Access to finance is critical in setting the course for development in emerging market economies. In this innovative study, which provides the first book-length analysis of the Latin American financial sector, Barbara Stallings and Rogerio Studart examine the dramatic changes resulting from financial liberalization in the region. The authors begin by discussing the critical transformations taking place in Latin America since 1990 -a period marked by acceleration toward a new open, market-oriented development model, and away from a semi-closed model relying heavily on the state. Stallings and Studart examine changes in ownership of the financial sector and government regulation of banking, evaluate the role of capital markets as a source of finance, and compare Latin America's financial sector to that of East Asia. The second section of the book features case studies that demonstrate the changes occurring in Chile, Mexico, and Brazil with particular reference to finance for investment and access to credit. The authors conclude with a set of policy recommendations aimed at strengthening Latin American banks and capital markets so that they can play a greater role in supporting economic development.
Barbara Stallings is William R. Rhodes Research Professor at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies, Rhode Island, USA. Rogerio Studart is executive director for Brazil at the Inter-American Development Bank.