From the Washington to the Latin American Consensus
The COVID-19 crisis has dramatically affected Latin America. The region has become over the past few months the epicenter of the pandemic, and it will experience a contraction in economic activity of 9.1 percent according to the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) or 9.4 percent according to the International Monetary Fund.
It is not only the worst regional recession in its history, but also the worst in the world after Western Europe. As a result, in the most pessimistic scenario—which is the most likely now—ECLAC estimates that poverty levels will increase from 30 to 36 percent of the population; that is, it will affect an additional 36 million Latin Americans.
All of these adverse trends require a deep rethinking of the development model that Latin America has followed since the market reforms that were adopted in the late 1980s or early 1990s in most countries. For this reason, a group of 31 Latin American and Spanish academics and former public officials set out to propose what we call the “Latin American Consensus 2020”, that is, an alternative to the Washington Consensus that served as a framework for the market reforms, the results of which have been clearly unsatisfactory.
About the Author
José Antonio Ocampo
Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)
Jose Antonio Ocampo is Co-President of IPD, Professor of Professional Practice in the School of International and Public Affairs, and Fellow of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. Prior to his appointment at Columbia, Professor Ocampo served as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and head of UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), as Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and has held a number of high-level posts in the Government of Colombia, including Minister of Finance and Public Credit, Director of the National Planning Department, and Minister of Agriculture . Professor Ocampo is author or editor of over 30 books and has published over 200 scholarly articles on macroeconomic theory and policy, international financial issues, economic development, international trade, and Colombian and Latin American economic history.