Beyond Tradeoffs: Market Reforms and Equitable Growth in Latin America

Overview

Latin American income distribution is among the most unequal in the world. Both the poor and the wealthy have paid a price for this inequality, which is in part responsible for the region's low growth rates. The essays in this book propose new ways of reducing inequality, not by growth-inhibiting transfers and regulations, but by enhancing efficiency —eliminating consumption subsidies for the wealthy, increasing the productivity of the poor, and shifting to a more labor and ...

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Overview

Latin American income distribution is among the most unequal in the world. Both the poor and the wealthy have paid a price for this inequality, which is in part responsible for the region's low growth rates. The essays in this book propose new ways of reducing inequality, not by growth-inhibiting transfers and regulations, but by enhancing efficiency —eliminating consumption subsidies for the wealthy, increasing the productivity of the poor, and shifting to a more labor and skill-demanding growth path.

In Beyond Tradeoffs, Latin American experts demonstrate how market-friendly measures in key policy areas can simultaneously promote greater equity and greater efficiency. By identifying win-win strategies, the authors challenge the conventional wisdom that there is always a tradeoff between these two objectives. Extensive macroeconomic reforms in the region have provided opportunities to implement such strategies across many sectors.

The volume aims at building a "Latin consensus" on a second round of reforms —reforms that address the urgent issue of inequality without undermining efficient growth. Contributors include Jonathan Coles, Rene Cortazar, Ricardo Hausmann, Juan Luis Londoño, Nora Lustig, Moises Naím, and Joseph Stiglitz.

Copublished with the Inter-American Development Bank

"The essays in this book propose new ways of reducing inequality, not by growth-inhibiting transfers and regulations, but by enhancing efficiency--eliminating consumption subsidies for the wealthy, increasing the productivity of the poor, and shifting to a more labor-and-skill-demanding growth path ... [They] draw on discussions at a conference sponsored by the IDB and the MacArthur Foundation, titled "Inequality-Reducing Growth in Latin America," held in Washington, D.C. in January 1997"--Foreword.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Latin American experts propose new ways of reducing economic inequality in the region, by eliminating subsidies for the wealthy, increasing productivity of the poor, and shifting to a more labor- and skill-demanding growth path. By identifying win-win strategies, they challenge the conventional wisdom that there is always a tradeoff between greater equity and greater efficiency. Material draws on discussions held at a January 1997 conference. Lacks a subject index. The editor is Executive Vice President of the Inter-American Development Bank. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Benedict J. Clements
This book makes for worthwhile reading for those interested in the equity aspects of public policy, both in Latin America and in developing countries in general.
Finance & Development
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815709213
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press and Inter-American Development Bank
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Pages: 332
  • Lexile: 1530L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.81 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Birdsall is the founding president of the Center for Global Development. Prior to launching the center, Birdsall was senior associate and director of the Economic Reform Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. From 1993 to 1998, Birdsall was executive vice president of the Inter-American Development Bank. Carol Graham is a senior fellow in both Foreign Policy Studies and Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution, where she holds the Charles Robinson Chair in Foreign Policy. Her most recent book is Happiness around the World: The Paradox of Happy Peasants and Miserable Millionaires (Oxford University Press, 2010). Richard H. Sabot is the John J. Gibson Professor of Economics at Williams College in Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
1 Virtuous Circles in Latin America's Second Stage of Reforms 1
2 Kinds and Causes of Inequality in Latin America 29
3 Structural Reforms and Equity 63
4 Growth with Equity: The Volatility Connection 91
5 No Tradeoff: Efficient Growth via More Equal Human Capital Accumulation 111
6 Inequality-Reducing Growth in Agriculture: A Market-Friendly Policy Agenda 147
7 Economic Policy and Labor Market Dynamics 183
8 Equity Benefits from Financial Market Reforms 213
9 Pension Reform: An Efficiency-Equity Tradeoff? 253
10 Reforming Public Monopolies: Water Supply 273
11 Inequality and Growth: Implications for Public Finance and Lessons from Experience in the United States 305
12 The Political Economy of Institutional Reform in Latin America 321
List of Authors 363
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