Economic Growth and Latin America: What Have We Learned?

IMF Western Hemisphere Department Workshop
November 17, 2006
IMF "Headquarters 2" Building,
Room: 1A - 250,
1900 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, D.C.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the authors only, and the presence of them, or of links to them, on the IMF website does not imply that the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management endorses or shares the views expressed in the papers.

This was an all-day workshop on growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, intended to allow us to take stock of the lessons learned, both here in the Fund and by outside analysts. It featured four sessions on: (i) the frontiers of empirical growth research; (ii) the obstacles to growth in low-income countries; (iii) the growth performance among middle-income, emerging market economies; and (iv) a panel discussion.


Day 1: Thursday, November 9, 2006
8:30 a.m. Welcome: Anoop Singh (Western Hemisphere Department, IMF)
8:40 – 11:00 a.m. Session 1: New Topics in Empirical Growth Research

Chair: Christopher Towe (Western Hemisphere Department, IMF)


Arvind Subramanian (Research Department, IMF): Foreign Capital and Economic Growth (with R. Rajan and E. Prasad)

Jeromin Zettelmeyer (Western Hemisphere Department, IMF): What Makes Growth Sustained? (with A. Berg and J. Ostry)

Rishi Goyal (Western Hemisphere Department, IMF): Volatility and Growth in Latin America (with R. Sahay)

Irineu de Carvalho (Western Hemisphere Department, IMF) : The Myth of Post-Reform Income Stagnation (with M. Chamon)


Ben Jones (Northwestern University): Discussion of: "What Makes Growth Sustained" and "Volatility and Growth in Latin America: An Episodic Approach"

Aart Kraay (World Bank) Discussions I and II.

Coffee Break
11:15 – 1:00 p.m. Session 2: Low-Income Country Cases

Chair: José Fajgenbaum (Western Hemisphere Department, IMF)


Sara Calvo (World Bank): Bolivia: Applying the Growth Diagnostics Approach

Ruben Atoyan (Policy Development and Review Department, IMF): Guyana: Why Has Growth Stopped? (with J. Gold and C. Staritz)

  • Paper
  • Presentation

Cemile Sancak (Western Hemisphere Department, IMF): Growth in the Dominican Republic and Haiti: Why Has The Grass Been Greener on One Side of Hispaniola? (with L. Jaramillo)


Simon Johnson (MIT): Discussion of "Guyana: Why Has Growth Stopped," and "Growth in Dominican Republic and Haiti"

Ravi Balakrishnan (Western Hemisphere Department, IMF): Comments on Applying the Growth Diagnotstics Approach: The case of Bolivia

Lunch (By Invitation)
2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Session 3: Middle-Income Country Cases

Chair: Caroline Atkinson (Western Hemisphere Department, IMF)


Federico Sturzenegger (Harvard University): Is Argentina's Growth Sustainable? And If So, Who Gets The Credit?

Martin Cerisola (Western Hemisphere Department, IMF): Brazil's Long Term Growth Performance: Trying To Explain the Puzzle (with G. Gelos and R. Adrogué).

Vincent Moissinac (Western Hemisphere Department, IMF): Mexico: Conditions for Accelerated Growth

Eva Jenkner (Western Hemisphere Department, IMF): Growth and Reforms in Peru Post-1990: A Success Story?


César Calderon (World Bank): Middle Income Country Cases: Discussion

Eduardo Fernandez Arias (IADB): Economic Growth: Argentina and Brazil

4:45 – 6:00 p.m. Session 4: Panel on Growth and Economic Reforms in Latin America: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know?

Chair: Anoop Singh

Background paper by Jeromin Zettelmeyer: Growth and Reforms in Latin America: A Survey of Facts and Arguments


Eduardo Lora (IADB): Growth and Reforms in Latin America: What do we know? What do we need to know?

Liliana Rojas Suarez (Center for Global Development): Growth and Reforms in Latin America: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know?

Norman Loayza (World Bank): Growth and Economic Reforms in Latin America

Simon Johnson (MIT): What Do We Know About Growth?