Herrera, Santiago

Middle East and North Africa
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Fields of Specialization
Macroeconomics, Egypt, International Finance, Expenditure Efficiency Measurement and Benchmarking, Latin America
Middle East and North Africa
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Last updated February 1, 2023
Santiago Herrera Aguilera is the Lead Country Economist for Egypt in the Middle East and North Africa region at the World Bank. He has been in this position since September of 2008. He first joined the Bank in May of 1998 as a Senior Economist working for the Latin America and Caribbean Region. In February of 2004 he became the Lead Economist for economic policy at the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network in Washington. Prior to joining the Bank, Aguilera was the Deputy Minister of Finance in Columbia from 1995 to 1996. Before that, he was the Director of the National Budget also at the Columbian Ministry of Finance. Aguilera holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from Columbia University in New York. He also holds a Masters degree in Economics from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Columbia.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Policy Mix, Public Debt Management and Fiscal Rules : Lessons from the 2002 Brazilian Crisis
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-02) Herrera, Santiago
    Despite significant progress in economic reform throughout the 1990s, and an exemplary development of the policymaking framework in the second part of the decade, Brazil suffered a major public debt and currency crisis in 2002. Though the political origin of the uncertainty cannot be ignored, the author identifies other sources of uncertainty emanating from the policymaking framework: fiscal policy was not responsive to the shocks, public debt instruments were used with several objectives (to stabilize the currency and to lengthen maturity) and there was inadequate supervision of agents holding public debt. Most of the flaws have been fixed following the crisis: a) The primary fiscal balance has been increased, sending the signal that it is a flexible instrument that will be used to ensure commitment of the sovereign to honor its obligations. b) The central bank formally transferred to the Treasury the remaining debt-issuance functions, facilitating a more adequate balancing of different risks involved in debt management. c) Mutual funds' public debt holdings are better regulated, ensuring that end-investors have the proper information to assess the risk of the institutions in which they invest.
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    The Quality of Fiscal Adjustment and the Long-Run Growth Impact of Fiscal Policy in Brazil
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-09) Blanco, Fernando ; Herrera, Santiago
    The authors describe the main trends of Brazil's fiscal policy during the past decade and analyze (1) the ability to raise the primary surplus in response to external shocks, (2) the pro-cyclical nature of fiscal policy, and (3) the long-run impact of government expenditure composition and taxation. They analyze the use of the primary balance as a policy tool within the Drudi-Prati model, wherein the government uses the primary balance to reveal its commitment to service its debt. The authors verify that both the debt ratio and the primary balance are determinants of spreads and credit ratings in Brazil. But the relationship is nonlinear: the impact of the primary balance on spreads is amplified as the debt ratio increases. Using an Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) approach, the authors analyze the relationship between the primary balance and economic activity, finding a positive correlation in the long run. However, in the short run fiscal expansions are associated with primary balance reductions and vice-versa during output contractions, confirming the procyclical nature of fiscal policy in the short run. The authors use two approaches, ARDL and a cointegrating value at risk (VAR), to analyze the interaction between public expenditure composition and taxation on growth. Similar results are obtained: large elasticities of output with respect to capital stocks, a significant negative impact of taxation on long-run GDP, and a negative impact of increasing government consumption and transfer payments on GDP. These results shed light on the contribution of fiscal policy to disappointing growth performance in Brazil during the past decade.
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    Output Fluctuations in Latin America : What Explains the Recent Slowdown?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2000-05) Herrera, Santiago ; Perry, Guillermo ; Quintero, Neile
    The authors explain Latin America's growth slowdown in 1998-1999. To do so, they use two complementary methodologies. The first aims at determining how much of the slowdown can be explained by specific external factors: the terms of trade, international interest rates, spreads on external debt, capital flows, and climatological factors (El Nino). Using quarterly GDP data for the eight largest countries in the region, the authors estimate a dynamic panel showing that 50-60 percent of the slowdown was due to these external factors. The second approach allows for effects on output by some endogeneous variables, such as domestic real interest rates, and real exchange rates. Using monthly industrial performance data, the authors estimate country-specific generalized vector auto-regressions (GVAR) for the largest countries. They find that during the sample period (1992-98) output volatility is mostly associated with shocks to domestic factors, but the slowdown in the sub-period 1998-99 is explained more than 60 percent by shocks to the external factors.
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    Budget Rigidity in Latin America and the Caribbean: Causes, Consequences, and Policy Implications
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-03-09) Herrera, Santiago ; Olaberria, Eduardo
    Policy makers in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) often complain that poor fiscal performance in their countries is a result of a high degree of spending rigidity. Despite being a common complaint, the issue has remained largely ignored by the literature because of the lack of adequate measures of rigidity that allow cross-country and time series comparability. This report helps close this gap by introducing a new measure of spending rigidities that can be easily applied to multiple countries. It focuses on the categories of spending that are naturally inflexible—wages, pensions, transfers to subnational governments, and debt service—and separates them into two components: structural and nonstructural. The structural component is determined by economic, demographic, and institutional fundamentals. The nonstructural component is determined by short-run transitory factors associated with business and political cycles. The degree of rigidity of spending is then proxied by the ratio of structural spending to total spending, with a higher value indicating that spending is driven mostly by factors out of the policy makers’ control. This concept of rigidity was applied to 120 countries for the years 2000–17. The report concludes by discussing several policies to contain the sources of rigidity in the long term, ranging from the importance of deepening the pension reform process to the need of establishing strong fiscal institutions promoting medium-term fiscal planning.