Recent political and economic events in a number of the major Latin American economies have raised concerns regarding political stability in the region and the direction that economic policies are likely to take in the near future. The Baker Institute’s October conference will focus on the impact these recent events have had on public opinion in the region and what implications shifts in public opinion are likely to have for public policy initiatives particularly those related to the region’s economies.
The October conference will be the occasion for the release of the Baker Institute’s State of the Latin American Political Economy. This report will summarize the findings of public opinion surveys that the Baker Institute is conducting in Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela.
The Baker Institute’s State of the Latin American Political Economy report will focus extensively on documenting the current state of the Latin American public mood regarding current economic outcomes, current economic policies being pursued by Latin American governments, and a number of the different economic policy options that are being debated for dealing with current economic problems in the region. The report is unique in that it brings to bear some of the most advanced research on public opinion and the economy in order to develop an extremely rigorous and precise understanding of how public opinion constrains or facilitates political and economic decision makers in this region.
Latin America is in a state of political flux with governments changing on a regular basis and major elections planned for a number of the countries. The State of the Latin American Political Economy report provides insight into exactly what economic policy mandates elected officials can claim. The survey project is designed to understand how, and the extent to which, economic issues are shaping the political opinions and choices of the average Latin American citizen.
The economic success of this developing region is also tied to the private choices that Latin American citizens are making on a daily basis: their savings and investment orientations and their willingness to invest in – or demand that their government invest in – human capital development (to name some examples). The State of the Latin American Political Economy report is unique in that it focuses its attention on understanding the extent to which the values of the private choices and values of the average Latin American citizen represent an opportunity or barrier to efforts to implement growth-enhancing public policies in the region.