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Doing More with Less: efficient spending for better lives

Hosted by the LSE Latin America and Caribbean Centre and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The Shaw Library, Old Building , United Kingdom


 Professor Jean-Paul Faguet

Professor Jean-Paul Faguet

Professor of the Political Economy of Development - Department of International Development

Alejandro Izquierdo

Alejandro Izquierdo

Chief Economist a.i. at the Inter-American Development Bank

Irene Mia

Irene Mia

Global Editor Director, Thought Leadership at the Economist Group

Professor Andrés Velasco

Professor Andrés Velasco

Inaugural Dean of the new School of Public Policy at LSE

Carola Pessino

Carola Pessino

Fiscal & Municipal Management Principal Specialist, IDB


Professor Gareth A. Jones

Professor Gareth A. Jones

Director of Latin America and Caribbean Centre

Alejandro Izquierdo, Chief Economist a.i. at the Inter-American Development Bank will present a public lecture entitled Doing More with Less: efficient spending for better lives.

Latin America faces a difficult puzzle: having reached middle income status, its citizens demand more and better services from government. However, and because of the commodity boom of the 2000s, many countries increased expenditure to stark levels and will need to adjust now that external conditions are not as favourable as in the past. Moreover, they will need to look into domestic sources of growth given upcoming headwinds in the region. How can this puzzle be solved? IDB’s flagship publication, “Better Spending for Better Lives”, provides a key to this puzzle: doing more with less and allocating expenditure without short-changing the future. Analysis of government spending in Latin America and the Caribbean reveals widespread waste and inefficiencies that could be as large as 4.4 percent of the region’s GDP, showing there is ample room to improve basic services without necessarily spending more resources.

The lecture is based on the IDB’s flagship publication Development in the Americas, 2018 edition, Better Spending for Better Lives: how Latin America and the Caribbean Can do more with Less”.


Professor Jean-Paul Faguet (@jpfaguet) is a Professor of the Political Economy of Development at the London School of Economics, and Co-Programme Director of the MSc in Development Management.  Jean-Paul works at the frontier between economics and political science, using quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate the institutions and organizational forms that underpin development transformations.

Alejandro Izquierdo (@IDB_Research) is the interim Chief Economist and Manager of the Research Department of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Alejandro spearheaded the IDB’s Annual Macroeconomic Report for several years and is currently co-director of the Columbia University-IDB executive program on international financial issues in emerging markets. He has also led IDB’s flagship product, the Development in the Americas, on issues such as credit and public expenditure in Latin America.

Irene Mia (@IreneMia_EIU) is Global Editorial Director, Thought Leadership at the Economist Group. Previously, Irene was regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), where she provided intellectual and strategic leadership to the regional editorial team within the EIU's Country Analysis division.

Carola Pessino (@CarolaPessino) is the Fiscal & Municipal Management Principal Specialist at the IDB. Carola's research and publications have focused on social policies, poverty and inequality, and the relationships among fiscal policy, education, and labour markets. 

Andrés Velasco (@AndresVelasco) is the inaugural Dean of the new School of Public Policy at LSE. He was the Minister of Finance in Chile between 2006 and 2010 and held professorial roles at the Harvard Kennedy School and Columbia University´s School of International and Public Affairs. 

Chair - Professor Gareth A. Jones (@LSE_LACC) is Professor of Urban Geography, Director of the Latin America and Caribbean Centre and Associate Member of the International Inequalities Institute. Gareth's research interests are in urban geography, with a particular interest in how people make use of the city, how cities are represented by policy and practice. He has conducted research in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, India, Ghana and South Africa.



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