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  • Publication
    Latin America and the Caribbean Economic Review, April 2024 - Competition: The Missing Ingredient for Growth?
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-04-10) Maloney, William; Garriga, Pablo; Meléndez, Marcela; Morales, Raúl; Jooste, Charl; Sampi, James; Araujo, Jorge Thompson; Vostroknutova, Ekaterina
    Latin America and the Caribbean has made slow but consistent progress addressing the imbalances induced by the pandemic in an international environment that is just now showing signs of stabilizing. Despite favorable macroeconomic management, high interest rates and fiscal imbalances remain challenging while growth rates remain lackluster due to long-standing structural issues. Looking forward, an aging workforce and rising violence will increasingly complicate policy. This report focuses particularly on weak competitive forces as a source of low productivity, low growth, and low welfare in LAC. It emphasizes the need for effective competition institutions, pro-competition regulatory frameworks, complementary policies to improve the capabilities of workers and firms, and enhanced innovation systems, to prepare local industries to reach the technological frontier and face global competition. Furthermore, the report underscores the need for reforms to prevent large businesses from exerting undue political influence over policy decisions.
  • Publication
    Jobs and Growth: Brazil's Productivity Agenda
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2018-06-22) Dutz, Mark A.
    Brazil approaches its 2018 election with an economy that is gradually recovering from the deepest recession in its recent economic history. However, for many Brazilians, the recovery has not yet translated into new and better jobs, or rising incomes. This book explores the drivers of future employment and income growth. Its key finding: Brazil needs to dramatically improve its performance across all industries in terms of productivity if the country is to provide better jobs for its citizens and generate lasting gains in incomes growth for all. This is particularly important as Brazil is aging rapidly and the boost the country has enjoyed thanks to its young and growing labor force in the past decades will disappear in just a few years’ time. The book recommends a change in the relationship between the state and business, from rewarding privileged incumbents to fostering competition and innovation—together with supporting workers and firms to adjust to the demands of the market. The book is addressed to all scholars and students of Brazil’s economy, especially those interested in why the country’s economic performance has not kept up with earlier achievements since the reintroduction of democracy in the mid-1980s. Its conclusions are urgent and pertinent but also optimistic. With the right policy mix, Brazil could enter the third century of its independence in 2022 well on track to join the ranks of high income countries.