Nicolás Eyzaguirre Guzmán (born 3 January 1953 in Santiago) is a Chilean economist, and the current Minister of Education of his country, since March 2014. Previously, he was Chile's Minister of Finance between 2000 and 2006. He is the son of architect Joaquín Eyzaguirre and actress Delfina Guzmán.
Eyzaguirre received his secondary education at the elite Colegio Verbo Divino private school. A music enthusiast, at the age of 15 he was admitted to the University of Chile Conservatory to study classical guitar, being lured by the Nueva canción movement. With his brother, Joaquín, he was part was of the folk group Aquelarre, composing titles such as, The captive of Tiltil and Valparaíso.
Eyzaguirre began his career in politics as a member of the Christian Democrat Party, and then migrated to the Christian Left Party and then to the Communist Party, where he stayed until his departure to the United States. He graduated as a Commercial Engineer with a mention in Economics at the University of Chile, and obtained his Masters degree in Economics from the same university, specializing in Economic Development.
Later, he traveled to the United States to obtain a Doctorate in Macroeconomics and International Trade from the Harvard University, which he never completed. Eyzaguirre changed his view of economics during his time at Harvard. He later admitted to having been mistaken in his Communist ideology, and that adopting the principles of the free market was more sound and rational.
Between 1984 and 1985, he worked as an international consultant and adviser to the International Monetary Fund. Later, between 1985 and 1990, he worked as an expert in Monetary and Financial Policy for Latin America at CEPAL. After the return of democracy, he performed senior roles at the Central Bank of Chile between 1990 and 1997, occupying the positions of Director of Research and Chief Economist.
On 11 March 2000, he took the oath as Minister of Finance in the government of Ricardo Lagos. The Lagos government's policy was to perpetuate and perfect Chile's free market economy by drawing lessons for the Asian crisis, which had left Chile with persistently high unemployment and low growth. It balanced the fiscal accounts and implemented a fiscal rule based on the structural balance, which strengthened the fiscal position and contributed to inflation reaching historical lows. The increased macroeconomic stability fostered a return to better economic performance, with growth reaching 6% by 2004. Eyzaguirre's six year term makes him the longest-serving Minister of Finance in the history of Chile.
- Reid, Michael (2007). Forgotten continent: the battle for Latin America's soul. Yale University Press. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-300-11616-8. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
- Media related to Nicolás Eyzaguirre at Wikimedia Commons
- Profile on the Ministry of Education of Chile website (Spanish)
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