Liberty Review América Latina

The Roots of Brazil’s Heavy Taxation


Abstract: Latin America is widely known as a low-tax region, but Brazil defies that description with a tax burden almost double the regional average. Though longstanding, Brazil’s position atop the tax burden ranking is not a historical constant. As recently as the early 1950s three other countries, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, had similar or even heavier burdens. However, by the early 1980s Brazil had emerged as the most heavily taxed country in Latin America, and subsequent decades reinforced that status. This article seeks to uncover the roots of Brazil’s heavy taxation by examining the process through which it rose to the top of the regional ranking and managed to stay there. It emphasises two variables, the social class bases of public sector growth and the degree of support for democracy among key political actors. Despite changing over time, these variables have consistently interacted in ways that favour rising taxation.

Filed under: Ciencia Política, Economía

Classical Liberalism in Guatemala

ECON JOURNAL WATCH 12.3 (2015): 460-478

Abstract: We give an account of classical liberalism in Guatemala, its successes, failures, and main figures. Classical liberalism is a young tradition in the country and relatively small. The three most important organizations are Universidad Francisco Marroquín, the Center for Economic and Social Studies (CEES), and the Center for National Economic Research (CIEN). The most important individual for liberalism in Guatemala has been Manuel Ayau, who passed away in 2010.

Filed under: Ciencia Política, Economía, Historia, Sociedad

Venezuela: Without Liberals, There Is No Liberalism

ECON JOURNAL WATCH 12.3 (2015): 375-399

Abstract: The Venezuelan economy evolved from a growth miracle (1920–1957) to a growth disaster (1960 to the present). This paper describes the institutional collapse behind this reversal of fortunes. To cast light on Venezuela’s U-turn we provide a brief historical account, and we discuss the role played by educational organizations, the media and culture, and political and entrepreneurial elites in the destruction of liberal institutions. We also describe the most prominent liberal reactions to the pervasive institutional decay endured by the country. Finally, a major lesson emerges from this case study: illiberal mindsets coupled with the absence of leadership bring dire consequences for the people’s standard of living.

Filed under: Ciencia Política, Economía, Historia, Sociedad

The Stock Exchange, the State and Economic Development in Mexico, 1932-1976


Abstract: In this article I examine the history of the Mexican Stock Exchange from the end of the Revolution until 1975, under the hypothesis that it did not carry out its pertinent functions in corporate financing but was rather an economic and political instrument of the government. Due to state intervention and the deficient definition of property rights, its functioning was completely anomalous except during this period. The article represents a first step in the study of the role of the stock exchange in Latin American corporatist economic models.

Filed under: Ciencia Política, Economía

The Political Economy of Policy Volatility in Latin America


Abstract: Why are some Latin American states plagued by persistent policy volatility while the policies of others remain relatively stable? This article explores the political economy of natural resource rents and policy volatility across Latin America. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ciencia Política, Economía

The Effect of Coca and FDI on the Level of Corruption in Bolivia


This paper estimates the impact that FDI inflows and the price of coca leaves have on the level of corruption in Bolivia. The findings reveal that a less controlled, more permissive market for coca leaves actually reduces the level of corruption in the country, supporting the hypothesis that the way to a less corrupt Bolivia is by lowering government intervention into this controversial market.

Filed under: Ciencia Política, Derecho, Economía

América Latina Archive

Recent Posts: Liberty Review

The age of mass migration in Latin America

BLANCA SÁNCHEZ‐ALONSO THE ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW Abstract: The experiences of Latin American countries are not fully incorporated into current debates concerning the age of mass migration, even though 13 million Europeans migrated to the region between 1870 and 1930. This survey draws together different aspects of the Latin America immigration experience. Its main objective is to […]

Locke, Nozick and the state of nature

JUSTIN P. BRUNER PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES Abstract: Recently, philosophers have drawn on tools from game theory to explore behavior in Hobbes’ state of nature (Vanderschraaf in Econ Philos 22:243–279, 2006; Chung in J Am Philos Assoc 1:485–508, 2015). I take a similar approach and argue the Lockean state of nature is best conceived of as a conflictual […]

Resisting Moralisation in Health Promotion

REBECCA C. H. BROWN ETHICAL THEORY AND MORAL PRACTICE Abstract: Health promotion efforts are commonly directed towards encouraging people to discard ‘unhealthy’ and adopt ‘healthy’ behaviours in order to tackle chronic disease. Typical targets for behaviour change interventions include diet, physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption, sometimes described as ‘lifestyle behaviours.’ In this paper, I discuss […]

Empatía y moralidad: las dimensiones psicológicas y filosóficas de una relación compleja

BELÉN ALTUNA REVISTA DE FILOSOFÍA Resumen: Para algunos la empatía es “el centro del universo moral”, mientras que para otros juega un papel secundario o, en todo caso, éticamente poco fiable. Acudiendo tanto a sus precursores filosóficos –como Hume y Smith–, como a sus investigadores contemporáneos en el campo de la psicología – como Hoffman y […]

Do dictatorships redistribute more?

PANTELIS KAMMAS, VASSILIS SARANTIDES JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE ECONOMICS Abstract: This paper examines the effect of political institutions on fiscal redistribution for a country-level panel from 1960–2010. Using data on Gini coefficients before and after government intervention, we apply a measure of effective fiscal redistribution that reflects the effect of taxes and transfers on income inequality. Our findings clearly […]

The People’s Perspective on Libertarian-Paternalistic Policies

AYALA ARAD, ARIEL RUBINSTEIN THE JOURNAL OF LAW AND ECONOMICS, Volume 61, Number 2 Abstract: We examine the views toward libertarian-paternalistic (soft) governmental interventions in a series of online experiments conducted in three countries. We use both standard and new methods to elicit attitudes toward soft interventions in various hypothetical scenarios. The majority of the participants […]

Working Out the Details of Hume and Smith on Sympathy

JOHN MCHUGH JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Abstract: Many scholars have had interesting things to say about the relationship between Adam Smith’s and David Hume’s theories of sympathy. The diversity of angles taken in these discussions demonstrates how fertile a topic of investigation this relationship is. This paper takes as its point of entry Hume’s […]

Correctional Autonomy and Authority in the Rise of Mass Incarceration

KERAMET REITER, KELSIE CHESNUT ANNUAL REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCE Abstract: Much of the literature explaining both mass incarceration and increasingly harsh punishment policies has been dominated by a focus on factors external to prisons, such as macrolevel explanations that point to political factors (like a popular rhetoric of governing through crime) or social structures […]

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