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Abstract

The extent to which Latin America can pull itself out of persistent poverty in the foreseeable future depends, in an important manner, on how successful the region will be in achieving sustainable growth in its rural economies. A good strategy for sustainable growth in rural Latin America is to make sure that the market works for the poor. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it is to lay out some of the issues important to the successful functioning of the key markets in rural Latin America, including labor market, financial market, land market, and agricultural factor and product markets. Second, it is to present policy suggestions regarding how to ensure that the market works for the rural poor. While governments should continue their refrains of not intervening directly with the market and distorting price signals, they can play a very positive role in facilitating market reforms and in ensuring that the rural poor indeed emerge as winners.

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