Focus areas: Global economic governance with a focus on the global monetary and financial architecture, developing countries’ macroeconomic policies, particularly in Latin America, economic history of Latin America

José Antonio Ocampo is director of the Economic and Political Development Concentration in the School of International and Public Affairs, Member of the Committee on Global Thought and co-President of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University. He is also the Chair of the Committee for Development Policy, an expert committee of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). In 2012–2013 he chaired the panel created by the IMF Board to review the activities of the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office; in 2008–2010, he served as co-director of the UNDP/OAS Project on “Agenda for a Citizens’ Democracy in Latin America”; and in 2009 a Member of the Commission of Experts of the UN General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System.

Prior to his appointment, Ocampo served in a number of positions in the United Nations and the Government of Colombia, most notably as United Nations Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs; Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); Minister of Finance and Public Credit, Chairman of the Board of Banco del República (Central Bank of Colombia); Director of the National Planning Department (Minister of Planning); Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Executive Director of FEDESARROLLO.

Ocampo has published extensively on macroeconomic theory and policy, international financial issues, economic and social development, international trade, and Colombian and Latin American economic history.

Ocampo received his BA in economics and sociology from the University of Notre Dame in 1972 and his PhD in economics from Yale University in 1976. He served as Professor of Economics at Universidad de los Andes and of Economic History at the National University of Colombia, and Visiting Fellow at Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Yale. He has received a number of personal honors and distinctions, including the 2012 Jaume Vicens Vives Prize of the Spanish Association of Economic History for the best book on Spanish or Latin American economic history, the 2008 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought and the 1988 “Alejandro Angel Escobar” National Science Award of Colombia.

Research & Publications

October 2012|Columbia University Press|José Antonio Ocampo, José Antonio Alonso

Leading governments undertook extraordinary measures to offset the 2008 economic crisis, shoring up financial institutions, stimulating demand to reverse recession, and rebalancing budgets to alleviate sovereign debt. While productive in and of themselves, these solutions were effective because they were coordinated internationally and were matched with sweeping global financial reforms. Unfortunately, coordination has weakened after these initial steps, indicating one of the crisis’s adverse effects will be a significant reduction in development cooperation.

Urging advanced nations to improve their support for development, the contributors to this volume revisit the causes of the 2008 collapse and the ongoing effects of recession on global and developing economies. They reevaluate the international response to crisis and suggest more effective approaches to development cooperation. Experts on international aid join together to redesign the cooperation system and its governance, so it can accept new actors and better achieve the Millennial Development Goals of 2015 within the context of severe global crisis. In their introduction, José Antonio Alonso and José Antonio Ocampo summarize different chapters and the implications of their analyses, concluding with a frank assessment of global economic imbalance and the ability of increased cooperation to rectify these inequalities.

October 2012|Oxford University Press|José Antonio Ocampo, Luis Bértola
Latin America is attracting increasing interest due to the strong economic performance of the last decade and to the political changes that are taking place. This book gives a unique, comprehensive, and up to date view of Latin America economic development over the two centuries since Independence. It considers Latin American economies within the wider context of the international economy, and covers economic growth, international trade, capital flows, and trends in inequality and human development. With chapters that cover different eras, it traces the major developments of Latin American countries and offers a novel and coherent interpretation of the economic history of the region. It combines a wealth of original research, new perspectives, and empirical information to provide a synthesis of the growing literature that both complements and extends previous studies.
October 2011|Oxford University Press|José Antonio Ocampo, Jaime Ros
Latin America has been central to the main debates on development economics, ranging from the relationships between income inequality and economic growth, and the importance of geography versus institutions in development, to debates on the effects of trade, trade openness and protection on growth and income distribution. Despite increasing interest in the region there are few English language books on Latin American economics. This Handbook, organized into five parts, aims to fill this significant gap.

Part I looks at long-term issues, including the institutional roots of Latin America's underdevelopment, the political economy of policy making, the rise, decline and re-emergence of alternative paradigms, and the environmental sustainability of the development pattern. Part II considers macroeconomic topics, including the management of capital account booms and busts, the evolution and performance of exchange rate regimes, the advances and challenges of monetary policies and financial development, and the major fiscal policy issues confronting the region, including a comparison of Latin American fiscal accounts with those of the OECD. Part III analyzes the region's economies in global context, particularly the role of Latin America in the world trade system and the effects of dependence on natural resources (characteristic of many countries of the region) on growth and human development. It reviews the trends of foreign direct investment, the opportunities and challenges raised by the emergence of China as buyer of the region's commodities and competitor in the world market, and the transformation of the Latin America from a region of immigration to one of massive emigration. Part IV deals with matters of productive development. At the aggregate level it analyzes issues of technological catching up and divergence as well as different perspectives on the poor productivity and growth performance of the region during recent decades. At the sectoral level, it looks at agricultural policies and performance, the problems and prospects of the energy sector, and the effects on growth of lagging infrastructure development. Part V looks at the social dimensions of development; it analyzes the evolution of income inequality, poverty, and economic insecurity in the region, the evolution of labor markets and the performance of the educational sector, as well as the evolution of social assistance programs and social security reforms in the region.

The contributors are leading researchers that belong to different schools of economic thought and most come from countries throughout Latin America, representing a range of views and recognising the diversity of the region. This Handbook is a significant contribution to the field, and will be of interest to academics, graduate students and policy makers interested in economics, political economy, and public policy in Latin America and other developing economies.
March 2010|Oxford University Press|José Antonio Ocampo, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Stephany Griffith-Jones