The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association was founded in July 1992, to encourage greater professional interaction and foster increased dialogue among researchers and practitioners whose work focuses on the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean. Since its inception LACEA has grown to an organization with an annual average of 1000 active members. Starting from 1996, the association has held annual meetings in Mexico City, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Madrid, Puebla, San José Costa Rica and Paris.

To help promote the interaction of young and seasoned economists, as well as social scientists and development practitioners, LACEA also sponsors six research networks: the Network on Inequality and Poverty (NIP);the Political Economy Group (PEG); the Trade, Integration and Growth Network (TIGN); the Impact Evaluation Network (IEN) ;the Workshop on International Economics and Finance and the America Latina Crime and Policy Network (AL CAPONE). Besides from 2001 to 2009 LACEA sponsored the Regional Integration Network (RIN). Finally, since 2000, LACEA has been publishing its own Journal Economia that has recently released its twenty-second issue.

LACEA has increasingly evolved to a funding allocation on the basis of a competitive process, under which funds are allocated to the various activities based both on quality standards and capacity-building criteria. LACEA funding has been used to reach out to minorities, and economists of under-represented countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as to bring policy-makers closer to the association’s activities under the GDN objective of bridging research and policy.