economy

As Brazil's Economy Slumps, What to Expect From Rousseff

October 12, 2016

This October Dilma Rousseff was re-elected as Brazil’s president by the slimmest of margins.  With approximately 51.4 percent of the vote she beat competitor Aécio Neves of the Social Democracy party (PSDB) who received about 48.5 percent.1 The election reveals Brazil’s clear divide amongst the population with regard to the direction of the country as evidenced by her victory speech in which she admitted that she wants to be “a much better president than I have been until now.”2

Benefits to the US-Cuba Opening

October 12, 2016

The surprise opening to Cuba will not necessarily have dramatic effects on either country, though there will be tangible and intangible changes for both.1 For Cuba, the opening brings the prospect for a strong influx of dollars and tourists.  The diplomatic opening does not allow unfettered travel, but it reduces the barriers significantly.  Pitt's Study Abroad program to Cuba had to be canceled last year due to banking restrictions.  That type of problem will surely disappear.  Perhaps, shadowing the new policy with regards to undocumented immigrants, Ob

Book Presentation: "Cuba's Socialist Economy Today: Navigating Challenges and Change"

October 11, 2016

Following more than five decades of fluctuating economic strategies, Cuba's Socialist Economy Today: Navigating Challenges and Change by Paolo Spadoni, and assistant professor of political science at Georgia Regents University, analyzes how Raúl Castro's maintenance of the "pragmatic cycle" has affected the living conditions and the economic power of the island nation.

Maduro's Latest Loan and the CELAC-China Outlook

October 11, 2016

Oil prices are rapidly falling, thus Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro decided to make an important trip this past Monday. He announced in a public address on Sunday evening, “I leave on a very important trip to deal with new projects… and the decline in revenues that are the product of the sharp decline in oil prices.”1 First stop, Russia.

Breaking the Ice, Not Melting It: The U.S. Rapprochement with Cuba

October 11, 2016

The suitability of the word, “rapprochement,” remains to be seen. U.S. foreign policy towards Cuba took a major swing in December with the proposed resumption of diplomatic relations for the first time in 54 years. In January, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta Jacobson, became the highest-ranking U.S. government official to visit the island in 35 years. But despite this improvement and those forthcoming, the events of the past month mean seemingly little—the embargo remains in place, as does one-party rule in Cuba.

Comerciantes Aymaras como una élite emergente en Bolivia

October 5, 2016

El proceso de cambio en Bolivia ha impulsado una política de desarrollo alternativo y resistente al capitalismo que funciona en el mercado mundial. Sin embargo, la implementación de este modelo económico, a casi diez años de su inicio, está generando un crecimiento significativo de una nueva élite burguesa que proviene de las clases comerciantes populares de este país.

How Can Latin American Governments Work to Sustain Falling Income Inequality?

October 5, 2016

Since 1980, the poverty rate in Latin America has fallen 30%, a third of the decline due to progressive shifts in the income distribution.1 In 2000, a quarter of the region (25 in every 100 Latin Americans) lived on less than $2.50 a day. Today, fewer than 14 in every 100 do.2 Since roughly 2002, falling income inequality is visible in the entirety of the heterogeneous region: among commodity driven economies such as Peru and manufacturing dominant ones such as Mexico. How can one explain the common outcome given the diversity of the region’s makeup?

Brazilian Industrial Sector at Lowest Point Since 2009

October 5, 2016

The Brazilian Congress returns to work this week after a recess and faces news that the industrial sector has fallen yet again. Congress has been pushing the Senate to vote on tax raises on Brazilian companies in order to avoid a national credit downgrade.1 Since the industrial sector has fallen in many sectors, including automobile and informatics technology manufacturing, this push from congress is necessary in order for the country to evade a full blown economic recession.2

Coca: Misrepresented, Underappreciated

October 4, 2016

Every day, millions of people in the Andes use coca like people in North America use coffee; they brew the leaves in hot water to make tea; some chew on the leaves to reenergize at work. For centuries, Andean populations have cherished the health and spiritual benefits of coca. In both uses, coca acts as a mild stimulant––like coffee––that can also suppress hunger, thirst, pain, and fatigue, and even relieve symptoms of altitude sickness. 

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