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After a history of dependence and dictatorships, Latin America is striving to find its own way to sustainable and equitable development by strengthening democracies and participation. Often urbanized and educated, the population is severely polarized in incomes and opportunities.




Economic data: Living conditions in Trinidad and Tobago

A commented picture of this exemplary tropical country of great economic potential, widespread poverty and ambitious policy choices.


Essay: Trinidad and Tobago policies

2020 Operational Plan

Energy Skill development Macroeconomy

"In the economic sphere, the transformation process will involve diversifying the structure of production with a view to reducing dependence on the energy sector. While, admittedly, the energy sector will continue for some time to provide the main dynamic for growth and development, and while we must maximize our incomes from the exploitation of our hydrocarbon resources, the urgent requirement is for the development of a vibrant and viable non-energy sector, a so-called on-shore sector, to effectively fill the void, particularly in terms of revenue and foreign exchange generation, when the energy sector weakens, maybe in the next twenty to thirty years.

It is in this context that the evolution of a dynamic business sector, producing quality goods and services for the domestic but mainly for the export market, looms large. In a situation where with the march of globalisation and market liberalisation trade competition continues to intensify, innovation must be the key driver in business sector development.


While the services sector and, in particular, its financial services and tourism components, must continue to grow and to explore and penetrate niche foreign markets, the transformation process must assign a more important role to the agriculture sector. This sector must be re-organized and reengineered to feed the nation and free us from the dependence on imported food supplies.


However, growth and expansion must not take place at the expense of the environment, which straddles the entire economy. We must always be mindful that the environment belongs not only to us, but, as well, to the generations to follow. We therefore have to cease polluting the air that we must breathe, through toxic industrial emissions; we have to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and so play our part in the struggle against global warming; we have to cease polluting our water courses through indiscriminate and irresponsible dumping; and, we have to protect our water sources by, inter alia, ceasing the denudation of our hillsides through slash and burn and illegal logging activities. What we must aim for is responsible and sustainable growth and development."



Essay: Latin America at a cross-road

Most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean opened up their economies to foreign competition, de-regulated markets and privatized economic activities in search for faster productivity growth, higher international competitiveness and more equity in the distribution of the benefits of technical progress.

The reforms have not delivered what they were supposed to deliver. For orthodox market-oriented economists the reforms have not produced the expected results because they have not been applied well, or deeply enough.

For more heterodox economists there is a lot that needs to be re-examined in terms of 'proactive' government interventions 'constructing' dynamic comparative advantages based on knowledge if countries are to grow faster, significantly improving in terms of productivity and international competitiveness.



Essay: South American Community of Nations - Comunidad Sudamericana de Naciones

This new community might have one day a common currency, parliament and passports, similar to the European Union.

The South American Community of Nations was launched in Cuzco (Ayacucho), Peru on 2004 December 9th.

The Community of Nations is born of a union between the Andean Community and Mercosur (Southern Common Market), with the addition of the Caribbean coast nations of Surinam and Guyana.

Member nations are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Cusco Declaration (Español)

2004 Statistics of the South American Community of Nations


Economic data: Human development index (162 countries)

Rich reports of reflections and data.




Essay: Labour market in Peru: the transition path from unemployment to employment and the reverse

High flows in and out of employment states make compatible a relatively low official unempoyment rate and the deepness of the social problem of unemployment.



Essay: Mining Clusters and Local Economic Development in Latin America

Is a development strategy conceivable for Latin America that has the region’s abundant natural resource base as its point of departure? What would such a development strategy look like and what would be its environmental and social consequences?

The challenge seems to be to foster economic activities related to the exploitation of natural resources, through forward, backward or lateral linkages, since Latin America could not attain development by exporting commodities.



Essay: Mercosur evaluated

A 2002 study on Mercosur, its policies, its effect on regional integration and a comparison with European Union experience



Economic data: Inflation rates for 170 countries (1970-1996)

Yearly dynamics of inflation is presented in one sheet. Is price stability a common feature of the world economies? Is hyperinflation a disease that hurts some groups of countries more than others? Discover the answers to these and many other questions just analysing the real data.

MS Excel


Economic data: Exchange rates for 200 currencies, spanning across more than 20 years

In one sheet you can track and compare the yearly dynamics of 200 world currencies on the long term. Currency crises, fixed exchange rates and wide fluctuations in a fully international perspective.

MS Excel


Economic data: Education attainments in reading: a comparison of 35 countries with trends

An exceptional survey in Argentina, Colombia and several other countries by IEAís Study of Reading Literacy (PIRL), with microdata available.

PDF [8 MB]


Economic data: Comparable wages for 162 jobs in 132 countries

The MS Excel file with a user-friendly interface of the excellent dataset by Freeman - Oostendorp. Long-term time-series from 1983 to 1999. This data set allows for comparison of wages across countries for the same job, over time, underlining the differences between skilled and unskilled works.

MS Excel [2.9 MB]


Essay: Tax base in developing countries

How to increase the tax revenue in developing countries? By enlarging the tax base the fiscal burden would be better distributed, comprehending the large informal economy which is so present in these countries. Unlike in rich countries where informality is largely a result of the tax burden, the informal economy in developing countries is largely a result of high fixed costs of entry into the formal sector. The tax burden is lower in developing countries and the barriers to entry into the formal economy are higher. Empirical analysis supports the results of this paper by prof. Emmanuelle Auriol and Michael Warlters.



Economic data: Real world elasticity in 144 countries - Price elasticities and income elasticities of consumption classes (food and non-food) - Food share on household budget

MS Excel


Economic data: Exports, imports, trade balances for 181 countries - a time-series

Absolute figures, shares in world trade, rankings.

MS Excel


Tourist arrival and their expenditure

Number of tourists for Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, Barbados, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other 191 countries (2000-2006).

MS Excel



Economic data: Gender statistics from all over the world


Economic data: Environmental respect data: the number of ISO14000 certified firms in 98 countries - a time-series

MS Excel


Economic data: Population forecast for all countries in the world (total, urban, rural, density,...)


Economic data: Composition of public expenditure (education, health, defence...) - 69 countries in Africa, Asia, America, Europe (1975-1985)


Economic data: Gross domestic expenditure on R&D by source of funds in 71 countries (e.g. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Madagascar, Malaysia, Slovakia, Turkey,...)

MS Excel


Economic data: Health and disease statistics worldwide


Economic data: Latin America datasets


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