On September 21, 2022, the Jackson School of Global Affairs hosted Bolivian President Luis Alberto Arce Catacora for a conversation on the Bolivian economic model.

The event, “Emerging Economies in Latin America: Bolivian Economic Model,” was part of the school’s Sunrise Foundation Lecture Series, an annual event which addresses policy issues especially pertinent to emerging economies.

In his presentation, Arce shared insights on the implementation of an economic model fit for Bolivia, called the “Economic Social Communitarian Productive Model,” started by former President Evo Morales.

“We take care of poor people; rich people know how to take care of themselves,” Arce explained.

The approach prioritizes production, export, and local development, as well as participation of the government in Bolivia’s economy through public investment.

Bolivia’s GDP grew by 4.7% on average between 2006 and 2019, in contrast to a growth of 3.0% between 1985 and 2005, during Bolivia’s neoliberal phase, Arce noted.

The World Bank ranked Bolivia as the country that has been the most successful at increasing the income of the poorest 40%, doing so by 12.5%. A tangible consequence of these economic successes reflects Bolivia’s higher life expectancy at birth, from 64 years in 2005 to 74 years in 2021.

Following Arce’s prepared remarks, Lorenzo Caliendo, the Won Park Hahn Professor of Global Affairs and Management and Professor of Economics at Yale, moderated a Q&A session.


The event was recorded. Watch the video