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CEPAL Review Analyses the Macroeconomics of the Region and Factors that Influenced the World Economic Crisis

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22 December 2010|Press Release

Academics and experts also write about topics including taxation in Guatemala and income distribution in Peru.

* See fact sheets 

(22 December 2010) Issue Nº 102 of the CEPAL Review, which is the main academic publication of this regional commission of the United Nations (ECLAC/CEPAL), is already available online and contains articles by renowned experts on various subjects such as macroeconomics for development, as well as the environmental factors and concentration of wealth that influenced the recent world crisis.

This issue includes nine articles that deal with topics such as progressivity in countries with low levels of taxation (such as Guatemala), the link between income distribution and education (in the case of Peru), a comparison of local and national economic development theories, a proposed regional competitiveness index for countries, differential fuel taxes in Chile, fiscal policy and the macroeconomic effects of the primary surplus in Brazil and manufacturing export dynamics in Mexico.

In the article Macroeconomics for development: from "financierism" to "productivism", Ricardo Ffrench-Davis, Professor in the Economics and Business Faculty of the University of  Chile, argues that the macroeconomic policy implemented in the region was one of the weaknesses that determined unsatisfactory economic and social performance in recent decades.

The renowned economist adds that a determining factor in this macroeconomic instability has been the intrinsically pro-cyclical pattern of financial capital flows.  He concludes that an environment conducive to productive development requires a counter-cyclical regulation of these flows, which must be combined with far-reaching reforms of the capital market.

A Professor from the University of Maryland (United States), Ramón López, contributed an article on Economic world crises, scarce environmental resources and the concentration of wealth, as these three structural factors underlie the most recent world crisis: (i) the fact that several large countries had embarked upon rapid economic growth; (ii) the growing scarcity of environmental and some natural resources; and (iii) the exceptional concentration of wealth and income observed in advanced economies over the past two decades.

Given the increasingly close link between world growth and the demand for commodities, the author concludes that the global economy could become very vulnerable to crises, and that this could hamper the recovery following this current crisis.

In the article The paradox of progressivity in countries with low levels of taxation: income tax in Guatemala, the authors Santiago Díaz de Sarralde, Carlos Garcimartín and Jesús Ruiz-Huerta use technical indices to analyse the consequences of fiscal reforms on progressivity and the  redistributive capacity of taxes. They conclude that there are serious drawbacks, especially in countries with low levels of taxation.  They use the case of income tax in Guatemala to show how the system could be reformed.

Peruvian Professor Adolfo Figueroa analyses the education system as a levelling force for income in the article Does income distribution improve with education? The case of Peru. He concludes that, despite efforts made in recent decades, the expansion of education has not generated more equitable income distribution, and he cites Peru as an example.

The CEPAL Review  was created in 1976, and has been an academic forum to discuss ideas that emerge from ECLAC and to disseminate the efforts of researchers in terms of approaches, strategies and policies that contribute to equality-based development in the region.

See also fact sheets:


Issue Nº 102 of the CEPAL Review is available online in Spanish by clicking on the link.

Should you have any queries, please contact the ECLAC Public Information and Web Services Section. E-mail:; telephone: (56 2) 210 2040.