Merconet: Strengthening Economic Research and Fostering Entrepreneurship in South America

The Mercosur Economic Research Network (Merconet) was created in 1999 to generate knowledge to inform the Mercosur regional integration process. Although the regional integration agenda has stalled, the network has continued to evolve such that it now includes more than 100 researchers. These researchers have posted 19 books, 25 papers and more than 100 articles and policy briefs on the trilingual Merconet website, and have provided advice to the Mercosur Parliament and other key regional bodies.

Merconet is now moving toward a new mandate and new name, the South American Network on Applied Economics (SAN). SAN seeks to strengthen its research capacity in the areas of enterprise development, innovation and regulatory environment in order to influence policy. This grant will help the network make the transition.

The project will consist of two components. The first will support multi-country research on the main factors blocking the creation and expansion of firms. The second will focus on enhancing the research capacity of young economists. This component will also include some institutional elements, such as activities aimed at increasing the visibility and outreach of the network, and securing its financial sustainability.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, April 1, 2011

End Date

Saturday, June 1, 2013


21 months

IDRC Officer

Robino, Carolina

Total funding

CA$ 560,100


South America, North and Central America


Employment and Growth

Project Leader

Andrés López


Red MERCOSUR de Investigaciones Económicas

Institution Country


Institution Website