nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2008‒07‒30
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Financial Liberalisation, Bureaucratic Corruption and Economic Development By Keith Blackburn; Gonzalo F. Forgues-Puccio
  2. Citizenship in the United States: The Roles of Immigrant Characteristics and Country of Origin By Chiswick, Barry R.; Miller, Paul W.
  3. Export Dynamics in Colombia: Transactions Level Evidence By Jonathan Eaton; Marcela Eslava; Maurice Kugler; James Tybout
  4. Use of Informal Mobile Telephony in Low income households in Colombia By Luis Fernando Gamboa; Luis Hernando Gutiérrez

  1. By: Keith Blackburn (Department of Economics, University of Manchester); Gonzalo F. Forgues-Puccio (School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews)
    Abstract: We study the effect of international financial integration on economic development when the quality of governance may be compromised by corruption. Our analysis is based on a dynamic general equilibrium model of a small economy in which growth is driven by capital accumulation and public policy is administered by government-appointed bureaucrats. Corruption may arise due to the opportunity for bureaucrats to embezzle public funds, an opportunity that is made more attractive by financial liberalisation which, at the same time, raises efficiency in capital production. Our main results may be summarised as follows: (1) corruption is always bad for economic development, but its effect is worse if the economy is open than if it is closed; (2) the incidence of corruption may, itself, be affected by both the development and openness of the economy; (3) financial liberalisation is good for development when governance is good, but may be bad for development when governance is bad; and (4) corruption and poverty may co-exist as permanent, rather than just transitory, fixtures of an economy.
    Keywords: Corruption, development, financial liberalisation
    JEL: D73 F36 O11
    Date: 2008–06
  2. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (University of Illinois at Chicago); Miller, Paul W. (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: This study develops and estimates a model of the naturalization process in the US. The model is based on both the characteristics of immigrants and features of their countries of origin. The empirical analysis is based on the 2000 US Census. Both the characteristics of immigrants and the origin-country variables are shown to be important determinants of citizenship status. The individual characteristics that have the most influence are educational attainment, age at migration, years since migration, veteran of the US armed forces, living with family, and spouses’ educational attainment. The country of origin variables of most importance are their degree of civil liberties and political rights, GDP per capita, whether the origin country recognizes dual citizenship, and the geographic distance of the origin country from the US.
    Keywords: immigrants, citizenship, country of origin, human capital
    JEL: I38 J15 J38 F22
    Date: 2008–07
  3. By: Jonathan Eaton; Marcela Eslava; Maurice Kugler; James Tybout
    Abstract: We examine Colombian export transaction data from customs records in several dimensions. We begin with some basic statistics on the number and frequency of export transactions by a firm, overall and across individual markets. We then decompose the variation in overall exports into the number of transactions and the size of the average transaction, both at the aggregate level and for individual firms to explore gravity equations, where the patterns of exports and numbers of transactions are related to the distance with respect to the destination. The analysis is carried out both at the aggregate and the firm level. Then we explore the relationship between patterns of transactions numbers and shipment modes. Our results show great heterogeneity in the patterns of frequency and number of transactions across firms; the average firm sent about 75 shipments abroad in 2005, while the firm with largest number of transactions that same year dispatched more than 26,000 shipments. Moreover, while close to 35% of firms in the sample report a single export transaction over the period, for most firms with multiple transactions the average span between two transactions is less than a month. Part of this heterogeneity is shown to be related to the distance with respect to the destination market: firms exporting to more distant destinations make less frequent shipments than firms exporting to markets that are closer. This suggests that there are fixed costs per shipment inducing declining marginal cost of higher shipment volume. These patterns imply that, at the aggregate level, transactions numbers are the primary source of variation in exports. The variability in the numbers of transactions also explains an important part of the well-known negative relationship between aggregate exports and distance to a specific destination.
    Date: 2008–07–14
  4. By: Luis Fernando Gamboa; Luis Hernando Gutiérrez
    Abstract: Access to mobile telephony in Colombia exhibits rather interesting features compared to other countries. Colombia witnessed the beginning of a new alternative for communication consisting in the use of informal resale of minutes on the streets and small stores during the first years of this century. In this paper we are interested in analyzing the main factors that determine the utilization of this kind of service. We use a probabilistic model to explain the characteristics of the people that use ‘informal resale’ on the streets and we find that people in the modality of prepayment and people from small cities has a higher probability of using this alternative. It is also found that people in the firm-leader use more often this service. These results seem indicate that price differentials among on-net and off-net and between prepaid and postpaid are the causes of the rise of this economic activity. *** El acceso a la telefonía móvil en Colombia evidencia ciertas particularidades con respecto a otros países. En Colombia surgió una nueva alternativa de comunicación que consistía en la venta de minutos de celular en las calles y en pequeños negocios durante los primeros años de ésta década. En este documento se analizan las principales características de quienes usan esta modalidad de comunicación con base en una encuesta dirigida a usuarios y no usuarios de bajos ingresos. Se usa un modelo probabilístico para explicar las características de las personas que lo usan y se encuentra que las personas que están en la modalidad de contrato prepago y que viven en ciudades pequeñas tienen una mayor probabilidad de usar esta alternativa de comunicación. De otro lado se encuentra que quienes están con el operador dominante tienden a usar este servicio también de una forma más notoria. Estos resultados parecen indicar que los diferenciales de precios entre las llamadas off-net y on-net así como entre prepago y postpago son los que alimentaron el surgimiento de esta actividad.
    Date: 2008–07–09

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