informal economy and the lowest savings rate in the emerging world, remain unsolved. Novel issues, like the migration from Venezuela, or the health and economic challenges that COVID-19 brings about add further pressure to weak social and political consensus—and the looming risk of a financial crisis persists.
CGD’s Latin America Initiative provides sound analysis on these issues and advances recommendations to policymakers and multilateral organizations to support the effort of overcoming these challenges to climb the development ladder and reach shared prosperity.
América Latina afronta, al mismo tiempo, nuevos y viejos desafíos en materia de desarrollo. Aunque, en las últimas dos décadas, algunos países han implementado políticas macroeconómicas sólidas y han mejorado sus marcos regulatorios y de supervisión, amplios segmentos de la población no se han beneficiado del crecimiento económico. La crisis de la COVID-19 solo ha empeorado las cosas: se espera un retroceso de más de 10 años en materia de reducción de la pobreza y la desigualdad continúa aumentando.
Problemas estructurales, como la muy baja productividad, el gran tamaño de la economía informal y los niveles de ahorro más bajos en el mundo emergente, continúan sin resolverse. Nuevos temas, como la migración venezolana o los desafíos sanitarios y económicos generados por la COVID-19, ejercen aun mayor presión sobre un débil consenso social y político. Además, continúa existiendo la amenaza de una crisis financiera.
La Iniciativa Latinoamericana de CGD busca analizar estos temas y proponer recomendaciones que apoyen los esfuerzos de los formuladores de políticas y los organismos multilaterales para avanzar en el proceso de desarrollo de la región y lograr una prosperidad compartida.
In this CGD Essay, visiting fellow Nancy Lee provides the full details and policy recommendations for a strategy of regional investment integration in the Americas. The essay, excerpted from her chapter in the forthcoming White House and the World: A Global Development Agenda for the Next U.S. President, builds on a previously published CGD Note by specifying the scope of the proposed agreement, outlining its expected gains, and identifying the initial steps the United States could take to encourage a fresh agreement to be reached.
Unlike East Asia and Europe, Latin America lacks a shared integration strategy and continues to struggle with a burdensome investment climate. In this new CGD Note, visiting fellow Nancy Lee suggests a fresh approach to regional integration in the form of a proposed regional investment agreement. The idea is a collective effort to set common standards for reducing specific barriers to domestic and foreign investment. Beyond its benefits for growth, such an agreement could boost the incomes of the poor by helping small businesses trapped in the informal sector move into the more productive formal sector.
In an increasingly globalized world, inequality is an issue of rising concern, especially in Latin America, home to many of the world's most unequal societies. This new book, co-published by the Center for Global Development and the Inter-American Dialogue, describes the links between recent growth trends, changing patterns of inequality, and rising cynicism and frustration with the political leadership across the region. The authors, Nancy Birdsall, Augusto de la Torre, and Rachel Menezes, present a dozen economic policy tools to make life fairer for the great majority of people--without sacrificing economic growth.
In November's LatinFinance CGD Senior Fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez suggests modifying Latin American financial regulations to reduce the negative impact of volatile capital flows. She argues that regulators should shift their attention from aggregate measures, such as the growth of bank loans, to an approach that focuses on the appropriate pricing of risk.