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Understanding Reform in Latin America

  • Mariano Tommasi


    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)

  • Alvaro Forteza

    (Universidad de la Republica)

  • German Herrera

This paper provides an overview of the pro-market reform process in eight Latin American countries, based on country studies undertaken within the Understanding Reform project of the Global Development Network. After a brief presentation of the reform in Latin America and in the eight countries in the project, the paper addresses some key themes on the political economy of reform. We review the initial conditions of reform; the role played by technocrats and stakeholders; political participation; the peculiar shortcut to reform represented by "policy switches" (announcing something to do the opposite); some traditional topics in the literature on reform like sequencing, shocks and learning; the apparently key role played by local characteristics; the complex feedbacks between pro-market reforms and the political process; and the recent backlash against reform in Latin America. The paper ends with some remarks mostly on normative lessons from this experience.

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Paper provided by Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia in its series Working Papers with number 88.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision: Dec 2005
Handle: RePEc:sad:wpaper:88
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  1. Eduardo Lora, 1997. "A Decade of Structural Reform in Latin America: What Has Been Reformed and How to Measure It," Research Department Publications 4074, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. Eduardo Fern·ndez-Arias & Peter Montiel, 2001. "Reform and Growth in Latin America: All Pain, No Gain?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(3), pages 5.
  3. Norman Loayza & Pablo Fajnzylber & César Calderón, 2005. "Economic Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean : Stylized Facts, Explanations, and Forecasts," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7315.
  4. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Trade, growth, and poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2615, The World Bank.
  5. Juliana Bambaci & Tamara Saront & Mariano Tommasi, 2002. "The Political Economy of Economic Reforms in Argentina," Working Papers 43, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Mar 2002.
  6. Pablo T. Spiller, 2003. "The Institutional Foundations of Public Policy: A Transactions Approach with Application to Argentina," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 281-306, October.
  7. Mariano Tommasi & Andres Velasco, 1996. "Where are we in the political economy of reform?," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 187-238.
  8. Eduardo Lora & Ugo Panizza, 2002. "Structural Reforms in Latin America under Scrutiny," Research Department Publications 4303, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  9. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1993. "Economic Policy, Economic Performance, and Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 27-42, March.
  10. James E. Foster & Miguel Székely, 2001. "Is Economic Growth Good for the Poor? Tracking Low Incomes Using General Means," Research Department Publications 4269, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  11. Morley, Samuel A., 2000. "Efectos del crecimiento y las reformas económicas sobre la distribución del ingreso en América Latina," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
  12. Eduardo Lora, 2001. "Structural Reforms in Latin America: What Has Been Reformed and How to Measure It," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 39858, Inter-American Development Bank.
  13. Cukierman, A. & Tommasi, M., 1997. "When Does It Take a Nixon to Go to China," Papers 30-97, Tel Aviv.
  14. Easterly, William & Loayza, Norman & Montiel, Peter, 1997. "Has Latin America's post-reform growth been disappointing?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1708, The World Bank.
  15. Alberto Melo & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2006. "Productive Development Policies and Supporting Institutions in Latin America and The Caribbean," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 39598, Inter-American Development Bank.
  16. Eduardo Lora & Ugo Panizza & Myriam Quispe-Agnoli, 2004. "Reform fatigue: symptoms, reasons, and implications," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 2, pages 1 - 28.
  17. Fabrice Lehoucq & Gabriel Negretto & Francisco Javier Aparicio & Benito Nacif & Allyson Lucinda Benton, 2005. "Political Institutions, Policymaking Processes, and Policy Outcomes in Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 39638, Inter-American Development Bank.
  18. Checchi, Daniele & Florio, Massimo & Carrera, Jorge, 2005. "Privatization Discontent and Its Determinants: Evidence from Latin America," IZA Discussion Papers 1587, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Growth is good for the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2587, The World Bank.
  20. Sebastian Galiani & Daniel Heymann & Mariano Tommasi, 2003. "Great Expectations and Hard Times: The Argentine Convertibility Plan," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 109-160, January.
  21. Arteta, Carlos & Eichengreen, Barry & Wyplosz, Charles, 2001. "When Does Capital Account Liberalization Help More Than it Hurts?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2910, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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