The new cabinet in Chile

by on February 10, 2010 at 8:20 am in Current Affairs, Economics, Political Science | Permalink

E. Barandiaran notes in the comments:

You may want to know about the qualification of the new cabinet of 22 secretaries. There are 6 economists with graduate studies in the best US universities: Felipe Larraín will the secretary of the Treasury (Felipe is well known as the co-author with J. Sachs of a macro textbook and also got his Ph.D. from Harvard), two a Ph.D. from Minnesota and three a Master from Chicago. There is only one laywer but with training in law and econ in Harvard. A few others have degrees in public policy or MBA, and most of the others are engineers, all with graduate studies abroad. Most have been related as students, professors, and deans with Universidad Católica. Thus, Sebastián Edwards knows well the six economists (they studied there in the 1970s and were my students and/or assistants). Most have already long, successful careers in private enterprises and close relations with important NGOs. Quite a cabinet.

Here is one external report.

HH February 10, 2010 at 8:43 am

Invest in Chile?

a February 10, 2010 at 8:49 am

OK so Chile is screwed. That was the point of this post, right?

indregard February 10, 2010 at 9:44 am

Ah great. More Chicago boys in Chile. It worked out so well with Pinochet.

farmer February 10, 2010 at 10:43 am

as long as i can still go to Valpo and get a palta on my hotdog with my palola and fill up my guaton and feed my wawas, chile will remain the weeeeaaaah. (did i forget anything?)
now if only they could get rid of their Dutch Disease re: Copper exportation….

critic February 10, 2010 at 11:16 am

Ricardo Lagos, formerly President, was an economist with a Ph.D from Duke. Actually, from an economic point of view it did work out well under Pinochet.

Parago February 10, 2010 at 11:19 am

Chile has been the most successful nation in progress in the Western Hemisphere during the last two decades. The value placed on liberal education among the elite has had positive effects, while such has not been the case always in other nations. Why is that?

RC February 10, 2010 at 11:31 am

In Argentina, when Fernando de la Rua appointed his cabinet in 1999, it had a record number of economists. We know how that turned out…

R S February 10, 2010 at 11:34 am

Too much freshwater..

Tom February 10, 2010 at 1:00 pm

“And no, the initial Pinochet years, the purest in Chicago-economics terms – were not a big economic success.”

First seven years were successful, second seven years not so much. But after that, its hard to complain about a tripling of the economy when the rest of Latin America grew 50%.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8b/GDP_per_capita_LA-Chile.png

Barkley Rosser February 10, 2010 at 1:23 pm

The Chicago ones will probably be OK. It is the
Minnesota ones that will need to be watched for
engaging in seriously inane policy mischief.

Andrew February 10, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Right. Because lawyers and Masters of public administration are better because they are experts in government which gives them the humility to know they can’t run an economy. Chile is cooked!

RJ February 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm

“… it was the later Harvard imports who accomplished the substantively beneficial reform.”

Harvard economists successful? I guess there is a first for anything.

MikeM February 10, 2010 at 7:43 pm

“One issue that non-Chileans fail to understand when simply comparing the degrees of former cabinets with this one is that, for the first time in 20 years, a president has appointed his/her ministers without first asking for proposals from the political parties that support him/her. Piñera called the heads of the parties yesterday to let them know of the cabinet he had already selected and they were surprised to see so few career politicians. It may be unprecedented that such a large proportion of the appointments are not affiliated to any party. This is why we are so excited here. Because (it seems) that the main criterion to select the cabinet was their qualifications instead of seniority inside their party.”

Don’t listen to these naysayers Ignacio, they don’t know that they’re missing. These are the same people who cheer at the parade of government technocrats that get trotted out with every change of administration.

I think this will work out very well for Chile. With any luck, America might learn a thing or two about how to properly run an economy.

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