Latin America’s Growth Challenge: Building Learning Economies


William Maloney
Chief Economist for the Latin America and the Caribbean Region
World Bank

Despite nearly a half-century of reforms, Latin America continues to grow at rates insufficient to eliminate poverty or promote social mobility.  Policy makers are legitimately looking for a second opinion – an alternative to the mainstream economic model – and proposals range from traditional industrial policies to NASA-style moon shots. However, the missing ingredient in Latin growth, as in many other developing countries, has been the inability to identify and adopt new technologies and products the way other similarly endowed countries, ranging from the US to Japan, were able to.  Developing the necessary capabilities and institutions – learning to learn – is the critical challenge to leverage new opportunities, arising for example from the green transition or nearshoring, for growth.  

This event is cosponsored by the Pulte Institute for Global Development and the Department of Economics at the University of Notre Dame.