Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado
was first elected president of Ecuador in Nov. 2006 and most recently for his third presidential term in Feb. 2013. Ecuador is sometimes identified as joining the Latin American leftist "pink tide"
movement by electing Correa, and Correa in turn joined the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA)
economic bloc in 2009, which also includes the countries of Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia, and which was explicitly conceived by Hugo Chavez as an alternative to US-lead economic partnerships in the region
Correa acquired a PhD in economics from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001 and has deliberately rejected the so-called "Washington Consensus"
in crafting economic policy in Ecuador.
A February 2013 report by the Center for Economic Policy Research
[pdf] identifies the following economic reforms implemented by Correa:
* A 2009 stimulus spending package equal to nearly 5% of GDP
* Increases in government spending on housing and health care, a 25% increase in the cash-transfer program known as the Bono de Desarollo Humano, and a doubling of education funding as a percentage of GDP
* A 2011 anti-monopoly law prohibiting consolidation of different types of financial institutions
* A 1.2 billion liquidity fund for banking system emergencies funded by bank taxes
* A doubling of cooperative and credit union loans, to 19.6 percent of total lending
* A tax on capital leaving the country, increasing as a share of government revenue from less than 1 percent in 2008 to over 10 percent in 2012
Many of the economic results according to the CEPR study have been positive, including:
* Unemployment falling to to 4.1 percent in the 4th quarter of 2012, its lowest level on record in Ecuador, and the lowest in Latin America
* The national poverty rate falling to 27.3 percent as of December 2012, 27 percent below its 2006 level
* A mild 2008 recession in which Ecuador lost only 1.3 percent of GDP during three quarters and returned to its pre-recession level of output in seven (this took four years in the United States).
Bill Black at naked capitalism
further highlights that:
* Ecuador's GDP in 2012 increased 7.8%
* A million Ecuadorians have been brought out of poverty (in a nation of 15 million) during Correa's time in office
* Significant emigration of Ecuadorians prior to Correa's leadership has been replaced by net immigration
* 2012 real wages grew by 3.0%