nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2007‒04‒28
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Concentración y Competencia en el Sistema Financiero Crediticio Colombiano en la Última Década By Ricardo Bernal Fandiño
  2. Fiscal Policy Throughout the Cycle: The Colombian Experience By Ignacio Lozano; Jorge Toro
  3. El salario mínimo: aspectos generales sobre los casos de Colombia y otros países By Luis Eduardo Arango; Paula Herrera; Carlos Esteban Posada
  4. Estimando o impacto da renda na saúde através de programas de transferência de renda aos idosos de baixa renda no Brasil By Marcelo C. Neri; Wagner L. Soares
  5. Crowd-out, Adverse Selection and Information in Annuity Markets: Evidence from a New Retrospective Data Set in Chile By Alejandra Cox Edwards; Estelle James
  6. Latin Americans of Japanese origin (Nikkeijin) working in Japan : a survey By Goto, Junichi

  1. By: Ricardo Bernal Fandiño
    Abstract: Este trabajo estudia la relación entre los aumentos en la concentración y las dinámicas de competencia del sector financiero crediticio de los últimos años en la economía colombiana. Se encuentra que a pesar de los incrementos en la concentración que reflejan diversos indicadores analizados, el nivel de poder de mercado -medido como el estadístico H de Panzar y Rose (1987) por medio de un análisis de panel de datos- no se ha deteriorado en el periodo 1995-2005. Más aún, existen indicios por los cuales este nivel de competencia se ha incrementado en el periodo, una vez se ha controlado por variables específicas a la entidad así como por variables exógenas macroeconómicas.
    Keywords: Concentración; Consolidación; Competencia; Contestabilidad Classification JEL:D4; G21; L13; R12
  2. By: Ignacio Lozano; Jorge Toro
    Abstract: This paper reviews the relationship between the business cycle and public finances in Colombia. The evidence shows that cyclical movements in output systematically affect the situation of public finances. Hence, the distinction between the cyclical and permanent (i.e. structural) components of the fiscal balance may allow fiscal authorities to determine the extent to which the fiscal stance in a particular year reflects their discretionary actions. Our findings indicate that the cyclical component of the central government balance in Colombia has in general been fairly small. For instance, during the recession and recovery period 1999-2003, the cyclical component attained, on average, -0,5% of the GDP which explained only 8% of the actual overall deficit. More recently in 2006, the cyclical component amounted to +0,8% of the GDP, equivalent to 17% of the actual fiscal imbalance. Governments are not usually neutral during the business cycle. Ideally, they ought to practice a counter-cyclical fiscal policy to moderate the magnitude of output fluctuations. However, in emerging economies, counter-cyclical fiscal policies are inhibited by domestic and external factors, such as credit restrictions, quality of institutions, fiscal rules, corruption, voracity effect, etc. Using a standard approach we find that fiscal policy in Colombia has been pro-cyclical over the last 45 years or so, with the primary surplus falling (and the deficit rising) as a share of GDP by approximately 1/5th of a percentage point when the output gap improves by one percentage point.
    Keywords: Fiscal Policy, Business Cycle, Stabilization, Deficit, Budget. Classification JEL: E62; E32; E63; H62; H61.
  3. By: Luis Eduardo Arango; Paula Herrera; Carlos Esteban Posada
    Abstract: Este artículo presenta una revisión sumaria de la literatura sobre los efectos del salario mínimo, tanto en Estados Unidos como en Colombia, y de las experiencias colombiana e internacional en lo referente a instituciones y prácticas de fijación del salario mínimo. El repaso de las experiencias desde la perspectiva de la literatura mencionada conduce a algunas reflexiones sobre la inflexibilidad relativa de las instituciones latinoamericanas frente a lo que es usual en Estados Unidos y Europa Occidental. A pesar de la alta incidencia del salario mínimo en Colombia, se hace evidente la carencia de estudios de mayor trascendencia sobre sus efectos. Se sugiere que ha habido un excesivo uso del mismo por fuera del mercado laboral como mecanismo de indexación.
    Keywords: salario mínimo, equilibrio, empleo, desempleo, pobreza, legislación. Classification JEL: J31; J64; K31.
  4. By: Marcelo C. Neri; Wagner L. Soares
    Date: 2007–04
  5. By: Alejandra Cox Edwards (California State University, Long Beach); Estelle James (SUNY Stony Brook)
    Abstract: Annuitization is often considered a socially desirable payout mode from pension plans, because it provides a lifelong income stream and therefore ensures that retirees will not run out of money. However, annuitization is rare in most countries. This project examines workers’ choices during the payout stage in Chile, the only country that has had mandatory personal accounts long enough to have had substantial experience with payouts. Upon retirement, workers in Chile have limited options for payouts: they must either annuitize or take gradual withdrawal. Two-thirds have annuitized. We expect that retirees are less likely to annuitize if their accumulation finances a pension in the vicinity of the minimum pension, whose value is guaranteed by the state. In that case, publiclyfinanced longevity insurance is likely to crowd out private annuity insurance. We expect that retirees with health problems are also less likely to annuitize, possibly leading to adverse selection. Finally, we expect that individuals with greater risk aversion, smaller time preference and better knowledge about the system are more likely to annuitize. A new retrospective data set from Chile yields evidence that is broadly consistent with these hypotheses.
    Date: 2006–12
  6. By: Goto, Junichi
    Abstract: Since the revision of the Japanese immigration law in 1990, there has been a dramatic influx of Latin Americans, mostly Brazilians, of Japanese origin (Nikkeijin) working in Japan. This is because the revision has basically allowed Nikkeijin to enter Japan legally even as unskilled workers, while the Japanese law, in principle, prohibits foreigners from taking unskilled jobs in the country. In response, the number of these Latin American migrants has increased from practically zero to more than 250,000. The migration of Nikkeijin is likely to have a significant impact on both the Brazilian and the Japanese economies, given the substantial amount of remittances they send to Brazil. The impact is likely to be felt especially in the Nikkeijin community in Brazil. In spite of their importance, the detailed characteristics of Nikkei migrants and the prospect for future migration and remittances are under-researched. The purpose of this paper is therefore to provide a more comprehensive account of the migration of Nikkeijin workers to Japan. The paper contains a brief review of the history of Japanese emigration to Latin America (mostly Brazil), a study of the characteristics of Nikkeijin workers in Japan and their current living conditions, and a discussion on trends and issues regarding immigration in Japan and migration policy. The final part of the paper briefly notes the limitation of existing studies and describes the Brazil Nikkei Household Survey, which is being conducted by the World Bank ' s Development Research Group at the time of writing this p aper. The availability of the survey data will contribute to a better understanding of the Japan-Brazil migration and remittance corridor.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Labor Markets,Skills Development and Labor Force Training,Human Migrations & Resettlements,Voluntary and Involuntary Resettlement
    Date: 2007–04–01

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