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Latin American Economic Outlook 2019

Development in Transition

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Latin America and the Caribbean has seen a remarkable socio-economic progress since the beginning of the century. Countries strengthened their macroeconomic situations, living standards improved, and poverty and inequality declined. Yet, large structural vulnerabilities remain and new ones have emerged. Many of these are linked to countries’ transition to higher income and development levels. The Latin American Economic Outlook 2019: Development in Transition (LEO 2019) presents a fresh analytical approach to the region’s development trajectories. It assesses four development traps relating to productivity, social vulnerability, institutions and the environment. It outlines local opportunities for responding to these traps and seeks ways of improving the interactions and interlinkages between global public goods and national development agendas, all in the context of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. LEO 2019 calls for improving domestic capacities and adopting a new vision of international co-operation as a facilitator to support efforts to achieve sustainable development for all throughout the region.

English Also available in: Spanish

Changing the lens: Development beyond income

This chapter illustrates the weakness of income per capita as a measure of development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Trends in income per capita may not fully reflect changes in other dimensions of development. Countries with similar levels of income per capita display very different development outcomes. This is especially true for those that are middle- and upper middle-income, such as most Latin American and Caribbean countries. This chapter compares current and long-term trends in income per capita with other well-being indicators at regional, national and sub-national levels. It also discusses the importance of developing adapted statistics that better reflect people’s living standards to improve the design, implementation and monitoring of public policy for development.

English Also available in: Spanish

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