Lessons from Colombian Economic Development
Colombia is an interesting case study within emerging countries. Through 150 years of democratic tradition and seven decades of sound fiscal and monetary policies, the country has displayed institutional strength and economic growth, in spite of strong external shocks, rent- seeking by sectoral business confederations, and, recently, narco-traffickers and guerrillas. Reforms made during the nineties, just as in other Latin American nations, did not result in the expected take-off in growth. In Colombia, the reason lies partly in the consequences of discovering considerable oil reserves, the escalation of the internal conflict, the fiscal consequences of the 1991 Constitution and huge fiscal commitments related to pensions and social expenditure. In the current decade Colombia has made vast progress in invigorating the sources of economic growth, improving welfare of the poorest strata of population and reinstating the rule of law across the country. The current international crisis poses a considerable challenge in terms of growth and threatens social advancement achieved so far.
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