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Conference Theme

The rapid economic growth recently experienced in most Latin American countries has generated a significant increase in household income that has not necessarily been translated into proportionate achievements in terms of human development and freedoms. Social interactions can promote different life styles and, specifically, consumption patterns, that might strengthen or erode functionings and capabilities, both in terms of individuals and of social justice perspective. For instance, conspicuous, emulative or positional consumption might result in high indebtedness in the case of some households, leisure time reductions in other cases, or changes in preferences for redistribution, among individuals struggling to achieve certain standards promoted by the media or through peer groups. Institutions, markets and public policies can foster, mitigate or redirect these behaviours. Specifically, we are interested in discussing around questions such as: To which extent these phenomena are observerd in Latin America? If so: Do they foster or weaken achievements in terms of agency or capabilities?; Should institutions and public policies promote certain life styles or would that be an unacceptable form of paternalism?; Which policies and institutional designs need to be implemented in order to avoid the (potentially) deletereous effect of these behaviours? The conference aims at estimulating academic interchange on these topics. 
 
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