The Myth of the 'Latin American Decade'

PSL Quarterly Review vol. 71 n. 285, June 2018

21 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2018

See all articles by José Antonio Ocampo

José Antonio Ocampo

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)

Eduardo Bastian

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

Marcos Reis

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

Date Written: July 11, 2018

Abstract

This paper analyzes Latin American performance over the period 2003-2014 with the purpose of evaluating two ideas: whether this period constituted so-called ‘golden years’ and whether the 2010s were likely to be a ‘Latin American decade’ This term was used several times by scholars, international organizations, and market experts, claiming that the region was finally on the right track after two decades of disappointing economic performance. However, the data shows that the claims were overoptimistic. We compare the region’s 2003-2014 performance with that in the 1980s and 1990s, evaluate how the region performed in the sub-periods 2003-2007 and 2008-2014, and compare the region’s 2003-2014 indicators with those of other selected developing regions during the same period. We show that the period in question was a ‘golden decade’ only when compared with the region’s own performance during the previous two decades, but not when compared with other developing regions. Moreover, we notice that the lack of structural change during this decade implies weak development performance for the region in the near future.

Keywords: Latin America, economic performance, developing regions

JEL Classification: N16, O54, L16

Suggested Citation

Ocampo, Jose Antonio and Bastian, Eduardo and Reis, Marcos, The Myth of the 'Latin American Decade' (July 11, 2018). PSL Quarterly Review vol. 71 n. 285, June 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3211962 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3211962

Jose Antonio Ocampo (Contact Author)

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Eduardo Bastian

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) ( email )

Av; Pasteur, 250
terreo - Bairro Maracana
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 23890000
Brazil

Marcos Reis

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) ( email )

Av; Pasteur, 250
terreo - Bairro Maracana
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 23890000
Brazil

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
21
Abstract Views
196
PlumX Metrics