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How Can Education Help Latin America Develop?


  • Jeffrey Puryear

    (Inter-American Dialogue)

  • Tamara Ortega Goodspeed

    (Inter-American Dialogue)


This article analyzes the role of education in Latin America’s development over the last two decades and recommends much greater emphasis on promoting learning, particularly among the poor. It documents significant progress in getting more children into school but little progress in making sure they reach minimum levels of learning (measured by scores on achievement tests). The authors find that the chief obstacles to improving the region’s education systems are both technical (weak institutions and poor teaching) and political (teachers’ unions that cling to the status quo and little political support for fundamental reform). The authors identify twelve policies they believe will improve the contribution education makes to development.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Puryear & Tamara Ortega Goodspeed, 2011. "How Can Education Help Latin America Develop?," Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, Emerging Markets Forum, vol. 3(1), pages 111-134, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:emf:journl:2011a-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Huang, Wenyong & Yu, Huachun & Wang, Fuying & Li, Guanchong, 1997. "Infant mortality among various nationalities in the middle part of Guizhou, China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1031-1040, October.
    2. Asian Development Bank & World Bank & Japan Bank for International Cooperation, 2005. "Connecting East Asia : A New Framework for Infrastructure," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7267.
    3. Shahidur R. Khandker & Zaid Bakht & Gayatri B. Koolwal, 2009. "The Poverty Impact of Rural Roads: Evidence from Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 685-722, July.
    4. Kalaitzidakis, Pantelis & Kalyvitis, Sarantis, 2004. "On the macroeconomic implications of maintenance in public capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 695-712, March.
    5. Marianne Fay & Mary Morrison, 2007. "Infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean : Recent Developments and Key Challenges," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7179.
    6. Harpaul Alberto Kohli, 2013. "Infrastructure Needs for a Resurgent Latin America," Book Chapters,in: Harinder Kohli & Claudio Loser & Anil Sood (ed.), Latin America 2040 — Breaking Away from Complacency: An Agenda for Resurgence, chapter 7, pages 229-238 Emerging Markets Forum.
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