De la Torre, Augusto

Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean Region, The World Bank
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Macroeconomics, Financial development
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Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean Region, The World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Augusto de la Torre, a national of Ecuador, is the Chief Economist for Latin American and the Caribbean. Since joining the World Bank in 1997, he has held the positions of Senior Advisor in the Financial Systems Department and Senior Financial Sector Advisor, both in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. From 1993 to 1997, Mr. de la Torre was the head of the Central Bank of Ecuador, and in November 1996 was chosen by Euromoney Magazine as the year’s "Best Latin Central Banker." From 1986 to 1992 he worked at the International Monetary Fund, where, among other positions, he was the IMF’s Resident Representative in Venezuela (1991-1992).  Mr. de la Torre has published extensively on a broad range of macroeconomic and financial development topics. He is a member of the Carnegie Network of Economic Reformers. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics at the University of Notre Dame and holds a Bachelors degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Ecuador.
Citations 23 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    Innovative Experiences in Access to Finance : Market Friendly Roles for the Visible Hand?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-08) de la Torre, Augusto ; Gozzi, Juan Carlos ; Schmukler, Sergio L.
    Interest in access to finance has increased significantly in recent years, as growing evidence suggests that lack of access to credit prevents lower-income households and small firms from financing high return investment projects, having an adverse effect on growth and poverty alleviation. This study describes some recent innovative experiences to broaden access to credit. These experiences are consistent with an emerging new view that recognizes a limited role for the public sector in financial markets, but contends that there might be room for well-designed, restricted interventions in collaboration with the private sector to foster financial development and broaden access. The authors illustrate this view with several recent experiences in Latin America and then discuss some open policy questions about the role of the public and private sectors in driving these financial innovations.
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    Stock Market Development under Globalization : Whither the Gains from Reforms?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-04) de la Torre, Augusto ; Gozzi, Juan Carlos ; Schmukler, Sergio L.
    Over the past decades, many countries have implemented significant reforms to foster domestic capital market development. These reforms included stock market liberalization, privatization programs, and the establishment of regulatory and supervisory frameworks. Despite the intense reform efforts, the performance of capital markets in several countries has been disappointing. To study whether reforms have had the intended effects on capital markets, the authors analyze the impact of six capital market reforms on domestic stock market development and internationalization using event studies. They find that reforms tend to be followed by significant increases in domestic market capitalization, trading, and capital raising. Reforms are also followed by an increase in the share of activity in international equity markets, with potential negative spillover effects on domestic markets.
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    Containing Systemic Risk : Are Regulatory Reform Proposals on the Right Track?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-10) de la Torre, Augusto ; Ize, Alain
    This note questions two emerging views on ways to tackle systemic risk. As evidenced by the explosive growth of investment banks, which were regulated more lightly because they were assumed to be systemically less important, regulatory unevenness can trigger acutely destabilizing regulatory arbitrage. Hence, unless systemic footprints can be accurately measured and updated, something we think is unlikely, regulating differentially those institutions that are deemed to be the most systemically relevant looks like a perilous return to the past. Similarly, internalizing systemic liquidity risk by taxing maturity mismatches looks like a remnant of idiosyncratic thinking. Matching short liabilities with short assets can protect an individual intermediary's liquidity but at the expense of exacerbating systemic vulnerability.
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    Back to Global Imbalances?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-07) de la Torre, Augusto ; Schmukler, Sergio L. ; Servén, Luis
    The 2008-2009 financial crisis has shaken the prevailing equilibrium of the global economy, with a collapse in capital flows and international trade. How will the post-crisis constellation of current account imbalances look? Will the world resume financing the United States (US), and continue sustaining large external imbalances there? Contrary to what many expected, some forces unleashed by the crisis have kept US assets attractive and the dollar strong, decreasing the need for an immediate reduction of global imbalances. Over the long run, however, real sector and financial sector forces are likely to impose a correction, perhaps involving a depreciation of the dollar and a major reallocation of international portfolios.
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    Financial Development
    (World Bank, 2007-03-01) de la Torre, Augusto ; Gozzi, Juan Carlos ; Schmukler, Sergio L.
    In recent decades, financial development policies in emerging market economies have been shaped by a fundamental shift toward market-based financial systems and the lessons from Financial crises. Today, there is consensus that financial development depends on financial stability and convergence toward international standards. While the debate on some issues has matured, policy thinking in other areas is changing, fueled by recent experiences. This article analyzes the evolution of policy thinking on financial development and discusses three areas that are important to achieving deeper financial systems: stock market development, small- and medium-size enterprise financing, and defined-contribution pension systems. The main emerging issues in these areas are illustrated using recent experiences in Latin America. The article concludes that there is a need to take a fresh look at the evidence, improve diagnoses, and revisit expectations.