Latin American Economic Outlook 2010

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Contrary to prevailing wisdom, Latin American countries that opened their markets to international competition during the last decade have not been more vulnerable to the global economic downturn. The OECD Latin American Economic Outlook 2010 provides a fresh analysis of economic trends in the region with a particular focus on the role that international migration and remittances play in shaping the current context.

“Among the most interesting surprises by the global economic crisis: so far its impact on Latin America has been less than anticipated. This OECD report offers a clear analysis of the factors that explain this phenomenon.” Moisés Naim, Editor in Chief, Foreign Policy

“This essential study shows that countries open to the international economy with serious fiscal and monetary policies were better prepared to confront this crisis. The reprot also explains, with realistic analysis, why why migration policies belong on the international agenda.” Ricardo Lagos,former President of Chile

“This volume suggests that migration can help the development process provided that some interventions are adopted both in the sender and recipient countries.” Mauricio Cárdenas, Senior Fellow and Director of the Latin America Initiative, Brookings Institution

“Policy makers, academics and others interested in Latin American will find here a serious and relevant contribution to advancing their own work.” Santiago Levy,Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge, Inter-American Development Bank

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Macroeconomic Overview

OECD Development Centre

“When the United States sneezes, Latin America catches a cold” is a familiar refrain. But what if the US economy has flu? If history is a guide the answer is unsettling. From July 1981 to November 1982 the United States experienced one of its two longest post-war recessions (the other started in November 1973 and also lasted 16 months). Recession quickly spread throughout Latin America. But – deep as those initial recessions were – the region’s real drama was just unfolding. While developed economies recovered in time and returned to their pre-crisis economic paths, Latin America fell into a debt crisis that led to a sharp reduction in potential growth. This drag on growth persisted for more than a decade – in some countries for a quarter of a century – and left lasting scars on Latin America’s income and development.

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