Structural Reform, Democratic Governance, and Institutional Design in Latin America

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Fabrice Lehoucq, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: The radical shift in development strategy in Latin America to market-based reforms was a product of the 1982 debt crisis. In its aftermath Latin American economies stopped growing for most of the 1980s. Persistent balance of payments deficits, aggravated by fixed exchange rates, were the proximate causes of ten years of economic stagnation. Protection for domestic manufacturers was a structural factor that prevented countries from developing export industries able to finance growing volumes of imports. Unaccountable governments and political instability in many countries also were underlying structural weaknesses that contributed to the debt debacle. Because governments found it easier to contract debts from international banks (who were more than willing to recycle petrol dollars) than to build a political consensus in favor of raising chronically low tax rates, most countries of the region piled up public debts in foreign currencies (at unfixed interest rates). These debts became unsustainable by the 1980s.

Additional Information

Comparative Politics
Language: English
Date: 2007
Political Science, Government Reform, Latin America

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