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Reform and Growth in Latin America: All Pain, No Gain?

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This paper addresses the adequacy of post-reform growth in Latin America in the 1990s on the basis of international comparisons as well as historical and other relevant standards, analytically exploring and empirically testing a number of hypotheses to explain the perceived dissatisfaction with growth performance in the region. We find that there is no "growth puzzle" in Latin America. Growth has not been higher in the post-reform period not because of a failure of reforms to yield the growth payoff that they should have been expected to do on the basis of international experience, but because of the combination of an unfavorable external environment with insufficient depth and breadth of reform. We also estimate the long-run growth payoff of macroeconomic reforms, the additional gains that can be achieved by deepening this first generation of reforms, and the potential payoff from broadening the scope of reform into a second generation of reforms encompassing deeper structural and institutional areas.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Center for Development Economics with number 166.

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Date of creation: Aug 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wil:wilcde:166

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Keywords: Growth; reform; Latin America;

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  1. Roubini, Nouriel & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Financial repression and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 5-30, July.
  2. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1992. "Financial indicators and growth in a cross section of countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 819, The World Bank.
  3. Joel Slemrod, 1995. "Involvement, Prosperity, and Economic Growth?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 373-431.
  4. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance, entrepreneurship and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 513-542, December.
  5. Eduardo Lora, 1997. "Una década de reformas estructurales en América Latina: ¿Qué se ha reformado y cómo cuantificarlo?," Research Department Publications 4075, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  6. Michael Bruno & William Easterly, 1995. "Inflation Crises and Long-Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 5209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jose De Gregorio, 1991. "Economic Growth in Latin America," IMF Working Papers 91/71, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "A Cross-Country Study of Growth, Saving, and Government," NBER Working Papers 2855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "Losers and Winners in Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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