The Failed Assumptions Behind Central America’s Refugee Crisis

A supporter of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wears a parasol in the colors of the Venezuelan flag and with the picture of the late Hugo Chavez, at a pro-government rally in Caracas, May 20, 2019 (DPA photo by Pedro Mattey via AP).
A supporter of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wears a parasol in the colors of the Venezuelan flag and with the picture of the late Hugo Chavez, at a pro-government rally in Caracas, May 20, 2019 (DPA photo by Pedro Mattey via AP).
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Back in 1996, during a six-month stay in Ecuador, I was invited by an economist to attend a workshop he was leading in an agricultural community in the western foothills of the Andes. The economist and the local nongovernmental organization he worked with were seeking to educate smallholder peasant farmers about the market forces that determined the prices of their crops. The goal was for them to rationalize their yearly planting decisions based on current market conditions, rather than to simply repeat them unchanged from year to year. At the end of the workshop, which introduced basic economic concepts like […]

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