Latin America and the Caribbean

Experts Meeting on Fiscal Policy: Towards LEO 2009


24 -25 April 2008
OECD - Château de la Muette, Room D
Paris, France


Building and expanding on one of the main themes in the 2008 report, the Latin American Economic Outlook 2009 will focus on fiscal policy in Latin America. This Experts’ Meeting, intended to generate critical feedback on ongoing background work for LEO 2009, gathered new insights from both academia and practitioners and provided a platform for dialogue on key issues surrounding fiscal policy in Latin America. The meeting was organized by the OECD Development Centre with the support of FIIAPP, the Spanish Fundación Internacional y para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas, which works to promote democratic governance and institutional consolidation worldwide.


The two day seminar was structured around the following sessions:


Session I – Fiscal policy, growth and development

This session set a framework for analyzing the role of fiscal policy in promoting growth, development, and social cohesion in Latin America.


Participants addressed the following questions:


1. What are the main challenges and opportunities for governments and policy makers in terms of fiscal policy for development?
2. How can the quality of fiscal policy in Latin America be further improved?
3. What role does fiscal policy play in promoting social cohesion in Latin America?


Session 2 – Public spending and quality education

This session discussed the role of public spending in education as an example of public expenditures that provide productivity enhancing public goods, equal opportunities, social cohesion and poverty reduction.


Participants addressed the following questions:


1. How do educational systems perform in Latin America when compared with other emerging regions and OECD benchmarks?
2. How can governments promote high quality education? What role can public spending play?
3. Within a country, why do some schools perform better than others?


See also:


Session 3 – Tax systems and tax evasion

This session discussed tax structures in Latin America with a particular attention to personal income taxes and tax evasion.


Participants addressed the following questions:


1. What can Latin American countries learn from OECD countries’ experiences with the political economy of fiscal reform? 
2. Does the political cycle affect the way foreign investors perceive Latin American economies? Have those perceptions changed in recent years?


See also:


Session 4 – The political economy of fiscal policy

This session discussed political economy aspects of fiscal policy with particular attention to the role of political cycles in explaining the recommendations of private banks for public debt and in driving policy reform.


Participants addressed the following questions:


1. How do Latin American and OECD tax structures compare?
2. What role does tax evasion play in explaining different patterns of taxation?


See also:

 Session 5 – Fiscal policy and informality

This session tackled one of the main symptoms of a broken social contract in Latin America: informality.


Participants addressed the following questions:


1. To what extent is informality driven by fiscal variables?
2. What should good fiscal policy look like when the informal sector is large?
3. Universal versus targeted social policies: how do the experiences of the OECD and Latin America compare?


See also:


Session 6 – Implications for Policy Makers

This session consisted of a roundtable discussion lead by Latin American policy makers on the challenges to implement fiscal reform in the region.


They addressed the following questions:


1. What can Latin America and the OECD learn from each other?
2. What have we learnt? What are the practical implications?


For more details, please contact:

Download the agenda of the event

Download the list of participants


Participants'  Input for the Meeting


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