Winners and Losers: Economic Development in Latin America

May 19, 2009
B-340 Rayburn House Office Building

Dr. Christopher Lingle

Professor of Economics
Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala

Click Here to view Dr. Lingle's Powerpoint Presentation.

Recently Latin America has been the poster child for the economic development community.  A region once struck with economic stagnation, rapid inflation, and unstable financial systems is now an area of growth and some sustainability. In 2007, countries such as Paraguay, Costa Rica and Colombia had a GDP growth of at least 5.1% and the poverty rate in Brazil has dropped 9% in the last 5 years. Even in the midst of this current financial crisis, Chile and Peru have been able to control inflation and steadily lower interest rates to combat the recession.

The United States has spent billions of aid dollars on Latin American development and along with international organizations and foreign governments, is thrilled to see such progress yet is confused by how some countries remain stagnant in spite of their neighbors’ success. For example, Venezuela still suffers from high inflation rates and Argentina constantly struggles with corruption.  How can some countries prosper while others with similar resources and culture stay poor?  What is the key to developing sustainable economies throughout Latin America? How can we continue to lift parts of Latin America out of stagnation?

To discuss these issues and examine Latin America’s current situation, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University is proud to host a lecture by Dr. Cris Lingle, Professor of Economics at Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala. Dr. Lingle will present his first-hand knowledge of Latin America and examine the historical and current obstacles to prosperity facing Latin American countries.

 Join us as we address such questions as:

• What can economies teach us about sustained development in Latin America?
• Why have some countries succeeded while others have continued to fail?
• What does the future look like for economies in Latin American countries? What role does foreign aid play into that future?

This program is reserved exclusively for full time, Congressional, agency and Library of Congress employees.