Comparative Politics

After the Washington Consensus: Restarting Growth and Reform by Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski, John Williamson

By Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski, John Williamson

This quantity is a successor of types to an past learn, towards Renewed monetary progress in Latin the United States (Institute for overseas Economics; 1986), which blazed the path for the market-oriented fiscal reforms that have been followed in Latin the United States within the next years. It back provides the paintings of a bunch of major economists (*) who have been requested to consider the character of the industrial coverage time table that the sector may be pursuing after the higher a part of a decade that was once punctuated by way of crises, accomplished disappointingly gradual progress, and observed no development within the region's hugely skewed source of revenue distribution. It diagnoses the first-generation (liberalizing and stabilizing) reforms which are nonetheless missing, the complementary second-generation (institutional) reforms which are essential to give you the institutional infrastructure of a marketplace financial system with an egalitarian bias, and the hot tasks which are had to crisis-proof the economies of the quarter to finish its perpetual sequence of crises. (*) Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (Minister of Finance of Peru), Nancy Birdsall (President, middle for international Development), Miguel Szekely (Mexico), Ricardo Lopez Murphy (Argentina), Jaime Saavedra (Peru), Claudio de Moura Castro (Brazil), Liliana Rojas-Suarez (Peru), Andres Velasco (Harvard), and Roberto Bouzas (Argentina).

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Extra info for After the Washington Consensus: Restarting Growth and Reform in Latin America

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In 1986, there have been three significant improvements and changes in the role of the state in the economies of Latin America. First and most important, the destabilizing element of public finances has been reined in; the very large public-sector deficits and their impact in stimulating domestic inflation have been brought under reasonable control (see chapter 4), although significant fiscal weaknesses remain in most countries. Second, as part of fiscal stabilization, but also to increase economic efficiency, the role of the government as provider of commercial goods and services has been drastically reduced through privatization.

5 The most obvious example is China, where growth has been high and the number of poor people has been reduced dramatically. Economic growth reduces poverty mainly through its effect on employment. Low GDP growth in Latin America has meant limited creation of new jobs in the modern sector—in contrast to East Asia in the 1960s through the 1980s, where employment increased rapidly and, as the labor market tightened, so did wages. 6 Of course, low growth implied fewer public resources in an absolute sense for the kind of public spending—on basic education and health—most likely to reach poor people and reduce inequality in the long run.

Com 45 02--CH. 2--33-48 3/13/03 3:44 PM Page 46 bellions and unrest, especially in such far-flung and diverse countries as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, where impoverished local populations feel they are getting a bad bargain from a distant capital. Today, decentralization is widely seen as a test of democracy, a necessary reversal of past authoritarian trends. However, the long tradition of centralization and authoritarianism dies hard, and change is not easy. Despite this difficulty, there is no doubt that the benefits of properly managed decentralization can be considerable for economic development: the ability to relate investments to local needs, a sense of local involvement that breeds greater interest in how public money is spent—especially if it is seen as coming from local taxation—and better knowledge of local conditions, which is especially important in the agricultural areas where lowincome people usually are concentrated.

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