Economy and Development

Maduro's "Operation Merry Christmas" Provides Venezuelan Kids with Barbies, But Not Diapers

October 12, 2016

The Barbie Doll, possibly the most commonly criticized, iconic American toy is currently being kept at a historically and artificially low price by the anti-capitalist government in Venezuela, just in time for holiday shopping. What cost mothers and grandmothers up to three weeks minimum wage pay last Christmas (3500 bolivars) is now only about 250 bolivars or USD $3 using the bolivar-to-dollar black market conversion rate.

El Poder Económico Durante el Kirchnerismo

October 12, 2016

En este artículo presentamos algunas claves sobre la evolución del poder económico en la Argentina en este nuevo siglo. Ello es fruto de una investigación que se vio plasmada en un artículo publicado en el último número de la revista Latin American Research Review1 y en un libro reciente (Restricción eterna. El poder económico durante el kirchnerismo, Futuro Anterior, Buenos Aires, 20142) que editamos junto a nuestro colega Alejandro Gaggero.

Benefits to the US-Cuba Opening

October 12, 2016

The surprise opening to Cuba will not necessarily have dramatic effects on either country, though there will be tangible and intangible changes for both.1 For Cuba, the opening brings the prospect for a strong influx of dollars and tourists.  The diplomatic opening does not allow unfettered travel, but it reduces the barriers significantly.  Pitt's Study Abroad program to Cuba had to be canceled last year due to banking restrictions.  That type of problem will surely disappear.  Perhaps, shadowing the new policy with regards to undocumented immigrants, Ob

Book Presentation: "Cuba's Socialist Economy Today: Navigating Challenges and Change"

October 11, 2016

Following more than five decades of fluctuating economic strategies, Cuba's Socialist Economy Today: Navigating Challenges and Change by Paolo Spadoni, and assistant professor of political science at Georgia Regents University, analyzes how Raúl Castro's maintenance of the "pragmatic cycle" has affected the living conditions and the economic power of the island nation.

Maduro's Latest Loan and the CELAC-China Outlook

October 11, 2016

Oil prices are rapidly falling, thus Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro decided to make an important trip this past Monday. He announced in a public address on Sunday evening, “I leave on a very important trip to deal with new projects… and the decline in revenues that are the product of the sharp decline in oil prices.”1 First stop, Russia.

Taxing with Dictators and Democrats in Argentina

October 11, 2016

Latin American nations are notoriously poor tax collectors and Argentina is among the least effective. Despite a relatively high level of development, Argentina’s governments are unable or unwilling to extract at levels comparable even to the surrounding nations. One possible source of this weakness is Argentina’s political structure, including its fiscal federalism and the incentives provided by elections and national governance. Crucially, taxing is unpopular, so politicians that face reelection or can gain resources elsewhere will avoid it.

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