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The Latin American and Caribbean Research Network

Books

The Research Department (RES) typically produces edited volumes based on research conducted through the Latin American Research Network and books compiled from conference proceedings of RES-sponsored events:

Export Pioneers in Latin America
Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés; Sabel, Charles; Fernández-Arias, Eduardo; Stein, Ernesto H.; Hausmann, Ricardo
IDB-BK-107 - English - Apr, 2012

Export Pioneers in Latin America analyzes a series of case studies of successful new export activities throughout the region to learn how pioneers jump-start a virtuous process leading to economic transformation. The cases of blueberries in Argentina, avocados in Mexico, and aircraft in Brazil illustrate how an initially successful export activity did not stop with the discovery of a single viable product, but rather continued to evolve. The book explores the conjecture that costly burdens to entrepreneurial self-discovery (due to the deterrent effects of imitation by competitors) have held back potential exporters in post-reform Latin America. It also considers the conjecture that new export activities are a complex enterprise that can only come to fruition when innovative contributions of many actors are somehow provided jointly.

Related JEL Codes:
F14 - Empirical Studies of Trade
F19 - Trade: Other
O14 - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
Q17 - Agriculture in International Trade


 

Development Connections: Unveiling the Impact of New Information Technologies
Chong, Alberto
IDB-BK-105 - English - May, 2011

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? What conditions influence their effectiveness on development? The IDB took a bold step to apply strict statistical tools in a systematic way to evaluate how these technologies contributed to the success of several development projects in the region.


 

The Quality of Life in Latin American Cities: Markets and Perception
Powell, Andrew; van Praag, Bernard; Lora, Eduardo; Sanguinetti, Pablo
B-646 - English - May, 2010

This book does not pretend to solve all the problems that must be addressed to establish a system for monitoring the quality of urban life. It does aspire, however, to serve as a means by which local governments, analysts of urban problems, and communities themselves may take advantage of a new generation of urban QoL monitoring strategies that have significant potential for contributing to public decision-making processes.


 

The Age of Productivity: Transforming Economies from the Bottom Up
Chong, Alberto; Izquierdo, Alejandro; Maffioli, Alessandro; Scartascini, Carlos; Ludena, Carlos; Gómez-Peña, Carlos Andrés; Pagés-Serra, Carmen; Sabel, Charles; Daude, Christian; Fernández-Arias, Eduardo; Cavallo, Eduardo A.; Ñopo, Hugo; Blyde, Juan; Navarro, Juan Carlos; Llisterri, Juan Jose; Atal, Juan Pablo; Madrigal, Lucia; Agosin, Manuel R.; Tommasi, Mariano; Busso, Matias; Mesquita Moreira, Mauricio; Ibarraran, Pablo; Zuniga, Pluvia; Stucchi, Rodolfo
B-644 - English - Mar, 2010

Productivity, the main driver of economic prosperity, is languishing in Latin America and the Caribbean and is preventing the region from catching up with the developed world. Asking why the region is falling farther and farther behind, this book looks beyond the traditional macro explanations and digs all the way down to the industry and firm level to uncover the causes of this low productivity. It 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. While it certainly considers the plight of manufacturing, the book zeros in on the critical services sectors, particularly those, such as transportation and retail, with important repercussions on the rest of the economy. It challenges the argument that the region is condemned to stagnation and examines a number of policy levers that can transform the economies of the region.

Related JEL Codes:
D24 - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
H25 - Business Taxes and Subsidies
H55 - Social Security and Public Pensions
J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
O25 - Industrial Policy
O31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
O4 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity


 

Beyond Facts. Understanding Quality of Life
B-632 - English - Nov, 2008

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.


 

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