Turning Back to the Market

Luis Bértola and José Antonio Ocampo

in The Economic Development of Latin America since Independence

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199662135
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748950 | DOI:

Series: Initiative for Policy Dialogue

Turning Back to the Market

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Chapter 5 deals with the domestic and external causes of the debt crisis of the 1980s and the consequent “lost decade” of Latin American development. It then analyzes the shift toward and diversity of market reforms, including their recent rejection by some countries. The outcomes were a stronger integration into world trade and investment flows, as well as greater fiscal discipline and low inflation but, a few countries aside, slower economic and productivity growth and stronger business cycles. The steady rise in public social spending and expanded coverage of basic social services, which can be seen as “democratic dividends”, were accompanied by a deterioration in employment and income distribution from the 1980s to the early 2000s and a lost quarter century in poverty reduction, followed by a significant improvements in all of these variables during the economic boom that took place in the early XXI century.

Keywords: debt crisis; lost decade; market reforms; international trade; boom-bust financial cycles; economic growth; productivity; social spending; employment; poverty; inequality

Chapter.  27937 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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