Latin America and the Caribbean

Date of publication
mai 2012
Geographical focus

Income inequality in Latin America ranks
among the highest in the world. It can be traced back to
the unequal distribution of assets (especially land and
education) in the region. But the extent to which asset
inequality translates into income inequality depends on the
redistributive capacity of the state. This paper documents
the performance of Latin American fiscal systems from the
perspective of income redistribution using newly-available
information on the incidence of taxes and transfers across
the region. The findings indicate that: (i) the differences
in income inequality before taxes and transfers between
Latin America and Western Europe are much more modest than
those after taxes and transfers; (ii) the key reason is
that, in contrast with industrial countries, in most Latin
American countries the fiscal system is of little help in
reducing income inequality; and (iii) in countries where
fiscal redistribution is significant, it is achieved mostly
through transfers rather than taxes. These facts stress the
need for fiscal reforms across the region to further the
goal of social equity. However, different countries need to
place different relative emphasis on raising tax collection,
restructuring the tax system, and improving the targeting of expenditures.

Date of publication
mai 2012
Geographical focus

Latin America is together with
Sub-Saharan Africa the most unequal region of the world.
This paper documents recent inequality trends in the Latin
American region, going beyond traditional measures of income
inequality. The paper also reviews some of the explanations
that have been put forward to understand the current
situation, and discusses why reducing income inequality
should be an important policy priority. In particular, the
authors discuss channels through which inequality can affect
growth and output volatility. On the whole, the analysis
suggests a two-pronged approach to reduce inequality in the
region that combines policies aimed at improving the
distribution of assets (especially education) with elements
aimed at improving the capacity of the state to redistribute
income through taxes and transfers.

Date of publication
mars 2014
Geographical focus

Air cargo origin destination flows in
the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region are heavily
concentrated in the largest economies of South America and
Mexico. With 32.7 percent of the airfreight moved to, from,
and within the region, Brazil is the largest cargo market,
followed by Colombia and Mexico, with 17.9 percent and 16.0
percent, respectively. The relatively small size of the air
cargo market in LAC can be explained by: (i) low levels of
demand for air cargo services (supply responds adequately to
a low demand for air cargo services in/from LAC), or (ii)
restrictions to a properly functioning market that impede
the air cargo market to reach its full potential. The
analysis carried out for the preparation of this paper
indicates that the low levels of demand is the most
reasonable explanation for the small size of the LAC air
cargo market. There is room to improve some regulations
which would make the air cargo market work more efficiently
and probably at lower costs, but the size and diversity of
the market will not significantly change as a result.
Airport infrastructure quality fairs well overall, although
some isolated issues exist in certain airports in LAC.
Infrastructure limitations were evaluated through a survey
conducted by an association of LAC airlines (ALTA). The
results of the survey show that even the worst rated
airports received an acceptable score in absolute terms.
Policies aimed at reducing operating costs and related to
soft constraints should also be implemented paperless
customs procedures, improved security in airport premises
and streamlining of custom inspection processes.

Date of publication
août 2012
Geographical focus

Climate change is the defining
development challenge of our time. More than a global
environmental issue, climate change is also a threat to
poverty reduction and economic growth and may unravel many
of the development gains made in recent decades. Latin
America and the Caribbean account for a relatively modest
twelve percent of the world's greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions, but communities across the region are already
suffering adverse consequences from climate change and
variability. As highlighted in 'Reducing Poverty,
Protecting Livelihoods, and Building Assets in a Changing
Climate (Verner 2010), climate change is likely to have
unprecedented social, economic, environmental, and political repercussions.

Date of publication
mars 2012
Geographical focus

Over the past decade, faster growth and
smarter social policy have reversed the trend in Latin
America's poverty. Too slowly and insufficiently, but
undeniably, the percentage of Latinos who are poor has at
long last begun to fall. This has shifted the political and
policy debates from poverty toward inequality, something to
be expected in a region that exhibits the world's most
regressive distribution of development outcomes such as
income, land ownership, and educational achievement. This
book is a breakthrough in the measurement of human
opportunity. It builds sophisticated formulas to answer a
rather simple question: how much influence do personal
circumstances have on the access that children get to the
basic services that are necessary for a productive life?
Needless to say, producing a methodology to measure human
opportunity, and applying it across countries in one region,
is just a first step. On the one hand, technical discussions
and scientific vetting will continue, and refinements will
surely follow. On the other, applying the new tool to a
single country will allow for adjustments that make the
findings much more useful to its policy realities. And
fascinating comparative lessons could be learned by
measuring human opportunity in developed countries across,
say, the states of the United States or the nations of
Europe. But the main message this book delivers remains a
powerful one: it is possible to make equity a central
purpose, if not the very definition, of development. That
is, perhaps, it's most important contribution.

Date of publication
mars 2012
Geographical focus

Indigenous peoples across Latin America
and the Caribbean (LAC) already perceive and experience
negative effects of climate change and variability. Although
the overall economic impact of climate change on gross
domestic product (GDP) is significant, what is particularly
problematic is that it falls disproportionately on the poor
including indigenous peoples, who constitute about 6.5
percent of the population in the region and are among its
poorest and most vulnerable (Hall and Patrinos 2006). This
book examines the social implications of climate change and
climatic variability for indigenous communities in LAC and
the options for improving their resilience and adaptability
to these phenomena. By social implications, the authors mean
direct and indirect effects in the broad sense of the word
social, including factors contributing to human well-being,
health, livelihoods, human agency, social organization, and
social justice. This book, much of which relies on new
empirical research, addresses specifically the situation of
indigenous communities because our research showed them to
be among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate
change. A companion book (Verner 2010) provides information
on the broader social dimensions of climate change in LAC
and on policy options for addressing them. This book will
help to place these impacts higher on the climate-change
agenda and guide efforts to enhance indigenous peoples'
rights and opportunities, whether by governments, indigenous
peoples' organizations and their leaders, or non-state representatives.

Date of publication
mars 2012
Geographical focus

This book reports on the status and
evolution of human opportunity in Latin America and the
Caribbean (LAC). It builds on the 2008 publication in
several directions. First, it uses newly available data to
expand the set of opportunities and personal circumstances
under analysis. The data are representative of about 200
million children living in 19 countries over the last 15
years. Second, it compares human opportunity in LAC with
that of developed countries, among them the United States
and France, two very different models of social policy. This
allows for illuminating exercises in benchmarking and
extrapolation. Third, it looks at human opportunity within
countries, across regions, states, and cities. This gives us
a preliminary glimpse at the geographic dimension of equity,
and at the role that different federal structures play. The
overall message that emerges is one of cautious hope. LAC is
making progress in opening the doors of development to all,
but it still has a long way to go. At the current pace, it
would take, on average, a generation for the region to
achieve universal access to just the basic services that
make for human opportunity. Seen from the viewpoint of
equity, even our most successful nations lag far behind the
developed world, and intracounty regional disparities are
large and barely converging. Fortunately, there is much
policy makers can do about it.

Date of publication
mars 2012
Geographical focus

This report presents the findings of a
first-ever, comprehensive study of how Latin America and the
Caribbean (LAC) region airports have evolved during a
notable period of transition in airport ownership. It is an
unbiased, positive analysis of what happened, rather than a
normative analysis of what should be done to reform and to
attract private sector participation to the airport sector.
It takes the first step to respond to the need for more
conclusive information about the influence of airport
ownership on economic performance. The report centers on the
study of three dimensions of performance: productive
efficiency, institutional setup for the governance of the
sector, and financing. This multifaceted report uses a range
of advanced quantitative and qualitative methods to assess
the relationship between airport ownership and performance
in the LAC region. After a comprehensive overview, chapters
1 and 2 provide the necessary background for the air
transport sector and the evolution of private sector
participation and investment in airport infrastructure. In
chapter 3, questionnaires submitted to airport operators and
regulators led to the creation of the unique data sets,
which were first used to compare performance across 14
partial performance indicators, and next used to develop
aggregate measures of efficiency necessary for the
benchmarking exercise. In chapter 4, a qualitative study of
the relationship between type of regulating agency
(independent or government-led) and transparency,
accountability, and bureaucracy provides insight into how
recent reforms have also affected the quality of regulatory
governance. Chapter 5 provides an in-depth analysis of the
evolution of tariff structures in the region as compared to
a sample of international airports. Several important topics
were not included in this report but should be the focus of
future research. In particular, the evolution of the quality
of services in airports deserves greater attention, as
airports are increasingly becoming business centers and key
gateways for trade competitiveness. The other main topic
that requires detailed practical research is climate change
and its relationship with the airport sector.

Date of publication
décembre 2014
Geographical focus

A focus on development results is at the
heart of the Latin America and Caribbean Region s approach
to delivering programs and policy advice with partners in
middle-income and low income countries alike. Through
knowledge, convening activities, and financial services we
strive to help people across the region create better
opportunities and build a better future for themselves,
their families and their country. Documenting, measuring and
evaluating results of what we do, helps us and our partners
to engage more effectively, learn from our experiences and
apply lessons to the design and implementation of future
interventions. This collection of result stories shows our
continuous efforts to adopt and integrate technical
analysis, timely policy advice, and a variety of financial
instruments into programs that are aligned with client
priorities. Results show the increased demand and the
effectiveness of peer-to-peer learning, have led to a
scaling up our support for South-South exchange activities
and the use our convening power to support successful
partnerships and mobilize additional resources to finance
development work.


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