New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2008‒06‒21
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Structural Interdependence among Colombian Departments By Eduardo A. Haddad; Fernando S. Perobelli; Jaime Bonet; Geoffrey J. D. Hewings
  2. Hysteresis in Unemployment:Evidence from Latin America By Matias Mednik; Cesar M. Rodriguez; Inder J. Ruprah
  3. La Belleza y su Efecto en el Mercado Laboral: Evidencia para Chile By Claudia Sanhueza; Rodrigo Bravo; Oscar Giusti
  4. Poverty and Inequality among Ethnic Groups in Chile By Claudio Agostini; Phillip Brown; Andrei Roman
  5. And What About the Family Back Home? International Migration and Happiness By Fernando Borraz; Susan Pozo; Máximo Rossi
  6. Políticas contra la informalidad en mercados de trabajo segmentados: un análisis de equilibrio general aplicado a Uruguay By Carmen Estrades; María Inés Terra
  7. The perception of corruption By Natalia Melgar; Máximo Rossi; Tom W. Smith
  8. Diferenciales de productividad según orientación exportadora de las empresas: ¿se cumple la autoselección y el aprendizaje? By Laura da Costa Ferré
  9. Impactos Sociales en Uruguay de la Liberalización del Comercio Mundial de la Carne By Fernando Borraz; Máximo Rossi
  10. The Emergence of new Successful Export Activities in Uruguay By Michele Snoeck; Carlos Casacuberta; Rosario Domingo; Héctor Pastori; Lucía Pittaluga
  11. Identidad Nacional: Uruguay y el resto del mundo By Federico Balbi; Marcelo Bretón; Federico Ott; Máximo Rossi

  1. By: Eduardo A. Haddad; Fernando S. Perobelli; Jaime Bonet; Geoffrey J. D. Hewings
    Abstract: This paper advances on the analysis of the structural interdependence among Colombian departments. The results show that Bogotá has a large influence in the other regional economies through its purchasing power. Additionally, it can be observed a centerperiphery pattern in the spatial concentration of the effects of the hypothetical extraction of any territory. From a policy point of view, the main findings reaffirm the role played by Bogotá in the polarization process observed in the regional economies in Colombia in the last years. Any policy action oriented to reduce these regional disparities should take into account that, given the structural interdependence among Colombian departments, new investment in the lagged regions would flow through Bogotá and the major regional economies.
    Date: 2008–06–10
  2. By: Matias Mednik (Columbia University - School of International and Public Affairs.); Cesar M. Rodriguez (Office of Evaluation and Oversight at the Interamerican Development Bank.); Inder J. Ruprah (Office of Evaluation and Oversight at the Interamerican Development Bank.)
    Abstract: This paper tests the hysteresis hypothesis in unemployment for 13 Latin American countries covering the period 1980-2005. The tests exploit the time series and the cross sectional variation of the series, and allows for cross section dependence and a different number of endogenously determined structural breakpoints. The findings give support to the hysteric dynamic hypothesis for the majority of the countries analyzed. The implications of the results have ramifications regarding macro-stabilization, structural reform, and the design of social safety protection.
    Keywords: Unemployment hysteresis, unit root test, panel unit root test, cross-section dependence.
    JEL: C22 C23 E24 J24 J60
    Date: 2008–03
  3. By: Claudia Sanhueza (ILADES-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado); Rodrigo Bravo (Universidad de Chile); Oscar Giusti (Universidad de Chile)
    Abstract: Este trabajo investiga el premio de la “belleza” en una muestra de ingenieros comerciales egresados desde 1978 a 1998. Usando un diseño experimental se construyó un índice de belleza por individuo en base a la percepción de un grupo de personas seleccionadas aleatoriamente, quienes calificaron fotos. Los resultados indican que el efecto de la “belleza” está presente sólo en los años iniciales en el mercado laboral, como un “premio” por estar sobre el promedio para las mujeres, llegando a ser del orden del 33%, y como un “castigo” por estar bajo el promedio para los hombres, cercano al 36%. Otro resultado es que el efecto para los hombres se disipa más rápidamente que para las mujeres, a medida que ganan experiencia en el mercado laboral. Por último, aunque la evidencia no es concluyente los resultados indican que el premio a la belleza es mayor en el sector privado y para trabajadores dependientes o empleados.
    Keywords: diseño experimental, Indicadores de belleza, Diferencias salariales por belleza
    JEL: C93 J15 J16
    Date: 2008–06
  4. By: Claudio Agostini (ILADES-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado); Phillip Brown (Colby College, Waterville, Maine, United States and International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C., United States.); Andrei Roman (Colby College, Waterville, Maine, United States)
    Abstract: Despite two decades of rapid growth, indigenous Chileans are disproportionately poor. However, income data obtained from non-representative surveys yield imprecise estimates of poverty and inequality. This paper therefore estimates poverty and inequality using poverty mapping methods. In contrast to previous studies, however, we use ethnicity rather than geography as a basis for disaggregation. We find that indigenous Chileans are significantly poorer than non-indigenous people, but that inequality rates are also lower for indigenous groups. These reliable estimates of poverty and inequality may augment the antipoverty targeting criteria used in Chile, helping policy-makers to better identify poor households.
    Keywords: Latin America; Chile; Poverty; Inequality; Ethnicity; Poverty Mapping
    JEL: I32 J15 D31 C53 O54
    Date: 2008–06
  5. By: Fernando Borraz (Universidad de Montevideo); Susan Pozo (Western Michigan University); Máximo Rossi (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: In this study we use data on subjective well being and migration in Cuenca, one of the Ecuador's largest cities. We examine the impact of migration on the happiness of the family left behind. We use the propensity score matching estimator to take into account the endogeneity of migration. Our results indicate that migration reduces the happiness of those left behind. We also find that the monetary inflows (remittances) that accompany migration do not increase happiness levels among recipients. These results suggest that the family left behind cannot be compensated, for the increase in unhappiness that it sustains on account of the emigration of loved ones, with remittances from abroad.
    Keywords: Happiness, migration, remittances
    JEL: A12 F22 I31
    Date: 2008–02
  6. By: Carmen Estrades (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); María Inés Terra (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of some policies against informality on the labor market, poverty and income distribution in Uruguay, using a general equilibrium model that considers a dual labor market, segmented by skill, and microsimulations. We simulate two sets of policies: payroll tax cuts and increase in enforcement on the informal sector. Both sets of policies are effective in reducing informality. Payroll tax cuts on unskilled labor increase informality among medium skill workers. In spite of that, they are successful in reducing poverty and improving income distribution. Increasing capital tax reverts the negative impact of tax reduction policies on government revenue. In this case, informality falls even more, because the policy reverts the fall in public investment, which affects directly an unskilled labor intensive sector: building. On the other hand, enforcement policies have a negative impact on wages, especially for unskilled workers. As a consequence, poverty increases.
    Keywords: informality, labor market, general equilibrium, policies, poverty, microsimulations
    JEL: D58 I32 J08 J42
    Date: 2007–12
  7. By: Natalia Melgar (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Máximo Rossi (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Tom W. Smith (NORC/University of Chicago)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the foundations of corruption perception. Even when we employ the concept of corruption in several areas and its connotations vary widely depending on societies and people, it is possibly to find some elements in common which are connected with the misuse of public office with the purpose of making private gains. This paper focuses on this wide concept of corruption. We use data from the module on Citizenship of the 2004 International Social Survey Program (ISSP). Ordered probit models were estimated in order to study the impact of independent variables on the perception of corruption. We conclude that there are significant socio-demographic variables: gender, marital status, religiosity, education and sector of employment, among others. Additionally, we find that country of residence matters and that there are similar results among countries with common characteristics.
    Keywords: corruption, microeconomic behavior, comparative research, public opinion, ISSP
    JEL: D73 K42 O57
    Date: 2008–03
  8. By: Laura da Costa Ferré (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between productivity and export orientation of Uruguayan manufacturing firms in 1997-2001, trying to explore the self-selection and learning by exporting hypotheses. We use a constant prices plant level data panel for 1997-2001. First, we estimate a production function with several methodologies, including Levinsohn-Petrin, which corrects simultaneity and selection bias. Second, total factor productivity and labour productivity differentials of entrants, exit and permanent groups in the export market relative to non exporters is analized. We found strong evidence of exporters being more productive than non-exporters. Besides, the entrant group of firms was more productive than non exporter group before entering the export market, which is consistent with self-selection. Finally, we also found increases in productivity after firms start to export, which supports the learning by exporting hypothesis.
    Keywords: Levinsohn-Petrin, total factor productivity, exports, manufacturing firms, selfselection, learning by exporting
    JEL: D21 D24 F14 O54
    Date: 2008–03
  9. By: Fernando Borraz (Universidad de Montevideo); Máximo Rossi (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: In this work we quantify the impact of trade liberalization in the global beef markets over labor income, employment and poverty levels in Uruguay. The adjustment of local beef prices after an external shock to the worldwide price levels is imperfect. Estimations indicate that 76% of a certain shock to the export prices is transmitted to the price paid to the local producers. Shortterm local price dynamics show that the transmission is pretty low paced Price changes after trade liberalization imply that men become better off, in particular those who are highly educated and work in the agricultural sector. For the case of women, increases in labor income after trade liberalization are mild. We do not observe poverty impacts after trade liberalization. Additionally, changes in employment levels are almost immaterial. We conclude that income concentration is lower in the case of men and higher for the case of women.
    Keywords: wages, employment, poverty, liberalization, trade
    JEL: D31 I32 F16
    Date: 2008–04
  10. By: Michele Snoeck (Instituto de Ingeniería Mecánica e Industrial, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de la República); Carlos Casacuberta (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Rosario Domingo (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Héctor Pastori (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Lucía Pittaluga (Instituto de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: El proyecto “El surgimiento de nuevas actividades exportadoras exitosas en América Latina” busca identificar los elementos claves en el proceso de descubrimiento de nuevas oportunidades de exportación en diferentes países de la región, con el objetivo de proponer políticas y reformas que permitan aumentar el ritmo de descubrimientos, en particular teniendo en cuenta la importancia relativa de diversas fallas de mercado. El enfoque general del estudio puede resumirse en que “los mercados se desempeñan bien al brindar señales de la rentabilidad de actividades que ya existen, pero su desempeño es pobre cuando se trata de actividades que podrían existir pero no existen. Aun si estas actividades no son nuevas en el sentido de que están presentes en economías más ricas, los productores se ven enfrentados a una considerable incertidumbre respecto a los costos y la productividad bajo las condiciones del mercado local. Introducirse en estos nuevos sectores típicamente requiere un inversor pionero, que indica a otros la rentabilidad de dichas actividades. Llamamos a este proceso de descubrir la estructura de costos interna de la economía auto-descubrimiento” (Hausmann y Rodrik, 2003). “En el proceso de auto-descubrimiento abundan las externalidades de información, debido a que la información de costos descubierta por un empresario no puede conservarse en forma privada. Si la empresa pionera resulta rentable, esto es fácilmente observable por otros. Los imitadores entran entonces en la actividad, la renta del productor establecido se disipa y se establece un nuevo sector. Si, por el contrario, el pionero quiebra, las pérdidas son soportadas en su totalidad por el empresario. En consecuencia, la actividad empresarial de esta naturaleza no es una actividad con alta recompensa: las pérdidas son privadas mientras las ganancias se socializan. Por tanto, los mercados no proporcionan suficiente actividad empresarial en actividades nuevas” (Hausmann, Rodríguez-Clare y Rodrik, 2006). El estudio realizado para Uruguay consistió en analizar cuatro actividades exportadoras nuevas para el país, en el contexto del marco teórico propuesto por el BID y siguiendo la metodología común establecida para todos los casos incluidos en el proyecto regional. Asimismo, en el marco de este estudio se construyó una base de datos armonizada de las exportaciones uruguayas de bienes a nivel de producto y empresa, que permite analizar la actividad exportadora a nivel de empresa, producto y mercado de destino en las últimas dos décadas. La disponibilidad de series de tiempo consistentes permitió superar las limitaciones de información que provocaban en las estadísticas los cambios introducidos en la clasificación de productos en cuatro oportunidades (1985, 1993, 1997, 2002). Este estudio busca una mejor comprensión de estos problemas en el caso de Uruguay, presentando, en primer término, una visión de conjunto del desempeño exportador de Uruguay y su política comercial, y un análisis de la actividad exportadora a nivel de firma. En segundo lugar se analizan en profundidad cuatro sectores: software, forestal, caviar y esturión, y vacunas de origen animal a partir de los cuales se extraen lecciones de políticas públicas.
    Keywords: exportaciones, fallas de mercado, fallas de coordinación, proceso de auto-descubrimiento, software, sector forestal, vacunas de origen animal, caviar y esturión
    JEL: F14 L63 L65 L73
    Date: 2007–12
  11. By: Federico Balbi; Marcelo Bretón; Federico Ott; Máximo Rossi (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: This paper is based on the National Identity Module Survey ISSP 2003. Using the Theory of Social Identity, we developed a multidimensional concept of national identity. This concept was defined including four dimensions, which were verified by the method of Factor Analysis and reflected in their respective indicators. Analyzing the personal characteristics of individuals as determinants of national identity through the estimated five probit models, it was found that older people are more likely to have a high degree of national identity. For its part, the level of formal education has a negative impact on the level of national identity, while gender is not significant at the time to explain this variable. Concerning the analysis of indicator of national identity at the level of the sample countries, the location of Uruguay above average, ranked 12th. among the 34 countries surveyed must be highlighted. By decomposing the overall indicator, it is emphasize a high requirement of Uruguayans when considering another individual as truly Uruguayan, and a low level of extreme nationalism.
    Keywords: national identity, citizenship, economic performance
    JEL: D01 D7 Z13
    Date: 2008–05

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