New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2007‒11‒24
five papers chosen by

  1. Financial Development and Inequality: Brazil 1985-1994 By Manoel Bittencourt
  2. Inflation and Financial Development: Evidence from Brazil By Manoel Bittencourt
  3. Sexual Violence in College Students in Chile By Jocelyn A. Lehrer; Vivian L. Lehrer; Evelyn L. Lehrer; Pamela Oyarzun
  4. Earnings Mobility in Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela: Testing the Divergence of Earnings and the Symmetry of Mobility Hypotheses By Gary S. Fields; Robert Duval-Hernández; Samuel Freije; María Laura Sánchez Puerta
  5. Dezessete Anos de Política Fiscal no Brasil: 1991-2007 By Fabio Giambiagi

  1. By: Manoel Bittencourt (School of Economics, University of Cape Town / South Africa)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of financial development on earnings inequality in Brazil in the 1980s and first half of the 1990s. The evidence– based on panel-time series data and analysis–shows that financial development had a significant and robust effect in reducing inequality during the period. We suggest that this is not only because the poorer can invest the acquired credit in either short or long-term productive activities, but also because those with access to financial markets can insulate themselves against recurrent poor macroeconomic performance, which is exemplified by high rates of inflation. The main implication of the results is that a deeper and more active financial sector, alleviates the high inequality seen in Brazil without distorting economic efficiency.
    Keywords: Financial development, inequality, Brazil
    JEL: D31 E44 O11 O54
    Date: 2007–10–10
  2. By: Manoel Bittencourt (School of Economics, University of Cape Town / South Africa)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of inflation on financial development in Brazil and the data available permit us to cover the period between 1985 and 2002. The results–based initially on time-series and then on panel time-series data and analysis, and robust for different estimators and financial development measures–suggest that inflation presented deleterious effects on financial development at the time. The main implication of the results is that poor macroeconomic performance, exemplified in Brazil by high rates of inflation, have detrimental effects to financial development, a variable that is important for affecting, e.g. economic growth and income inequality. Therefore, low and stable inflation, and all that it encompasses, is a necessary first step to achieve a deeper and more active financial sector with all its attached benefits.
    Keywords: Financial development, inflation, Brazil
    JEL: E31 E44 O11 O54
    Date: 2007–10–10
  3. 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); Pamela Oyarzun (University of Chile)
    Abstract: Young women's experiences of sexual victimization can have far-reaching consequences, including unwanted pregnancy and increased risk of psychological, sexual, and reproductive health difficulties; these experiences can also limit young women's ability to achieve their educational potential. To date, no quantitative studies have examined sexual violence among college students in Chile. To address this gap, an anonymous survey was administered to students enrolled in General Education courses at a major public university in Santiago (n=455 female students). Rape, attempted rape, and other types of sexual victimization were reported by 9.4%, 6.2%, and 15.6% of respondents, respectively, as the most severe event experienced since age 14; 17.2% reported some form of sexual victimization in the past 12 months alone. Estimates based on ordered logit models show that low parental education, childhood sexual abuse, and witnessing inter-parental violence are associated with increased odds of sexual victimization since age 14; attendance to religious services and living with the parents while attending college have protective effects. The findings indicate a need to further investigate the prevalence of and risk factors for sexual violence in Chilean college students, and to begin to develop and evaluate theory-based programs to prevent and respond to this public health concern.
    Keywords: sexual victimization, gender based violence
    JEL: J4 J16 I12 I18
    Date: 2007–10
  4. By: Gary S. Fields (Cornell University and IZA); Robert Duval-Hernández (CIDE and IZA); Samuel Freije (Universidad de las Américas); María Laura Sánchez Puerta (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper examines changes in individual earnings during positive and negative growth periods in three Latin American economies: Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela. We ask whether those individuals who start in the best economic position are those who experience the largest earnings gains or the smallest earnings losses; this is the "divergent mobility" hypothesis. We also compare periods of positive economic growth with those of negative economic growth, asking whether those groups of individuals that experience large positive earnings gains when the economy is growing are the same as those that experience large earnings losses when the economy is contracting; this is the "symmetry of mobility" hypothesis. We find very occasional support for the divergent mobility hypothesis in scattered years in the cases of Mexico and Venezuela, and no support at all in the case of Argentina. Rather, earnings mobility is most frequently convergent or neutral in all three countries. As for the symmetry of mobility hypothesis, we find that it is rejected in most cases; rather, those groups that gain the most when the economy is growing are also the ones that gain the most when the economy is contracting. Furthermore, we explain how the absence of divergence is compatible with rising inequality in the countries under study.
    Keywords: earnings mobility, income convergence, Latin America
    JEL: D31 J3 J6 O54
    Date: 2007–11
  5. By: Fabio Giambiagi
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to allow a precise knowledge about the Brazilian public sector fiscal accounts. The article shows the trajectory of the Brazilian fiscal policy since the beginning of the ?above the line? indicators, developed to follow the evolution of revenues and expenditures, in 1991. In this period of almost 20 years, the primary expenditures of the Central Government increased from 14% of GDP in 1991, to an estimation of 22% of GDP in 2007. In the same period, revenues of Central Government escalated from 15% to 24% of GDP and the tax burden from 24% to around 35% of GDP. In spite of this, public investment has been lower than in the 80s. The article presents a set of fiscal indicators, with the purpose of register a period of important transformations; deeply analyzes the detailed evolution of the variables; syntetizes the most relevant trends of the period; and presents a diagnosis of the changes occurred and the problems that should be faced in the next years. The conclusion is that the public expenditures that leaded the growth in the 1991-2007 period were that considered as ?social expenditures?. Another important conclusion is that the thesis regarding the irrelevancy of new reforms, and also the one that we can see a next big fiscal crisis, could both be wrong, if the economy has a yearly growth rate of around 4%.
    Date: 2007–11

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