Professor of Economics Carmelo Mesa-Lago—University of Pittsburgh and 2009 Tulane Greenleaf Distinguished Professor in Latin American Studies—will present two lectures: “Raul Castro’s Economic and Social Reforms in Cuba” on March 18 at 12:00pm and “The Return of the State to Privatized Pension Systems” on March 19 at 5:00pm. Both events will take place at the Greenleaf Conference Room (100A) in Jones Hall. See descriptions below:
Carmelo Mesa-Lago holds a BA in Law from the University of Havana, a Doctor in Law and Diploma in Social Security OISS from the Complutense University of Madrid, an MA in Economics from the University of Miami, and Ph.D. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh since 1999 and Tulane Greenleaf Distinguished Professor in Latin American Studies, he is the author of 78 books and 270 articles/chapters in books on Latin America’s social security and health care, Cuban economy and comparative economic systems, published in seven languages in 33 countries. He is the author of Re-Reforms of Privatized Pensions in the World: A Comparative Study of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Hungary (Munich: Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Arbeits-und Sozialrecht, 2013) and Cuba en la era de Raul Castro: Reformas economico-sociales y sus efectos (Madrid: Editorial Colibri, 2012); there will be copies for sale and signing at the talks. Other recent books are Market, Socialist and Mixed Economies: Comparative Policy and Performance—Chile, Cuba and Costa Rica (Johns Hopkins, 2000); Cuba’s Aborted Reform: Socioeconomic Effects, International Comparisons and Transition Policies (with J. Perez-Lopez, University Press of Florida, 2005); Las Reformas de Salud en AméricaLatina y el Caribe: Su Impacto en los Principios de la Seguridad Social (Santiago: CEPAL, 2006), and Reassembling Social Security: A Survey of Pension and Healthcare Reforms in Latin America (Oxford University Press, 2008).
March 18th, 12:00pm; Raul Castro’s Economic and Social Reforms in Cuba
In 2007 Raul Castro inherited from his brother Fidel, economic and social-welfare systems in shambles and since then has been enacting reforms to improve both. The lecture will explain the causes of such reforms, their wide discussion by scholars and the press, and evaluate their effects based on Cuban data and other information. Among the key reforms: distribution of unused state land to farmers, dismissal of one million unneeded state workers, expansion of private jobs in self-employment and cooperatives, tax reform, more flexibility for Cubans to travel, and authorization to sell-buy homes.
March 19th, 5:00pm; The Return of the State to Privatized Pension Systems
In 1980-2007, 23 countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe, totally or partially privatized their former public pension systems; such structural reforms, however, endured serious flaws. Since 2008, four countries (Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Hungary) implemented “re-reforms” that either shut down the private systems returning them to the public sphere or substantially increased the role of the state in them. The lecture will evaluate how the re-reforms have coped with such flaws based on several key social security features: coverage of the labor force, benefit sufficiency, social solidarity, gender equity, efficiency and administrative costs, workers’ participation in management, and financial sustainability.