Why Is Bolivia Doing (Relatively) Well?

Juan Antonio Morales* and Thomas Trebat Many observers of the Latin American economies are wondering why these vulnerable commodity exporters, including the smaller South American economies, are showing more resilience to the current crisis than economies in other parts of the world.  Is it because the crisis just has not hit them hard yet, but […]

Bolivia: Economic Consequences of the New Constitution

Juan Antonio Morales* and Thomas J. Trebat

In a January referendum followed around the world, a significant majority of Bolivians (62%) voted in favor of a new constitution.  On the surface, the passage of the constitution is a victory for Bolivia’s indigenous majorities and provides reason to celebrate.  The new charter promises more equitable access to land and other natural resources, redefines Bolivia as a “plurinational state” in which multiple societies (e.g., 36 defined ethnic groups) and their legal structures co-exist, and guarantees social and economic rights.  As the embodiment of the ideals of Bolivia’s social movements, this constitution is a powerful document.