This paper argues that Latin America's market-oriented reforms, together with increased monetary and fiscal discipline, were successful in bringing down inflation, inducing export growth and diversification, and attracting foreign direct investment. Nonetheless, economic growth was frustratingly slow. Pro-cyclical macroeconomic policies generated, in turn, strong business cycles in the face of unstable access to international capital markets. Higher productivity in leading firms and sectors failed to spread throughout the economy and led to increasing productive sector dualism. Furthermore, despite the democratic dividend reflected in increased social spending and coverage of social services, weak economic performance and additional distributive tensions led to disappointing results in terms of employment generation and poverty reduction. Overcoming these frustrating outcomes would require counter-cyclical macroeconomic policies, open-economy productive development strategies and mainstreaming social objectives into economic policies.
The Journal of Economic Perspectives (JEP) attempts to fill a gap between the general interest press and most other academic economics journals. The journal aims to publish articles that will serve several goals: to synthesize and integrate lessons learned from active lines of economic research; to provide economic analysis of public policy issues; to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas among the fields of thinking; to offer readers an accessible source for state-of-the-art economic thinking; to suggest directions for future research; to provide insights and readings for classroom use; and to address issues relating to the economics profession.