Happiness and violence in Argentina: crime victims tend to favor more lenient measures

February 15, 2010
Are you happy? Did you smile yesterday? Increasingly economists are putting emotional questions like these at the heart of their studies in an attempt to uncover the links between happiness, human behavior, beliefs and policies.  Though crime has received relatively little attention in happiness research, a new study by the Inter-American Development Bank provides surprising insights: Victims of crime are no less happy than others.

IDB seminars in Medellín to discuss impacts of global financial crisis

March 23, 2009
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is promoting the discussion and analysis of the impacts of the global financial crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean during seminars in Medellín, Colombia, related to the 50th Annual Meeting of the Bank'sBoard of Governors. The discussions will feature government leaders such as Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, Zhou Xiaochuan and governor of the People’s Bank of China, as well as noted experts such as Robert Merton, a Nobel Prize-winner economist.

The IDB, a partner of Colombia in development

March 17, 2009
Since the mid-1990s the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been the leading source of multilateral financing for Colombia. Over the last 50 years, the IDB has approved more than US$14.8 billion in loans and non-refundable technical cooperation projects for Colombia. Throughout its history, the IDB has supported the Colombian government and private sector in key development areas such as infrastructure, state modernization and reform, small and medium enterprise, agriculture, energy, climate change and environmental protection.

Venture capital for low-income markets

February 26, 2009
Investing in housing, healthcare, education, basic utilities and nutrition can not only fulfill a social mission, but it can also be a profitable business venture. This is the concept of IGNIA Fund, which will channel venture capital resources to fund commercially viable growth companies serving the “base of the pyramid,” those persons in Latin America and the Caribbean earning less than $3,260 a year. The IGNIA Fund selects projects with the potential to be expanded on a larger scale, thereby increasing the social and economic impact.

Acting smart when income grows

March 27, 2008
The expansive economic cycle in Latin America rests largely on the rise of key commodity prices, but experience suggests caution in thriving years.

A slimmer bottle leads to fatter profits

June 01, 2007
Small business owner Miguel Maccagno sits in his factory office in the low-income neighborhood of Matanza outside Buenos Aires, examining identical-looking plastic bottles for the juice drinks his plant produces and pondering their impact on its competitiveness. By shaving 14 grams off the bottles' weight, he can lower costs enough for his firm, Agroindustrias Río Tercero, to compete with the large U.S., Brazilian and Chilean firms that have cornered the low end of the local market.

Latin America moves ahead despite external threats

October 31, 2005
Many fear the possibility of interest rate hikes and a global recession if the “Chinese addiction” to buying dollars comes to an end, expressed the IDB Chief Economist, Guillermo Calvo. But the seven largest economies in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, also known as the LAC-7) are currently growing fast. Stock prices went up 174% in the past two years, bank credit and foreign investment are increasing, and commodity prices have also enjoyed a boost.

The training conundrum

April 14, 2005
For small companies to compete against bigger ones, they must invest in human capital, says Félix Mitnik, coordinator of a project for supply chain development in Cordoba, Argentina, financed by the IDB's Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF). But the project, designed to increase the levels of productivity and competitiveness in small companies, revealed that they themselves invest little in training. Are they acting against their own interests then?

The double-edged sword of currency mismatches

November 04, 2004
Doing business in dollars has proved to be risky many times over in Latin America. When the price of the dollar goes up, local exporting companies increase their income and therefore try to export more. But that same exchange rate depreciation spells trouble to all companies indebted in dollars, and big trouble to the ones who owe money in dollars and have income in local currency.

Mexico – EU Free Trade Area opens doors to foreign trade for Latin America

July 30, 2004
The Mexico-European Union Free Trade Agreement, the first such accord between Europe and a country in the Americas, is celebrating its fourth anniversary and 27% growth in bilateral trade volume. (1) However, long-term benefits are not easily measured. The reported effective growth rates - 19% for Mexican exports to the European Union, and 30% for EU exports to Mexico – is considered relatively low compared with Mexico’s 18% increase in exports worldwide.