Global Markets Forum
November 17, 2010, 5:30 - 7 p.m.
The Economic Take-Off of Latin America
In Left Behind, Sebastian Edwards explains why the nations of Latin America have failed to share in the fruits of globalization and forcefully highlights the dangers of the recent turn to economic populism in the region. He begins by detailing the many ways Latin American governments have stifled economic development over the years with excessive regulation, currency manipulation, and thoroughgoing corruption. He then turns to the neoliberal reforms of the early 1990s, which called for the elimination of deficits, lowering of trade barriers, and privatization of inefficient public enterprises - and which, Edwards argues, held the promise of freeing Latin America from the burdens of the past. Flawed implementation, however, meant the promised gains of globalization were never felt by the mass of citizens, and growing frustration with stalled progress has led to a resurgence of populism throughout the region, exemplified by the economic policies of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez. But such measures, Edwards warns, are a recipe for disaster; instead, he argues, the way forward for Latin America lies in further market reforms, more honestly pursued and fairly implemented. As an example of the promise of that approach, Edwards points to Latin America's giant, Brazil, which under the successful administration of President Luis Inácio da Silva (Lula) has finally begun to show signs of reaching its true economic potential.
As the global financial crisis has reminded us, the risks posed by failing economies extend far beyond their national borders. Putting Latin America back on a path toward sustained growth is crucial not just for the region but for the world, and Left Behind offers a clear, concise blueprint for the way forward.
This event was part of the Initiative on Global Markets (IGM) and is generously sponsored by Myron Scholes.
The IGM also receives financial support from our corporate partners: AQR Capital Management, John Deere, and Northern Trust.
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University of Chicago
Booth School of Business
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Sebastian Edwards is the Henry Ford II Professor of International Business Economics at the Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). From 1993 until April 1996, he was the chief economist for the Latin America and Caribbean Region of the World Bank. He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a member of the advisory board of Transnational Research Corporation, and co-chairman of the Inter American Seminar on Economics (IASE). He has been president of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA), an international professional association of economists with academic interests in Latin America and the Caribbean region. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Kiel Institute of World Economics, Kiel-Germany, and a member of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Council of Economic Advisors.
Edwards is the author of more than 200 scientific articles on international economics, macroeconomics, and economic development. His articles have appeared in the American Economic Review, Journal of Monetary Economics, Economic Journal, Oxford Economic Papers, Journal of Development Economics, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, and other professional journals. His work and views are frequently quoted in the media, including the New York Times, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Economist.