The conventional wisdom is that economic growth has led Latin America into a trap, with citizens’ expectations rising faster than governments’ ability to fulfill them. But few expected discontent to threaten the region's most competent leader, Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos, or one of its most revered traditions, Brazilian soccer
The 2014 FIFA World Cup is upon us. This column argues that there will be plenty of partying, but also plenty of protests fuelled by the gross mismanagement and limited economic benefits from hosting the Cup. Stadia may be ready, but much planned infrastructure has already been abandoned. Indeed, rent-seeking may be one reason nations bid for the Cup. Since the returns to transportation infrastructure are higher in poor countries, the international community should work to stamp out corruption so that poor countries can continue to host mega-events like the World Cup.
Every four years around the soccer World Cup, the same pernicious pattern of lamentable link-baiting takes hold. Some sales data firm or a bunch of employment lawyers will come up with an “analysis” of productivity losses incurred as a consequence of the attention people choose to pay to the tournament.