Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Carmelo Mesa-Lago

Greenleaf Distinguished Professor in Latin American Studies


  • LL.M., University of Havana, Civil Law, 1956
  • LL.D., University of Madrid, Labor and Social Security, 1958
  • M.A., University of Miami, Economics, 1965
  • Ph.D., Cornell University, Labor Economics and Social Security, 1968

Academic Experience

  • Greenleaf Visiting Professor Chair, Tulane University, 2009-
  • Visiting Professor Chair, Instituto Interuniversitario de Iberoamérica, 2008
  • Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh, 1999-
  • Professor and Research Scholar, Florida International University, 1999-2002
  • Professor, University of Pittsburgh, 1976-1999

Research & Teaching Specializations: Economics of Social Security; Comparative Economic Systems; Latin American Development; Cuban Economy and Social Welfare

Related Experience

  • Consultant to United Nations Agencies (ILO, UNRISD, UNTACD, ECLAC, WHO-PAHO), World Bank, Interamerican Development Bank and USAID, 1973-
  • Consultant, Organization of American States, 1980-1983
  • Advisor to First Lady Rosalyn Carter on the Caribbean and to former President Jimmy Carter on Cuba, 1977, 1989
  • Director, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 1974-1986
  • Regional Advisor on Social Security and Development, United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean, 1983-1984


  • President, Task Force on Extension of Coverage, International Social Security Association, Geneva, 2008
  • Fulbright Scholar Specialist, Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset, Madrid, 2003
  • International Labor Organization (ILO) International Research Prize on Decent Work for life long ouvre on social protection (shared with Nobel Laureate Nelson Mandela), International Labor Conference, Geneva, 2007
  • Honorary Fellow, International Institute of Labor Studies, International Labor Organization, Geneva, 2007
  • President, Latin American Studies Association, 1980

Languages: Spanish; Portuguese

Selected Publications

  • 2010. The World Crisis Effects on Social Security in Latin America and the Caribbean: Lessons from the Past and Policies for the Present and the Future. London: University of London Institute for the Study of Americas, ECLAC and Brookings Institution.
  • 2008. Reassembling Social Security: A Survey of Pension and Healthcare Reforms in Latin America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 2005. Cuba’s Aborted Reform: Socioeconomic Effects, International Comparisons and Transitional Policies. With Jorge Pérez-López. Gainsville: Univeristy Press of Florida and Cuban Series FIU.
  • 2004. ¿Públicos o Privados? Los Sistemas de Pensiones en América Latina Después de Dos Décadas de Reforma. With K. Hujo and M. Nitsch. Caracas: Nueva Sociedad.
  • 2000. Market, Socialist and Mixed Economies: Comparative Policies and Performance-Chile, Cuba and Costa Rica. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Recently-Taught Latin American-Related Courses: Economics of Social Welfare in Iberoamerica, Economics of Social Welfare Reform in Latin America