Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Dilma’s Education Dilemma

More than anything, Brazil’s continued economic growth depends on a well-educated workforce. While Brazil is one of the three fastest-improving countries in terms of student test scores among the 65 countries that take part in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, educational reform is still a top priority. Despite the advances, Brazil suffers … Read more


The Private Sector and Education

It is early afternoon on an overcast, cold Wednesday in São Paulo. Upon entering the Dr. Alberto Badra state school in the Vila das Belezas neighborhood of São Paulo, we are introduced to Franco, a precocious eight-year-old with a big toothless smile and curly brown hair. Several of his schoolteachers are there, too. Franco has … Read more


The Three Rs of Obama’s Education Reform

National crises can provide windows of opportunity for leaders to advance their agendas. President Barack Obama’s education initiative, known as “Race to the Top” (RTT), is one such example, plunging the federal government even further into the thicket of education reform and policy. In early 2009, the nation’s economic crisis led to congressional approval of … Read more


Educational Performance and Race in Brazil

Why is there such a pronounced racial gap in access to education and retention rates in Brazil? Finding the answer to that question is essential not only to improving Brazil’s overall educational (and economic) performance, but also to increasing social cohesion as the country seeks to become a major global economic player. Research supports the … Read more


Free Trade and Poverty

Is globalization a leading cause of rising inequality? Or does it help reduce poverty? These questions are at the heart of the major economic and social challenges confronting both high income and developing countries today. For developed industrial nations, the answers are bound to determine the outcome of the currently troubled Doha Round of trade talks—and possibly the future direction of the global multilateral trading system itself. But the stakes are no less high for developing countries.

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High Inequality

Latin America suffers from both the world’s highest rate of income inequality and from a lackluster economic performance that puts it well behind the growth levels of other emerging regions such as Asia. Could there be a connection? Recent research suggests that high inequality and low social mobility are more than just poor people’s problems: … Read more


Take Care of the Bucks

A few words are sufficient: Mr. President, take care of the dollar! In Latin America, and Mexico especially, we are holding our breath to see how the 44th U.S. president will steer his country’s economy through the current storm. Although the health of the dollar is important around the world, it is vital to Latin … Read more

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