Abstract

Latin America’s economic prospects heralded new promise in the early 1990s, as ambitious programs were introduced to promote macroeconomic stability and market-based reforms. In the context of increasingly democratic political systems, the adoption of policies broadly consistent with the so-called Washington Consensus reflected a broad shift away from the interventionist and inward-looking policies followed in the past.1 At the beginning of the 1990s, Latin America also benefited from a “fresh start” in the form of debt reduction through the Brady Plan. Together, these developments held out the promise that Latin America could overcome a history of default and embark on a high-growth path of the type seen in East Asia.