nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2007‒07‒13
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Political Institutional Change in Latin America By Fabio Fossati
  2. Convergence in Income Inequality: the Case of Brazilian Municipalities By Gomes, Fábio A. R.
  3. Is the World Flat? Or Do Countries Still Matter? By Alberto Chong; Mark Gradstein
  4. Policy Volatility and Growth By Alberto Chong; Mark Gradstein
  5. Labor Informality Effects of a Poverty-Alleviation Program By Leonardo Gasparini; Francisco Haimovich; Sergio Olivieri
  6. Poverty among the Elderly in Latin America and the Caribbean By Leonardo Gasparini; Javier Alejo; Francisco Haimovich; Sergio Olivieri; Leopoldo Tornarolli

  1. By: Fabio Fossati
    Abstract: The last wave of democratization occurred in the 80s, after the big economic failure (except Pinochet in Chile) of military regimes. The 80s, after the debt crisis, were still characterized by uncertainty and seemed to mark just another episode (in favor of democracy) of the “pendulum practice”. There were still both populist (Peru, Venezuela, Brazil) and bureaucratic (Mexico) governments. In Argentina, there was a conflict between a populist president and his técnicos. Chile’s transition to democracy occurred at the end of the decade. In synthesis, during the “pendulum phase”, both populist and bureaucratic decision making processes were highly illiberal, and below the minimum conditions of democracy. In fact, controls (by parties or groups) on the governments’ decisions were very limited.
    Keywords: political change, pendulum practice, democracy
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cis:teoria:031&r=lam
  2. By: Gomes, Fábio A. R.
    Date: 2007–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ibm:ibmecp:wpe_90&r=lam
  3. By: Alberto Chong (Inter-American Development Bank); Mark Gradstein (Ben Gurion University/CEPR/CESifo)
    Abstract: This paper revisits the effects of a country’s institutional framework on individual firms’ behavior, in particular focusing on their propensity to comply with legal rules. The theoretical model presented here suggests that these effects may be of paramount significance—contrary to the recently popularized paradigm arguing that differences across countries have ceased to matter much. This paper’s empirical strategy consists of explaining the variation in measures of noncompliance with legal rules and employs a rich dataset based on thousands of firms from dozens of countries. We find that most of the variation emanates from country-wide differences in institutional quality, although some firm characteristics play a role as well. Our conclusion is that countries still matter in providing institutional infrastructure, which determines to a large extent the context within which firms operate.
    Keywords: Firms; Institutions; Law compliance; Country differences; Globalization
    JEL: D21 K42 O17 O57
    Date: 2006–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:wpaper:1050&r=lam
  4. By: Alberto Chong (Inter-American Development Bank); Mark Gradstein (Ben Gurion University/CEPR/CESifo/IZA)
    Abstract: A growing body of recent macroeconomic evidence suggests that volatility is detrimental to economic growth. The channels through which volatility affects growth, however, are less clear; substantive evidence based on disaggregate data is almost non-existent. This paper offers a framework in which policy volatility has an adverse effect on firms' entry into productive industries, thereby affecting economic growth. Empirical support for this relationship is based on a detailed dataset of thousands of firms from some 80 countries. Additional evidence is provided on the channels through which volatility affects firm growth, showing that institutional obstacles magnify the effect.
    Keywords: International Firm Growth; Policy Volatility; Institutions; Finance
    JEL: E60 H11 O11
    Date: 2006–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:wpaper:1056&r=lam
  5. By: Leonardo Gasparini (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Francisco Haimovich (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Sergio Olivieri (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata)
    Abstract: In the midst of a serious macroeconomic crisis Argentina implemented a large social program – the Programa Jefes de Hogar (PJH) – that provides cash transfers to unemployed household heads meeting certain criteria. In practice, giving the difficulties in monitoring informal jobs, the unemployment requirement of the PJH would imply a disincentive for the program participants to search for a formal job. By applying matching techniques we evaluate the empirical relevance of this prediction during the period of strong economic growth that followed the crisis. We find some evidence on the informality bias of the PJH when the value of the transfer was relatively high compared to wages in the formal labor market.
    Keywords: informality, employment, Argentina, evaluation, program, Jefes
    JEL: I3 D3 D6
    Date: 2007–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dls:wpaper:0053&r=lam
  6. By: Leonardo Gasparini (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Javier Alejo (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Francisco Haimovich (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Sergio Olivieri (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Leopoldo Tornarolli (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on the incidence of poverty among the elderly in Latin America and the Caribbean, based on household survey microdata from 20 countries. The situation of older people is characterized in terms of income, employment, education, health and access to services vis-à-vis the rest of the population. The paper identifies the role played by the current pension systems in Latin America, and assesses the efforts needed to achieve substantial improvements toward the reduction of old-age poverty.
    Keywords: elderly, ageing, poverty, Latin America, Caribbean
    Date: 2007–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dls:wpaper:0055&r=lam

This nep-lam issue is ©2007 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at http://nep.repec.org. For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <director@nep.repec.org>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.