Growing Pains in Latin America: An Economic Growth Framework as Applied to Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Peru

Latin America's volatile mix of deepening democracy and chronic inequality is a fertile breeding ground for unscrupulous populists. To build a stout analytic framework for the next generation of market-oriented reforms that will secure and continue past progress, the Center for Global Development has pooled the talents of some of the hemisphere's leading social scientists in this cutting-edge synthesis of "lessons learned." The contributors seek a reasonable middle ground between simplistic one-size-fits-all prescriptions and a circumstance-specific "it all depends" approach, and between a paralyzing laundry list of proposals and a narrowly focused single-constraint diagnosis. The volume singles out five solid foundations for growth: sustained macroeconomic stability, a more equitable sharing of benefits, secure property rights, equal opportunities, and economic and political competition. Sophisticated country chapters explain what must be done to support political constituencies that favor market reform and encourage more rapid, sustainable growth. Tough institutional reforms -- of judiciaries, regulatory bodies, civil-service systems -- feature prominently.

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