Development in the Americas (DIA)
IDB Flagship Publication
Beyond Facts. Understanding Quality of Life
Published: November 2008
This version: June 2014
Poverty Reduction and Labor
Buy the book at
Traditionally, the concept of quality of life has been viewed through objective indicators. Beyond Facts looks at quality of life through a new lens, namely, the perceptions of millions of Latin Americans. Using an enhanced version of the recently created Gallup World Poll that incorporates Latin America-specific questions, the Inter-American Development Bank surveyed people from throughout the region and found that perceptions of quality of life are often very different from the reality. These surprising findings have enormous significance for the political economy of the region and provide a wealth of information for policymakers and development practitioners to feast upon. Download the Executive Summary in English or Spanish.
Previous editions of Development in the Americas (DIA):
More than Revenue: Taxation as a Development Tool
More than Revenue aims to provide an up-to-date overview of the current state of taxation in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, its main reform needs, and possible reform strategies that take into account the likely economic, institutional, and political constraints on the reform process.
Room for Development: Housing Markets in Latin America and the Caribbean
This edition of the IDB's flagship publication, Development in the Americas, takes an in-depth look at the opportunities countries have to improve urban housing markets and pave the way for solutions that involve the private sector.
Unveiling the Impact of New Information Technologies
Policymakers and academics agree that computers, the Internet, mobile telephones and other information and communication technologies can be beneficial for economic and social development. But how strong is the impact?
The Age of Productivity: Transforming Economies
from the Bottom Up
The book provides tools to ponder productivity growth beyond conventional aggregate analysis, focusing on the extreme heterogeneity of sectors and firms while emphasizing the importance of policies that allow high productivity firms to thrive and expand.
Beyond Facts: Understanding Quality of Life
Using an enhanced version of the recently created Gallup World Poll, the Inter-American Development Bank surveyed people from throughout the region and found that perceptions of quality of life are often very different from the reality.
Previous editions of the Economic and Social Progress Report (IPES):
Outsiders? The Changing Patterns of Exclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean
This report raises a number of fundamental questions about the multidimensional and interrelated nature of social exclusion and moves beyond the traditional emphasis on outcomes and groups to view exclusion as a process that results from societal traits that limit the functionings of the excluded.
Living with Debt: How to Limit the Risks of Sovereign Finance
This report analyzes the nature and evolution of sovereign debt in Latin America and discusses the policies that can be followed by countries and international financial institutions (IFIs) to reduce the vulnerabilities associated with it.
The Politics of Policies
Certain simple ideas can help to mobilize society, but they are rarely sufficient for understanding the processes of fundamental change. Sadly, there are no shortcuts to the Promised Land of sustainable development and prosperity for all.
The Quest for Deep and Stable Bank Lending
Unfortunately, credit is scarce, expensive, and volatile. Without deep and stable credit markets, it will be very difficult for the region to achieve high and sustainable growth rates and combat poverty.
Good Jobs Wanted: Labor Markets in Latin America
Topics of the Report include the employer-worker dynamic, the new profile of the supply of labor, the impact of structural reforms, and the role of technology and institutions.
The New Regionalism in Latin America
It focuses on current subregional integration schemes, the new agenda launched in Doha for multilateral trade talks, regional initiatives, and interregional agreements between countries in the region and the European Union.
Competitiveness: The Business of Growth
This report provides guidelines to increase productivity and improve access by businesses to productive resources.
Development Beyond Economics
This report examines three entrenched structural factors -demography, geography and institutions- that are closely connected to economic and social development.
Facing Up to Inequality in Latin America
Latin America in the 1990s remains the most unequal region in the world in terms of income distribution. Yet because of its changing demographics the region now has a unique window of opportunity to reduce the income gap by accelerating the development process, putting people to work, improving education, and saving for the future.
Latin America After a Decade of Reforms
This report examines the complex forces that have shaped the reform process and assesses the challenges ahead to sustain economic growth, prevent instability, improve income distribution, and foster participation in public decisionmaking.
Making Social Services Work
The 1996 Report on Economic and Social Report in Latin America interprets these macroeconomic developments in light of structural reforms implemented across the region over the past decade.