The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper investigates the sensitivity of Latin American GDP growth to external developments using a Bayesian VAR model with informative steady-state priors. The model is estimated on quarterly data from 1994 to 2006 on key external and Latin American variables. It finds that 50 to 60 percent of the variation in Latin American GDP growth is accounted for by external shocks. Conditional forecasts for a variety of external scenarios suggest that Latin American growth is robust to moderate declines in commodity prices and U.S. or world growth, but sensitive to more extreme shocks, particularly a combined external slowdown and tightening of world financial conditions.