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Blog posts - 2018

Building Human Capital in Latin America

The dynamics of education in Latin America represent a critical link in the intergenerational transfer of poverty. It is no coincidence that two of the nine “pillars” crucial to national competitiveness and productivity in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index deal directly with primary and higher education. A third pillar, “innovation”, is powerfully linked to strong research institutions and an effective university-private sector collaboration that fosters the creation of new knowledge and efficient production. But Latin America falls behind in all of these areas. The region’s ability to compete successfully in global markets depends significantly on the quality of its labour force, which in turn depends on the quality of its schools. Good education improves workers’ skills, promotes growth, reduces poverty and provides a strong foundation for building the institutions, transparency, and good governance that enable production to take place.

The literature on Economics and International Relations displays a heavy use of the term ‘Emerging Economies’, which is often associated with both developed and developing countries. Yet it has not been entirely accepted neither as an economic notion nor as a political one, mostly because the complexity in the dissimilar markets that integrate the emerging set  has cast doubt on the appropriateness of the term to encompass so much diversity.