nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2006‒06‒10
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. La estimación de un indicador de brecha del producto a partir de encuestas y datos reales By Norberto Rodríguez N.; José Luis Torres T.; Andrés Velasco M.
  2. An empirical analysis of the annuity rate in Chile By Thorburn, Craig; Morales, Marco; Rocha, Roberto
  3. Cash transfers, conditions, school enrollment, and child work : evidence from a randomized experiment in Ecuador By Araujo, Maria Caridad; Schady, Norbert
  4. The impact of privatization on the performance of the infrastructure sector : the case of electricity distribution in Latin American countries By Guasch, Jose Luis; Foster, Vivien; Andres, Luis

  1. By: Norberto Rodríguez N.; José Luis Torres T.; Andrés Velasco M.
    Abstract: Una estimación adecuada de la brecha del producto es un requisito indispensable para la conducción de la política monetaria bajo el régimen de inflación objetivo. Por esta razón, en la literatura y al interior del Banco de la República, se trabaja con una gran variedad de mediciones a partir de técnicas alternativas. Desafortunadamente, como la brecha del producto es una variable no observable, siempre hay gran incertidumbre sobre cualquier estimación. Para sobreponerse a este problema, en el Departamento de Inflación se siguen regularmente una amplia gama de indicadores, en especial encuestas de opinión empresarial y datos de actividad, para mejorar la comprensión de la situación de la economía en el ciclo y para identificar posibles presiones de demanda. Aunque en principio parece razonable y adecuado contar con gran cantidad de medidas y monitorear diversas fuentes de información complementarias, en la práctica resulta problemático poder resumir de manera eficiente la información disponible en una sola medida que pueda ser utilizada para producir pronósticos de inflación y recomendaciones de política. Hasta hace poco, la reducción de la información se hacía a partir del juicio de los expertos sobre los pesos relativos que se asignaban para cada medición y para la información proveniente de encuestas. Lo cual potencialmente podía conducir a un problema de variables omitidas y a sesgar cualquier estimación. Para resolver este problema en este trabajo se estima un indicador de brecha del producto como el factor no observado entre los datos disponibles. Dicho factor se estima utilizando componentes principales estáticos, el cual debe resumir la información contenida en los datos mientras que excluye cualquier error presente en las medidas originales. La calidad del indicador se evalúa posteriormente a partir de su capacidad predictiva de la inflación básica de bienes no transables en Colombia, mediante una Curva de Phillips híbrida. Los resultados sugieren, como se esperaba, que el indicador de brecha del producto es superior a cualquiera de las medidas individuales para señalar presiones de demanda, puesto que combina de manera eficiente la información de varias fuentes. Adicionalmente se encuentra, que los pronósticos fuera de muestra se pueden mejorar si se excluyen para la estimación del indicador aquellas medidas que provienen de filtros estadísticos. Lo cual reafirma la importancia de seguir fuentes alternativas de información, en especial de encuestas de opinión industrial, a pesar de que la industria tan sólo pesa un 15% del PIB en Colombia.
    Keywords: Brecha del producto, componentes principales, Curva de Phillips, Colombia.
    JEL: C32 C43 E31 E37 E52
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bdr:borrec:392&r=lam
  2. By: Thorburn, Craig; Morales, Marco; Rocha, Roberto
    Abstract: Empirical analyses of annuities markets have been limited to a few industrial countries and restricted by data limitations. Chile provides excellent conditions for research on annuities because of the depth of its market and the availability of data. The authors use a panel of life insurance company data to examine econometrically the main determinants of the annuity rate, defined as the internal rate of return on annuities. The results indicate that the annuity rate is determined by the risk-free interest rate, the share of privately-issued higher yield securities in the portfolio of providers as a proxy for the spread over the risk-free rate, the leverage of providers, the level of broker ' s commissions, the market share of individual providers, the level of the premium, and the degree of market competition. The results also show that efforts to improve market transparency produced structural shifts in the parameters of the annuity rate equation. The results are consistent with separate research on money ' s worth ratios, and indicate the need to develop appropriate financial instruments, allowing providers to hedge their risks while extracting higher returns, and also to ensure competition and transparency in annuities markets, in order to ensure good outcomes for annuitants.
    Keywords: Insurance & Risk Mitigation,Pensions & Retirement Systems,Economic Theory & Research,Investment and Investment Climate,Non Bank Financial Institutions
    Date: 2006–06–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3929&r=lam
  3. By: Araujo, Maria Caridad; Schady, Norbert
    Abstract: The impact of cash transfer programs on the accumulation of human capital is a topic of great policy importance. An attendant question is whether program effects are larger when transfers are " conditioned " on certain behaviors, such as a requirement that households enroll their children in school. This paper uses a randomized study design to analyze the impact of the Bono de Desarrollo Humano (BDH), a cash transfer program, on enrollment and child work among poor children in Ecuador. There are two main results. First, the BDH program had a large, positive impact on school enrollment, about 10 percentage points, and a large, negative impact on child work, about 17 percentage points. Second, the fact that some households believed that there was a school enrollment requirement attached to the transfers, even though such a requirement was never enforced or monitored in Ecuador, helps explain the magnitude of program effects.
    Keywords: Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping,Primary Education,Land and Real Estate Development,Municipal Housing and Land,Real Estate Development
    Date: 2006–06–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3930&r=lam
  4. By: Guasch, Jose Luis; Foster, Vivien; Andres, Luis
    Abstract: The authors analyze the impact of privatization on the performance of 116 electric utilities in 10 Latin American countries. The analysis makes a number of contributions to the literature on changes in infrastructure ownership. First, this is the first systemic analysis of the impact of privatization on the distribution of the electricity sector. Second, it constructs an unbalanced panel data set of key indicators for each country. Third, it includes a broader-than in past studies-range of indicators, such as output, employment, productivity, efficiency, quality, coverage, and prices, offering a fuller picture of the effects of privatization on consumers. Fourth, this research covers a longer period of time, and evaluates three stages-before, transition, and after-allowing for the identification of the short- and long-run effects of privatization, as opposed to previous analyses ' short time series data that do not identify long-run outcomes. Finally, the counterfactual is considered through the analysis in trends. The authors apply two different methodologies. The first methodology uses means and medians from each period and tests the significance of the changes between periods. The second methodology consists of an econometric model that captures firm fixed effects, firm-specific time trends, and heteroscedasticity corrections. When needed, the authors used firm-specific time trends to better understand the outcomes. The results suggest that changes in ownership generate significant improvements in labor productivity, efficiency, and product and service quality, and that most of those changes occur in the transition period. Improvements in the post transition period-beyond two years after the change in ownership-are much more modest.
    Keywords: Economic Theory & Research,Energy Production and Transportation,Public Sector Economics & Finance,Labor Markets,Science Education
    Date: 2006–06–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3936&r=lam

This nep-lam issue is ©2006 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at http://nep.repec.org. For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <director@nep.repec.org>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.