New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2006‒04‒22
five papers chosen by

  1. A Regional Study of the Colombian Corporate Sector: By Peter Rowland
  2. Foreign and Domestic Firms in Colombia: By Peter Rowland
  3. Public Debt around the World: A New Dataset of Central Government Debt By Dany Jaimovich; Ugo Panizza
  4. Child education and work choices in the presence of a conditional cash transfer programme in rural Colombia By Orazio Attanasio; Emla Fitzsimons; Ana Gomez; Diana Lopez; Costas Meghir; Alice Mesnard
  5. The Effects of Increasing Openness and Integration to the MERCOSUR on the Uruguayan Labour Market: a CGE Modelling Analysis By Maria Ines Terra; Marisa Bucheli; Silvia Laens; Carmen Estrades

  1. By: Peter Rowland
    Abstract: The study presented here looks at the Colombian corporate sector broken down by city. In particular, it studies the eight main cities of the country. It is an initial study, maybe the first of its kind, and it aims to act as a foundation for future research in the area. A database obtained from the Superintendencia de Sociedades is used for the analysis. Structural differences between the cities in 2003 are studied, as well as the development of the cities between 1996 and 2003. The study shows that the 100 largest firms in the country are almost exclusively located in the country’s four largest cities. Rather more surprisingly, it shows that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are generally concentrated to the country’s larger cities, and particularly to Bogotá, while many medium-sized and smaller cities completely lack SMEs. The study also shows that, in terms of aggregate sales, the cities ha ve developed very differently.
    Date: 2006–02–01
  2. By: Peter Rowland
    Abstract: This paper studies foreign and domestic firms in Colombia and, in particular, whether these firms behave differently. The study uses a dataset containing the 2003 balance sheets and income statements for some 7,001 firms. The dataset was obtained from the Superintendencia de Sociedades. The study concludes that foreign and domestic firms differ in a number of aspects. Foreign firms tend to have a larger total asset turnover than domestic firms; they are more leveraged than domestic firms; and they tend to have a lower net-profit margin than domestic firms. However, these results are not conclusive . When the dataset is broken down by sector, the results are much less clear. When analysing external debt, foreign firms do, nevertheless, tend to hold almost four times as much external debt as domestic firms of the same size. Foreign firms also tend to import more.
    Date: 2006–02–01
  3. By: Dany Jaimovich (InterAmerican Development Bank); Ugo Panizza (InterAmerican Development Bank)
    Abstract: Commonly used datasets on the level of public debt provide incomplete country and period coverage. This paper presents a new dataset that includes complete series of central government debt for 89 countries over the 1991-2005 period and for seven other countries for the 1993-2005 period.
    Keywords: Public Debt; Debt Management; Fiscal Sustainability
    JEL: H63 F34 E63
    Date: 2006–03
  4. By: Orazio Attanasio (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Emla Fitzsimons (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Ana Gomez; Diana Lopez; Costas Meghir (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Alice Mesnard (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: This research is part of a large evaluation effort, undertaken by a consortium formed by IFS, Econometria and SEI, which has considered the effects of Familias en Acción on a variety of outcomes one year after its implementation. In early reports, we focussed on the effects of the programme on school enrolment. In this paper, we both expand those results, by carefully analysing anticipation effects along with other issues, and complement them with an analysis of child labour - both paid and unpaid (including domestic) work. The child labour analysis is made possible due to a rich time use module of the surveys that has not previously been analysed. We find that the programme increased the school participation rates of 14 to 17 year old children quite substantially, by between 5 and 7 percentage points, and had lower, but non-negligible effects on the enrolment of younger children of between 1.4 and 2.4 percentage points. In terms of work, the effects are generally largest for younger children whose participation in domestic work decreased by around 10 to 12 percentage points after the programme but whose participation in income-generating work remained largely unaffected by the programme. We also find evidence of school and work time not being fully substitutable, suggesting that some, but not all, of the increased time at school may be drawn from children’s leisure time.
    Date: 2006–01
  5. By: Maria Ines Terra; Marisa Bucheli; Silvia Laens; Carmen Estrades
    Abstract: Uruguay is a small economy. Its integration into MERCOSUR has increased its exposure to regional macroeconomic instability. The aim of this paper is to assess the impact of regional integration on the country's labour market and poverty. We estimated wage differentials between labour categories, finding a 60 percent wage gap between formal and informal workers. A CGE model with an efficiency wage specification for unskilled labour was built, with results showing that regional shocks deeply affect the Uruguayan economy. The consideration of an efficiency wage model is particularly important when shocks lead to a reallocation of resources towards sectors intensive in unskilled labour. A subsidy on formal, unskilled labour could contribute to decrease informality and therefore increase GDP, but this type of policy needs to be carefully implemented because it may have negative effects on investment. Finally, the effects on poverty and income distribution obtained through microsimulations are consistent with the results of the CGE experiments.
    Keywords: Uruguay, labour market, general equilibrium model, regional itegration, efficiency wage, microsimulation, poverty
    JEL: D58 I32 F15 F16 J41
    Date: 2006

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