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Professor Blanco Presents Paper at Latin American Studies Conference on Inequality
Economics professor Luisa Blanco gave her expert opinion about the state of the economy south of the border at the Latin American Studies Association Congress held in Brazil at the end of June. The theme of the conference was Rethinking Inequalities, and Blanco shared her thoughts and research as a panel chair and speaker.
The assistant professor of economics at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy chaired a discussion about the "Political and Economic Legacies of Market Oriented Reform." The discussion centered on changes being made in trade policy across several Latin American countries and the impact those changes will have on their economic development. The discussion was conducted in both Spanish and English. "Having a bilingual discussion certainly made my job as panel moderator a lot of fun," says Blanco.
Blanco went on to present a paper titled, "The Impact of Resource Dependence on Capital Accumulation in Latin America," which she co-wrote with Robin Grier, associate professor of economics at the University of Oklahoma. The paper explores how dependence on exporting natural resources affects the accumulation of physical and human capital in Latin America.
"Since physical and human capital are the main drivers of growth, it is important that we find what factors are behind the accumulation of capital in Latin America, so that these countries fare better in the future," Blanco explains. She expands upon why Latin America is one of the most unequal regions of the world economically. "The 'resource curse' suggests that those countries that are abundant in natural resources do not fare well economically in the long run since they tend to waste away their natural resource wealth."
Originally, Blanco wished to explore if the resource curse explained underdevelopment in Latin America as a region of mass exportation of natural resources. However, she found that, "Surprisingly, different types of natural resources have different effects on capital accumulation. While fuel exports are associated with higher levels of physical capital and lower levels of human capital, agricultural exports have the opposite effect."
In November, Blanco presented her paper "Income Inequality and Political Instability" at the Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies' (PCCLAS) 2008 Conference at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Blanco also presented her research on the impact of natural resources in Latin America at the American Economic Associating Meetings in January of 2009.
In February, she explored the rise of liberalism in Latin American politics in a special presentation at the Pepperdine University Drescher Graduate Campus, called "Left Turn: The Rise of the Left in Latin America." To listen to or watch a video of her presentation on Pepperdine iTunesU, click here.
Blanco received her Ph.D from the University of Oklahoma, where she taught Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory and Principles of Macroeconomics at the undergraduate level. She received her bachelor's degree in business administration in the field of finance and a master of business administration from Midwestern State University.