nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2007‒06‒02
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Give and Take: Political Competition, Participation and Public Finance in 20th Century Latin America By Aidt, T.S.; Eterovic, D.S.
  2. Distribuição da rede de oferta de serviços de saúde na região norte: uma análise espacial multivariada By Cristina Guimarães Rodrigues; Rodrigo Ferreira Simões; Pedro Vasconcelos Amaral
  3. Trabajo infantil en los niños y jóvenes beneficiarios del programa familias en acción: Una evaluación de impacto By Bibiana María QUIROGA FORERO
  4. ¿Existe una trampa de pobreza en el sector rural en Colombia? By Ricardo Argüello; Andrés Zambrano
  5. Corporate Governance and Firm in Latin America By Alberto Chong; Florencio López-de-Silanes
  6. Public Expenditure in Latin America: Trends and Key Policy Issues By Christopher Faircloth; Benedict J. Clements; Marijn Verhoeven

  1. By: Aidt, T.S.; Eterovic, D.S.
    Abstract: Rational choice models predict that political competition and political participation have opposite effects on the size of government. We investigate these theories using data from a panel of 18 Latin American countries during the 20th century. Our research builds evidence for the prediction that reforms enhancing political competition tend to limit the size of government, while reforms increasing political participation tend to increase the size of government. Furthermore, we find that reforms which remove literacy requirements from franchise laws are associated with governmental expansion, while changes in women.s su¤rage laws have no impact on the size of government. Our findings demonstrate the empirical relevance of the distinction between political competition and participation.
    Keywords: Political competition, political participation, the extension of the franchise, women.s su¤rage, literacy requirements; size of government; school enrollment.
    JEL: D7 H11
    Date: 2007–04
  2. By: Cristina Guimarães Rodrigues (Cedeplar-UFMG); Rodrigo Ferreira Simões (Cedeplar-UFMG); Pedro Vasconcelos Amaral (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: The goal of this paper is to analyze the spatial localization of health services supply at Brazilian north region. At Amazon region, where distances among localities are huge and the transport system has deficiencies, the supply of health infra-structure and human resources are crucial issues to identify the planning possibilities in order to improve the access to those services. We used municipal data on equipments, physical installations and human resources from Pesquisa de Assistência Médico-Sanitária 2002 (AMS). The urban network identification was held due to multivariate analysis, specifically cluster analysis. The clusters spatial association was tested by Local Indicators of Spatial Association (LISA). The results point to an unevenly distributed urban network of health services, concentrated on region's most important cities as Manaus and Belém. We could also realize the existence of big areas of absolute deficiencies in all kind of infrastructure - even those of primary attention - and an unfilled urban system, lacking central places of intermediate hierarchy.
    Keywords: health services supply; Brazil
    JEL: R53 I11
    Date: 2007–05
  3. By: Bibiana María QUIROGA FORERO
    Abstract: En este artículo se evalúa empíricamente el comportamiento de las familias beneficiarias del Programa Familias en Acción, frente a la decisión de enviar a sus hijos a estudiar o a trabajar y se examina si el Programa, además de su reconocido impacto sobre la asistencia escolar y la nutrición de los niños beneficiarios, tiene algún impacto sobre el trabajo infantil. Para tal efecto, se utiliza el método de pareamiento dirigido por probabilidad de similitud o propensity score matching, combinado con diferencias en diferencias. Se encuentra que el Programa tiene un efecto positivo, aunque pequeño, sobre los niños que permanecían inactivos (no estudian ni trabajan) y aumenta la tasa de asistencia de los niños trabajadores, a la vez que reduce la probabilidad de que las familias beneficiarias, ante crisis o eventos adversos, decidan enviar a sus hijos al mercado laboral.
    Date: 2006–06–15
  4. By: Ricardo Argüello; Andrés Zambrano
    Abstract: A diferencia de la generalidad de trabajos sobre la pobreza rural en Colombia, este estudio emplea un enfoque de activos para indagar acerca de los determinantes de la pobreza rural. En particular, se examinan la existencia de no convexidades locales en el proceso de generación de ingresos, el grado de concentración de los hogares en ciertos rangos de acumulación de activos y la presencia de retornos marginales diferenciados a los activos. Con base en esto se proporciona evidencia prima facie acerca de la existencia de una trampa de pobreza en el sector rural, abriendo una línea promisoria de investigación sobre el tema, que puede contribuir de forma importante a su comprensión y a un mejor diseño de política social y sectorial.
    Date: 2006–08–17
  5. By: Alberto Chong (Inter-American Development Bank); Florencio López-de-Silanes (University of Amsterdam and National Bureau of Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes recent trends of Latin America’s institutional development regarding investor protection. In spite of the underdevelopment of the region’s financial markets, there is slow movement towards legal reforms intended to protect investors and make regional markets more attractive to investors; current inadequacies in the region’s legal institution’s generate high levels of ownership concentration, poor access to external equity financing, and narrow equity markets. The evidence in this paper, based on firm-level data for six countries, shows that, like legal protection of investors, appropriate firm-level corporate governance is linked to lower costs for capital, better valuation, performance, and dividend payments across countries. Firms can compensate for their countries’ legal deficiencies by distinguishing themselves through improved corporate governance practices, thus increasing transparency and limiting potential conflict between large and minority shareholders. Firms can additionally look for capital by issuing ADRs, as they have in recent years, although this practice undermines local capital markets. In the end, firms and regulators must improve their governance structures and shareholder protections if they are to meet the improved benchmarks of developed nations brought about by Asian, European, and U.S. scandals in recent years.
    Keywords: Corporate governance; Investor protection; Corporate valuation
    JEL: G32 L22
    Date: 2007–03
  6. By: Christopher Faircloth; Benedict J. Clements; Marijn Verhoeven
    Abstract: This paper examines trends in government spending in Latin America from the mid-1990s to 2006. It also examines key policy issues, including the cyclicality of spending, public investment, public employment, and social expenditures. It finds that primary expenditures have trended upward for the past ten years as a share of GDP, driven by increases in current spending, in particular for social expenditures. Fluctuations in real spending have continued to follow a procyclical pattern. The paper finds that there is substantial scope to improve the efficiency of public investment, public employment, and social spending.
    Keywords: Government expenditures , Latin America , Fiscal policy ,
    Date: 2007–02–02

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