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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Fall 2003


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37360 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
UTC 3.124

Course Description

Latin America’s current problems grow out of events and trends during the 1980s and the 1990s when restructuring and liberalization programs were, with varying degrees of consistency, implemented in most of the region. It is instructive to recall that a decade ago, when restructuring had been applied in all the major countries, albeit not always completely, there was a tendency to think that the major development problems would soon be overcome and the major policy choices settled. Few saw this, in Francis Fukuyama’s phrase, as "the end of history" (in the sense of the end of major institutional change at the systemic level), but there was clearly a pervasive feeling that the new policy paradigm would carry on more or less indefinitely. For most diagnosticians, the policy tinkering involved in the so-called second-generation reforms would suffice to lead the region ever onward and upward. This semester we shall take a skeptical view of this pervasive policy bias and explore whether or not another major policy inflection might lie in the offing and, if so, what it might mean for the region’s economic environment. As rather clearly not all economies are in the same boat, we shall spend some time differentiating country experiences and tracing the implications of these differences for the course of policy in the years ahead.

Grading Policy

Final examination: The Official Course Schedule for Fall 2003 indicates the date and time of the final examination for this course. Make sure to consult it before planning travel at the end of term as it specifies the one and only time the final examination will be given. By the same token, look at the syllabus now and take note of the date of the mid-term examination so that travels during the semester, for interviews or whatever, will not conflict with the exam.


(1) Rosemary Thorp, Progress, Poverty and Exclusion: and Economic History of Latin America in the 20th Century (1998). (2) Inter-American Development Bank, Economic and Social Progress in Latin America 2002: Beyond Borders: The New Regionalism in Latin America, Competitiveness, The Business of Growth. This can be downloaded from the website of the Inter-American Development Bank: www.iadb.orb/RES/ A number of key items will be put on reserve in the Benson Latin American Collection, located in Unit One of Sid Richardson Hall. Other material will be posted on the website.


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