Prof. Matt Singer helped write the annual report of the Latin American Public Opinion project.
The first section of the report focuses on trends in inequality and economic exclusion in the hemisphere and was written by a team of scholars at Vanderbilt. Singer and some colleagues were responsible for the second section evaluating government performance and support for democracy:
Using data from 26 countries in the Americas, we find that citizen optimism about the economy in 2012 in Latin America and the Caribbean were more positive than at any previous point since this survey started in 2006 while crime rates (in the aggregate) have dropped since 2010. We document negative trends, in contrast, with regards to corruption and public evaluations of local government performance. Finally, we analyze public support for democracy in the hemisphere, showing that as economic performance has remained strong in most of the region (in contrast to the developed democracies that experienced the “global economic crisis”) support for democratic institutions has strengthened in most countries but that tolerance of public dissent is weakened as citizens become less willing to rock the boat against well-performing regimes.
The report was presented to various members of the policy community including USAID and UNDP officials.