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  • Author: Sanjay Reddy, Camelia Minoiu
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the phenomenon of real-income stagnation (in which real-income growth is uninterruptedly negligible or negative for a sizable sequence of years). The authors analyze data for four decades from a large cross-section of countries. Real income stagnation is a conceptually distinct phenomenon from low average growth and other features of the growth sequence that have been previously considered. The authors find that real income stagnation has affected a significant number of countries (103 out of 168), and resulted in substantial income loss. Countries that suffered spells of real income stagnation were more likely to be poor, in Latin America or sub-Saharan Africa, conflict ridden and dependent on primary commodity exports. Stagnation is also very likely to persist over time. Countries that were afflicted with stagnation in the 1960s had a likelihood of seventy-five percent of also being afflicted with stagnation in the 1990s.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Pablo Heidrich
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International Studies, University of Southern California
  • Abstract: Argentina and Brazil suffered grave financial crises during the 1990s. During that time, they were involved in trade negotiations with each other inside Mercosur. As the financial crises struck one or the other country, their negotiating positions varied from accommodating to aggressive, leading to peaks of confrontation from which Mercosur has not quite recovered yet. Furthermore, those crises provoked a large number of trade disputes as protectionism from both countries grew when the crises increasingly hurt their economies.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Kevin Casas-Zamora
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: As in most Latin American countries, the funding of political activities has only recently become a matter of serious concern in Guatemala. Long known for its chronic political instability, the country has limited experience in the observance of basic democratic practices such as regular and reasonably free and fair elections. Even today, the regulation of political finance remains under the shadow of other pressing and as yet unresolved political issues such as the extraordinary weakness of parties, the consistently high abstention rates and the practical disenfranchisement of the indigenous majority.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Guatemala
  • Author: Martin Kenney, James Curry, Oscar Contreras
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy
  • Abstract: The Internet will be the defining technology of the first decade of the 21st Century. It is redefining boundaries of all sorts in new and unforeseen ways. As with many previous disruptive technologies, the Internet can be a double-edged sword for developing countries such as Mexico. For example, the Internet has the potential to dramatically lower barriers to cross-border trade. This will enable international retailers to penetrate the Mexican market potentially undermining domestic retail businesses. On the other side, the Internet could provide opportunities for Mexican firms to enter the global market, particularly Spanish-speaking Latin America and the huge U.S. Hispanic market. But this is only the tip of the iceberg of change. For example, in a country such as Mexico in which information has not been readily available and public libraries are relatively few in number and poorly stocked, the free and low-cost information available on the Internet provides a powerful new distribution medium – it provides inexpensive access to global information sources.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Central America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Jonathan P. Doh
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Government subsidies are a pervasive problem for international trade and economic development. Subsidies distort investment decisions, generally squander scarce public resources, skew public expenditures toward unproductive uses, unfairly discriminate against efficient industries and firms, and prompt wasteful overconsumption of some products over others. Despite efforts to limit subsidies through trade and investment policy disciplines, subsidization remains a constant on the global trade policy and international business landscape.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Earl H. Fry
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At the end of 2003, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will have been in effect for a decade, and although the accord will not be fully implemented for another five years, almost all of its important provisions are already in place. The model for NAFTA was the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA), which was put in motion in 1989 and was to be fully implemented within 10 years but was superseded by NAFTA after only five years in operation. NAFTA itself has created the world's largest free-trade area, encompassing the United States, Mexico, and Canada; 21.3 million square miles of territory; 422 million people; almost $12 trillion in yearly production; and $615 billion in annual three-way merchandise trade. North American trade, investment, government-to-government, and people-to-people exchanges have increased dramatically over the past decade and decisionmakers in Washington, D.C., Mexico City, and Ottawa will soon have to consider whether continental economic integration should move to the next level in the form of a customs and monetary union or even a common market possessing many of the attributes of the European Union (EU).
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada, Latin America, Central America, North America, Mexico, Ottawa
  • Author: Jeffrey J. Schott
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The United States and Brazil are the largest economies in North and South America, respectively. A generation ago, both were relatively closed economies in terms of the proportion of their trade to gross domestic product (GDP), but for sharply different reasons. The US market was highly competitive except for some light manufactures (e.g., textiles, clothing, and footwear) and a few agricultural sectors with high border barriers. By contrast, Brazilian industry was largely uncompetitive and highly subsidized; important commodities like coffee provided the bulk of exports while a large share of the value of most industrial exports was attributable to export subsidies.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil, South America, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Gary Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Drawing on the 1989 Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) extended dispute settlement provisions to cover more ground. In fact, within NAFTA there are six dispute settlement systems. NAFTA Chapter 11 is designed to resolve investor-state disputes over property rights; Chapter 14 creates special provisions for handling disputes in the financial sector via the Chapter 20 dispute settlement process (DSP); Chapter 19 establishes a review mechanism to determine whether final antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) decisions made in domestic tribunals are consistent with national laws; and Chapter 20 provides government-to-government consultation, at the ministerial level, to resolve high-level disputes. In addition, the NAFTA partners created interstate dispute mechanisms regarding domestic environmental and labor laws under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAAL C), respectively. This chapter examines the first four dispute settlement systems; the NAAEC and NAALC systems are evaluated elsewhere in this book.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Jon Wongswan
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: Using the conditional Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), this paper tests for the existence and pattern of contagion and capital market integration in global equity markets. Contagion is defined as significant excess conditional correlation among different countries' asset returns above what could be explained by economic fundamentals (systematic risks). Capital market integration is defined as the situation in which only systematic risks are priced. The paper uses a panel of sixteen countries, divided into three blocs: Asia, Latin America, and Germany-U.K.-U.S., for the period from 1990 through 1999. The results show evidence of contagion and capital market integration. In addition, contagion is found to be a regional phenomenon.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Asia, Germany, Latin America
  • Author: Thomas Andrew O'Keefe
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: Almost from the day it was launched on March 26, 1991, skeptics have predicted the imminent collapse of the Common Market of the South (Mercado Común del Sur — MERCOSUR), while some economists have fretted about the project's supposed protectionist designs to create a trade fortress. The most memorable example of the latter was a 1996 report written by a World Bank economist that relied on out-of-date trade statistics and attributed to MERCOSUR policies that were actually pre-existing national automotive regimes. More recent tirades have tried to blame Argentina's economic meltdown on its MERCOSUR membership. A well-known economist from a New York City investment bank has even gone as far as to proclaim MERCOSUR dead. Given all the invective directed against efforts to integrate South America's Southern Cone economically over the past decade, it is not surprising that MERCOSUR is misunderstood by many in North America.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, North America
  • Author: John Audley, Edward Sherwin
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: IN DECEMBER 1994, at the behest of then–U.S. president Bill Clinton, the leaders of the 34 Western Hemisphere democracies convened in Miami for the first comprehensive hemispheric summit in more than 25 years. The assembled heads of state pledged that their countries would forge a path toward regional integration based on four overarching principles: Governments should build strong democratic institutions, prosperity should be promoted through free trade and economic cooperation, poverty and discrimination should be eliminated, and the natural environment should be preserved through policies promoting sustainable development. “Future generations,” Clinton said at the time, “will look back on the Miami summit as a moment when the course of history in the Americas changed for the better.”
  • Topic: Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, America, South America, Latin America, Central America, North America
  • Author: Graciela Moguillansky
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This article studies the currency risk management of multinational companies with investments in Latin American countries. The analysis is centred on episodes of currency or financial shocks, searching into the behaviour of the financial management of a firm expecting a significant devaluation. This allowed us to explore the interaction and transmission mechanisms between the microeconomic behaviour and the macroeconomic impact on the foreign exchange market. The analysis was carried out interviewing financial managers of multinational companies from different sectors with headquarters in the United Kingdom and Spain, by reviewing literature on business and currency risk management, and by analysing some surveys on financial risk management in developed countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, South America, Latin America, Spain
  • Author: Ricardo Ffrench-Davis, Guillermo Larraín
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: During the Asian crisis, intermediate exchange rate regimes vanished. It has been argued that those regimes were no longer useful and only the extremes remained valid. The paper analyses three foreign exchange regimes: Argentina (pegged), Chile (band) and Mexico (float). The Argentinean currency board delivered low financial volatility while it was credible, but even then it displayed high real volatility. Mexican float performed well in periods of instability isolating the real sector. The Chilean band delivered a mixed outcome as compared to Argentina and Mexico. This is linked apparently to a loss in the band's credibility, associated to policy mismanagement and an over-appreciation in the biennium before the crisis. Optimal exchange rate regimes vary across time and the conjuncture. Exit strategies are part of the election of the optimal system, including a flexible policy package rather than a single rigid policy tool.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Argentina, South America, Latin America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: Liliana Rojas-Suarez
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on identifying preconditions that will ensure the sustainability of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). It argues that the macro, micro, and political conditions advanced in the literature to measure a country's ability to compete internationally, while necessary, are not sufficient to ensure the success and permanence of a free trade agreement. Instead, two additional financial conditions are needed. The first is that each partner in the free trade area needs to have sustainable public debts as determined by the achievement of credible and sustainable structural fiscal balances. The second is that exchange rate regimes across trading partners should be compatible in the sense that adverse shocks in one country do not generate a policy dilemma in other partners between abandoning their exchange rate system or the free trade area.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean
  • Author: Robert L. Axtell
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Results on the formation of multi-agent teams are reviewed and extended. Conditions are specified under which it is individually rational for agents to spontaneously form coalitions in order to engage in collective action. In a cooperative setting the formation of such groups is to be expected. Here we show that in non-cooperative environments—presumably a more realistic context for a variety of both human and software agents—self-organized coalitions are capable of extracting welfare improvements. The Nash equilibria of these coalitional formation games are demonstrated to always exist and be unique. Certain free rider problems in such group formation dynamics lead to the possibility of dynamically unstable Nash equilibria, depending on the nature of intra-group compensation and coalition size. Yet coherent groups can still form, if only temporarily, as demonstrated by computational experiments. Such groups of agents can be either long-lived or transient. The macroscopic structure of these emergent 'bands' of agents is stationary in sufficiently large populations, despite constant adaptation at the agent level. It is argued that assumptions concerning attainment of agent-level (Nash) equilibrium, so ubiquitous in conventional economics and game theory, are difficult to justify behaviorally and highly restrictive theoretically, and are thus unlikely to serve either as fertile design objectives or robust operating principles for realistic multi-agent systems.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Timothy R. Gulden
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper examines detailed records from the civil conflict in Guatemala between 1977 and 1986. It reveals a number of novel patterns which support the use of complex systems methods for understanding civil violence. It finds a surprising, non-linear relationship between ethnic mix and killing; thereby inviting analysis based on group dynamics. It shows the temporal texture of the conflict to be far from smooth, with a power spectrum that closely resembles that of other, better understood, complex systems. The distribution of incident sizes within the data seems to fall into two distinct sets, one of which, corresponding to "regular" conflict, is Zipf distributed, the other of which includes acts of genocide and is distributed differently. This difference may indicate that that agents of the state were proceeding under different types of orders. These results provide an empirical benchmark for the modeling of civil violence and may have implications for conflict prevention, peace keeping, and the post-conflict analysis of command structures.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Central America, Guatemala
  • Author: Barry Eichengreen
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of European Studies
  • Abstract: Europe's single currency is widely invoked as a potential solution to the monetary and exchange rate problems of other regions, including Asia, Latin America, North America and even Africa. This lecture asks whether the Europe's experience in creating the euro is exportable. It argues that the single currency is the result of a larger integrationist project that has political as well as economic dimensions. The appetite for political integration being less in other parts of the world, the euro will not be easily emulated. Other regions will have to find different means of addressing the tension between domestic monetary autonomy and regional integration. Harmonized inflation targeting may be the best available solution.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Luigi Manzetti
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: In December 2001, Argentina recorded the world's largest default ever, as it failed to honor payments on its US$132 billion foreign debt. Since then, five presidents have been in power, the Argentine peso has been devalued by 120 percent, and the banking system has virtually collapsed, dragging the economy into a depression. The gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 16.3 percent in the first quarter of 2002. Argentina's per capita income has become one of the worst in Latin America, and, as a result, more than one-third of its people live under the poverty line. 1 Argentines' confidence in their elected officials has disappeared. By most accounts, the country has literally imploded to a degree that has no precedent in Latin America's contemporary history. This is particularly bewildering, considering that only 10 years ago Argentina was hailed around the world as a model of successful economic reforms, with standards of living that were not only the highest in the region but comparable to those of some southern European countries. How could Argentina go from role model to international outcast so quickly? Some place the blame on external shocks created by the financial crises in Mexico (1995), Indonesia (1997), Thailand (1998), and Russia (1998). Others say the cause of the problem was misguided policy advice from the International Monetary Fund (Stiglitz 2002). Yet, most analyses ascribe much of the trouble to the Convertibility Law's fixed exchange rate policy adopted in 1991.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Indonesia, Argentina, South America, Latin America, Mexico, Thailand
  • Author: William Krist
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: Market Access Negotiations are a major element of the efforts to create a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by 2020. If successful, these negotiations will remove all tariff and nontariff barriers to trade among the 34 participating countries on all nonagricultural products, including forest and mining products, fish, and manufactured goods.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Jonathan G. Clarke, William Ratliff
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Official U.S. and Cuban depictions of the effects of the U.S. embargo differ notably from Cuban economic reality. This report, based on the authors' recent visits to Havana and interviews with top Cuban officials, dissidents, and other private citizens, shows that the embargo is not responsible for Cuba's poor economic condition—as Havana claims—nor has it been effective at achieving Washington's goal of isolating the Cuban regime.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean, Havana
  • Author: Liliana Rojas-Suarez
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The rating agencies' and bank supervisors' records of prompt identification of banking problems in emerging markets has not been satisfactory. This paper suggests that such deficiencies could be explained by the use of financial indicators that, while appropriate for industrial countries, do not work in emerging markets. Among the conclusions, this paper shows that the most commonly used indicator of banking problems in industrial countries, the capital-to-asset ratio, has performed poorly as an indicator of banking problems in Latin America and East Asia. This is because of (a) severe deficiencies in the accounting and regulatory framework and (b) lack of liquid markets for bank shares, subordinated debt and other bank liabilities and assets needed to validate the “real” worth of a bank as opposed to its accounting value.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Christopher D. Carroll
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Since the foundational work of Keynes (1936), macroeconomists have emphasized the importance of agents' expectations in determining macroeconomic outcomes. Yet in recent decades macroeconomists have devoted almost no effort to modeling actual empirical expectations data, instead assuming all agents' expectations are 'rational.' This paper takes up the challenge of modeling empirical household expectations data, and shows that a simple, standard model from epidemiology does a remarkably good job of explaining the deviations of household inflation and unemployment expectations from the 'rational expectations' benchmark. Furthermore, a microfoundations or 'agent-based' version of the model may be able to explain, in a way that still permits aggregation, stark rejections of the pure rational expectations framework like Souleles's (2002) finding that members of different demographic groups have sharply different predictions for macroeconomic aggregates like the inflation rate.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Yann Bramoulle
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: I investigate complementarity games played on graphs, which model negative externalities embedded in structures of interaction. On the complete graph, the traditional economic analysis applies: the number of agents playing one strategy is proportional to its payoff. I show that, in general and contrary to coordination games, the structure crucially influences the equilibria. On an important class of graphs, called bipartite graphs, the equilibria do not depend on strategies' payoffs. On certain highly asymmetric graphs, an increase in the payoff of a strategy even decreases the number of agents playing this strategy. In most cases, equilibria do not maximize welfare.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Anthony T. Bryan
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: Tourism drives economic growth in ways that make it one of the best engines for job creation and development for poor countries that possess natural beauty and relevant infrastructure. The industry is highly labor intensive and encourages entrepreneurship. Under its ambit, property owners, restaurants, and local suppliers of goods and services, among others, develop the habits of risk taking without which no economy can realize its full potential. Tourism holds out the prospect of a better life for those stakeholders who make money from it. Not unlike trade, it improves an economy's competitiveness. Trade does so because it stimulates local suppliers to match the quality and variety of imported goods. Tourism does so because returning travelers to a destination demand the goods and services they have seen in other countries (Elliott 2001).
  • Topic: Development, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Patricio Korzeniewicz, William C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: This paper examines the politics of hemispheric integration exemplified by the Summits of the Americas held in Miami (1994), Santiago (1998), and Quebec (2001) and the negotiations over the creation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Our basic premise is that political and institutional arrangements articulating state, society, and economy in Latin America are currently in the midst of a process of reconfiguration unleashed by the acceleration of globalization and attendant crises of state-centered development strategies. More specifically, we believe the Americas are witnessing the emergence of an ensemble of new social and political actors, among the most salient of which are new social movements and civil society organizations (CSOs), organized in networks operating at the domestic, regional, and global levels.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America, Miami
  • Author: Jerry Haar, Thomas A. O'Keefe
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: A transformation of the automotive industry, particularly the segment involved in production of finished vehicles, has taken place in the Southern Common Market (Mercado Común del Sur/Mercado Comum do Sul—MERCOSUR/MER-COSUL) region of South America, at a time when MERCOSUR member states opened their economies to global competition and to participation in an ambitious subregional economic integration project. This Agenda Paper provides an overview of the factors that have contributed to this recent industry transformation. The paper also examines the factors involved in the formal incorporation of the automotive sector into the MERCOSUR project and discusses the impact this development is like-ly have on the subregional automobile industry,
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Fernando Masi
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: This paper evaluates the costs and benefits of changes brought by the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) on special and differential treatment (S); shows how these changes affected the new regional integration processes in the American continent; and examines whether this issue is still a priority of developing countries' agendas. Large concessions offered by developing countries in exchange for access to markets automatically led to “trade graduation.” Thus, S has lost its former significance among developing countries. Moreover, nonreciprocal treatment was retained for least developed countries, which do not even enjoy this type of treatment under the so-called “new trade-related issues” of services, investment, and intellectual property rights.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Jerry Haar, Antonio Garrastazu
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: Trade liberalization, a fundamental feature of U.S. economic policy since the end of the Second World War, has increasingly become a contentious domestic political issue during the last decade. Proponents and opponents of free trade transcend political party affiliation, industry, occupation, geographical locale, income level, age, and other socioeconomic and demographic factors. In addition, the U.S. public and its leaders for the most part hold qualified, mixed, or inconsistent opinions about trade liberalization and the larger and rapidly increasing phenomenon known as globalization. In a February 9-14, 2000, nationwide poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, a majority of respondents (64 percent compared to 27 percent) stated that free trade with other countries is good for the United States. On the other hand, an NBC News/ W all Street Journal poll several months later asked interviewees to respond to the following statement: “Foreign trade has been bad for the U.S. economy because cheap imports from abroad have hurt wages and cost jobs here at home.” Forty-eight percent of the respondents answered that it has been “bad” and 34 percent “good.”
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Carol Wise
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: This paper tackles the question of trade strategy and differential economic performance in Latin America, with a focus on the four countries -- Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico -- most important for the successful completion of a full Western Hemispheric integration scheme. The analysis distinguishes between a “standard” market strategy that assigns the task of economic adjustment to market forces and a “competitive” strategy that more actively employs a range of public policies to facilitate adjustment and correct for instances of market failure. The choices of strategy are explored against the backdrop of international pressures, government-business relations, and institutional reform within the state. Two main conclusions are drawn: first, the competitive strategy strongly correlates with more favorable macro-and microeconomic outcomes and, second, mediocre economic performance under a standard market strategy has undermined the spirit of collective action that will be necessary to forge ahead at the hemispheric level.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Latin America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: Saori N. Katada
  • Publication Date: 07-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International Studies, University of Southern California
  • Abstract: The world has experienced many financial crises. Despite numerous research and policy efforts in prevention to present them at of large scale, the global economy has not seen economists' (and investors') Nirvana of financial globalization without the occasional crises. On the contrary, the increasing dynamism and changing nature of financial flows across national borders seem to have created a larger number of new problems for creditors, debtors and international financial institutions. That has typically been true for middle income countries in Latin America and Asia and, very recently, in Eastern Europe, which have been integrated into the international financial system. During the two decades between the late 1970s and the late 1990s, three major sets of financial crises originated from those middle income countries, intensifying concerns for international financial stability.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Israel, East Asia, Latin America, Central America, North America
  • Author: Stephen Lander, Ambler Moss
  • Publication Date: 04-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: The creation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) was the bold centerpiece of the Summit of the Americas held in Miami in December 1994, and the FTAA recently received further impetus at the Summit of the Americas II in Santiago, Chile. This Agenda Paper, comprises two essays, one an overview of the process by Ambler Moss, “Moving Toward a Free Trade Area of the Americas,” and the other a look forward by Stephen Lande, “Launching Negotiations and Concrete Progress by the Millennium,” which assesses the progress made to date in working toward the FTAA and particularly examines the subject of “business facilitation” or measures designed to enhancethe flows of trade even as the FTAA is being negotiated.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Latin America
  • Author: Sidney Weintraub
  • Publication Date: 07-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: On December 20, 1994, Mexican financial and monetary authorities raised the band within which the peso was permitted to fluctuate by 15 percent. They expected a short-lived shock, some economic adjustment, and then back to business as usual with a modestly devalued peso. Mexico, after all, had a history of currency devaluations, particularly during the transitions from one administration to another. Beyond that, Mexico was not a world monetary powerhouse and what it did would not normally attract great or sustained international attention.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Mexico