[Home] [Current Tables of Contents]

[ HLAS Online Home Page | Search HLAS Online | Help | FAQ | Comments ]


Volume 63 / Social Sciences

ECONOMICS: COLOMBIA

MARĶA AMPARO CRUZ-SACO, Professor of Economics, Connecticut College

THE CONTRIBUTIONS REVIEWED for this volume of HLAS reflect recent research topics such as the impact of structural reforms and the liberalization of certain economic variables. A joint concern among many researchers is the severity of the 1998–99 economic crisis and the challenges that lay ahead for the Colombian economy. Two emerging areas generating a number of contributions are: critical reviews of the effectiveness of recent economic policies in the creation of appropriate environments for productive investment and the promotion of decent work; and, related to the former, examinations of socioeconomic aspects including employment conditions, income-generating activities by small- and medium-sized enterprises and informal workers, and poverty. The crucial issue of how socioeconomic development is to help Colombia attain peaceful resolution of its internal conflicts remains a concern in many contributions. The work in these two emerging areas represents more than one third of the publications reviewed here.

With the passage of time since the 1991 Constitution and as the process of opening up (i.e., economic liberalization) unfolds, many scholars have gathered empirical evidence to assess whether anticipated goals regarding Colombia's fundamentals have been met (items #bi2006001165#, #bi2006001082#, #bi2005001954#, and #bi2006001167#). These reviews reflect important debates around policy-making and the need to amend regulations. Some authors criticize the neoliberal model and recommend the introduction of additional reforms (item #bi2006001170#), adoption of a new model altogether (item #bi2006001176#), rejecting the conditionality and targets of international financial organizations (item #bi2006001166#), or the reform of the current pension system (item #bi2006001171#) and tax system (items #bi2004002501# and #bi2006001091#). The debates about the free trade agreement with the US are an example of major differences in perspectives (item #bi2006001192#). Other authors provide statistical analyses on the impact of monetary policies (e.g., inflation) on income distribution (item #bi2004002503#), reserve deposits on capital inflows to smooth short-term capital fluctuations (item #bi2005007964#), and the impact of a "new" peso (item #bi2006001168#). Most authors examining the impact of the apertura and liberalization policies agree that the monetary policy brought about price stability; however, the relative appreciation of the peso, trade liberalization, and a loss in competitiveness of Colombian tradable goods has led to increased de-industrialization and has negatively affected agroindustrial activities (items #bi2006001180#, #bi2003003864#, and #bi2003003866#). A few contributions examine options for increasing productivity through innovation in the Caribbean region (item #bi2006001175#), increasing the competitiveness of exports originating in Bogotá (item #bi2001004854#), continuing with a policy to promote oil exploration and production (item #bi2006001087#), and enhancing the marketing of food in the interior (item #bi2006001094#).

A number of contributions assess the impact of the reforms on the labor market; the increasing salary gaps between formal and informal workers, skilled and unskilled workers; how small- and medium size firms can improve their management and productivity; how to measure the size of the informal sector; whether public spending has reduced the income distribution by departamento; and the role of women in the economy and society (items #bi2006001194#, #bi2006001096#, #bi2006001098#, #bi2006001174#, #bi2003003865#, #bi2006001084#, #bi2004002766#, #bi2006001085#, #bi2005001380#, and #bi2006001177#). Research interest in these important areas illustrates the need to promote policies and initiate actions that lead to productive and decent job creation.


Go to the:


Begin a Basic Search | Begin an Expert Search

[ HLAS Online Home Page | Search HLAS Online | Help | FAQ | Comments ]

Library of Congress
Comments: Ask a Librarian (7/10/14)