Left Behind: Latin America And The False Promise Of Populism

Paperback | October 22, 2012

bySebastian Edwards

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The political and economic history of Latin America has been marked by great hopes and even greater disappointments. Despite abundant resources—and a history of productivity and wealth—in recent decades the region has fallen further and further behind developed nations, surpassed even by other developing economies in Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

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 through 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’sHugo 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.

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The political and economic history of Latin America has been marked by great hopes and even greater disappointments. Despite abundant resources—and a history of productivity and wealth—in recent decades the region has fallen further and further behind developed nations, surpassed even by other developing economies in Southeast Asia and...

Sebastian Edwards is the Henry Ford II Professor of International Economics at the Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.

other books by Sebastian Edwards

Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:October 22, 2012Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022600466X

ISBN - 13:9780226004662

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Table of Contents

Preface

1 Latin America: The Eternal Land of the Future

· The Economic Future of Latin America and the United States
· From the Washington Consensus to the Resurgence of Populism: A Brief Overview
· The Main Argument: A Summary
· A Conceptual Framework: The Economic Prosperity of Nations and the Mechanics of Successful Growth Transitions

PART ONE

A Long Decline: From Independence to the Washington Consensus

2 Latin America’s Decline: A Long Historical View

· A Gradual and Persistent Decline
· The Poverty of Institutions and Long Term Mediocrity
· Currency Crises, Instability and Inflation
· Inequality and Poverty
· So Far from God, and So Close to the United States

3 From the Alliance for Progress to the Washington Consensus

· The Cuban Revolution and the Alliance for Progress
· Protectionism and Social Conditions
· Informality and Unemployment
· Fiscal Profligacy, Monetary Largesse, Instability, and Currency Crises
· Oil Shocks and Debt Crisis
· The Lost Decade, Market Reforms, and the Washington Consensus

PART TWO

The Washington Consensus and the Recurrence of Crises, 1989-2002

4 Fractured Liberalism: Latin America’s Incomplete Reforms

· Institutions and Economic Performance
· Institutions Interrupted: A Latin American Scorecard
· Economic Policy Reform: A Decalogue Manqué
· Summing Up: Mediocre Policies and Weak Institutions

5 Chile, Latin America’s Brightest Star

· Chile under President Salvador Allende, 1970–73
· The Chicago Boys and Chile’s Trip to the Market
· The Chicago Boys, Politics, and Labor Unions
· Chile: A Case of a Successful Growth Transition
· Pragmatism, Markets, and Success
· Restricting Speculative Capital Flows
· The Key Role of Institutions and the Failure of Copycats
· Chile’s Legacy

6 So Far from God: Mexico’s Tequila Crisis of 1994

· The Mexican Miracle: A Mirage?
· The Exchange Rate, Capital Flows, and External Imbalances
· 1994: A Recurrent Nightmare
· The Aftermath of the Tequila Crisis
· Lessons from the Mexican Crisis
· Pegging the Currency: A Recurrent Latin American Mistake

7 The Mother of All Crises: Argentina, 2001–2002

· A Long History of Instability and High Inflation
· Please, Tie My Hands!
· The Mexican Crisis and the Weaknesses of the Convertibility Law
· The Fixed Exchange Rate Becomes a Straitjacket
· The Inability to Withstand External Shocks in 1999–2001
· Another Foretold Disaster
· Devaluation, Default, and Pesification
· Social Costs, Recovery, and Populism

PART THREE

The Populist Reaction

8 Populism, Neopopulism, and Inequality in the New Century

· Populism and Neopopulism
· The Populist Cycle: From Euphoria to Regret
· The Polices of Neopopulism
· Inequality and Neopopulism in Latin America
· Openness, Globalization, Inequality, and Social Conditions
· Income Disparities and Education
· Populism and Political Institutions
· Neopopulism and Neoconstitutionalism

9 Chávez’s Challenge and Lula’s Response

· Hugo Chávez and the Path to Bolivarian Populism
· The Bolivarian Revolution and Its Disappointment
· Chávez and Social Conditions
· The Surprising Absence of Populism in Brazil
· Stability and Social Programs in Lula’s Brazil
· Lula’s Pragmatism and Chávez’s Ideology
· Brazil’s Challenges in the Post-Lula Era

PART FOUR

Challenges for the Future

10 A Three-Speed Latin America for the Twenty-first Century

· The Institutions of the State and the Narcotics Trade
· Three Latin American Clusters for the Twenty-first Century
· A Final Word

Notes
Bibliography
Index