New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2006‒04‒01
three papers chosen by

  1. Labor Participation of Married Women in Colombia By Luis Eduardo Arango; Carlos Esteban Posada
  2. Early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean By Schady, Norbert
  3. Do minimum wages in Latin America and the Caribbean matter ? Evidence from 19 countries By Cunningham, Wendy; Kristensen, Nicolai

  1. By: Luis Eduardo Arango; Carlos Esteban Posada
    Abstract: A pseudo-panel was built to estimate the determinants of the labor participation decision of married women between 1984 and 2000. Past participation decisions, education level, labor income taxes, children between 1 and 2 years of age, and the presence of other people unemployed at home are the main explanatory variables of married women’s labor participation in Colombia . The interest rate variable does not offer any insight into that decision.
    Keywords: married women, labor participation, state-dependence, fertility.
    JEL: C21 C23 C25 J22 J13
  2. By: Schady, Norbert
    Abstract: There is considerable evidence that young children in many developing countries suffer from profound deficits in nutrition, health, fine and gross motor skills, cognitive development, and socio-emotional development. Early childhood development (ECD) outcomes are important markers of the welfare of children. In addition, the deleterious effects of poor outcomes in early childhood can be long-lasting, affecting school attainment, employment, wages, criminality, and measures of social integration of adults. This paper considers the theoretical case to be made for investments in early childhood, selectively reviews the literature on the impact of ECD programs in the United States, discusses the evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean, and makes suggestions for future research. The focus is on the relation between outcomes in early childhood and measures of household s ocioeconomic status, child health, and parenting practices, as well as on the impact of specific policies and programs. The knowledge base on early childhood outcomes is still thin in Latin America and the Caribbean. There are therefore very high returns to comparative descriptive analysis in the region, as well as to careful evaluations of the impact of various programs.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Primary Education,Early Childhood Development,Street Children,Youth and Governance
    Date: 2006–03–01
  3. By: Cunningham, Wendy; Kristensen, Nicolai
    Abstract: Despite the existence of minimum wage legislation in most Latin American countries, there is little empirical evidence demonstrating its impact on the distribution of wages. In this study the authors analyze cross-country data for 19 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries to gain an understanding of if and how minimum wages affect wage distributions in LAC countries. Although there is no single minimum wage institution in the LAC region, the authors find regional trends. Minimum wages affect the wage distribution in both the formal and, especially, the informal sector, both at the minimum wage and at multiples of the minimum. The minimum does not uniformly benefit low-wage workers: in countries where the minimum wage is relatively low compared to mean wages, the minimum wage affects the more disadvantaged segments of the labor force, namely informal sector workers, women, young and older workers, and the low skilled, but in countries where the minimum wage is relatively high compared to the wage distribution, it primarily affects wages of the high skilled. This indicates that the minimum does not generally lift the wages of all, but instead, it offers a wage into which employers can " lock in " wages that are already near that level. Thus, minimum wage legislation is more far-reaching than originally thought, affecting both the uncovered informal sector and those earning above the minimum. In addition, the relative level of the minimum wage i s important for determining whose wages are affected.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Income,Wages, Compensation & Benefits,Corporate Social Responsibility,Child Labor
    Date: 2006–03–01

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