RESEARCH DEPARTMENT
RESEARCH DEPARTMENT

The IDB has researchers in many departments producing working papers on economic and social topics. Many of these documents constitute background research for the IDB’s flagship publication "Development in the Americas" prepared by the Research Department. In addition, the IDB finances and mentors studies conducted by other institutions in order to build knowledge and research capacity. All IDB working papers are peer reviewed and meet high editorial standards.

2021 LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN MACROECONOMIC REPORT: Opportunities for Stronger and Sustainable Postpandemic Growth

Coordinated by Eduardo Cavallo and Andrew Powell

  • Latin America and the Caribbean was hard hit by COVID-19. The 7.4% loss of GDP was the largest on record in a single year, 26 million jobs were lost and (extreme and moderate) poverty is expected to rise by about 5 percentage points of the population. Growth in 2021 could be as low as 0.8% if vaccine roll-out is delayed or mutations prove to be vaccine resistant. But in a positive scenario of higher world growth, the region could grow as much as 5.2%. In a central scenario growth would be around 4.1%.

  • The average fiscal package to address the crisis was 8.5% of GDP and deficits increased by an average of 5.3% of GDP in 2020. Public debt increased from 58% of GDP in 2019 to 72% in 2020 and could continue to rise to 76% by 2023. However, the trajectory is highly dependent on growth and fiscal policy.

  • Governments should take action to ensure fiscal, monetary, and financial sustainability. They should also implement a set of urgent reforms to improve fiscal outcomes and boost growth by assisting viable firms, helping workers find formal jobs in the face of reallocation, improving connectivity, implementing a plan towards faster digitalization, and investing in sustainable infrastructure. These measures will help boost productivity, spur growth, and achieve ambitious climate goals.

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DIA 2020: From Structures to Services

Edited by Eduardo Cavallo, Andrew Powell and Tomás Serebrisky

  • To close its infrastructure gap, Latin America and the Caribbean needs more than investment in hard assets. It needs simultaneous and decisive policy action to improve efficiency of the infrastructure investment process and regulation of services—what we refer to as software.

  • Our study provides an in-depth diagnostic of access, quality, and affordability of infrastructure services in the region as well as examples of regulatory policies that have achieved tangible progress in service provision.

  • Digitalization will disrupt the provision of infrastructure services and increase efficiencies. Our study develops scenarios of market organization for the energy, transport and water and sanitation sectors based on the extent of adoption of digital technologies.

  • For the promise to become a reality a supportive regulatory framework is needed to improve infrastructure in sustainable ways through adaptation, mitigation and the use of natural infrastructure. Our book explores the public policies needed to achieve this.

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LATEST BLOG POSTS

Digitalization of Public Services: A Panacea?
Digitalization of Public Services: A Panacea?

Digitalization might seem to be the solution to many ills facing society. From the virtual classrooms that provide education to children in remote areas, to the telemedicine that facilitates access to health care and crowdsourcing to promote citizen participation in policy debates, it might even seem like a panacea. But digitalization’s effectiveness depends on the […]

The post Digitalization of Public Services: A Panacea? appeared first on Ideas Matter.

Do Air Pollution Alerts Work to Change Behavior and Reduce Exposure?
Do Air Pollution Alerts Work to Change Behavior and Reduce Exposure?

The World Health Organization calls air pollution the number one environmental threat to health in the Americas. More than 60,000 people in Latin America died prematurely from exposure to fine particulate matter and  ozone in 2010. And with an increasing number of vehicles on the region’s roads, lax or non-existent emissions standards, and more frequent […]

The post Do Air Pollution Alerts Work to Change Behavior and Reduce Exposure? appeared first on Ideas Matter.

What the Pandemic Revealed about the Role of Trust in Public Sector Performance
What the Pandemic Revealed about the Role of Trust in Public Sector Performance

As the COVID-19 pandemic struck, public sector employees were on the front line, crucial to policies to limit the contagion and alleviate its economic effects. Collaboration—and hence trust—was essential. Whether working in public health agencies or in communications roles, public sector employees had to work together to implement decisions made at the political level. They […]

The post What the Pandemic Revealed about the Role of Trust in Public Sector Performance appeared first on Ideas Matter.

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