nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2009‒09‒11
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Colombian and South American Immigrants in the United States of America: Education Levels, Job Qualifications and the Decision to Go Back Home By Carlos Medina; Cristhian Manuel Posso
  2. Desarrollo económico: retos y políticas públicas By Raquel Bernal; Adriana Camacho; Carmen Elisa Flórez; Alejandro Gaviria
  3. Inequality in developing economies: The role of institutional development By Joshy Easaw; Antonio Savoia
  4. Recent trends in income inequality in Latin America By Leonardo Gasparini; Guillermo Cruces; Leopoldo Tornarolli
  5. Gender, education and reciprocal generosity: Evidence from 1,500 experiment subjects By Pablo Brañas-Garza; Juan C. Cárdenas; Máximo Rossi
  6. Horizontal inequity in access to health care in four South American cities By Ana I. Balsa; Máximo Rossi; Patricia Triunfo

  1. By: Carlos Medina; Cristhian Manuel Posso
    Abstract: This document provides evidence to show that Colombia is a net exporter of 5% of its population with a university or post-graduate degree, while Argentina, Brazil and Chile are net importers of people with a similar level of education. We find that those Colombians who returned home to Colombia from the United States between the years 1990 and 2005 were, on average, less well educated than those who decided to stay in the States, a fact which has contributed to emphasising the positive selection made by Colombians when choosing the US as their destination, and as a result has increased the net flight of human capital (the so-called “brain drain”). The same exercise carried out on the South American countries as a whole leads to an analogous result. Although data does not allow us to include the quality of jobs immigrants are performing in the US as a determinant of the decision to return, it allow us to show that immigrants to the US from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela are generally employed in activities that require better qualifications than those in which Colombian migrants are working, although the Colombians are usually engaged in work which requires better qualifications than the jobs where migrants from Ecuador and Peru are employed. In the case of Colombians, and for the rest of South Americans taken as a whole, their level of education is closely linked to the level of qualification required for the work they do in the United States.
    Date: 2009–08–31
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000094:005758&r=lam
  2. By: Raquel Bernal; Adriana Camacho; Carmen Elisa Flórez; Alejandro Gaviria
    Abstract: En el estudio se identificaron los principales problemas que Colombia afronta para lograr un desarrollo económico consolidado y se sugirieron recomendaciones de política pública de corto, mediano y largo plazo para superarlos. Los cinco elementos en los cuales se basó el análisis fueron: Educación, salud y demografía, pobreza y distribución del ingreso, mercado laboral e instituciones.
    Date: 2009–01–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000089:005269&r=lam
  3. By: Joshy Easaw (University of Bath); Antonio Savoia (University of Reading and Universitá di Salerno)
    Abstract: In the present paper we study the distributive impact of institutional change in developing countries. In such economies, economic institutions, such as property rights systems, may act to preserve the interests of a rich minority, but this depends crucially on the level of political equality. For example, dominant classes can control key-markets, access to assets and investment opportunities, especially if they enjoy disproportionate political power. We test this hypothesis using cross-section and panel data methods on a sample of low- and middle-income economies from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Results suggest that: (a) increasing the protection of property rights increases income inequality; (b) such an effect is larger in low-democracy environments; (c) a minority of countries have developed a set political institutions capable of counterbalancing this effect.
    Keywords: Inequality, developing economies, institutions, property rights, democracy
    JEL: O15 O17 D70
    Date: 2009
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2009-121&r=lam
  4. By: Leonardo Gasparini (CEDLAS – Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Guillermo Cruces (CEDLAS – Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Leopoldo Tornarolli (CEDLAS – Universidad Nacional de La Plata)
    Abstract: This paper documents patterns and recent developments on income inequality in Latin America (LA). New comparative international evidence confirms that LA is a region of high inequality, although maybe not the highest in the world. Income inequality has fallen in the 2000s, suggesting a turning point from the substantial increases of the 1980s and 1990s. The fall in inequality is significant and widespread, but it does not seem to be based on strong fundamentals.
    Keywords: inequality, distribution, education, Latin America
    JEL: C15 D31 I21 J23 J31
    Date: 2009
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2009-132&r=lam
  5. By: Pablo Brañas-Garza (Universidad de Granada); Juan C. Cárdenas (Universidad de los Andes); Máximo Rossi (Universidad de la República, Uruguay)
    Abstract: There is not general consensus about if women are more or less generous than men. Although the number of papers supporting more generous females is a bit larger than the opposed it is not possible to establish any definitive and systematic gender bias. This paper provides new evidence on this topic using a unique experimental dataset. We used data from a field experiment conducted under identical conditions (and monetary payoffs) in 6 Latin American cities, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Lima, Montevideo and San José. Our dataset amounted to 3,107 experimental subjects who played the Trust Game. We will analyze the determinants of behavior of second movers, that is, what determines reciprocal generosity. In sharp contrast to previous papers we found that males are more generous than females. In the light of this result, we carried out a systematic analysis of individual features (income, education, age, etc.) for females and males separately. We found differential motivations for women and men. Third, we see that (individual) education enhances pro-social behavior. Lastly, we see that subjects’ expectations are crucial.
    Keywords: Reciprocal altruism, gender, education
    JEL: C93 D64 J16
    Date: 2009
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2009-128&r=lam
  6. By: Ana I. Balsa (University of Miami); Máximo Rossi (Universidad de la República (Uruguay)); Patricia Triunfo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay))
    Abstract: This paper analyzes and compares socioeconomic inequalities in the use of healthcare services by the elderly in four South-American cities: Buenos Aires (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Montevideo (Uruguay) and San Pablo (Brazil). We use data from SABE, a survey on Health, Well-being and Aging administered in several Latin American cities in 2000. After having accounted for socioeconomic inequalities in healthcare needs, we find socioeconomic inequities favoring the rich in the use of preventive services (mammograms, pap tests, breast examinations, and prostate exams) in all of the studied cities. We also find inequities in the likelihood of having a medical visit in Santiago and Montevideo, and in some measures of quality of access in Santiago, Sao Paulo, and Buenos Aires. Santiago depicts the highest inequities in medical visits and Uruguay the worse indicators in mammograms and pap scans tests. For all cities, inequities in preventive services at least double inequities in other services. We do not find evidence of a trade-off between levels of access and equity in access to healthcare services. The decomposition of healthcare inequalities suggests that inequities within each health system (public or private) are more important than between systems.
    Keywords: inequalities, healthcare, medical visit, preventive services.
    JEL: I1 I11 I12 I18
    Date: 2009
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2009-131&r=lam

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