Revisiting the Washington Consensus, 30 Years After Its Birth

Anti-government protesters walk past a burning barricade set on fire during clashes with police in Santiago, Chile, Oct. 29, 2019 (AP photo by Rodrigo Abd).
Anti-government protesters walk past a burning barricade set on fire during clashes with police in Santiago, Chile, Oct. 29, 2019 (AP photo by Rodrigo Abd).

In the fall of 1989, the British economist John Williamson prepared a background paper for an upcoming conference at the Peterson Institute of International Economics in Washington, the aim of which was to examine recent shifts in economic policies and attitudes in Latin America. By his own account, his aim with the paper was to identify a list of 10 policies “about whose proper deployment Washington can muster a reasonable degree of consensus.” Little did he know at the time that his so-called Washington Consensus would come to take on a life of its own. Thirty years later, it remains […]

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