Francisco Rodríguez (economist)

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Francisco Rodríguez
Francisco Rodríguez.jpg
Rodríguez at the launch of the 2010 United Nations Human Development report in Madrid, Spain.
Born Venezuela
Institution Bank of America Merrill Lynch, United Nations Human Development Report Office, Wesleyan University
Alma mater Harvard University, Andrés Bello Catholic University

Francisco R. Rodríguez is a Venezuelan economist and the Chief Andean Economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.[1][2] He taught economic and Latin American studies at Wesleyan University. From 2000 to 2004, he served as the head of the Office of Economic and Financial Advisory of the Venezuelan National Assembly (Spanish: Oficina de Asesoría Económica y Financiera de Asamblea Nacional)[3] during the presidency of Hugo Chávez.

Rodríguez received an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, and an undergraduate degree in economics from Venezuela's Universidad Católica Andrés Bello.[4] He has been an associate editor of Economía: Journal of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association since 2008.[4] Rodríguez has published three articles and a number of papers critical of the Chávez administration.[5] His article, "An Empty Revolution: The Unfulfilled Promises of Hugo Chávez", was published in Foreign Affairs,[6] a podcast "Rodriguez: Venezuela Nationalizations Might Be A 'Smokescreen'" was hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations,[7] and he has been quoted a number of times in media reports on the Chávez administration.[5]

In 2008, Rodríguez became the Head of Research of the United Nations Human Development Report Office.[8]

According to Rodríguez:

[Chávez's] story line may be compelling to many who are rightly outraged by Latin America's deep social and economic inequalities. Unfortunately, it is wrong. Neither official statistics nor independent estimates show any evidence that Chávez has reoriented state priorities to benefit the poor. Most health and human development indicators have shown no significant improvement beyond that which is normal in the midst of an oil boom. Indeed, some have deteriorated worryingly, and official estimates indicate that income inequality has increased. The "Chávez is good for the poor" hypothesis is inconsistent with the facts. ...

In September 2000, I left American academia to take over a research team with functions broadly similar to those of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. I had high expectations for Chávez's government and was excited at the possibility of working in an administration that promised to focus on fighting poverty and inequality. But I quickly discovered how large the gap was between the government's rhetoric and the reality of its political priorities.

Soon after joining the National Assembly, I clashed with the administration over underfunding of [the program] which had been created by Chávez to coordinate the distribution of resources to antipoverty programs. The law establishing the fund included a special provision to ensure that it would benefit from rising oil revenues. But when oil revenues started to go up, the Finance MIistry ignored the provision ... When my office pointed out this inconsistency, the Finance Ministry came up with [a] creative accounting gimmick ... [whose] effect was to direct resources away from the poor even as oil profits were surging.

— Francisco Rodríguez , An Empty Revolution: The Unfulfilled Promises of Hugo Chávez , Foreign Affairs March/April 2008.[6]

DePaul University[9] and the Financial Times[10] have hosted discussions focused on the debate over Chávez's economic policies between Mark Weisbrot and Rodríguez.[11][12]


  1. ^ Rodríguez, Francisco R.; Hausmann, Ricardo (2014). Venezuela Before Chávez: Anatomy of an Economic Collapse. Penn State Press. ISBN 9780271064642. 
  2. ^ Rodríguez, Francisco (12 September 2014). "Guest post: why Venezuela should not default". Financial Times. Retrieved 17 September 2014. "By Francisco Rodríguez of Bank of America Merrill Lynch" 
  3. ^ (Spanish) (19 June 2001) Esta semana presentan la Ley Orgánica de la Administración Pública, National Assembly of Venezuela
  4. ^ a b Francisco R. Rodríguez, Wesleyan University, Retrieved on February 15, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Francisco R. Rodríguez, Wesleyan University, Retrieved on February 15, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Rodríguez, Francisco (March/April 2008). "An Empty Revolution: The Unfulfilled Promises of Hugo Chávez". Foreign Affairs.
  7. ^ Rodríguez, Francisco (January 16, 2007)."Rodriguez: Venezuela Nationalizations Might Be A 'Smokescreen'", Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved on February 15, 2010.
  8. ^ "Francisco R. Rodríguez, Head of Research Team". United Nations Human Development Report. United Nations. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "PSC 349: Topics in World Politics: Latin American Political Economy" (PDF). De Paul University. Fall 2008. Retrieved February 15, 2010. 
  10. ^ Ask the expert: Chávez and Venezuela. Financial Times, January 30, 2007.
  11. ^ Rodríguez, Francisco. "An Empty Revolution: The Unfulfilled Promises of Hugo Chávez". Foreign Affairs (March/April 2008).
    ** Weisbrot, Mark. An Empty Research Agenda: The Creation of Myths About Contemporary Venezuela. CEPR (March 2008). Retrieved 27 February 2010.
    *** Rodríguez, Francisco How Not to Defend the Revolution: Mark Weisbrot and the Misinterpretation of Venezuelan Evidence. Wesleyan University (25 March 2008). Retrieved 27 February 2010.
    **** Weisbrot, Mark How Not to Attack an Economist (and an Economy): Getting the Numbers Right CEPR (April 2008)
  12. ^ Ortega, Daniel and Francisco Rodríguez, Edward Miguel. "Freed from Illiteracy? A Closer Look at Venezuela's Robinson Literacy Campaign, Wesleyan University (October 2006)
    ** Rosnick, David and Mark Weisbrot . "Illiteracy" Revisited: What Ortega and Rodríguez Read in the Household Survey". CEPR (May 2008)