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Palgrave Macmillan

Saving for Development

How Latin America and the Caribbean Can Save More and Better

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  • Open Access
  • © 2016

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  • Examines both national and individual saving patterns

  • Takes a new approach to the saving problem

  • Identifies problems affecting household, business, and government saving

  • Proposes concrete solutions to raise saving permanently and improve its quality

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About this book

Why should people - and economies - save? This book on the savings problem in Latin America and the Caribbean suggests that, while saving to survive the bad times is important, saving to thrive in the good times is what really counts. People must save to invest in health and education, live productive and fulfilling lives, and make the most of their retirement years. Firms must save to grow their enterprises, employ more workers in better jobs, and produce quality goods. Governments must save to build the infrastructure required by a productive economy, provide quality services to their citizens, and assure their senior citizens a dignified, worry-free retirement. In short, countries must save not for the proverbial rainy day, but for a sunny day - a time when everyone can bask in the benefits of growth, prosperity, and well-being.

This book is open access under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO license.

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Table of contents (11 chapters)


“Latin America saves 10 to 15 percentage points of GDP less than the leading Asian economies. Do we grow slowly because we save too little? Or do we save too little because growth is slow? This fascinating report provides answers to these and other key questions. Highly recommended for academic economists, policymakers, and anyone concerned with the economic future of Latin America.” (Andrés Velasco, Former Finance Minister, Chile)

“This year’s IDB flagship (DIA) presents a comprehensive analysis of a key issue in development: the dynamics of saving and saving behaviors. This is particularly important for Latin America where saving rates have traditionally been very low. This book addresses such complex issues as pension reform in a greying region and the constraints individuals face to save. The analysis is rigorous and illuminating. A must read for academics working on this issue and for policymakers as well.” (Orazio Attanasio, Jeremy Bentham Professor of Economics, University College London, UK)

“This remarkably encompassing and pedagogical overview of Latin America’s saving challenges explores why the region has not been very good at saving. It also offers realistic solutions to minimize the risks of a “do-nothing” scenario. Among the many concrete and innovative insights is a discussion of how to mobilize savings to finance infrastructure investments to make Latin America more productive. In a nutshell, consider this book required reading for researchers, concerned citizens, and politicians who care about their voters.” (Antonio Estache, Professor of Economics, Universite libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)

Authors, Editors and Affiliations

  • Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, USA

    Eduardo Cavallo, Tomás Serebrisky, Inter-American Development Bank

About the editors

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is an international institution created in 1959 to foster economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Eduardo Cavallo is a Lead Economist at the Research Department of the Inter-American Development Bank, USA. Prior to re-joining the IDB, Cavallo was Vice President and Senior Latin American Economist for Goldman Sachs in New York. Eduardo had already worked at the IDB as a Research Economist between 2006 and 2010. Before that, he served as Research Fellow at the Center for International Development, Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and a member of the faculty at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government's Summer Program. In Argentina, he co-founded Fundación Grupo Innova. Cavallo has published in several academic journals and is co-editor of the IDB book, Dealing with an International Credit Crunch: Policy Responses to Sudden Stops in Latin America. He holds a PhD in Public Policy, an MPP from Harvard University, and a BA in Economics from Universidad de San Andres in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Tomás Serebrisky is Principal Economic Advisor of the Infrastructure and Environment Department of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), USA. Prior to joining the IDB, Serebrisky was Chief Economist of the Antitrust Commission in Argentina, Visiting Professor at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Argentina, and Senior Economist in the World Bank, where he led the preparation and supervision of investment projects in several infrastructure sectors. His areas of expertise are the economics of infrastructure investment, public private partnerships, logistics, economic regulation, and antitrust. Serebrisky has published extensively in refereed journals and is the author of Airport Economics in Latin America: Benchmarking, Regulation and Pricing. Serebrisky holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago, USA, and a BA in Economics from Universidad de San Andres in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Saving for Development

  • Book Subtitle: How Latin America and the Caribbean Can Save More and Better

  • Authors: Inter-American Development Bank

  • Editors: Eduardo Cavallo, Tomás Serebrisky

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan New York

  • eBook Packages: Economics and Finance, Economics and Finance (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Inter-American Development Bank 2016

  • License: CC BY-NC-ND IGO

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-1-349-94928-1Published: 22 June 2016

  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-349-94929-8Published: 08 July 2016

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXVI, 329

  • Number of Illustrations: 3 b/w illustrations, 91 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Development Economics, Economic Policy, Regional/Spatial Science

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