Venezuela: How did we get here, and what’s next?

MIT Building 3-270 and live webcast

The third constitution—ever—was written in Venezuela. Additionally, use of the term “social security” as a responsibility of the state was first introduced in Venezuela in 1818. Between 1945 and 1965, Venezuela had the second fastest growth rate in per capita GDP (after Japan), the second lowest inflation rate (after Germany), and the lowest interest rate, not to mention good weather (which clearly defines paradise).

So, what happened?

On May 14, Professor Roberto Rigobon of MIT Sloan will deliver the next talk in J-PAL’s Data, Decisions, Public Policy (D2P2) lecture series. Roberto will speak about the modern history of Venezuela, starting from when the country had little oil all to way up to the turmoil of today. He will discuss the current humanitarian crisis and possible alternatives moving forward.

Roberto Rigobon is the Society of Sloan Fellows Professor of Management and Professor of Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a Venezuelan economist with research interests in international economics, monetary economics, and development economics. His work focuses on the causes of balance-of-payments crises, financial crises, and the propagation of them across countries—the phenomenon that has been identified in the literature as contagion. He is one of the two founding members of the Billion Prices Project and a co-founder of PriceStats. Roberto is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the Census Bureau’s Scientific Advisory Committee, and a visiting professor at IESA School of Management in Venezuela.