November 2nd and 3rd, 2010 · Pocantico Conference Center, NY
The Observatory on Latin America at the New School organized a seminar on “The Lessons of Recent Economic Management in Latin America for Rich Countries: From Stabilization to Growth and Equality” at the Pocantico Conference Center.
We invited Latin American economists, political scientists, journalists, politicians, and academics to analyze the improvements in economic and social performance of Latin America over the past decade, as reported by the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean in “Time for Equality: Closing gaps, opening trails”.
In fact, there has been remarkable economic growth and social progress in the region over the past five years in spite of the recent financial crisis, which contrasts highly with deteriorating economic growth and elimination of public programs in the U.S. and Europe.
The objectives of the seminar were to discuss 1) what factors can sustain the economic and social improvements in Latin America, 2) what lessons can be drawn from the stabilization period in Latin America to apply to European countries today post-financial crisis, and 3) the role the state has in simultaneously encouraging economic growth and improving equality.
The discussion that resulted was very rich and varied, and included: acknowledging the heterogeneity of the countries that compose the region, the ever-more symbiotic relationship between China and many Latin American countries, how disparate the understanding of democracy is amongst much of the population which has important implications for public expectation of elected leaders, the importance of managing natural resources for the future of Latin American economies, and the role of technology in pro-poor growth. We will be publishing a report and a book on the proceedings of the seminar.
After intense debate and discussion, a mood of cautious optimism presided. We will be publishing a report and a book on the proceedings of the seminar.