Reining in Brazil’s Informal Economy

The gray market thrives in Brazil, where the informal economy generates nearly 40 percent of the national income. Many companies don’t pay their taxes and ignore regulations, thereby gaining an unfair advantage over their law-abiding counterparts while hurting the nation’s productivity. Brazil’s onerous bureaucracy is partly to blame: burdensome regulations, high taxes, and weak enforcement conspire to encourage evasion because the benefits outweigh the relatively … [ Read more ]

Competing in Emerging Countries – The Case of Latin America

Though a little dated (1997), this article offers some good insight into the business opportunities emerging countries represent. Focused on Latin America (with some interesting associated facts and figures) some analysis is also somewhat generalizable, specifically looking at:
a) The “multidomestic player” that must move to a regional footprint and management model.
b) The multinational player that is starting to expand … [ Read more ]

Chile: A Beacon of Prosperity in a Turbulent Region

Even as many Latin American countries continue to face tough times both economically and politically, Chile chugs along with a strong currency, falling unemployment and a stock market that is up nearly 50% since the beginning of the year. What is behind’s Chile’s success, and can this country of 15 million people sustain its already numerous advantages?

Micro lessons for Argentina

In Latin America, macroeconomic reform isn’t enough: sustained growth can be achieved only by removing microeconomic barriers to productivity as well.

Editor’s Note: a very interesting application of economic analysis that will be of interest to those interested in international business, country competitiveness, and/or economics.

Also check out “Don’t Cry For Argentina” at:

Democracy in America

Democracy in America is the classic analysis of America’s unique political character, quoted heavily by politicians and perennially popping up on history professors’ reading lists. The book’s enduring appeal lies in the eloquent, prophetic voice of Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), a French aristocrat who visited the United States in 1831. A thoughtful young man in a still-young country, he succeeded in penning this penetrating study … [ Read more ]

Chile: In Search of a Second Wind

What brings foreign investment to a developing country? Although political stability and a skilled workforce are always appreciated, what often clinches the deal is an incentive package that includes waivers on regulations and taxes. In this recent case study, Research Assistant Isabelle Dauner and Professors Olivier Cadot, Lourdes Casanova and Daniel Traca examine the slowdown in Chile’s rate of FDI and ask what might speed … [ Read more ]