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Up for Debate: Reform Without Liberty: Chile's Ambiguous Legacy

Chile's advisors defend their policies; Latin American reformers reflect on the lessons and cautions of Chile's example.


Milton Friedman
Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago

As the leader of the Chicago School, Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman inspired Chile's reforms. He saw economic reform as a step towards a free society.

Arnold "Al" Harberger
Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago

For Friedman's Chicago colleague Al Harberger, market reforms helped Chile out of crisis faster than its neighbors, creating a policy consensus that has lasted under democracy.

Osvaldo Sunkel
Professor of Economics; Director, Centro de Analisis de Politicas Publicas

Leftist economist Osvaldo Sunkel, once a proponent of dependency theory, saw Chile benefiting from, rather than launching, a worldwide policy "climate change."

Sergio de Castro
Finance Minister of Chile, 1974-1982

For Sergio de Castro, a leader among the Chicago Boys and Gen. Pinochet's finance minister for eight years, the military's reforms squarely contributed to improved conditions for all Chileans.

Alejandro Foxley
Finance Minister of Chile, 1990-1994

For Alejandro Foxley, finance minister after the restoration of democracy, the military's policies harmed ordinary Chileans, and Chile's true lesson is that democracy delivers better economic results.

Domingo Cavallo
Economy Minister of Argentina, 1991-1996, 2001

Argentine economist and reformer Domingo Cavallo drew on the Chile experience to shape his programs, attempting to separate the "ideological" from the "practical."

Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada
President of Bolivia, 1993-1997

Gonzalo "Goni" Sanchez de Lozada pushed through shock-therapy market reforms in Bolivia during the mid-1980s with a democratic government, in his view setting a stronger example than Chile's.

Joseph Stiglitz
World Bank Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, 1997-2000

For economist Joseph Stiglitz, Chile's successes, in retrospect, are not necessarily the successes of unfettered "free markets."

Jeffrey Sachs
Professor of Economics, Harvard University

For economist Jeffrey Sachs, not just the dictatorship but also the economic record meant that Chile only became a model after its democratic transition.

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