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The Washington Consensus: Assessing a Damaged Brand - Working Paper 213

  • Nancy Birdsall

    ()

In this paper we analyze the Washington Consensus, which at its original formulation reflected views not only from Washington but also from Latin America. We trace the life of the Consensus from a Latin American perspective in terms of evolving economic development paradigms. We document the extensive implementation of Consensus-style reforms in the region as well as the mismatch between reformers’ expectations and actual outcomes, in terms of growth, poverty reduction, and inequality. We then present an assessment of what went wrong with the Washington Consensus-style reform agenda, using a taxonomy of views that put the blame, alternatively, on (i) shortfalls in the implementation of reforms combined with impatience regarding their expected effects; (ii) fundamental flaws—in either the design, sequencing, or basic premises of the reform agenda; and (iii) incompleteness of the agenda that left out crucial reform needs, such as volatility, technological innovation, institutional change and inequality.

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File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/1424155/
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Paper provided by Center for Global Development in its series Working Papers with number 213.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:213
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.cgdev.org

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