With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
For the last two decades, Washington's limited attention to Latin America has focused mainly on promotion of free trade and opposition to narcotics trafficking and security threats. Not since President Kennedy launched his Alliance for Progress in 1961 has social development been the centerpiece of U.S. policy in Latin America. While the bulk of reforms to address the region’s pervasive poverty and inequality must come from governments, corporations and civil societies of Latin America itself, there is much that the United States can do to help.
This brief describes the political risks poverty and inequality pose for the region and the hemisphere, including the United States, and lays out a practical agenda for U.S. assistance. Chief among the recommendations:
Buttress free trade agreements with aid programs that compensate the losers (such as farmers competing with subsidized U.S. agriculture) in the short run and help to increase their ability to compete or adjust in the long run
Include redistribution of land and investments in alternative employment programs in the so-called "war against drugs"
Push U.S. banks to lead the way in making banking in Latin America accessible to the poor
In Brazil, Mexico and other middle-income countries, fund small aid programs aimed at engaging those countries' poorest -- often minority and indigenous groups
Use aid for education to support reform of hidebound school systems
Help Latin America confront its surge of crime and violence by stemming illegal small arms sales in the region and supporting police reform