New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2007‒05‒26
six papers chosen by

  1. The Structure of Worker Compensation in Brazil, With a Comparison to France and the United States By Menezes Filho, N. A.; Menezes Filho, N. A.
  2. Determinants of Firm Competitiveness in Latin American Emerging Economies: Evidence from Brazil’s Auto-parts Industry By Lazzarini, Sergio G. & Mesquita, Luiz F. & Cronin, Patrick
  3. Empirical exchange rate models fit: Evidence from the Brazilian economy By Moura, Marcelo L. & Lima, Adauto R. S.
  4. Pension Reform and Macroeconomic Stability in Latin America By Jorge Roldos
  5. Rural Windfall or a New Resource Curse? Coca, Income, and Civil Conflict in Colombia By Joshua D. Angrist; Adriana D. Kugler
  6. Globalization and Employment: Imported Skill Biased Technological Change in Developing Countries By Andrea Conte; Marco Vivarelli

  1. By: Menezes Filho, N. A.; Menezes Filho, N. A.
    Date: 2007–10
  2. By: Lazzarini, Sergio G. & Mesquita, Luiz F. & Cronin, Patrick
    Date: 2007–10
  3. By: Moura, Marcelo L. & Lima, Adauto R. S.
    Date: 2007–10
  4. By: Jorge Roldos
    Abstract: This paper reviews macroeconomic aspects of pension reforms in Latin America, focusing on financial market stability and fiscal sustainability. Concentration of pension fund portfolios in government bonds remains high, and the lack of new investment alternatives has distorted asset prices. Countries have gradually liberalized investments abroad, but remain wary of the impact on foreign currency markets. The fiscal costs of the transition to funded systems have been higher than expected, and have contributed to high debt levels. The paper highlights the importance of coordinating changes in portfolio limits with debt management policies and measures to develop securities markets.
    Date: 2007–05–04
  5. By: Joshua D. Angrist (MIT, NBER and IZA); Adriana D. Kugler (University of Houston, NBER, CEPR and IZA)
    Abstract: Natural and agricultural resources for which there is a substantial black market, such as coca, opium, and diamonds, appear especially likely to be exploited by the parties to a civil conflict. Even legally traded commodities such as oil and timber have been linked to civil war. On the other hand, these resources may also provide one of the few reliable sources of income in the countryside. In this paper, we study the economic and social consequences of a major exogenous shift in the production of one such resource - coca paste - into Colombia, where most coca leaf is now harvested. Our analysis shows that this shift generated only modest economic gains in rural areas, primarily in the form of increased selfemployment earnings and increased labor supply by teenage boys. The results also suggest that the rural areas which saw accelerated coca production subsequently became more violent, while urban areas were affected little. The acceleration in violence is greater in departments (provinces) where there was a pre-coca guerilla presence. Taken together, these findings are consistent with the view that the Colombian civil conflict is fueled by the financial opportunities that coca provides, and that the consequent rent-seeking activity by combatants limits the economic gains from coca cultivation.
    Keywords: rural development, economic shocks, civil war, illegal drugs
    JEL: Q34 O13
    Date: 2007–05
  6. By: Andrea Conte (University of Turin and Max Planck Institute of Economics Jena); Marco Vivarelli (Catholic University of Milan, CSGR Warwick, Max Planck Institute of Economics Jena and IZA)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the occurrence of Skill-Enhancing Technology Import (SETI), namely the relationship between imports of embodied technology and widening skill-based employment differentials in a sample of low and middle income countries (LMICs). In doing so, this paper provides a direct measure of technology transfer at the sector level from high income countries (HICs), namely those economies which have already experienced the occurrence of skill-biased technological change, to LMICs. GMM techniques are applied to an original panel dataset comprising 28 manufacturing sectors for 23 countries over a decade. Econometric results provide robust evidence of the determinants of widening employment differentials in LMICs. In particular, capital-skill complementarity represents a source of relative skill-bias while SETI provides an absolute skill-bias effect on the employment trends of skilled and unskilled workers witnessed in these countries.
    Keywords: skill biased technological change, capital skill complementarity, GMM estimation, general industrial statistics, world trade analyzer
    JEL: F16 J23 J24 O33
    Date: 2007–05

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