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Three Decades of Neoliberal Economics in Chile: Achievements, Failures and Dilemmas


  • Solimano, Andres


The Chilean development story of the last two to three decades is a mix of successes in the macro, growth, poverty and trade fronts but also of failure in reducing chronic inequality of income and wealth. In addition, the current growth patterns have serious impacts on the environment, natural resources and energy demand. Adverse features of the Chilean development model include urban insecurity and rising crime, pollution, pressure on natural resources, congestion and social stratification in access to education, health and pensions. A reduction in social inequality would require changes in several fronts: more public-sector resources devoted to education; curtailing current concentration of wealth and market shares in banking, retail trade, and private pensions systems, private health provision, and other sectors; more effective regulation of big business; rebalancing of labour unions. bargaining power capacities and effective support to the sector of small and medium size enterprises. Chilean democracy would benefit from a redefinition in development priorities towards less power for the dominant elites (economic and political) and broader social participation for the middle class and the working people to support dynamic and more equitable

Suggested Citation

  • Solimano, Andres, 2009. "Three Decades of Neoliberal Economics in Chile: Achievements, Failures and Dilemmas," WIDER Working Paper Series 037, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2009-37

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    2. DAVIES, JAMES B & Shorrocks, Anthony & Sandstrom, Susanna & WOLFF, EDWARD N, 2007. "The World Distribution of Household Wealth," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt3jv048hx, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    3. Rodrigo Fuentes & Mauricio Larraín & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2006. "Sources of Growth and Behavior of TFP in Chile," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 43(127), pages 113-142.
    4. Solimano, Andrés, 2008. "The middle class and the development process," Macroeconomía del Desarrollo 65, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    5. José Díaz & Rolf Lüders & Gert Wagner, 2007. "Economía Chilena 1810-2000. Producto Total y Sectorial. Una Nueva Mirada," Documentos de Trabajo 315, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    6. López, Ramón & Miller, Sebastian J., 2008. "Chile: The Unbearable Burden of Inequality," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 2679-2695, December.
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    1. repec:eee:hepoli:v:121:y:2017:i:5:p:495-503 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bronfman, Javier & Floro, Maria, 2014. "How well has the Social Protection Scheme Reduced Vulnerability in Chile?," MPRA Paper 63255, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    Chile; development; inequality; growth; natural resources; social policy; middle class;

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