nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2009‒08‒30
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. On the male-female wage differentials in Brazil- Intra-occupational differentials and occupational segregation - By Tomokazu Nomura
  2. La Industria del Petróleo en Chile By Claudio Agostini; Eduardo Saavedra
  3. Revisiting the School Choice Debate in Chile By Bernardo Lara; Alejandra Mizala; Andrea Repetto
  4. Social Mobility in Latin America: A Review of Existing Evidence By Viviane Azevedo; Cesar Bouillon
  5. Five Centuries of Latin American Inequality By Jeffrey G. Williamson

  1. By: Tomokazu Nomura (Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University)
    Date: 2009–08
  2. By: Claudio Agostini (ILADES-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado); Eduardo Saavedra (ILADES-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado)
    Abstract: Este artículo describe y caracteriza, desde el punto de vista de su organización industrial, los mercados del petróleo y sus derivados líquidos en Chile. Con ese objetivo, se realiza primero una descripción sistemática de cada uno de los mercados que componen esta industria, considerando para ello la estructura vertical de la industria que permite que el insumo básico proveniente de la naturaleza llegue al usuario final: exploración, producción de crudo, importación de crudo, refinación, almacenamiento, transporte y distribución mayorista y minorista. Posteriormente, se realiza un análisis de organización industrial que, a partir de los niveles de concentración y los grados de integración vertical y competencia, identifica posibles conductas anticompetitivas en la industria. Finalmente, se entregan recomendaciones de política pública en aspectos que requieren medidas de corrección o perfeccionamiento para garantizar la competencia. Los autores se inclinan por sugerir una ley marco que proteja la competencia en la industria y la libertad de entrada en segmentos de mercado que pueden operar competitivamente, con la debida tutela de las autoridades de competencia, pero con un mínimo de regulación sectorial.
    Keywords: Combustibles Líquidos, Petróleo, Organización Industrial, Chile
    JEL: L11 L22 L40 L72
    Date: 2009–03
  3. By: Bernardo Lara; Alejandra Mizala; Andrea Repetto
    Abstract: In this paper we re-analyze the effect of private voucher education on student academic performance in Chile using new data and a novel identification strategy. Most schools in Chile provide either primary or secondary education. We analyze the effect of private voucher education on students that are forced to enroll at a different school to attend secondary education once graduated from primary schooling. Moreover, contrary to the previous literature on Chile’s universal voucher system, the data set used in this paper contains information on previous academic achievement and thus allows us to control for it. Using a number of propensity score based econometric techniques and changes-in-changes estimation methods we find that private voucher education leads to small, sometimes not statistically significant differences in academic performance. The estimated effect of private voucher education amounts to about 4 to 6 percent of one standard deviation in test scores. The literature on Chile based on cross sectional data had previously found positive effects of about 15 to 20 percent of one standard deviation. JEL Classifications: I200, I210.
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Viviane Azevedo; Cesar Bouillon
    Abstract: This paper reviews evidence on social mobility in Latin America. Several studies have used data sets that collect intergenerational socio economic information. The data, though limited, suggest that social mobility is low in the region, even when compared with low social mobility developed countries like the United States and United Kingdom, with high levels of immobility at the lower and upper tails of the income distribution. While Latin America has improved education mobility in recent decades, which may have translated into higher mobility for younger cohorts, the region still presents, except for Chile, lower education mobility than in developed countries. The paper also reviews studies on the main determinants of the region’s low levels of social mobility, including social exclusion, low access to higher education, and labor market discrimination.
    Keywords: Social mobility, Latin America, Inequality, Social Exclusion, Education
    JEL: D30 D60 I30
    Date: 2009–08
  5. By: Jeffrey G. Williamson
    Abstract: Most analysts of the modern Latin American economy hold to a pessimistic belief in historical persistence -- they believe that Latin America has always had very high levels of inequality, suggesting it will be hard for modern social policy to create a more egalitarian society. This paper argues that this conclusion is not supported by what little evidence we have. The persistence view is based on an historical literature which has made little or no effort to be comparative. Modern analysts see a more unequal Latin America compared with Asia and the rich post-industrial nations and then assume that this must always have been true. Indeed, some have argued that high inequality appeared very early in the post-conquest Americas, and that this fact supported rent-seeking and anti-growth institutions which help explain the disappointing growth performance we observe there even today. This paper argues to the contrary. Compared with the rest of the world, inequality was not high in pre-conquest 1491, nor was it high in the post-conquest decades following 1492. Indeed, it was not even high in the mid-19th century just prior Latin America's belle époque. It only became high thereafter. Historical persistence in Latin American inequality is a myth.
    JEL: D31 N16 O54
    Date: 2009–08

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