, 13 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
Neoliberalism enabled poverty-reduction in Latin America!

- argues the great @bill_easterly, in response to @snaidunl, @rodrikdani, & @gabriel_zucman bostonreview.net/forum/economic… 🤨

Others argue poverty fell w/ the commodity boom, minimum wages, & pro-poor 💰
I'd appreciate if someone could point me to evidence supporting @bill_easterly's claim that neoliberal reforms enabled poverty reduction in Latin America.

All the econ I've seen attributes poverty reduction to govs intervening, so that the commodity boom was more evenly shared..
Ofc, the centre-left Latin American governments were still v. neoliberal.

But this, I suggest, was precisely the problem.

Poverty reduction was contingent on growth, which was contingent on the commodity boom.

Without industrial policy, when commodity prices tanked -> disaster
So, why did poverty fall in Latin America?

Sharing my @WorldBank lecture (in case it's of interest to new followers):

Draws on my @WorldDevJournal paper
Why income inequality fell in Latin America

.@bill_easterly also claims that neoliberal reforms had positive results in Sub-Saharan Africa...

My understanding is that oil & mineral rich SSA countries benefited from the post-2003 commodity boom, but income inequality increased in these countries

Poverty looks like this 👇
Now, I'm a fairly upbeat, optimistic kinda gal, but even I would really struggle to call that graph "happy news"... 🤨
Tbh, I don't think either the left or the right can take much credit for growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

Crudely summarising across a diverse region, most research highlights high commodity prices & a benign external environment in the 2000s.

nber.org/papers/w20188.… - @rodrikdani
*correction, i mischaracterised @bill_easterly in my first tweet.

i portrayed him as claiming neoliberalism led to 'poverty reduction'.
actually he referred to 'growth'. that was an unintentional error on my part

but i haven't seen evidence that neoliberalism caused growth...
Growth was contingent on a favourable external environment.

When commodity prices fell, Brazil's economy tanked (both in 2008 & 2014-16).

Similar trends in other commodity-dependent countries in Latin America.
Update: a friend sent me this:

@bill_easterly (2018): ‘extremely bad policies' killed growth.
Only by removing these could growth take place gc.cuny.edu/CUNY_GC/media/… but I don’t see how this is a critique of @snaidunl et al since they’re not advocating those specific policies?
So, key questions;

1) Were macro economic stabilisation & market liberalisation a precondition for economic growth in SSA and Latin America ?

2) Were they sufficient for industrialisation & diversification?
Then as others have noted, it’s important to recognise that:

Yes, China has liberalised, but there is also *massive* state invention

And the kinds of liberalisation in China hardly justify contemporary neoliberalism in the USA because they are at far ends of a spectrum
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