Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

From the Think Tanks

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Completar la Escuela: Un Derecho para Crecer, un Deber para Compartir (Completing School: A Right to Grow, a Duty to Share) is the newest study on education, its link to child development and the barriers to accessing quality education. The report points out that 22.1 million adolescents and school-age children in Latin America and the Caribbean are not enrolled in school. The publication is a component of a UNESCO-UNICEF initiative that aims to have all youth enrolled in school by 2015. The brief also finds that Indigenous, Afro-descendant and physically challenged youth face the greatest risk of educational exclusion or of a developmental lag in school.

The World Economic Forum has released its latest assessment on national competitiveness among 144 countries. The Global Competitiveness Report 2012–2013 defines competitiveness as “the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country.” While external macroeconomic variables have hindered economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, many key markets still improved since the 2011–2012 report. Chile is the most competitive at number 33 worldwide, with Panama (40), Brazil (48) and Mexico (53) not far behind. The GCR measures 12 “pillars” of competitiveness such as infrastructure, health and primary education, labor market efficiency, and technological readiness.

In recent years, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act has become a symbol of the push for U.S. immigration reform. The Partnership for a New American Economy, the bipartisan alliance of elected officials and private-sector executives advocating for sensible U.S. immigration policy, in collaboration with the Center for American Progress, have attempted to quantify the impact of the DREAM Act on the U.S. economy. The Economic Benefits of Passing the DREAM Act concludes that passage of the DREAM Act would create 1.4 million new jobs by 2030 and generate $329 billion for the U.S. economy. The authors also argue that the roughly 2.1 million students who would benefit from the DREAM Act would earn nearly 20 percent more—in turn generating more tax revenue at the state and federal levels.

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