Fair Growth: Economic Policies for Latin America's Poor and Middle-Income Majority

Overview

Until recently, students of development have put much more energy into understanding the causes and consequences of absolute poverty than of inequality. But globalization ?with its new opportunities for winners and losers, and its new insecurities and competitive pressures ?is changing that. Nowhere is the issue of inequality more worrying than in Latin America, the setting for many of the world's most unequal societies. This book presents a dozen ideas or "tools" meant to make life in Latin America more ...

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Overview

Until recently, students of development have put much more energy into understanding the causes and consequences of absolute poverty than of inequality. But globalization —with its new opportunities for winners and losers, and its new insecurities and competitive pressures —is changing that. Nowhere is the issue of inequality more worrying than in Latin America, the setting for many of the world's most unequal societies. This book presents a dozen ideas or "tools" meant to make life in Latin America more equitable and fair for the great majority of its people. It suggests policies and programs for making tax structures more progressive; giving small businesses a chance; protecting labor mobility and workers' rights; tackling corruption head on; and raising the levels of quality, efficiency, and equity of the education systems.

Change and reform in the direction of greater fairness will require not only political leadership and technical know-how on the part of government officials and legislators, but support and input from the progressive business community, the increasingly effective and vocal civil society, and students and intellectuals.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The 'Washington Consensus' reforms needed to be supplemented by a set of measures explicitly focused on equity. This book offers a vision of what such a reform agenda should look like. Unlike the populist demagoguery that has for too long dominated discussion of this topic in Latin America, the authors' 'equity toolkit' is well-conceived and deserves to be discussed and implemented." —John Williamson, Peterson Institute for International Economics

"This volume is a must for understanding the causes of the Latin American disease of slow growth with social injustice. More importantly, it also provides a prescription of sensible remedies to cure the disease. Bravo for its authors!" —Ernesto Zedillo, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, and former President of Mexico

"Solid and closely argued policy recommendations make FAIR GROWTH compulsory reading for politicians, intellectuals, experts, businesspeople, and all those among us who believe it is possible to build a region that is more just and more prosperous." —Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile

"A wide-ranging, worthy, and human replacement for the failed doctrines of the Washington Consensus. Even those of us who favor stronger medicine will find much to admire and appreciate in this book." —James Galbraith, University of Texas at Austin

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933286167
  • Publisher: Center for Global Development
  • Publication date: 1/7/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (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. Augusto de la Torre is senior regional financial sector advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank. He served as governor of the Central Bank of Ecuador from 1993 to 1996. Rachel Menezes is a former economic policy associate at the Inter-American Dialogue. Previously, she worked at the Estado de S. Paulo. She is currently setting up small a foundation in Aracatuba, Brazil, for economically disadvantaged young women to study at the tertiary level.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: Giving Latin America's Majority a Fair Chance     1
A Dozen Equity Tools
Rule-Based Fiscal Discipline     37
Smoothing Booms and Busts     43
Social Safety Nets That Trigger Automatically     50
More Taxes on the Rich and Better Spending on the Rest     58
Giving Small Businesses a Chance     75
Protecting Job Mobility and Workers' Rights     91
Repairing Rural Markets     101
Tackling Corruption Head On     111
Schools for the Poor, Too     123
Dealing Openly with Discrimination     136
Consumer-Driven Public Services     145
How the United States Can Help: Opening Markets and More     161
References     169
Index     207
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