New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2007‒04‒14
four papers chosen by

  1. Becoming an Entrepreneur By Hugo Ñopo; Patricio Valenzuela
  2. Crises and Growth: A Latin American Perspective By Sebastian Edwards
  3. Market access and the evolution of within plant productivity in Chile By Maria Bas; Yvan Ledezma
  4. Gender Inequalities in Allocating Time to Paid and Unpaid Work: Evidence from Bolivia By Marcelo Medeiros; Rafael Osorio; Joana Costa

  1. By: Hugo Ñopo (Inter-American Development Bank); Patricio Valenzuela (International Monetary Fund)
    Abstract: Using the 1996-2001 Chilean CASEN Panel Survey, this paper analyzes the impact on income of the switch from salaried employment to entrepreneurship (self-employment and leadership of micro-enterprises). By means of a difference-in-differences non-parametric matching estimator the paper alleviates problems of selection bias (on observable and unobservable traits) and creates the appropriate counterfactuals of interest. The results indicate that the income gains associated with the switch from salaried employment to entrepreneurship are positive, statistically significant and financially substantial. Even more, the results are qualitatively the same using mean and medians, suggesting that the impacts are not influenced by the presence of few “superstar winners.” Additionally, the income changes associated with the reverse switches (from self-employment to salaried jobs) are negative. The results also suggest interesting gender differences, as females show higher gains than males on the switch from salaried jobs to entrepreneurship and lower losses on the reverse switch.
    Keywords: difference-in-differences; non-parametric matching; micro-enterprises
    JEL: J16 J31 J41
    Date: 2007–03
  2. By: Sebastian Edwards
    Abstract: In this paper I use historical data to analyze the relationship between crises and growth in Latin America. I calculate by how much the region's GDP per capita has been reduced as a consequence of the recurrence of external crises. I also analyze the determinants of major balance of payments crises. The main conclusion is that it is unlikely that Latin America will, on average, experience a major improvement in long run growth in the future. It is possible that some countries will make progress in catching up with the advanced nations. This, however, will not be the norm; most Latin American countries are likely to fall further behind in relation to the Asian countries and other emerging nations. Not everything, however, is grim. My analysis also suggests that fewer Latin America countries will be subject to the type of catastrophic crises that affected the region in the past. Latin America's future will be one of "No crises and modest growth."
    JEL: F30 F32 N26 O4
    Date: 2007–04
  3. By: Maria Bas; Yvan Ledezma
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of trade reforms on the evolution of plant's productivity. We use plant level panel data of Chilean’s manufacturing for the period 1979-2000. The main contribution of the paper is to construct detailed measures of trade liberalization disentangling the impact of export and import oriented policies. Firstly, we estimate the production functions to obtain factor contributions and to compute plant's TFP controlling for firm heterogeneous productivity which is unobservable and evolves over the time. Secondly, we construct a measure of market access as an outcome of trade policies by estimating the difficulties to trade (border effects) between Chile and its main trading partners at the industry level and across time using a gravity model. Finally, we estimate the impact of trade reform on plant's productivity using the border effects estimated in the previous step. We find evidence of a positive impact of export oriented policies on productivity of traded sectors relative to non traded. On the other hand, relative to the latter, the reduction of import barriers has a positive impact on productivity in export oriented sectors, but it hurts local firms in import competing ones probably due to the existence of increasing returns.
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Marcelo Medeiros (International Poverty Centre, United Nations Development Programme); Rafael Osorio (International Poverty Centre, United Nations Development Programme); Joana Costa (International Poverty Centre, United Nations Development Programme)
    Abstract: In this Working Paper Marcelo Medeiros, Rafael Osorio and Joana Costa analyze inequalities in paid and unpaid work-time among Bolivian urban adults using time use data from a 2001 household survey. They find very high levels of within-group inequality in the distributions of paid and unpaid work-time for both men and women. They show that gender is an important variable to explain how much paid and unpaid work is done by individuals, but not so important to explain why some people have a higher total workload than others.
    Keywords: Gender, Inequalities, poor, Bolivia
    JEL: J16 J22
    Date: 2007–04

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