In the past twenty years, economic policy in Latin America has veered toward neoliberalism, or market friendliness. State interventions in the economy were cut back in many areas, in the form of reductions in fiscal deficits; privatization of public enterprises; reductions of import quotas and tariffs and export subsidies; removal of barriers to foreign capital flow; and increased faith in the private sector and market processes.
This book offers an intellectual and historical background for these policy choices, specifically in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. The contributors detail the structural reform and economic policies in Latin America and discuss the various and often contradictory effects neoliberalism, such as fluctuating growth rates and saving-investment balances, worsened corruption, growth of exports, falling wages, and rising unemployment. In addition, each case study forecasts the effects of neoliberal policies on future growth and income distribution in the respective countries. Finally, it offers policy alternatives to neoliberalism.
The essays in this volume are: an introduction by Lance Taylor; "The Argentine Experience with Stabilization and Structural Reform," by José María Fanelli and Roberto Frenkel; "Opening, Stabilization, and Macroeconomic Sustainability in Brazil," by Edward Amadeo, "An Ongoing Structural Transformation: The Colombian Economy, 1986-96," by José Antonio Ocampo; "Economic Reforms, Stabilization Policies, and the 'Mexican Disease,'" by Nora Claudia Lustig and Jaime Ros; and "Structural Reforms and Macroeconomic Policy in Peru: 1990-96," by Oscar Dancourt.
Lance Taylor is the Arnhold Professor of International Cooperation and Development, New School for Social Research.
In higher education, the United States is the preeminent global leader, dominating the list of the world’s top research universities. But there are signs that America’s position of global leadership will face challenges in the future, as it has in other realms of international competition. American Universities in a Global Market addresses the variety of issues crucial to understanding this preeminence and this challenge. The book examines the various factors that contributed to America’s success in higher education, including openness to people and ideas, generous governmental support, and a tradition of decentralized friendly competition. It also explores the advantages of holding a dominant position in this marketplace and examines the current state of American higher education in a comparative context, placing particular emphasis on how market forces affect universities. By discussing the differences in quality among students and institutions around the world, this volume sheds light on the singular aspects of American higher education.
Throughout the latter part of the 20th century, the U.S. labor market performed differently than the labor markets of the world's other advanced industrialized societies. In the early 1970s, the United States had higher unemployment rates than its Western European counterparts. But after two oil crises, rapid technological change, and globalization rocked the world's economies, unemployment fell in the United States, while increasing dramatically in other nations. At the same time, wage inequality widened more in the United States than in Europe. In At Home and Abroad, Cornell University economists Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn examine the reasons for these striking dissimilarities between the United States and its economic allies. Comparing countries, the authors find that governments and unions play a far greater role in the labor market in Europe than they do in the United States. It is much more difficult to lay off workers in Europe than in the United States, unemployment insurance is more generous in Europe, and many fewer Americans than Europeans are covered by collective bargaining agreements. Interventionist labor market institutions in Europe compress wages, thus contributing to the lower levels of wage inequality in the European Union than in the United States. Using a unique blend of microeconomic and microeconomic analyses, the authors assess how these differences affect wage and unemployment levels. In a lucid narrative, they present ample evidence that, as upheavals shook the global economy, the flexible U.S. market let wages adjust so that jobs could be maintained, while more rigid European economies maintained wages at the cost of losing jobs. By helping readers understand the relationship between different economic responses and outcomes, At Home and Abroad makes an invaluable contribution to the continuing debate about the role institutions can and should play in creating jobs and maintaining living standards.
At the time of the U.S.-Japan auto conferences in March 1983, the hoped-for economic recovery as manifested in auto sales had revealed itself quite modestly. Three months later, the indicators were more robust and certainly long overdue for those whose livelihood depends on the health of the industry--some of whom are university professors.
With Japanese import restrictions in place until March 1984 and drastically reduced break-even points for domestic manufactures, rising consumer demand holds great promise for the industry. The rapidly rising stock prices of the auto-makers captures well the sense of heightened optimism, as do the various forecasts for improved profits.
While the news is certainly welcome, it nevertheless should be greeted with caution. As Mr. Perkins noted at the conference, "we have a tendency to forget things very quickly. If we have a boom market this year, there is a good chance that a lot of things we learned will be forgotten."
To put the matter differently and more bluntly, with growing prosperity there is the risk that management will fall back into old habits, making impossible the achievement of sustained quality and productivity improvement. Similarly, the commitment to develop cooperative relations with workers and suppliers will weaken. The union will be under membership pressure to retrieve concessions rather than to take the longer-term view. This longer-term view recognizes that "up-front increases" and adherence to existing work rules increasingly come at the sacrifice of future job security. Government policymakers will turn their attention away from the industry. This may not mean a great deal given how weakly focused their attentions has been during the last three years and how mixed and contradictory government auto policies have been for over a decade.