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Economic Trends in Latin America

Module Details
Audience: Executives
Duration: 8 hours
Location: Miami Herbert Business School, University of Miami


This module should be of interest to global investors and analysts of the global economy. When it comes to economic trends, a key concept is convergence. The historical record shows that there has been economic convergence within European regions, but it is hardly present between Latin America and the US. Moreover, Latin America has not experienced the same kind of economic growth as some East Asian countries---as well as significant infrastructure investments and openness to trade.

It is thought that technology adoption, investment, and human capital are main determinants of economic growth, but none of them have fared well in Latin America. This brings to the fore some economic frictions and political stabilities. As commonly agreed, Latin America lags behind in investments in infrastructure, human capital quality, and the widespread use of technologies.

Economic growth is usually quite uneven across Latin America regions.  In particular, we can observe three clusters of growth from specializations in services, industrial production, and commodities.  The much expected recovery of the US and European economies---and a possible slowdown of China---would have unequal effects over Latin American countries.  The slow economic growth in Latin America mimics the state of the global economy as a whole, together with a relative loss of competitiveness from technology adoption, and the situation in the commodity cycle. Indeed, the fastest growth in Latin America would be observed in the service-based economies.

  1. Background. Macroeconomic Aggregates: Output, Consumption, Investment, Government Expenditures, Inflation, Employment, Trade Balances, Exchange Rates.
  2. A Historical Excursion into the Economies of Latin America: Major Economic Reforms and Openness to Trade.
  3. Three   Clusters of Economic Growth in Latin America.
  4. The East Asian Growth Model and the Latin American Growth Model. The Dutch Disease.
  5. Pillars of Monetary Policy and Macroeconomic Stability.
  6. Fiscal Policies and Economic Inequality.
  7. Regulatory Issues and the Workings of Institutions and Financial Markets
  8. Economic Prospects: The Integration of New Technology Platforms and the Commodity Cycle.
N.B. While formal economics education is not necessary for taking this course, we require some business experience and familiarity with the economies of the Americas.


Robert Plant

Dr. Manuel Santos is Professor and James L. Chair of the Department of Economics. His areas of expertise are macroeconomics, finance, and managerial incentives. He has an extensive teaching experience, and his research has been published in all major economic journals. He has served in the editorial board of several top journals. Dr. Santos has held positions as Professor of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, ITAM (Mexico City), University of Minnesota, and Arizona State University, as well as a visiting Professor of the University of Chicago and UCLA.  Dr. Santos earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.


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