nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2008‒04‒29
nine papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. INFORMALIDAD Y SUBEMPLEO EN COLOMBIA: By José Ignacio Uribe; Carlos Humberto Ortiz; Gustavo Adolfo García
  2. Calidad de la educación superior en Colombia: Un análisis multinivel con base en el ECAES de economía 2004 By Milena Patricia Valens Upegui
  3. Paintings and Numbers: An Econometric Investigation of Sales Rates, Prices and Returns in Latin American Art Auctions By Barbosa, Renata Leite; Campos, Nauro F
  4. Soap Operas and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil By Chong, Alberto; Duryea, Suzanne; La Ferrara, Eliana
  5. Human development and inequality in the 20th Century : the Mercosur countries in a comparative perspective By Luis Bertola; Maria Camou; Silvana Maubrigades; Natalia Melgar
  6. Managing Chile’s Macroeconomy during and after the Copper Price Boom By Luiz de Mello
  7. Delivering Cost-Efficient Public Services in Health Care, Education and Housing in Chile By D. Moccero
  8. Tackling Business and Labour Informality in Chile By Dante Contreras; Luiz de Mello; Esteban Puentes
  9. Encouraging Labour Force Participation in Chile By Dante Contreras; Luiz de Mello; Esteban Puentes

  1. By: José Ignacio Uribe; Carlos Humberto Ortiz; Gustavo Adolfo García
    Date: 2008–04–20
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000149:004609&r=lam
  2. By: Milena Patricia Valens Upegui
    Abstract: REVISTA SOCIEDAD Y ECONOMIA #13 TEMA CENTRAL: Conflicto Social y Violencia
    Date: 2008–04–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000172:004627&r=lam
  3. By: Barbosa, Renata Leite; Campos, Nauro F
    Abstract: This paper uses a unique data set of Latin American paintings auctioned by Sotheby's between 1995 and 2002 to investigate several puzzles from the recent auctions literature. Our results suggest that: (1) the reputation of an artist and the provenance of the artwork, omitted variables in most previous studies, seem to be more important determinants of the sale price of a painting than standard factors, such as medium and size, (2) the opinion of art experts seems to be of limited use in predicting whether or not an artwork sells at auction, (3) there is little supporting evidence for the widespread notion that the best or more expensive artworks tend to generate above average returns (the "masterpiece effect"), although (4) there is strong evidence in our data for the declining price anomaly, or "afternoon effect."
    Keywords: art auctions; declining price anomaly; Latin American art; masterpiece effect
    JEL: D44 G11 L12 Z10
    Date: 2008–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6806&r=lam
  4. By: Chong, Alberto; Duryea, Suzanne; La Ferrara, Eliana
    Abstract: What are the effects of television, and of role models portrayed in TV programs, on individual behavior? We focus on fertility choices in Brazil, a country where soap operas (novelas) portray families that are much smaller than in reality. We exploit differences in the timing of entry into different markets of Rede Globo, the network that has an effective monopoly on novelas production in this country. Using Census data for the period 1970-1991, we find that women living in areas covered by the Globo signal have significantly lower fertility. The effect is strongest for women of lower socioeconomic status and for women in the central and late phases of their fertility cycle, consistent with stopping behavior. The result is robust to placebo treatments and does not appear to be driven by selection in Globo entry. Finally, we provide suggestive evidence that novelas, and not just television, affected individual choices. First, people living in areas covered by the signal were more likely to name their children after novela characters. Second, entry of a network that relied on imported shows did not have a significant impact on fertility.
    Keywords: development; fertility; television
    JEL: J13 O12
    Date: 2008–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6785&r=lam
  5. By: Luis Bertola; Maria Camou; Silvana Maubrigades; Natalia Melgar
    Abstract: This article is in line with the United Nations attempts to approach human development in wider terms than per capita GDP, and in line with an ever lively debate on the historical standard of living and on the role of inequality in development. We focus on three Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay) and we view them in comparison with four core countries (France, Germany, USA and UK) along the 20th Century. The paper makes different attempts to construct diverse indices and to change the weights of their different components in order to better explain human development in different periods. A contribution of the paper, so long limited to Uruguay and the USA, is to adjust the historical human development index by inequality measures for all of its components. The results show that Argentine started to diverge, even in human development, at early stages of the 20th Century; that Uruguay diverged from the mid-century and that Brazil continued to tighten the gap up to 1980, diverging afterwards without being able to come close to the levels of the core countries. Total inequality in Uruguay and USA showed similar levels and trends: it decreased until the 1950s, and increased afterwards to similar levels. While inequality affects human development within both countries, it doesn’t help to understand the differences between them, due to the mentioned similarity of the Gini-coefficients.
    Keywords: Human development, Education, Life expectancy, Inequality, Catching-up, Domestic capabilities
    JEL: N36 N56 N76 N96 O15 Q17
    Date: 2008–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp08-06&r=lam
  6. By: Luiz de Mello
    Abstract: Compliance with the structural budget surplus rule, which has been in place since 2001, has allowed the government to maintain a counter-cyclical fiscal stance in an environment of rising copper prices, while delivering a gradual reduction in public indebtedness. Monetary policy is conducted within a framework that combines inflation targeting with exchange-rate flexibility. A Fiscal Responsibility Law was promulgated in September 2006, strengthening the macroeconomic framework further by embedding the fiscal rule in law and setting out regulations for the use of fiscal savings. Complementary pension reform is being discussed in Congress with the objective of strengthening the pension system’s solidarity pillar and encouraging retirement saving. The tax system is also being improved with a view to removing obstacles to financial deepening and to business-sector development. Government spending on social programmes is budgeted to rise considerably, in line with the authorities’ emphasis on social development. The main challenge in the macroeconomic area is to maintain the policy setting that has served Chile so well over the recent copper-price upswing, while tempering demands for hiking public social spending and maintaining a lean public sector in a low-tax, low-debt environment. This paper relates to the 2007 Economic Survey of Chile (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/chile). <P>La gestion macroéconomique du Chili durant et après la forte hausse des prix du cuivre <BR>Respectant la règle d’excédent budgétaire structurel, appliquée depuis 2001, le gouvernement a pu maintenir une orientation budgétaire anticyclique dans un contexte de hausse des prix du cuivre tout en réduisant progressivement la dette publique. La politique monétaire s’appuie sur un cadre associant le ciblage de l’inflation à un taux de change flexible. Une loi de responsabilité budgétaire, adoptée en septembre 2006, a encore renforcé le dispositif macroéconomique en conférant un caractère législatif à la règle budgétaire et en réglementant l’utilisation des économies budgétaires. Une réforme complémentaire des retraites est actuellement examinée par le Congrès, son but étant de consolider le régime fondé sur la solidarité et d’encourager l’épargne retraite. Les autorités s’efforcent également d’améliorer le système fiscal afin d’éliminer les obstacles au développement du secteur financier et du secteur des entreprises. Les dépenses publiques devraient beaucoup augmenter pour les programmes sociaux, l’accent étant mis sur le développement social. Le principal enjeu macroéconomique est de préserver le cadre d’action qui a été si bénéfique pour le Chili durant la forte hausse récente des prix du cuivre, tout en tempérant les revendications d’augmentation des dépenses publiques sociales et en conservant un secteur public dimensionné au plus juste dans un environnement de faible fiscalité et de faible endettement. Ce document se rapporte à l’Étude économique du Chili 2007 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/chili).
    Keywords: fiscal policy, politique budgétaire, monetary policy, politique monétaire, pension reform, réforme des pensions, Chile, Chili
    JEL: E20 E52 E62
    Date: 2008–04–14
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:605-en&r=lam
  7. By: D. Moccero
    Abstract: The Chilean authorities plan to raise budgetary allocations over the medium term for a variety of social programmes, including education, health care and housing. This incremental spending will need to be carried out in a cost-efficient manner to make sure that it yields commensurate improvements in social outcomes. Chile’s health indicators show that it fares relatively well in relation to comparator countries in the OECD area and in Latin America. But this is less so in the case of education, where secondary and tertiary educational attainment remain low, despite a significant increase over the years, and performance is poor on the basis of standardised test scores, such as PISA. Even though comparison with countries in the OECD area is difficult, a sizeable housing deficit has yet to be closed in Chile. To meet these various challenges, efforts will need to be stepped up to: i) narrow the disparities in performance that currently exist among schools with students from varying backgrounds through use of the “differentiated” voucher scheme and additional measures to improve the quality of teaching and management; ii) improve risk sharing among private and public health insurers, while increasing the coverage of health insurance to a broader variety of pathologies under AUGE; and iii) continue to tackle the shortage of housing, while enhancing the quality of subsidised housing units and their surrounding neighbourhoods for the poorest segments of society. This paper relates to the 2007 Economic Survey of Chile (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/chile). <P>Pour des services publics efficients dans le domaine des soins de santé, de l’éducation et du logement au Chili <BR>Les autorités prévoient d’augmenter les dotations budgétaires à moyen terme pour divers programmes sociaux touchant notamment aux secteurs de l’éducation, de la santé et du logement. Elles doivent faire preuve d’efficience dans l’utilisation de ce surcroît de dépenses, de façon à s’assurer que les résultats sociaux s’améliorent de manière proportionnelle. Les indicateurs de santé de la population montrent que la situation est relativement bonne au Chili par rapport aux pays pris comme comparaison dans la zone OCDE et en Amérique latine. Elle est moins favorable dans le secteur de l’éducation, où les résultats dans le secondaire et le supérieur restent faibles, malgré une progression sensible au fil des années, et où la performance telle que la mesurent les notes obtenues à des tests normalisés du type PISA est peu satisfaisante. Même s’il est difficile de faire des comparaisons avec les pays de l’OCDE, le Chili doit encore faire face à une importante pénurie de logements. Pour relever ces différents défis, il lui faudra redoubler d’effort afin de : i) réduire les disparités de résultats qui existent actuellement entre les établissements publics, privés subventionnés et totalement privés grâce à l’utilisation du dispositif de chèques-éducation « différenciés » ; ii) mieux partager les risques entre les assureurs publics et les assureurs privés, tout en élargissant la couverture de l’assurance maladie à des pathologies plus diverses ; et iii) continuer à faire face à la pénurie de logements tout en améliorant la qualité des logements subventionnés au profit des catégories les plus pauvres de la société. Ce document se rapporte à l’Étude économique du Chili 2007 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/chili).
    Keywords: health, santé, education, éducation, Chile, Chili, Public spending efficiency, data envelopment analysis, social housing, logement social
    JEL: C6 I1 I2
    Date: 2008–04–14
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:606-en&r=lam
  8. By: Dante Contreras; Luiz de Mello; Esteban Puentes
    Abstract: Informality often arises from disincentives associated with high taxes and a restrictive regulatory framework in both labour and product markets. About 20% of the Chilean population aged 15 years and above and working at least 20 hours per week did not have a formal labour contract in 2006. At the same time, nearly 11% of the potential value added tax base is estimated to have been undeclared in 2005. While Chile’s tax system is not particularly burdensome to business formality, there is scope for making product-market regulations less onerous to firms and the labour code more flexible, especially with regards to indefinite contracts and the allocation of working time. Low human capital remains an important obstacle to reducing labour informality. To the extent that informal businesses also hire informally, there is some room for designing policies to tackle business informality in conjunction with those aimed at boosting formal labour contracting. Chile is strengthening its social safety net through the introduction of unemployment insurance and by reforming existing health insurance and pension systems. An important policy question is whether the incentives for formality arising from more comprehensive social protection will be strong enough to compensate for the additional costs these contributory programmes entail. This paper relates to the 2007 Economic Survey of Chile (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/chile). <P>S’attaquer à l’activité informelle au Chili <BR>L’activité informelle résulte souvent de contre-incitations liées au niveau élevé des taux d’imposition et à un cadre réglementaire restrictif, tant sur le marché du travail que sur les marchés de produits. Environ 20 % des Chiliens âgés de 15 ans et plus et travaillant au moins 20 heures par semaine n’avaient pas de contrat de travail en 2003. En même temps, environ 40-50 % des entreprises auraient des activités informelles et l’on estime que près de 11 % des activités soumises à la taxe sur la valeur ajoutée n’ont pas été déclarées en 2005. Même si le système fiscal du Chili ne pèse pas excessivement sur le secteur formel, il est possible de rendre la réglementation des marchés de produits moins coûteuse pour les entreprises et d’assouplir le code du travail, surtout en ce qui concerne l’affectation du temps de travail. Dans la mesure où les entreprises du secteur informel emploient aussi une main-d’oeuvre non déclarée, il est possible d’élaborer des politiques en vue de s’attaquer à l’activité informelle, associées aux mesures visant à stimuler l’offre de contrats de travail officiels. Le Chili renforce actuellement son filet de sécurité sociale en mettant en place une assurance chômage et une réforme des systèmes existants d’assurance maladie et de pensions. Une question importante qui se pose est celle de savoir si une protection sociale plus étendue créera des incitations à l’activité formelle assez puissantes pour compenser les coûts additionnels que ces programmes contributifs entraînent. Ce document se rapporte à l’Étude économique du Chili 2007 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/chili).
    Keywords: human capital, product market regulation, capital humain, réglementation des marchés de produits, informality, informalité, social protection, protection sociale
    JEL: J21 J42 O17
    Date: 2008–04–14
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:607-en&r=lam
  9. By: Dante Contreras; Luiz de Mello; Esteban Puentes
    Abstract: Chile’s labour force participation is low by comparison with most countries in the OECD area, especially among females and youths. In the case of women, labour supply has risen steadily over time for prime-age and older individuals, against a background of relative stability for men. With regards to youths, participation rates are trending down, primarily as a result of rising school enrolment, especially for males, while remaining fairly low and stable over the years for young females. The main policy challenge in this area is to raise female labour supply further, for both prime-age individuals and youths, as a means of making a better use of labour inputs in support of long-term growth. This can be achieved essentially by removing provisions in the labour code that constrain the allocation of working time and by improving access to affordable child care for mothers with young children. Policies aimed at fostering human capital accumulation for the population as a whole would also contribute, because educational attainment is one of the most powerful determinants of labour force participation. This paper relates to the 2007 Economic Survey of Chile (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/chile). <P>Encourager l’activité au Chili <BR>Le taux d'activité du Chili est faible par comparaison avec la plupart des pays de la zone OCDE, surtout parmi les femmes et les jeunes. Dans le cas des femmes, l'offre de main-d'oeuvre a augmenté régulièrement avec le temps dans les classes d'âge de forte activité et au-delà, tandis qu'elle restait relativement stable chez les hommes. En ce qui concerne les jeunes, les taux d'activité sont orientés à la baisse, principalement du fait des progrès de la scolarisation, surtout chez les hommes, alors qu'ils restent assez faibles et stables chez les femmes. Le principal enjeu dans ce domaine est de renforcer l'offre de travail des femmes, à la fois dans les classes d'âge de forte activité et chez les jeunes, afin de mieux utiliser le facteur travail en le mettant au service de la croissance à long terme. Cela suppose essentiellement que l'on supprime du code du travail les contraintes qui pèsent sur l'affectation du temps de travail et que l'on développe l'offre de services de garde d'un coût abordable pour les mères de jeunes enfants. Le niveau d'instruction étant l'un des principaux déterminants de l'activité, des mesures qui tendraient à renforcer l'accumulation de capital humain dans l'ensemble de la population auraient également leur utilité. Ce document se rapporte à l’Étude économique du Chili 2007 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/chili).
    Keywords: child care, garde d'enfants, Chile, Chili, taux d'activité, pre-school education, labour force participation
    JEL: J13 J21 J22
    Date: 2008–04–14
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:608-en&r=lam

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