New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2007‒05‒12
eight papers chosen by

  1. China y Argentina en la política bilateral, 1989-2006 By Gustavo Cardozo
  2. Populism and Neopopulism in Latin America: Clientelism, Trade Union Organisation and Electoral Support in Mexico and Argentina in the ‘90s By Veronica Ronchi
  3. The Neoliberal Myth in Latin America: The Cases of Mexico and Argentina in the ‘90s By Veronica Ronchi
  4. Retornos a la Educación Privada en el Perú By Sebastian Calónico; Hugo Ñopo
  5. Physical Dating Violence Among College Students in Chile By Jocelyn A. Lehrer; Vivian L. Lehrer; Evelyn L. Lehrer; Zhenxiang Zhao
  6. Health and the Evolution of Welfare across Brazilian Municipalities By Rodrigo R. Soares
  7. Social Movements, Public Policy, and Democratic Consolidation in Latin America By J Carlos Dominguez (QEH)
  8. Substitutability and protectionism: Latin America's trade policy and imports from China and India By Facchini, Giovanni; Olarreaga, Marcelo; Silva, Peri; Willmann, Gerald

  1. By: Gustavo Cardozo
    Abstract: El presente trabajo analiza la evolución de las relaciones bilaterales sinoargentinas en las últimas décadas, centrándose en los aspectos políticos y económicos. Si bien la historia de las relaciones entre ambos Estados no es nueva, los determinantes de la guerra Fría no permitieron un desarrollo dinámico de los vínculos económicos, aún cuando Beijing y Buenos Aires pudieron encontrar intereses comunes y manifestar posiciones mutuas en los organismos multilaterales. Luego de la década de los 90, China y Argentina pudieron transformar las ventajas políticas en una mayor materialización de las interacciones económicas, las cuales pueden resultar funcionales a una estrategia de diversificación de los patrones de inserción internacional que permita reducir los riesgos de una nueva relación “Norte-Sur” en el esquema de poder mundial del siglo XXI.
    Keywords: China, argentina, south south cooperation, economy, bilateral relations
  2. By: Veronica Ronchi (Università degli Studi di Milano)
    Abstract: The state of anomie that has characterised and still characterises most Latin American countries, resulting from the fragmentation of the social fabric, has encouraged the rise of successful personalist leaderships in the ‘90s. This paper aims at investigating how neopopulism developed in Latin America, considering as main actors the two Presidents who have best embodied this ideal: Carlos Salinas de Gortari, (Mexico 1988-1994) and Carlos Menem (Argentina 1989-1999). Neopopulism is based on an economic project, the neoliberal policy based on cuts in the welfare, which seems very far from the populist positions of the past. Populism revives through the charisma of these Presidents, bypassing institutional or organisational forms of mediation between the leader and the masses. The development of selected social policies has gained strong political support from the lower classes, including extensive institutional reforms.
    Keywords: Latin America, Mexico, Argentina, ’90s, Populism, Neopopulism
    JEL: I38 J88 N16 N26 N36 N46
    Date: 2007–04
  3. By: Veronica Ronchi (Università degli Studi di Milano)
    Abstract: During the ‘90s most Latin American countries were submitted to neoliberal structural reform policies. Neoliberal policies imposed market supremacy, reduced the State’s role in the economy and deregulated the markets. This paper aims at describing how these policies affected the most important macroeconomic indexes, with special emphasis on Argentina and Mexico, the two countries that suffered most from the economic crises of the ‘80s and ‘90s, and where the neoliberal policies were applied with greater orthodoxy. In spite of a slight improvement in some macroeconomic indexes, in Latin America neoliberalism failed to reduce poverty and unemployment, and was unable to guarantee a fair distribution of the wealth and improve welfare.
    Keywords: Latin America, Mexico, Argentina, ’90s, Neoliberalism
    JEL: E21 E22 E24 E26 N16 N26 N36 O16
    Date: 2007–04
  4. By: Sebastian Calónico (Inter-American Development Bank); Hugo Ñopo (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: La provisión privada de servicios educativos ha venido representando una proporción creciente del sistema educativo peruano, especialmente durante las últimas décadas. Mientras que han existido muchas quejas respecto a las diferencias en cuanto a calidad entre las escuelas públicas y privadas, no existe una evaluación completa acerca de los diferentes impactos de estos dos tipos de proveedores en el mercado de trabajo. Este trabajo constituye un intento de proveer tal visión comprensiva, para lo que vamos a explorar las diferencias publico-privadas en los retornos individuales a la educación en el Perú urbano. Haciendo uso de dos importantes bases de datos (ENNIV 1997 y 2000) que incluyen preguntas sobre el tipo de educación (pública vs. privada) para cada nivel educativo (primaria, secundaria, terciario técnico y universitario) sobre una muestra representativa de adultos, somos capaces de medir las diferencias en ingresos laborales para todas las posibles trayectorias educativas. Los resultados muestran mayores retornos a la educación para aquellos que atendieron escuelas privadas que aquellos que atendieron el sistema público. No obstante, estos mayores retornos son también mayores en cuanto a dispersión, reflejando una mayor heterogeneidad en la calidad del sistema privado. Las diferencias publico-privadas en los retornos son mas pronunciadas a nivel del secundario que en cualquier otro nivel. Por otro lado, estas diferencias en los retornos por educación técnica son casi inexistentes. Un enfoque de cohortes junto a una técnica de ventanas corredizas nos permite capturar la evolución generacional de las diferencias publico-privadas. Los resultados indican que estas diferencias se han venido expandiendo en las últimas dos décadas.
    Keywords: Retornos a la Educación; salarios
    JEL: J31 I2
    Date: 2007–02
  5. By: Jocelyn A. Lehrer (University of California, San Francisco); Vivian L. Lehrer (Urban Justice Center); Evelyn L. Lehrer (University of Illinois at Chicago and IZA); Zhenxiang Zhao (University of Illinois at Chicago)
    Abstract: Dating violence is a serious public health concern both per se and because victimization in the young adult years can be a precursor to more severe incidents of domestic violence later, in the context of cohabitation or marriage. To date, no quantitative studies have examined dating violence among college students in Chile. To address this gap, a survey on this topic was administered to students at a major public university. The present analyses focused on the female sample (n=441). Generalized ordered logit models were used to assess factors associated with physical victimization since age 14, considering three categories: no victimization, victimization with no injury, and victimization with injury. Approximately 21% of subjects reported one or more incidents of physical dating violence not involving injury since age 14, and another 5.0% reported at least one incident resulting in injury during this time period. The corresponding figures for the past 12 months were 12.9% and 2.4%, respectively. Childhood sexual abuse and witnessing domestic violence as a child were associated with substantially elevated odds of physical victimization later in life. Low parental education was also associated with higher vulnerability, in part because of its linkage with childhood experiences with aggression. Protective factors included maternal employment and religious service participation at age 14, residence in the parental home during the college years, and never having had sexual intercourse. The findings suggest that it would be desirable to develop public health initiatives to prevent and respond to this form of violence among Chilean college students.
    Keywords: domestic violence, dating violence, physical victimization
    JEL: J4 J16 I12 I18
    Date: 2007–04
  6. By: Rodrigo R. Soares
    Abstract: This paper describes the pattern of reductions in mortality across Brazilian municipalities between 1970 and 2000, and analyzes its causes and consequences. It shows that, as in the international context, the relationship between income and life expectancy has shifted consistently in the recent past. But reductions in mortality within Brazil have been more homogeneously distributed than across countries. We use a compensating differentials approach to estimate the value of the observed reductions in mortality. The results suggest that gains in life expectancy had a welfare value equivalent to 39% of the growth in income per capita, being therefore responsible for 28% of the overall improvement in welfare. We then use a dynamic panel to conduct a preliminary assessment of the potential determinants of these gains. We show that improvements in education, access to water, and sanitation seem to be important determinants of the dimension of changes in life expectancy not correlated with income.
    JEL: I12 I31 I38 J17 O15 O54
    Date: 2007–05
  7. By: J Carlos Dominguez (QEH)
    Abstract: This work studies how different social mobilisation processes have influenced policy processes in Latin America (2000-2003) and vice versa. Studying these interrelations includes three issues of empirical and theoretical importance. First, it explores under what conditions an investment project or policy initiative that is strongly supported by a democratically elected government on the basis of economic and technical arguments may trigger the emergence of a social movement; and under what conditions a social movement may successfully preclude the implementation of such project or policy initiative. Second, this work explores if these social movements have actually compensated for the absence of channels of participation and representation that work to influence the institutional policy process. Third and final, it studies if the influence and impact of these social movements have contributed to improve the design and implementation of public policies in the medium term and to promote the democratic consolidation in the region. Although the work is based on evidence from many countries in the region, there are mainly two case studies presented with more detail: the 'Water War' in Cochabamba, Bolivia (2001-2002) and the conflict triggered by the project to build a new airport in Mexico City (2001-2002). The 'Gas War' of Bolivia (2003) is also explored with less detail.
  8. By: Facchini, Giovanni; Olarreaga, Marcelo; Silva, Peri; Willmann, Gerald
    Abstract: This paper examines the trade policy response of Latin American governments to the rapid growth of China and India in world markets. To explain higher protection in sectors where a large share is imported from these countries, we extend the `protection for sale' model to allow for different degrees of substitutability between domestically produced and imported varieties. The extension suggests that higher levels of protection towards Chinese goods can be explained by high substitutability between domestically produced goods and Chinese goods, whereas lower levels of protection towards goods imported from India can be explained by low substitutability with domestically produced goods. The data supports the extension to the `protection for sale' model, which performs better than the original specification in terms of explaining Latin America's structure of protection.
    Keywords: Latin America, Protectionism
    JEL: F10 F11 F13
    Date: 2007

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