May 27, 2011

Globalization: Latin America's Moment - Latin America’s Growing Middle Class

Shannon K. O'Neil: Latin America's Moment » Blog Archive » Latin America’s Growing Middle Class: "Two recent studies look at the rise of Latin America’s middle class. The first, by ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), shows that nearly across the board, the share of Latin America’s middle has expanded. ...

Three interesting points come out of these studies. First, it reaffirms Latin America’s increasingly positive economic story. In addition to exports, Latin American countries can increasingly rely on domestic consumption to fuel economic growth and advance well-being.

Second, on these metrics Latin American nations far outpace China and India...

Finally, if the old truism holds, the rising middle class should be good for democracy. Preliminary evidence suggests that this is indeed the case. The expansion of the middle class and of democracy have coincided in most places in the region. But more telling than this correlation, policies favored by the middle – health care, security, education, and general economic openness – are increasingly on the political agenda, suggesting that the votes of this group matter. "

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