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Related blogs to Otaviano Canuto

Latin American economies face political crossroads in 2018

Otaviano Canuto | Posted : January 10, 2018

The cruise speed with which Latin American economies are starting 2018 will be constrained by low investments and weak productivity growth in the recent past. Positive global economic prospects, the regional cyclical recovery, and policy initiatives to lift productivity are presenting Latin America’s leaders the opportunity to improve that trajectory. Nevertheless, political risks loom ahead.

The Metamorphosis of Financial Globalization

Otaviano Canuto | Posted : September 15, 2017

After a strong rising tide starting in the 1990s, financial globalization seems to have reached a plateau since the global financial crisis. However, that apparent stability has taken place along a deep reshaping of cross-border financial flows, featuring de-banking and an increasing weight of non-banking financial cross-border transactions. Sources of potential instability and long-term funding challenges have morphed accordingly.     

How Did Cuba Make It Online ?

Otaviano Canuto | Posted : August 28, 2017

Dual transitions are under way in Cuba. The island is slowly opening its economy, and a new crop of younger political leaders, potentially more open to democratic norms, waits in the wings. A third transition, the rise of digital access, is also in an early stage. But it is this third transition that arguably has the most momentum and could significantly accelerate the first two.

Does Brazil’s Sector Structure Explain Its Productivity Anemia?

Otaviano Canuto | Posted : June 20, 2017

Brazil’s labor and total-factor productivity (TFP) have featured anemic increases in the last decades (Canuto, 2016). As we illustrate here, contrary to common view, sector structures of the Brazilian GDP and employment cannot be singled out as major determinants of productivity performance. Horizontal, cross-sector factors hampering productivity increases seem to carry more weight.

Nafta at the Crossroads

Otaviano Canuto | Posted : May 22, 2017

The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Robert Lighthizer as United States Trade Representative last week, rounding out President Donald Trump’s cabinet and giving momentum to his trade agenda. At his swearing-in ceremony on May 15, Ambassador Lighthizer predicted that President Trump would permanently reverse “the dangerous trajectory of American trade,” and in turn make “U.S. farmers, ranchers and workers richer and the country safer.” This policy shift will begin in earnest in the coming weeks, when Lighthizer meets with congressional trade leaders to discuss the administration’s plan to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). 

Brazil’s Pension Reform Proposal is Necessary and Socially Balanced

Otaviano Canuto | Posted : April 20, 2017

Last week the World Bank released a Staff Note (2017) analyzing the pension reform proposal sent last December by Brazil’s Federal Government to Congress. It concludes that (p.16, our emphasis):

“… the proposed pension reform in Brazil is necessary, urgent if Brazil is to meet its spending rule, and socially balanced in that the proposal mostly eliminates subsidies received under the current rules by formal sector workers and civil servants who belong to the top 60 percent of households by income distribution.” 

Beyond the Ballot: Turkey’s Economy at the Crossroads

Otaviano Canuto | Posted : April 03, 2017

Turkey has been approaching a crossroads for some time now. Soon enough it will have to choose a direction.

On April 16, 2017 Turks will vote in a referendum on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s proposed constitutional amendment that would shift the country’s power center from a parliamentary system to a presidential one. 

Colombia: Getting Peace, Getting Growth

Otaviano Canuto | Posted : March 23, 2017

Colombia is a country of incredible contrast: known to be one of the places on earth where people feel happiest, it is also one of the most unequal and for many decades, a country immersed in a protracted conflict. Despite the latter - and here is the starkest contrast - Colombia has recently succeeded in reducing poverty and building the foundations for sustainable growth and prosperity.

The Santos administration has delivered on two of its main promises: sign a peace agreement with the FARC guerrilla and get approved a significant structural tax reform. We approach here why both are expected to become strong pillars to help keep the growth-cum-poverty-reduction momentum of the last decades. 

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