PPOL-734 LATIN AMERICAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Spring for 2017-2018
Faculty:
The main objectives of this course are to familiarize students with the most important economic development issues confronting and challenging Latin American countries today and to demonstrate how economic analysis may be used to better understand and address these development issues. The course is essentially divided into two parts. The first part deals with cross-cutting issues that have challenged many if not most of the countries in the region. These issues include: (i) the sustainability of recent improvements in macroeconomic management and stabilization, including the capacity of related fiscal and monetary institutions; (ii) tax reform; (iii) progress with respect to structural reforms aimed at making markets at all levels work more freely and efficiently; (iv) the persistence of extreme poverty and high income inequality, their underlying causes, and how this constrains growth and development; (v) what countries are or should be doing about it, including the role and contribution of social protection programs, conditional cash transfers and microfinance; and (vi) closing the region’s infrastructure deficit including the role of public-private sector partnerships (PPPs). The second part of the course accounts for the region’s considerable diversity. It does this by taking a closer sub-regional and country-specific look at some of the unique development challenges facing: (i) the poorest countries in South America (Bolivia and Paraguay); (ii) the most affluent countries in the region (Chile and Argentina); (iii) the stumbling economic giant Brazil; (iv) the challenges of local government administration in Mexico; and (v) the break-down of law and order, gang violence and drug trafficking in the countries of Central America. Lastly the course ends with an assessment of the region’s future development challenges going forward and whether the countries of the region, after almost 200 years since independence, can ultimately muster what it takes to escape from the so-called “middle income trap” and enter the ranks of the developed industrialized countries of the world. PRE-REQUISITES: Introductory (principles of) micro- and macro-economics taken at either the undergraduate or graduate level or the equivalent.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

Sections:

PPOL-734-10 LATIN AMERICAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Spring for 2017-2018
Faculty:
The main objectives of this course are to familiarize students with the most important economic development issues confronting and challenging Latin American countries today and to demonstrate how economic analysis may be used to better understand and address these development issues. The module covers both cross-cutting issues that have continued to challenge many, if not, most of the countries in the region, and those issues that pertain mostly to an important individual country or sub-regional grouping of countries. The topics covered include: (i) the region’s overall growth and development performance; (ii) the attainment and sustainability of macroeconomic stabilization, including reforms to the exchange rate regime, the conduct of monetary and fiscal policies, debt management, and taxation; (iii) the progress and effectiveness of structural reforms aimed at making markets at all levels work more freely and efficiently; (iv) the persistence of extreme poverty and high income inequality, their underlying causes, how this constrains growth and development and what countries are or should be doing about it, including the role of social protection programs and the effectiveness of redistribution policies such as conditional cash transfers (CCTs); (v) the financial sector including the expansion and commercialization of microfinance institutions (MFIs); (vi) the development challenges posed by the steady rise of crime and violence in Central America and this sub-region’s continued heavy, albeit shrinking, dependence on primary exports; (vii) the sustainability of Brazil’s growth as this country emerges as a regional and global economic powerhouse ; and lastly, after almost 200 years since independence, whether the countries of Latin America will finally muster what it takes to escape the so-called “middle income trap” and enter the ranks of the developed industrialized countries of the world. PRE-REQUISITES: Introductory (principles of) micro- and macro-economics taken at either the undergraduate or graduate level or the equivalent.
Credits: 1.5
Prerequisites: None
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