Tuesday, December 09, 2014



IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


This service is supported, in part, by donations. Please consider making a donation by following the instructions at http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/iws/news-bureau/support.html


Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

OECD Development Centre

Development Bank of Latin America








[read online, 189 pages]


Pocket Edition


[full-text, 18 pages]


The Latin American Economic Outlook is the OECD Development Centre’s annual analysis of economic developments in Latin America. It is produced in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) as well as CAF, the development bank of Latin America. Each edition includes a detailed macroeconomic overview as well as analysis of how the global context is shaping economic performance in the region. The Latin American Economic Outlook also takes an in-depth look at a special theme related to development in Latin America, taking into account future strategic challenges and opportunities. The 2015 edition focuses on the role of education, skills and innovation for development, taking stock of the current situation in the region, identifying the main challenges and opportunities in these fields, and presenting a series of policy areas where action is needed to impulse Latin America’s development.


Press Release 9 December 2014

Better education and skills are key to shift the economy up a gear, says latest Latin American Economic Outlook



Latin America’s GDP growth rate has slowed down in 2014, dropping below 1.5%. This is

the first time in a decade that the region grows less than the OECD average, according to

the OECD Development Centre, the Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (UNECLAC)

and the development bank for Latin America (CAF). Given the projections in the

past weeks, any recovery in 2015 is likely to be challenging.


In their jointly produced Latin American Economic Outlook 2015, the three organisations call

for action to address this slowdown, focusing on the role of education and skills, and noting

that despite some recent progress, more needs to be done to raise educational standards

and address persistent and substantial socioeconomic inequalities.


“If we want to avoid a decade of low growth in Latin America, we must improve education

standards, enhance skills in the workforce and boost innovation. Policymakers need to

undertake ambitious efforts to unleash higher and more equitable growth”, OECD SecretaryGeneral

Angel Gurría said while launching the Outlook at the Ibero-American Summit in

Veracruz on 9 December.


Structural change - such as the diversification of the economy towards knowledge-intensive

sectors - is needed to supply the increasing demand for skilled workers. As noted by Alicia

Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, “without the transformation of the production

structure there will be a link missing in the chain that connects education, productivity and



Such a link has important implications for income distribution. Diversification implies the

creation of quality, better-paid jobs, which in turn entails less informality and

underemployment - and hence less inequality. Policies for learning and diversification should

be at the top of the agenda in the coming years in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“In the absence of an exceptionally favourable external environment, the region needs to

deepen regional integration and address the structural challenges of development, to

support its growth potential, primarily in the areas of innovation and production patterns, and

education and technical capacities that these require”, said Enrique García, CAF President

and Chief Executive Officer.


The Outlook notes that, on average, the gap in education performance for a student in

secondary school in Latin America relative to an OECD student is still quite high: the

equivalent of 2.4 additional years of schooling. Furthermore, socioeconomic inequalities

strongly influence both access and education outcomes in the region. Only 56% of students

in the poorest quarter of the population attend secondary school, versus 87% of students in

the wealthiest quarter.


Limitations in the quality of education are also reflected in the skill shortages and

mismatches in the labour market, severely impacting the competitiveness of Latin American

companies. The region’s businesses face greater challenges in finding appropriately skilled

employees than any other region in the world. The Outlook shows that the probability of a

Latin American firm facing obstacles in finding staff with the adequate capabilities is three

times higher than a similar firm in South Asia and 13 times higher than a firm in Pacific Asia.

The issue is particularly prevalent in key sectors such as the automotive industry and



To tackle these acute skills shortages, targeted policies are needed in pre-primary,

secondary, technical and professional education. Policymakers need to provide more and

smarter investment in pre-primary education, where important soft-skills development takes

place, such as socialisation and learning perseverance, which are of critical importance in

the labour market. Policies are also needed to ensure that resources are redistributed to

reduce socio-economic inequalities. Classroom practices need adaption to ensure better

performance, including tutoring, managing teacher expectations and student motivation.

Increasing the quality of teaching also relies on monitoring and evaluation, and better



Finally, government and the private sector should work together to better connect technical

and vocational training with the demand for skills in a changing world economy.


This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.










Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?