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This paper discusses Brazil’s structural reforms since the 1990s and areas where work remains to be done. Reforms of the 1990s included the containment of inflation, the adoption of a comprehensive Fiscal Responsibility Law, a successful debt restructuring program for subnational governments, the reduction of trade barriers, a wave of privatizations, and the expansion of health and education programs. Reforms of the 2000s included strengthening welfare programs, rapidly increasing the minimum wage, and reforming the financial sector to increase access to credit among lower income groups. Political opposition and other factors, however, have prevented reforms in the tax and pension systems and in the labor market. Brazil’s recent strong economic performance owes more to generally sound macroeconomic management, and to a favorable external environment, than to a comprehensive and sustained structural reform effort. Doubts remain about the country’s ability to sustain high growth rates while keeping inflation low.
After decades using monetary aggregates as the main instrument of monetary policy and having different varieties of crawling peg exchange rate regimes, Colombia adopted a full-fledged inflation-targeting (IT) regime in 1999, with inflation as the nominal anchor, a floating exchange rate, and the short-term interest rate as the main instrument. This paper examines the experience of the Colombian Ce ... (View publication)
This policy brief reviews the experience of the countries under the Euro currency, focusing on those that have been under significant pressure in recent years— Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, referred to as “emerging” economies. At first they experienced stable growth and converged to the most advanced countries, but subsequent adjustment has proven elusive due to macroeconomic conditions, wo ... (View publication)
This paper analyzes reforms and counter-reforms in Bolivia in recent decades and their effects on the policymaking process (PMP) and productivity. Bolivia’s PMP has shifted from a formal representative democracy to a “participative and direct type of democracy” where street protest and other non-conventional forms of political participation have become dominant. While reforms have increased produc ... (View publication)
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