nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2009‒02‒14
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Can Maquila Booms Reduce Poverty? Evidence from Honduras By E. de Hoyos, Rafael; Bussolo, Maurizio; Nunez, Oscar
  2. Output Collapses and Productivity Destruction By Juan Blyde; Christian Daude; Eduardo Fernandez-Arias
  3. Television and Divorce: Evidence from Brazilian Novelas By Alberto Chong; Eliana La Ferrara

  1. By: E. de Hoyos, Rafael (SEMS); Bussolo, Maurizio (The World Bank); Nunez, Oscar (The World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper identifies and estimates the strength of the reduction in poverty linked to improved opportunities for women in the expanding maquila sector. A simulation exercise shows that, at a given point in time, poverty in Honduras would have been 1.5 percentage points higher had the maquila sector not existed. Of this increase in poverty, 0.35 percentage points is attributable to the wage premium paid to maquila workers, 0.1 percentage points to the wage premium received by women in the maquila sector, and 1 percentage point to employment creation. Given that female maquila workers represent only 1.1 percent of the active population in Honduras, this contribution to poverty reduction is significant.
    Keywords: Trade liberalization; maquila; poverty; gender wage gap; Honduras
    JEL: F16 I32 J24 J31
    Date: 2008–12–01
  2. By: Juan Blyde; Christian Daude; Eduardo Fernandez-Arias
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the long-run relationship between output collapses—defined defined as GDP falling substantially below trend—and total factor productivity (TFP), using a panel of 71 developed and developing countries during the period 1960-2003 to identify episodes of output collapse and estimate counterfactual post-collapse TFP trends. Collapses are concentrated in developing countries, especially African and Latin American, and were particularly widespread in the 1980s in Latin America. Overall, output collapses are systematically associated with long-lasting declines in TFP. The paper explores the conditions under which collapses are least or most damaging, as well as the type of shocks that make collapses more likely or severe, and additionally quantifies the welfare cost associated with output collapses.
    Keywords: Growth, recessions, productivity, recovery
    JEL: F43 O40
    Date: 2009–01
  3. By: Alberto Chong; Eliana La Ferrara
    Abstract: This paper studies the link between television and divorce in Brazil by exploiting variation in the timing of availability of the signal of Rede Globo—the network that had a virtual monopoly on telenovelas in the country—across municipal areas. Using three rounds of Census data (1970, 1980 and 1991) and controlling for area fixed effects and for time-varying characteristics, the paper finds that the share of women who are separated or divorced increases significantly after the Globo signal becomes available. The effect is robust to controlling for potential determinants of Globo’s entry strategy and is stronger for relatively smaller areas, where the signal reaches a higher fraction of the population.
    Keywords: Divorce, Television, Brazil, Soap Operas, Media, Women, Empowerment
    JEL: O1 J12 N36
    Date: 2009–01

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