Latin American Economic Outlook 2015

Education, Skills and Innovation for Development

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The Latin American Economic Outlook is the OECD Development Centre’s annual analysis of economic developments in Latin America. It is produced in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) as well as CAF, the development bank of Latin America. Each edition includes a detailed macroeconomic overview as well as analysis of how the global context is shaping economic performance in the region. The Latin American Economic Outlook also takes an in-depth look at a special theme related to development in Latin America, taking into account future strategic challenges and opportunities. The 2015 edition focuses on the role of education, skills and innovation for development, taking stock of the current situation in the region, identifying the main challenges and opportunities in these fields, and presenting a series of policy areas where action is needed to impulse Latin America’s development.

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Latin American macroeconomic outlook

OECD Development Centre

Latin America has moved away from the high rates of economic growth seen during the 2000s and towards more moderate rates of a range of 1.5-3%. Clearly it is good news that the region was able to deal with deteriorating external conditions without experiencing any crises. However, continuous downward revisions to mediumterm growth projections could be a symptom of potential output growth being less robust than expected, which could present a risk to recent social achievements. This chapter assesses Latin America’s growth prospects in a more challenging international environment and explores how vulnerable the region is to further blows to the international environment in the short term. It also analyses the historical impact of resource booms (from commodities and capital flows) on the trend and cyclical components of economic performance. The chapter ends with some proposals on economic policy in the short term, and especially in the long term. The region must take ambitious strides to raise productivity and continue to bring down inequality and poverty. To do so, it must improve the skills of current and future workers through traditional education and technical and vocational education and training, a subject that ties in with the rest of this report.

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