Geopolitical Forces Shaping the Economics of Latin America

 

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

Overview

This module should be of interest to global investors and analysts of the global economy. We present an economic framework that helps better understand the consequences of Geopolitical Factors affecting the Economies of Latin America. As a useful background for this exercise, we start with several indicators on the size of the financial sector, government finances and sovereign risk, and the business environment.  These economic issues help expose some of the limitations and fragility of political institutions.

Our final goal is to understand how an unexpected economic or political shock may impact these economies. We pose the question: “will a political turmoil in a given country spill over neighboring economies?” To answer this, we suggest the following course of action. First, we need to understand how connected or interrelated these various economies are and the nature of these links, since contagion usually occurs in and between trade partners.  Second, the significance of an economic problem would be reflected in various financial indicators including the exchange rate and the stock of foreign reserves. At this point of the analysis, we should notice that some economic indicators are (while some others are not!!!) useful to predict the likelihood of an economic crisis. And third, underlying these discussions, we need to scrutinize the role of political factors surrounding government institutions and policies.

By its very nature, geopolitical uncertainty evolves over time. Limitations to trade from North America, political unrest and dictatorial regimes in the Americas, the fragmentation of Europe, and the economic slowdown in China are certainly topics of prevailing concern. At the same time, the competitiveness of the region is and will be driven by the commodity cycle and the integration of new technology platforms.

  1. The Fragility of the Financial Sector in the Americas: Problems and Policy Issues.
  2. Determinants of Country Risk: The Case of Sovereign Debt Spreads.
  3. Doing Business in Latin America.
  4. Central Banking and Monetary Policy.
  5. International Trade and Capital Flows.
  6. Exchange Rates and Interest Rates: Financial Crises.
  7. Geopolitical Forces: Major Consequences.

N.B. While a formal economics education is not necessary for taking this course, we require some business experience and familiarity with the economies of the Americas.
 

Faculty


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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