Latin American Economic Outlook 2009

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Are Latin American governments maximising the potential of fiscal policy as a development tool? The 2009 edition of the Latin American Economic Outlook shows that governments in the region could do much more to exploit the ability of fiscal policy to boost economic growth and combat poverty and inequality.

"An important step forward in the dialogue and exchange of experiences between OECD countries and our region." 

-Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary, ECLAC

"This publication will provide those concerned with Latin America's future with valuable lessons for fiscal policy drawn from the experiences of OECD and Latin American countries."

-Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Ex-President of Brasil

"This second Latin American Economic Outlook shows the importance of the micro aspects of a proper fiscal policy. The OECD Development Centre has done an outstanding report."

-Guillermo de la Dehesa,

Chairman of the Centre for Economic Policy Research

"Fiscal policy is an axis of the social contract and a key tool in economic and social development.  This is the core message of the OECD Latin American Economic Outlook 2009, a most helpful and timely contribution to the policy debate in Latin America."

-Augusto de la Torre,

Chief Economist for Latin America & the Caribbean Region

World Bank.

"The Latin American Economic Outlook 2009 once again gets it right: fiscal policies in Latin America are actively contributing to macroeconomic equilibrium, but the focus now should also be on economic growth, a necessary condition to reduce poverty and inequality."

-Alejandro Foxley, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chile

"The OECD Latin American Economic Outlook 2009 highlights the path to follow to continue improving fiscal policy action as a tool for development."  Juan C. Gómez Sabaini, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

“With this new volume on fiscal policy, the OECD Latin American Economic Outlook continues to enrich our knowledge and debate on the key topics affecting Latin America’s economic and social challenges.” 

-Enrique Iglesias,

Secretary-General of the Ibero-American General Secretariat

“This publication illustrates that the challenge ahead for the region is to find out how to use scarce tax resources to foster growth, reduce poverty and provide better public services.”

-Henrique Meirelles, Governor, Central Bank of Brazil

“This report urges policy makers to rediscover the potential use of fiscal policy and to make this policy instrument as effective as it can be.”

-Vito Tanzi, Former Director,

Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF

English Also available in: Chinese, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Fiscal Policy and Informality in Latin America

OECD Development Centre

Informality is difficult to quantify but by any measure it is high in Latin America1. Outside the field of vision of policy makers and out of reach of the taxman’s hand, informal economic activity is a challenge. For the tax authorities it means lost revenue. Perceived as a subsistence sector, these informal workers and micro-entrepreneurs are also a challenge to the effectiveness of public expenditure. Informal work is associated with imperfect labour and social protection for workers, and informal firms are less productive than formal firms. Pervasive informality is therefore potentially a drag on both growth and social cohesion. Moreover, although for some informality represents an active choice, it can become a trap, limiting economic horizons and disconnecting people from the state. Informality is thus much more than merely lost revenue; the existence of a large informal sector points to a high level of social exclusion. 

English Also available in: French, Spanish

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