New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2005‒10‒08
four papers chosen by

  1. Does Financial Liberalization Improve the Allocation of Investment? Micro Evidence from Developing Countries By Arturo Galindo; Fabio Schiantarelli; Andrew Weiss
  2. Puzzling Tax Structures in Developing Countries: A Comparison of Two Alternative Explanations By Roger Gordon; Wei Li
  3. Expanding School Enrollment by Subsidizing Private Schools: Lessons from Bogotá By Claudia Uribe; Richard J. Murnane; John B. Willett; Marie Andrée Somers
  4. Labour market policies and regulations in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico: Programmes and impacts By Adriana Marshall

  1. By: Arturo Galindo; Fabio Schiantarelli (Boston College); Andrew Weiss (Boston University)
    Abstract: Using firm level panel data from twelve developing countries we explore if financial liberalization improves the efficiency with which investment funds are allocated. A summary index of the efficiency of investment allocation that measures whether investment funds are going to firms with a higher marginal return to capital is developed. We examine the relationship between this and various measures of financial liberalization and find that liberalization increases the efficiency with which investment funds are allocated. This holds after various robustness checks and is consistent with firm level evidence that a stronger association between investment and fundamentals after financial liberalization.
    Keywords: financial liberalization, investment, efficiency, reform, development
    JEL: E22 E44 G28 O16
    Date: 2005–10–04
  2. By: Roger Gordon; Wei Li
    Abstract: Observed economic policies in developing countries differ sharply both from those observed among developed countries and from those forecast by existing models of optimal policies. For example, developing countries rely little on broad-based taxes, and make substantial use of tariffs and seignorage as nontax sources of revenue. The objective of this paper is to contrast the implications of two models designed to explain such anomalous policies. One approach, by Gordon-Li (2005), focuses on the greater difficulties faced in poor countries in monitoring taxable activity, and explores the best available policies given such difficulties. The other, building on Grossman-Helpman (1994), presumes that political-economy problems in developing countries are worse, leading to worse policy choices. The paper compares the contrasting theoretical implications of the two models with the data, and finds that the political-economy approach does poorly in reconciling many aspects of the data with the theory. In contrast, the forecasts from Gordon-Li model are largely consistent with the data currently available.
    JEL: H21 O23 O17 F13 F23
    Date: 2005–10
  3. By: Claudia Uribe; Richard J. Murnane; John B. Willett; Marie Andrée Somers
    Abstract: Many countries use tax revenues to subsidize private schools. Whether these policies meet social objectives depends, in part, on the relative quality of education provided by the two types of schools. We use data on elementary school students and their teachers in Bogotá, Colombia to examine difference in resource mixes and differences in the relative effectiveness of public and private schools. We find that, on average, the schools in the two sectors are equally effective. However, they produce education using very different resource combinations. Moreover, there are large differences in the effectiveness of schools in both sectors, especially in the private sector. The results of our analysis shed light on the quantity-quality tradeoff that governments in many developing countries face in deciding how to use scarce educational resources.
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2005–10
  4. By: Adriana Marshall
    Keywords: labour market policies
    Date: 2004

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