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The Bank’s website ( contains thousands of pages of reports, statistics, studies and other information not available anywhere else. Here are some noteworthy recent additions.

Hard-won improvements in the quality of primary education in many Latin American countries have led to an increased demand for secondary schooling. In Secondary Education in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Challenge of Growth and Reform IDB education experts Claudio de Moura Castro and Laurence Wolff explore the need for increased focus on learning and measuring achievement; more effective instruction; management reform; and other issues affecting the prospects of Latin American high schoolers. E-mail sds/ to request a copy.

Everybody knows that the El Niño weather phenomenon is to be feared. But we are only beginning to understand the full spectrum of its effects. In Economic and Social Effects of El Niño in Ecuador, 1997–1998 IDB specialists Margarita Velasco and Edgar de Labastida offer a sobering assessment. E-mail to obtain a copy.

Why do some societies prefer to save while others would rather spend? The low savings rate in most Latin American countries is considered a serious constraint to economic development. A multicountry study undertaken by the IDB’s Research Network in 1997 examined the determinants of domestic savings rates in Chile, Colombia, Uruguay and Venezuela, along with the link between trade liberalization and private savings in Spain. These studies are now available online at

Just how autonomous should public institutions be? When it comes to central banks and regulatory agencies in sectors such as telecommunications and energy, that question is never quite settled. In another regional study, the IDB’s Research Network examined the degree of administrative autonomy of government institutions in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru, and its consequences for development. See the website above for details.

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