How middle class are middle-income households in Latin America?

By Ángel Melguizo (OECD Development Centre) and Nora Lustig (Tulane University)

On labour informality and its causes

 One of the most important achievements of the recent period of economic expansion in Latin America has been the substantial reduction of poverty and the surge of an emerging middle class. According to World Bank estimates (Ferreira et al, 2013), in 2009 the Latin American population with a daily income of between 4 and 50 dollars a day (in parity of purchasing power) represents 68% in the region today, compared with 29% who still are moderate poverty. These ‘middle sectors’ are composed of 38% belonging to a vulnerable population, which has between 4 and 10 dollars a day, and 30% middle class, between 10 and 50 dollars. Continue reading

Hacia una nueva asociación América Latina y China

Por Mario Pezzini, Director del Centro de Desarrollo de la OCDE y Angel Melguizo, jefe de la Unidad de América Latina y el Caribe del Centro de Desarrollo de la OCDE

América Latina y China han protagonizado un auge comercial impresionante en los últimos 15 años. Los flujos comerciales entre ellos se han multiplicado 22 veces, mucho más que con la Organización para la Cooperación y Desarrollo Económicos (OCDE) – dos veces – la Unión Europea -tres veces- ó Estados Unidos -dos veces. China es hoy el principal socio comercial de Brasil, Chile y Perú. China ha aumentado su participación en cadenas globales de valor de América Latina. Está más integrada en las cadenas de valor con China que a nivel regional. Sin embargo, hoy los vínculos entre América Latina y China están tomando un nuevo rumbo, planteando nuevos desafíos y abriendo oportunidades. Continue reading

La paradoja latina: un ejemplo del enfoque de la OCDE hacia el bienestar


Por Mario Pezzini, Director del Centre de Desarrollo de la OCDE y Martine Durand, Directora y Jefa de Estadística en le Dirección de Estadística de la OCDE

La evaluación del desarrollo implica más que la valoración del PIB, y abarca muchos otros aspectos de la vida de las personas. Dichos aspectos varían de un país a otro, reflejando así diferencias históricas, valores sociales e instituciones. En Bután por ejemplo, el concepto de Felicidad Nacional Bruta está firmemente anclado en la formulación de políticas desde los años setentas, el cual se enfoca en la preservación del medio ambiente, la cultura, el desarrollo socioeconómico sostenible y equitativo así como el buen gobierno. Ecuador, por su parte, incorporó la filosofía indígena del Buen Vivir en su Constitución de 2008, la cual hace hincapié en el papel de la comunidad y del medio ambiente en la formación de la vida de las personas. Continue reading

How the private sector can advance development

By Lorenzo Pavone, OECD Development Centre EMnet Co-ordinator; Kate Eklin, Policy Analyst; Myriam Grégoire-Zawilski, Programme Assistant; Josep Casas, Trainee

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) launched in 2000 centred on addressing basic human needs throughout the developing world. The recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the post-2015 era focus on economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection as interconnected dimensions of broader global development. Unlike the MDGs, achieving this new set of ambitious goals calls for bolder action from diverse actors across society, whose collective efforts outweigh what they could deliver individually. And the private sector is not least among these actors. Why? Business-led initiatives, such as research and development partnerships, knowledge-sharing platforms, technology and skills transfer, and infrastructure investment have the potential to kick-start development, enable productivity gains, generate better quality jobs, strengthen skills and promote technological advances. Continue reading

Industrial Policy: Not a bad word

By Annalisa Primi, Senior Economist and Head of the Policy Dialogue Initiative on Global Value Chains, Production Transformation and Development at the OECD Development Centre

Today, economic transformation is a concern in OECD and non-OECD countries alike. The Action Plan for Accelerated Industrial Development in Africa, included inAgenda 2063 or the Africa Union’s vision for the continent’s development, states that:”No country or region in the world has achieved prosperity and a decent socio-economic life for its citizens without the development of a robust industrial sector.” Similarly, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean has long called for diversifying production and promoting innovation to achieve higher equality in the region. Chile, an OECD country, is aiming at raising productivity by promoting the creation of domestic innovative enterprises. The national corporation for industrial development (CORFO) is investing in improving technology transfers, start-ups and social innovation. Continue reading

Getting ready for the next wave: Towards a more dynamic and inclusive Latin America

By Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre, and Angel Melguizo, Head of the Latin America and Caribbean Unit at the OECD Development Centre.

Latin America and the Caribbean enjoyed a decade of strong growth between 2004 and 2013. Growth averaged 3.8% and in some years over 5%. They were helped along by growth in China and other emerging economies that raised demand and prices for exported commodities such as food, metals and fuels.

This led to an extraordinary easing of financial conditions, especially after the global financial crisis. Latin America was riding good times. However, the extraordinary external conditions blurred the true state of the region’s domestic supply and demand situation. Now the good times are over – at least for a while – and it is easier to check out the true shape of the regional economy. Continue reading