Governor Talk - Costa Rica: Navigating the Path to Recovery: the Costa Rican Experience



Rodrigo Cubero

Governor of the Central Bank of Costa Rica

President (Governor) of the Central Bank of Costa Rica since August 2018. Previously, he worked for 12 years at the International Monetary Fund, where he occupied several positions as economist, senior economist and Deputy Division Chief for three different departments. Prior to that he was university lecturer at Oxford University. His research interests include international macroeconomics, monetary and foreign exchange policy, and public finance. He received a PhD in economics from Oxford University, a masters in international economics from Essex University, and a JD in law from Universidad de Costa Rica.


Nigel Chalk

Acting Director Western Hemisphere Department, IMF


Nigel Chalk is the Acting Director in the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department and mission chief for the U.S. He also oversees the Fund’s work in a range of countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Previously he was head of Non-Japan Asia Research at Barclays, based in Singapore. Prior to that, was the IMF’s mission chief for China. Since joining the IMF he has worked on a range of emerging market countries, including Russia, Korea, Brazil, and Argentina. He holds a PhD in Economics from UCLA and a Master’s of Science Degree from the London School of Economics.


Key Points:

  • Focus. Although ending the pandemic remains the most pressing challenge, emerging and developing countries also face important near-term trade-offs from the pace and timing of policy normalization in an environment of stagflation and increased public debt. The Central Bank of Costa Rica’s hard-won credibility and well-anchored inflation expectations have provided the policy space to address the pandemic’s aftermath and safeguard macroeconomic stability. In tackling structural challenges, including related to climate change, population aging, and digitalization, the central bank has accelerated efforts to foster innovation, broaden the use of digital payments and has established a roadmap to green the financial sector.
  • Conclusions. Costa Rica’s experience shows the primacy of building credibility to implement effective countercyclical monetary policy. Going forward, as countries tackle pandemic legacies and address emerging risks, the Fund has a critical role in helping the membership and fostering a global, coordinated responses to shared challenges.


The central bank’s hard-won credibility is fragile and must be guarded carefully.Rodrigo Cubero

Given the global nature of challenges faced by countries, the Fund must increase its emphasis on cross-country coordination and mutual peer-to-peer learning in emerging areas.Rodrigo Cubero

Two years into the pandemic, emerging markets are facing difficult policy trade-offs, dealing with the threat of new COVID variants and starting to normalize policies.” Nigel Chalk

Contributor: Daniela Alcantara, IMF, Secretary’s Department