The Washington Consensus refers to a development strategy focused on liberalization, privatization, and price-stability. Often associated with neo-classical economics, the spirit of the Washington Consensus was the belief that the expansion of market forces would help developing countries attain macroeconomic stability, economic growth, and indirectly, social development. Central and South America adopted this approach during 1980s and 1990s, and the weak growth rates and increasing inequality these countries have since suffered now forms the basis for scrutiny of these policies. In August 2005 the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) organized in partnership with Universidad de Buenos Aires a forum entitled, "The Buenos Aires Consensus: A New Agenda for Latin America Fifteen Years after the Washington Consensus" to explore the lessons learned from Argentina's recent experiences and develop alternative approaches to industrial policy, debt management, macroeconomics and trade.

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