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Latin America's Growth and Equity Frustrations During Structural Reforms

  • Jos� Antonio Ocampo
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    This paper argues that Latin America's market-oriented reforms, together with increased monetary and fiscal discipline, were successful in bringing down inflation, inducing export growth and diversification, and attracting foreign direct investment. Nonetheless, economic growth was frustratingly slow. Pro-cyclical macroeconomic policies generated, in turn, strong business cycles in the face of unstable access to international capital markets. Higher productivity in leading firms and sectors failed to spread throughout the economy and led to increasing productive sector dualism. Furthermore, despite the democratic dividend reflected in increased social spending and coverage of social services, weak economic performance and additional distributive tensions led to disappointing results in terms of employment generation and poverty reduction. Overcoming these frustrating outcomes would require counter-cyclical macroeconomic policies, open-economy productive development strategies and mainstreaming social objectives into economic policies.

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/0895330041371349
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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
    Pages: 67-88

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:18:y:2004:i:2:p:67-88
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0895330041371349
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    1. Pablo Astorga & Ame E. Bergés & Valpy Fitzgerald, 2004. "The Standard of Living in Latin America During the Twentieth Century," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _054, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    2. Ffrench-Davis, Ricardo, 2002. "Financial Crises and National Policy Issues: An Overview," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Escaith, Hubert & Morley, Samuel, 2001. "El efecto de las reformas estructurales en el crecimiento económico de la América Latina y el Caribe. Una estimación empírica," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(272), pages 469-513, octubre-d.
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