CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Carmelo Mesa Lago to lecture on Cuba and Pensions

March 18th, 2013 - March 19th, 2013
March 18 at 12:00pm, March 19 at 5:00pm

Greenleaf Conference Room, Jones 100A

Please join us as Carmelo Mesa Lago, current Professor on economics and Latin american Studies at University of Pittsburgh and 2009 Tulane Greenleaf Distinguished Professor in Latin American Studies, presents two lectures on March 18th and 19th. Both events will take place at the Greenleaf Conference Room in Jones Hall.

Please RSVP to or

March 18th, 12:00pm
Raul Castro’s Economic and Social Reforms in Cuba
In 2007 Raul Castro inherited from his brother Fidel, economic and social-welfare systems in shambles and since then has been enacting reforms to improve both. The lecture will explain the causes of such reforms, their wide discussion by scholars and the press, and evaluate their effects based on Cuban data and other information. Among the key reforms: distribution of unused state land to farmers, dismissal of one million unneeded state workers, expansion of private jobs in self-employment and cooperatives, tax reform, more flexibility for Cubans to travel, and authorization to sell-buy homes. Mesa-Lago is the author of the book Cuba en la era de Raul Castro: Reformas economico sociales y sus efectos (Madrid: Editorial Colibri, 2012), there will be copies for sale and he will sign them.

March 19th, 5:00pm
The Return of the State to Privatized Pension Systems
In 1980-2007, 23 countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe, totally or partially privatized their former public pension systems; such structural reforms, however, endured serious flaws. Since 2008, four countries (Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Hungary) implemented “re-reforms” that either shut down the private systems returning them to the public sphere or substantially increased the role of the state in them. The lecture will evaluate how the re-reforms have coped with such flaws based on several key social security features: coverage of the labor force, benefit sufficiency, social solidarity, gender equity, efficiency and administrative costs, workers’ participation in management, and financial sustainability. Mesa-Lago is the author of Re-Reforms of Privatized Pensions in the World: A Comparative Study of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Hungary (Munich: Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Arbeits-und Sozialrecht, 2013). 


All Events

Upcoming Events

Exploring the 2016 US Elections

View Full Event Description

The US’s November elections are especially critical. The world’s power structures are undergoing dramatic changes, and so the internal political process of this world leader has even greater global consequences.

Looking beyond just the US’s foreign policy is key to understanding its actions. Over the next few months, the teaching programs at several Costa Rican institutions will focus on the following:

  • An analysis of succession of power within institutional structures.
  • The role of political parties (polarization).
  • The influence of changing demographics.
  • The geographic expression of social change.
  • The effect of the democratic process in the formulation and implementation of the US’s foreign policy towards Latin American in particular.

The University of Costa Rica, through its School of Political Science, and the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Políticos (CIEP), has joined forces with the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones y su Instituto de Formación y Estudios en Democracia (IFED), as well as with the University of Tulane, through its Center for Inter-American Policy and Research (CIPR), for a series of outreach activities during the second half of 2016. These activities will utilize the resources at these educational and research institutions to promote a better understanding of the electoral process in the US.

The results of this upcoming election will have repercussions for the world, particularly in Latin American and Costa Rica. A broader, deeper understanding of the current situation will be useful for both universities and public policy decision-makers.

Participating institutions are confident that a proper analysis of this political process will lead to improved understanding and cooperation between the two nations.

Schedule of Activities


  • Thursday, 8/18: Talk on the United States’ electoral system by Diego Brenes, IFED.

  • Thursday, 9/1: Discussion on demographics and electoral geography in the US with Constantino Urcuyo and Jesús Guzmán.
  • Thursday, 9/22: Talk on Politics and Elections: Celeste Lay, Phd. Tulane University.

  • Thursday, 10/13: Discussion on elections and external politics: Carlos Murillo, Phd. in government and public policy.
  • Thursday, 10/27: Talk by Jenny Lincoln Fullbright from the US Embassy.

  • Monday, 11/10: Round table. Analysis of election results with Constantino Urcuyo, Felipe Alpízar, Nuria Marín, and Fernando Zeledón as moderator.