In the 1980s Latin America experienced its second worst economic crisis of the century; today the average per capita income is about 10 percent less than a decade ago. Because the crisis affected all Latin American countries regardless of their economic policies, the period has become known as "the lost decade in Latin America." In this book, eminent economists from the region reexamine strategies of development—structuralism versus monetarism, liberalism versus statism, growth versus equity—in light of new theoretical knowledge and recent economic events. The essays offer a complex interpretation of development problems and seek to explain how different schools of thought could be compatible and how old debates must be recast in the light of structural changes in Latin American economies. In addition, contributors critically review the adjustment processes applied in various countries. Together the chapters offer a penetrating analysis of what went wrong in Latin America in the 1980s and a careful assessment of economic measures and policies that might prove viable in promoting stable and growing economies, democratic regimes, and social justice.
Introduction -- Latin American Economic Development and the International Environment -- From Structuralism to Neostructuralism: The Search for a Heterodox Paradigm -- Monetarism and Structuralism: Some Macroeconomic Lessons -- Review of the Debate over the Origins of Latin American Industrialization and Its Ideological Context -- Deindustrialization and Industrial Restructuring in Latin America: The Examples of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile -- Financial Strategies in Latin America: The Southern Cone Experience -- Structural Adjustment Reforms and the External Debt Crisis in Latin America -- IMF and World Bank Roles in the Latin American Foreign Debt Problem