Good Intentions Bad Outcomes

Author: Santiago Levy
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815701637
Size: 42.73 MB
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Despite various reform efforts, Mexico has experienced economic stability but little growth. Today more than half of all Mexican workers are employed informally, and one out of every four is poor. Good Intentions, Bad Outcomes argues that incoherent social programs significantly contribute to this state of affairs and it suggests reforms to improve the situation. Over the past decade, Mexico has channeled an increasing number of resources into subsidizing the creation of low-productivity, informal jobs. These social programs have hampered growth, fostered illegality, and provided erratic protection to workers, trapping many in poverty. Informality has boxed Mexico into a dilemma: provide benefits to informal workers at the expense of lower growth and reduced productivity or leave millions of workers without benefits. Former finance official Santiago Levy proposes how to convert the existing system of social security for formal workers into universal social entitlements. He advocates eliminating wage-based social security contributions and raising consumption taxes on higher-income households to simultaneously increase the rate of growth of GDP, reduce inequality, and improve benefits for workers. Go od Intentions, Bad Outcomes considers whether Mexico can build on the success of Progresa-Oportunidades, a targeted poverty alleviation program that originated in Mexico and has been replicated in over 25 countries as well as in New York City. It sets forth a plan to reform social and economic policy, an essential element of a more equitable and sustainable development strategy for Mexico.

Bacardi And The Long Fight For Cuba

Author: Tom Gjelten
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781440629983
Size: 21.55 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In this widely hailed book, NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten fuses the story of the Bacardi family and their famous rum business with Cuba's tumultuous experience over the last 150 years to produce a deeply entertaining historical narrative. The company Facundo Bacardi launched in Cuba in 1862 brought worldwide fame to the island, and in the decades that followed his Bacardi descendants participated in every aspect of Cuban life. With his intimate account of their struggles and adventures across five generations, Gjelten brings to life the larger story of Cuba's fight for freedom, its tortured relationship with America, the rise of Fidel Castro, and the violent division of the Cuban nation.

The Art Of Political Murder

Author: Francisco Goldman
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 9781555846374
Size: 58.78 MB
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In this New York Times Notable Book, an award-winning writer undertakes his own investigation into the murder of a Guatemalan bishop. Named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post Book World, the Chicago Tribune, the Economist, and the San Francisco Chronicle Two days after releasing a groundbreaking church-sponsored report implicating the military in the murders and disappearances of some two hundred thousand Guatemalan civilians, Bishop Juan Gerardi was bludgeoned to death in his garage. The victim was the country’s leading human rights activist, but the Church quickly realized that it could not rely on police investigators or the legal system to solve the crime. Instead, Church leaders formed their own investigative team: a group of secular young men who called themselves Los Intocables—the Untouchables. Author Francisco Goldman spoke to witnesses no other reporter was able to reach, observing firsthand some of the most crucial developments in this sensational case. Documenting the Latin American reality of mara youth gangs and organized crime, The Art of Political Murder tells the story of Los Intocables and their remarkable fight for justice. “Becoming by turns a little bit Columbo, Jason Bourne and Seymour Hersh, Goldman gives us the anatomy of a crime while opening a window to a misunderstood neighboring country that is flirting with anarchy.” —The New York Times Book Review

Progress Against Poverty

Author: Santiago Levy
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815752229
Size: 18.84 MB
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In 1997, Mexico launched a new incentive-based poverty reduction program to enhance the human capital of those living in extreme poverty. This book presents a case study of Progresa-Oportunidades, focusing on the main factors that have contributed to the program's sustainability, policies that have allowed it to operate at the national level, and future challenges.

Social Insurance Informality And Labor Markets

Author: Markus Frölich
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191508365
Size: 40.51 MB
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Most countries implement social protection programs to help individuals manage risks such as unemployment, disability, illness, longevity or death. In many middle income countries, these are often based on a 'Bismarckian model' (named after Otto von Bismarck), where benefits are financed by contributions levied on salaried employment. In countries with a large informal sector, however, only a fraction of the population is covered by this system and non-contributory programs have been added or are planned to increase coverage. This can create distortions in the labor market, and the book is about policies to expand the coverage of social insurance programs to all workers, without reducing incentives to job creation and formal work. While few would argue against the need and social merits of social insurance and social assistance programs there are growing concerns about their unintended consequences on labor markets because of poor design. The programs can distort incentives and individual behaviors in ways that either reduce employment levels and/or promote informality, ultimately affecting productivity and economic performance. For instance, high social security contribution rates can reduce formal employment; badly designed unemployment benefits can reduce incentives to keep, search, and take jobs; and fragmented social assistance programs can become a tax on formal labor and encourage informality. The book reviews the evidence regarding the effects of social insurance and social assistance programs on labor market outcomes and discusses options to improve their design and implementation. The book focuses particularly on middle income countries in Latin America and Asia with a large informal sector and suggests ways to reduce these distortions and better manage and finance the subsidies to make coverage universal, while creating good jobs. The book compiles expert papers from the joint conferences of the World Bank (WB), the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Employment and Development.

Out Of The Shadows

Author: Patricia Fernández-Kelly
Publisher: Penn State Press
ISBN: 0271045590
Size: 72.11 MB
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Since the beginning of scholarly writing about the informal economy in the mid-1970s, the debate has evolved from addressing survival strategies of the poor to considering the implications for national development and the global economy. Simultaneously, research on informal politics has ranged from neighborhood clientelism to contentious social movements basing their claims on a variety of social identities in their quest for social justice. Despite related empirical and theoretical concerns, these research traditions have seldom engaged in dialogue with one another. Out of the Shadows brings leading scholars of the informal economy and informal politics together to address how globalization has influenced local efforts to resolve political and economic needs&—and how these seemingly separate issues are indeed deeply related. In addition to the editors, contributors are Javier Auyero, Miguel Angel Centeno, Sylvia Chant, Robert Gay, Mercedes Gonz&ález de la Rocha, Jos&é Itzigsohn, Alejandro Portes, and Juan Manuel Ram&írez S&áiz.

No Growth Without Equity

Author: Santiago Levy
Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 082137768X
Size: 30.99 MB
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This work examines the relationship between equity and growth in Mexico. It looks at how specific inequalities in power, wealth and status have created and sustained economic institutions and policies that both tend to perpetuate these inequalities and are sources of inefficiences in the economy.

Informality

Author: Guillermo Perry
Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 0821370936
Size: 10.14 MB
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Analyzes informality in Latin America, exploring root causes and reasons for and implications of its growth. This book uses two distinct but complementary lenses. It concludes that reducing informality levels and overcoming the "culture of informality" will require actions to increase aggregate productivity in the economy.

Shared Prosperity And Poverty Eradication In Latin America And The Caribbean

Author: Louise Cord
Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 1464803587
Size: 48.37 MB
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Over the last decade Latin America and the Caribbean region has achieved important progress towards the World Bank Group's goals of eradicating extreme poverty and boosting income growth of the bottom 40 percent, propelled by remarkable economic growth and falling income inequality. Despite this impressive performance, social progress has not been uniform over this period, and certain countries, subregions and even socioeconomic groups participated less in the growth process. As of today, more than 75 million people still live in extreme poverty in the region (using $2.50/day/capita), half of them in Brazil and Mexico, and extreme poverty rates top 40 percent in Guatemala and reach nearly 60 percent in Haiti. This means that extreme poverty is still an important issue in both low- and middle-income countries in the region. As growth wanes and progress in reducing the still high levels of inequality in the region slows, it will be more important than ever for governments to focus policies on inclusive growth. The book includes an overview that highlights progress towards the goals of poverty eradication and shared prosperity between 2003 and 2012, unpacks recent gains at the household level using an income-based asset model, and examines some of the policy levers used to affect social outcomes in the region. It draws on 13 country studies, eight of which are featured in this volume: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. The other case studies include: Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Honduras, which will be included in the web version of the book.