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Countercyclical Policies Play a Key Role in Changing Countries' Production Patterns

Other topics included are student violence and school performance, and the competitiveness of tourism in the Caribbean.

3 August 2011|Press Release

(3 August 2011) The CEPAL Review N° 104 is already available on the website of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and includes expert analysis on the role of countercyclical policies in changing production patterns and the effects of youth violence on the school performance of the region's pupils.

This edition of the main academic publication of ECLAC also contains articles on the competitiveness of tourism in the Caribbean, households and labour market changes in Argentina and this country's industry dynamics in the early 21st century, as well as productivity differences in Brazilian companies.

The present issue features two articles relating to Chile: one analyses the links between innovation, the research and development ratio and productivity, while the other describes the gap in education quality in the country. There is also an article on the relationship between public capital and manufacturing productivity in Colombia, and an analysis of the maquila industry, monetary imbalances and export-led growth in Mexico.

In the article Macroeconomics for development: countercyclical policies and changing production patterns, Professor at Columbia University in the United States and former ECLAC Executive Secretary, José Antonio Ocampo, argues that the key to the right macroeconomics for development is a combination of good countercyclical policies and an active production diversification strategy.

He adds that countercyclical policy should tackle the challenges posed by dramatic cycles of external financing and sharp fluctuations in commodity prices, while the productive development strategy should promote innovative production activities that generate productive linkages.

In the article Latin America: student violence and school performance, the authors Marcela Román and F. Javier Murillo point out that violence among students is a serious problem throughout the region. In the 16 Latin American countries studied, over half the pupils in the sixth grade of primary school report being victims of theft, insults, threats and physical violence at the hands of their fellow students. The article gives an idea of the scale and provides a description of bullying, as well as making an econometric estimate of the relationship between school violence and performance.

In Tourism competitiveness in the Caribbean, author Bineswaree Bolaky explains why this region's competitiveness in tourism (the Caribbean's main economic activity) is falling. She concludes that the situation could be improved through policy measures conducive to increased investment, private-sector development, enhanced infrastructure, reduced government consumption, more flexible labour markets, decreased vulnerability to natural disasters, greater human development and gradual rises in oil prices. The creation and promotion of the "Caribbean brand" as a tourist destination would be highly useful in this regard.

Lastly, in the article Maquila, currency misalignment and export-led growth in Mexico, author Carlos A. Ibarra states that maquila represents 60% of manufacturing exports and total intermediate goods imports. He considers it vital to maintain the real exchange rate at a competitive level, as this not only speeds up growth of non-maquila manufacturing exports, but also amplifies the positive effect of exports on GDP.

CEPAL Review N° 104 is available online in Spanish.  The English version will be published in the following weeks.

Any queries should be addressed to the ECLAC Public Information and Web Services Section. E-mail: dpisantiago@cepal.org; Telephone: (56 2) 210 2040.

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