nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2005‒09‒17
two papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. INTERNATIONAL SPECIALIZATION MODELS IN LATIN AMERICA: THE CASE OF ARGENTINA By Paola Caselli; Andrea Zaghini
  2. Why Are Some Public Officials more Corrupt Than Others? By Jennifer Hunt

  1. By: Paola Caselli (Bank of Italy); Andrea Zaghini (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper compares the Argentine specialization model with that of the other major Latin American countries. Given the lack of production data at disaggregate level, we rely on trade flow information from the WTA Statistics Canada database (3-digit SITC classification), available for most Latin American countries for a rather long time span (1980-2000). Our analysis, based on the Lafay Index of international specialization, shows that Argentina concentrates its comparative advantages in raw materials, agricultural and food products and exhibits, at the same time, serious deficiencies in the production of manufactures. This specialization pattern has remained remarkably stable over the last two decades, in spite of the major reforms implemented in many different fields. These features are shared with the other major Latin American countries, with the notable exception of Mexico, whose comparative advantages have changed dramatically in the same period, from raw materials (essentially oil) towards manufactures. Moreover, the products in which Argentina is specialized are among those for which world demand growth is structurally lower; this could eventually lead to a decreasing weight of Argentina in international markets.
    Keywords: International trade; specialization model; revealed comparative advantages
    JEL: F14 F15 E23
    Date: 2005–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_558_05&r=lam
  2. By: Jennifer Hunt
    Abstract: Using detailed Peruvian data measuring bribery, I assess which types of public official are most corrupt and why. I distinguish between the bribery rate and the size of bribes received, and seek to explain the variation in each across public institutions. The characteristics of officials’ clients explain most of the variation for bribery rates, but none for bribe amounts. A measure of the speed of honest service at the institution explains much of the remaining variation for both bribery rates and amounts. The results indicate that the bribery rate is higher at institutions with bribe-prone clients, and that bribery rates and bribe amounts are higher where clients are frustrated at slow service. Faster and better service would reduce corruption. Overall, the judiciary and the police are by far the most corrupt institutions.
    JEL: K4 H4
    Date: 2005–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11595&r=lam

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