The Latin American Pandemic

While the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world very hard, it is particularly well known that developing economies took the largest hit. In that, Latin America’s “long-standing fiscal and social deficits” have compounded the problem for policymakers, as discussed in a recent blog for VoxEU CEPR by Ilan Goldfajn (Chairman of the Board, Credit Suisse) and Eduardo Levy Yeyati (Dean, School of Government, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella).

“The pandemic also flagged two long-standing but often overlooked regional deficits: poor state capacity, and labour exclusion and informality. This explains the region’s worse performance during the pandemic: larger welfare costs and meager relative recovery. Not surprisingly, societies face growing indifference with political regimes (Latinobarómetro 2021), and social outbursts in several countries, such as Chile or Colombia, reveal dissatisfaction which will likely limit economic policy looking forward. On the one hand, many countries came from a period of increased civil unrest that reduced the government’s ability to restrict mobility. On the other hand, lack of political cohesion made it more difficult to implement restrictions, which inevitably led to lockdown fatigue and declining compliance. On top of that, a background of discontent and/or ongoing recessions clouded any perception of effective pandemic response.”

The article then moves on to discuss some areas that may possibly restrain constructive policy solutions, such as the limited size of the public sector given the already mounting primary deficit, populist policy temptations clashing with economically robust policies, etc.

Read the full blog here.

Posted by at 8:57 AM

Labels: Inclusive Growth, Macro Demystified


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