by: Pablo Fajnzylber, Norman Loayza, Cesar Calderon
The 1960s and 70s were decades of solid growth rates for Latin
America and the Caribbean region as a whole. This changed in the 1980s,
when the growth rate of output per capita fell to negative values and
its volatility increased notably. However, Latin America's economic
growth became positive again in the 1990s, with truly remarkable
turnarounds in Argentina, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Peru.
This recovery was driven in most cases by large increases in the growth
of total factor productivity, reflecting the initial benefits from the
process of economic reforms initiated in the 1990s.
Economic Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean analyzes
whether economic reforms have been beneficial to growth in the region.
In doing so, it recognizes that growth is driven by a variety of
factors—in some cases poor growth is due to insufficient
structural reforms (e.g., low trade openness), in others to
inappropriate stabilization policies (e.g., exchange rate
overvaluation), and still in others to negative international
conditions (e.g., growth slowdown in industrial countries). It is
obvious but still correct to say that identifying the problem is the
first step towards the solution. This book contributes to this effort
by examining the growth performance of countries in Latin America and
the Caribbean, explaining the underlying sources of their economic
growth, and designing a strategy for further growth.
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