Latin American Economic Outlook 2018

Rethinking Institutions for Development

image of Latin American Economic Outlook 2018

The Latin American Economic Outlook 2018: Rethinking Institutions for Development focuses on how institutions can underpin the foundations of a long period of sustained and inclusive growth and increased well-being. The report begins with an overview of the main macroeconomic challenges, analysing the complex macroeconomic context in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, and exploring policy options to boost potential growth, with a particular focus on trade. It then analyses the link between low trust and society’s disconnection and dissatisfaction with institutions and a number of long-standing, structural features of the region as well as more recent, contextual dynamics that are shaping LAC’s economy, society and politics . In this respect, the report examines how the social contract can be strengthened in LAC, mainly through a state that delivers and responds to citizens’ changing demands, as well as through policies and institutions which provide good and equal socio-economic opportunities in a rapidly changing global context.

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The social contract in Latin America and the Caribbean: Situation and policy challenges

OECD Development Centre

This chapter illustrates the weakening of the social contract in the region, and aims to better understand its intricacies and the policy challenges and areas that are crucial for its strengthening. First, it presents evidence that suggests the growing disconnection between citizens and public institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), which in turn is a sign of a weaker contract. This section argues that two factors could explain this growing disconnection: the rising aspirations of a middle class that has significantly expanded in the last decade, and the difficulties of public institutions to respond to new socio-economic challenges and guarantee greater well-being. The strength of the social contract is also assessed by exploring tax morale – i.e. the willingness to pay taxes – in the region. Second, it looks at how well-being has diminished recently in LAC, and suggests the need to rethink institutions to provide better opportunities and public goods and services and respond to citizens’ evolving demands, thus improving their well-being.

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