Latin American Entrepreneurs: Many Firms but Little Innovation

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Entrepreneurship is a fundamental driver of growth, development, and job creation. While Latin America and the Caribbean has a wealth of entrepreneurs, firms in the region, compared to those in other regions, are small in size and less likely to grow or innovate. Productivity growth has remained lackluster for decades, including during the recent commodity boom. Enhancing the creation of good jobs and accelerating productivity growth in the region will require dynamic entrepreneurs. Latin American Entrepreneurs: Many Firms but Little Innovation studies the landscape of entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean. Utilizing new datasets that cover issues such as firm creation, firm dynamics, export decisions, and the behavior of multinational corporations, the book synthesizes the results of a comprehensive analysis of the status, prospects, and challenges of entrepreneurship in the region. Useful tools and information are provided to help policy makers and practitioners identify policy areas governments can explore to enhance innovation and encourage high-growth, transformational entrepreneurship.
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Publisher
World Bank Publications
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Published on
Dec 13, 2013
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Pages
168
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ISBN
9781464800139
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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After decades of stagnation, the size of Latin America's middle class recently expanded to the point where, for the first time ever, the number of people in poverty is equal to the size of the middle class. This volume investigates the nature, determinants and possible consequences of this remarkable process of social transformation. We propose an original definition of the middle class, tailor-made for Latin America, centered on the concept of economic security and thus a low probability of falling into poverty. Given our definition of the middle class, there are four, not three, classes in Latin America. Sandwiched between the poor and the middle class there lies a large group of people who appear to make ends meet well enough, but do not enjoy the economic security that would be required for membership of the middle class. We call this group the 'vulnerable'. In an almost mechanical sense, these transformations in Latin America reflect both economic growth and declining inequality in over the period. We adopt a measure of mobility that decomposes the 'gainers' and 'losers' in society by social class of each household. The continent has experienced a large amount of churning over the last 15 years, at least 43% of all Latin Americans changed social classes between the mid 1990s and the end of the 2000s. Despite the upward mobility trend, intergenerational mobility, a better proxy for inequality of opportunity, remains stagnant. Educational achievement and attainment remain to be strongly dependent upon parental education levels. Despite the recent growth in pro-poor programs, the middle class has benefited disproportionally from social security transfers and are increasingly opting out from government services. Central to the region's prospects of continued progress will be its ability to harness the new middle class into a new, more inclusive social contract, where the better-off pay their fair share of taxes, and demand improved public services.
Most countries implement social protection programs to help individuals manage risks such as unemployment, disability, illness, longevity or death. In many middle income countries, these are often based on a 'Bismarckian model' (named after Otto von Bismarck), where benefits are financed by contributions levied on salaried employment. In countries with a large informal sector, however, only a fraction of the population is covered by this system and non-contributory programs have been added or are planned to increase coverage. This can create distortions in the labor market, and the book is about policies to expand the coverage of social insurance programs to all workers, without reducing incentives to job creation and formal work. While few would argue against the need and social merits of social insurance and social assistance programs there are growing concerns about their unintended consequences on labor markets because of poor design. The programs can distort incentives and individual behaviors in ways that either reduce employment levels and/or promote informality, ultimately affecting productivity and economic performance. For instance, high social security contribution rates can reduce formal employment; badly designed unemployment benefits can reduce incentives to keep, search, and take jobs; and fragmented social assistance programs can become a tax on formal labor and encourage informality. The book reviews the evidence regarding the effects of social insurance and social assistance programs on labor market outcomes and discusses options to improve their design and implementation. The book focuses particularly on middle income countries in Latin America and Asia with a large informal sector and suggests ways to reduce these distortions and better manage and finance the subsidies to make coverage universal, while creating good jobs. The book compiles expert papers from the joint conferences of the World Bank (WB), the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Employment and Development.
After decades of stagnation, the size of Latin America's middle class recently expanded to the point where, for the first time ever, the number of people in poverty is equal to the size of the middle class. This volume investigates the nature, determinants and possible consequences of this remarkable process of social transformation. We propose an original definition of the middle class, tailor-made for Latin America, centered on the concept of economic security and thus a low probability of falling into poverty. Given our definition of the middle class, there are four, not three, classes in Latin America. Sandwiched between the poor and the middle class there lies a large group of people who appear to make ends meet well enough, but do not enjoy the economic security that would be required for membership of the middle class. We call this group the 'vulnerable'. In an almost mechanical sense, these transformations in Latin America reflect both economic growth and declining inequality in over the period. We adopt a measure of mobility that decomposes the 'gainers' and 'losers' in society by social class of each household. The continent has experienced a large amount of churning over the last 15 years, at least 43% of all Latin Americans changed social classes between the mid 1990s and the end of the 2000s. Despite the upward mobility trend, intergenerational mobility, a better proxy for inequality of opportunity, remains stagnant. Educational achievement and attainment remain to be strongly dependent upon parental education levels. Despite the recent growth in pro-poor programs, the middle class has benefited disproportionally from social security transfers and are increasingly opting out from government services. Central to the region's prospects of continued progress will be its ability to harness the new middle class into a new, more inclusive social contract, where the better-off pay their fair share of taxes, and demand improved public services.
Tras décadas de estancamiento, la población de clase media en América Latina y el Caribe ha aumentado en un 50%—de aproximadamente 100 millones de personas en 2003 a 150 millones (o un 30% de la población del continente) en 2009. Durante este periodo, el porcentaje de la población pobre disminuyó notablemente, del 44% al 30%. _La movilidad económica y el crecimiento de la clase media en América Latina_ analiza la naturaleza, los determinantes y las posibles consecuencias de este notable proceso de transformación social. Los autores proponen una original definición de la clase media, hecha a la medida de América Latina y centrada en el concepto de seguridad económica. Según esta definición, el grupo social más grande de la región actualmente no son ni los pobres ni la clase media, sino un estrato de personas vulnerables situadas entre el umbral de la pobreza y los requisitos mínimos para disfrutar de un modo de vida más seguro, propio de la clase media. El auge de la clase media refleja los cambios recientes en la movilidad económica. La movilidad intergeneracional—un concepto contrario a la desigualdad de oportunidades—ha mejorado ligeramente pero sigue siendo muy limitada. Tanto el nivel educativo como los logros educativos siguen siendo sumamente dependientes del nivel de escolarización de los padres. Sin embargo, se ha producido un aumento real de la movilidad de los ingresos. En los últimos 15 años, al menos el 43% de los habitantes de América Latina ha cambiado de clase social, en la mayoría de los casos en un sentido ascendente. Los autores sostienen que hay numerosos beneficios potenciales en el auge de esta clase media, si bien advierten que la materialización de esos beneficios depende en gran medida de que los países consigan anclar la clase media en torno a un nuevo contrato social, más cohesivo, que ponga de relieve la necesidad de incluir a todos aquellos que han quedado rezagados. _La movilidad económica y el crecimiento de la clase media en América Latina_ despertará un gran interés entre los responsables de las políticas en América Latina y en otras regiones, entre los funcionarios de las instituciones multilaterales y entre estudiantes y docentes de economía, políticas públicas y ciencias sociales.
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