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Financial Liberalizations in Latin-America in the 1990s: A Reassessment

  • Aizenman, Joshua

This paper studies the experience of Latin-America [LATAM] with financial liberalization in the 1990s. The rush towards financial liberalizations in the early 1990s was associated with expectations that external financing would alleviate the scarcity of saving in LATAM, thereby increasing investment and growth. Yet, the data and several case studies suggest that the gains from external financing are overrated. The bottleneck inhibiting economic growth is less the scarcity of saving, and more the scarcity of good governance. A possible interpretation for these findings is that in countries where private savings and investments were taxed in an arbitrary and unpredictable way, the credibility of a new regime could not be assumed or imposed. Instead, credibility must be acquired as an outcome of a learning process. Consequently, increasing the saving and investment rates tends to be a time consuming process. This also suggests that greater political instability and polarization would induce consumers to be more cautious in increasing their saving and investment rates following a reform. Hence, reaching a sustained take-off in Latin-America is a harder task to accomplish than in Asia.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt6cb8b11h.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt6cb8b11h
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  1. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Jeanne, Olivier, 2003. "The Elusive Gains from International Financial Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 3902, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Joshua Aizenman & Kenneth M. Kletzer & Brian Pinto, 2002. "Sargent-Wallace Meets Krugman-Flood-Garber, or: Why Sovereign Debt Swaps Don't Avert Macroeconomic Crises," NBER Working Papers 9190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Joshua Aizenman & Brian Pinto & Artur Radziwill, 2004. "Sources for financing domestic capital - is foreign saving a viable option for developing countries?," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0288, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  8. Dillinger, William & Webb, Steven B., 1999. "Fiscal management in federal democracies : Argentina and Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2121, The World Bank.
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  26. Robert E. Lipsey, 2002. "Home and Host Country Effects of FDI," NBER Working Papers 9293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  29. Kevin C. Murdock & Thomas F. Hellmann & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2000. "Liberalization, Moral Hazard in Banking, and Prudential Regulation: Are Capital Requirements Enough?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 147-165, March.
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