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

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  • Nancy Birdsall

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Nancy Birdsall, 2010. "The Washington Consensus: Assessing a Damaged Brand - Working Paper 213," Working Papers 213, Center for Global Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:213
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    File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/1424155/
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    Cited by:

    1. Moon, Wanki & Pino, Gabriel, 2016. "Comparative Advantage or Competitive Advantage in Explaining Agricultural Trade?," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 230031, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    2. Gisselquist Rachel M., 2015. "State Capability and Prospects for Close Co-ordination: Considerations for Industrial Policy in Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 035, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Richard Baldwin, 2011. "Trade And Industrialisation After Globalisation's 2nd Unbundling: How Building And Joining A Supply Chain Are Different And Why It Matters," NBER Working Papers 17716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jorge Thompson Araujo & Markus Brueckner & Mateo Clavijo & Ekaterina Vostroknutova & Konstantin M. Wacker, 2014. "Benchmarking the Determinants of Economic Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean," World Bank Other Operational Studies 21318, The World Bank.
    5. Sauerland, Dirk, 2015. "Germany's social market economy: A blueprint for Latin American countries?," Wittener Diskussionspapiere zu alten und neuen Fragen der Wirtschaftswissenschaft 32/2015, Witten/Herdecke University, Faculty of Management and Economics.
    6. Jorge Thompson Araujo & Ekaterina Vostroknutova & Markus Brueckner & Mateo Clavijo & Konstantin M. Wacker, 2016. "Beyond Commodities," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 25321.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Stabilization; reform; financial markets; macroeconomic policy; government; history of economic thought; institutions; Latin America; Caribbean;

    JEL classification:

    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • P11 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School
    • N16 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N26 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N46 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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