The Long March: A Reform Agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Next Decade

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1997 Trade paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. 115 p. World Bank Operations Evaluation Study, . Audience: General/trade.

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The Mexican peso crisis in 1994 brought about gloom, anxiety, and uncertainty in the LAC (Latin America and Caribbean) region. There is a general awareness among policymakers that additional reforms need to be undertaken if LAC economies are to grow more than 6 percent a year, which is the growth rate that is widely believed necessary to lower the number of people living in poverty in the region. The agenda proposed in this volume is based on recent theoretical and empirical work on the sources of economic growth and poverty reduction; on empirical measures of the LAC region's progress in terms of policies and economic factors that affect economic growth, and on comparisons between the LAC region and other rapidly growing regions. The report identifies items in the reform agenda required to consolidate macroeconomic stability in the region (see Chapter 1), a necessary condition for sustaining high rates of growth. It also specifies the additional structural reforms needed to accelerate growth in the medium and long term (see Chapters 2 and 3) and the policies required to broaden the reach of economic growth in order to confront the challenge of poverty reduction in the LAC region (Chapter 4). This three-pronged analysis has yielded a reform agenda for LAC in the next decade. This agenda comprises the following five broad policy areas: 1) quality investment in human capital; 2) efficient financial markets; 3) enhanced legal and regulatory environment; 4) quality public sector governance; and 5) fiscal strengthening.

"Detailed discussion of reforms necessary to accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty in the region. Reforms include equity market development, civil service reform, in health and education investment, labor market liberalization, and greater trade openness"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.

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Table of Contents

Ch. I Consolidating Stabilization Gains 1
A Fiscal Policy 4
B The Financial Sector 9
C The External Sector 13
Ch. II Structural Reform and Economic Progress 27
A International Trade Openness 28
B Financial Development 33
C Labor Market Liberalization 37
D Proper Use on Public Resources and Efficiency of Revenue Generation 44
E Governance 53
Ch. III Strategic Priorities for Accelerating Growth 61
A LAC's Growth in the 1990s 61
B Strategic Priorities for Accelerating Growth in LAC 63
C Quality Investment in Human Development 67
D Developing Efficient Financial Markets 71
E Improving the Legal and Regulatory Environment 76
F Public Administration and Governance 79
Ch. IV The Challenge of Poverty Reduction 87
A The Incidence of Poverty 87
B Growth and Poverty 88
C The Pattern and Quality of Growth 90
D Human Capital Development 97
E Poverty and Targeted Programs 102
References 109
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