Financialization, Austerity, and Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean examines the spread of financialization since 1980, highlighting the ideational origins of financialization outside the region, its effects on government budgeting and social inclusion, and options for increased inclusivity. Rana S. Gautam, Diogo L. Pinheiro, and Dwight Wilson argue that rather than a mechanistic implementation of external pressures, financialization is a complex social process with ideational origins in which national-level actors participate. Ultimately, the authors find that deeper financial integration, the expansion of credit, and reliance on international bond markets drives governments to cut certain areas of social spending and drives inequality but ameliorates absolute poverty. There is, therefore, space for agents to mold financialization and its inclusiveness.
Rana S. Gautam is associate professor of human services at the University of North Georgia. He serves on the editorial board of American Journal of Evaluation.
Diogo L. Pinheiro is associate professor of sociology and assistant director of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities at the University of North Georgia.
Dwight Wilson is associate professor of political science and international affairs at the University of North Georgia.
Chapter 1: The Puzzle of Financialization
Chapter 2: The Uneven Process of Financialization in Latin America
Chapter 3: Problems of Financialization
Chapter 4: Bond Markets and Their Implications for Social Spending
Chapter 5: Financialization, Social Policy, and Social Inclusion
Chapter 6: Understanding Financialization and its Consequences
Financialization, Austerity, and Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean by Rana S. Gautam, Diogo L. Pinheiro, and Dwight Wilson offers an overdue account of financialization's origins and impact on the region. I found their evaluation of both the proponents and critics of the growing role of finance in these economies particularly useful. Instead of viewing financialization as inevitable and homogenous, they provide a fresh insight into the actors involved, unpack this complex phenomenon into meaningful indicators, and trace its varied implications for the region’s intractable development challenges. This outstanding work is both theoretically informed and easy to read, as well as rigorous in its analysis.