During the 2000s, the Latin America and the Caribbean region (LAC) saw a decade of growth and income convergence.
Its growth performance was also especially pro-poor.
Understanding the factors underlying the region's growth is critical for policy design going forward.
This volume reassesses these engines of growth in light of new data and information.
To a large extent, the LAC region benefitted from external conditions and policy decisions in the 2000s.
However, with the favorable external conditions coming to a close, the determinants of growth that are influenced by policy will need to play a bigger role if the region wants to avoid losing its growth momentum.
Using dynamic panel data regressions, this publication investigates how aggregate economic, political, and social variables affect per capita GDP growth rates for a large sample of countries.
The research finds that drivers of growth in LAC have shifted over the last decade.
Most LAC countries had already brought their macroeconomic house in order throughout the 1990s, which facilitated benefits from other sources of growth.
While structural features continued to be robust determinants of growth, for many LAC countries- most notably net commodity exporters-external conditions were an essential driver.
This publication also carries out a benchmarking exercise that sheds light on where the greatest return on investment could be for LAC countries in terms of broad policy directions.
The empirical findings provide a window into the potential growth-facilitating role that governments can play in the region.