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Colombia´s Efforts at Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Growth: The Road Traveled and the Challenges Ahead

Listed author(s):
  • Roberto Steiner


  • Irene Clavijo


  • Natalia Salazar


Introduction. At the end of the 1980s Colombia confronted a situation of low growth and an unsettled domestic security situation. In order to address these issues, a comprehensive reform effort was undertaken starting in 1990. The reform agenda comprised market-driven reforms aimed at enhancing competition and the role of the private sector as well as a vast array of institutional reforms aimed at strengthening macro stability, promoting equality of opportunities in the political and judicial arena, and broad sharing the benefits of growth across regions and individuals. In this paper we show that this ambitious reform drive proved to be very challenging, with reforms aimed at strengthening some foundations for growth actually weakening others. Restrictions from the local environment and issues of design did not allow many of the reforms to fully deliver on their promise. In particular, the benefits of having broadened opportunities through fiscal decentralization, the enhancement of social expenditure and the expansion of access to the judicial system, must be contrasted with the fiscal deterioration and the rise of macro vulnerability that ensued. Starting in 1999 three governments tackled some of the salient problems. While this effort, coupled with a supportive external environment and improved security have delivered a favorable economic outcome, challenges remain in order to further strengthen the foundations for growth. This paper will provide proposals to that effect, with emphasis on the need to remove some of the limitations imposed by the local environment, particularly those arising from a very active judicial system.

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Paper provided by FEDESARROLLO in its series INFORMES DE INVESTIGACIÓN with number 009058.

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Length: 38
Date of creation: 22 Jun 2008
Handle: RePEc:col:000124:009058
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  1. Jairo Núñez & Roberto Steiner & Ximena Cadena & Renata Pardo, 2002. "¿Cuáles Colegios Ofrecen Mejor Educación En Colombia?," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003796, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  2. Mauricio Cárdenas, 2007. "Economic Growth In Colombia: A Reversal Of ‘Fortune’?," Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 25(53), pages 220-259, Enero.
  3. Juana Paola BUSTAMANTE IZQUIERDO, 2006. "Factores que inciden en la cobertura del sistema pensional en Colombia," ARCHIVOS DE ECONOMÍA 002711, DEPARTAMENTO NACIONAL DE PLANEACIÓN.
  4. Alejandro Gaviria, 2004. "Ley 789 De 2002: ¿Funcionó O No?," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003140, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  5. Alejandro Gaviria & Carlos Medina & Carolina Mejia, 2006. "Assessing Health Reform in Colombia: From Theory to Practice," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2006), pages 29-72, August.
  6. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Michael Kremer, 2006. "Long-Term Educational Consequences of Secondary School Vouchers: Evidence from Administrative Records in Colombia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 847-862, June.
  7. Ratna Sahay & Rishi Goyal, 2006. "Volatility and Growth in Latin America; An Episodic Approach," IMF Working Papers 06/287, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Barajas, Adolfo & Steiner, Roberto & Salazar, Natalia, 2000. "The impact of liberalization and foreign investment in Colombia's financial sector," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 157-196, October.
  9. Jairo Nuñez & Silvia Espinosa, 2005. "Pro-Poor Growth And Pro-Poor Programs In Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003379, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
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