Decision Making

The Dilemma of the External Debt
IE code:
Language:   English
Est. dedication time:
40 minutes
Academic Area:
Type of publication:
Case Study
Decision Making


The case begins by outlining the problems of the Latin American Debt Crisis of the 1980s. The student adopting the role of the president of a fictional Latin American nation during the crisis must analyze the situation in several other countries as part of a defined decision-making process. The two-fold aims of the case are to familiarize the students with South America's “Lost Decade” as well as demonstrate the steps involved in making informed well-reasoned decisions by avoiding typical biases that affect decision making.

The case includes a narrated animation explaining the causes of the Latin American Debt Crisis and an interactive stakeholder map. The situation in Latin America is explained for several countries making this case suitable also for teaching about the crisis generally. The decision making aspect highlights common cognitive biases that can lead to poorer decisions.