nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2010‒04‒11
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Assessing the Link between Adolescent Fertility and Urban Crime By Alejandro Gaviria; Carlos Medina; Jorge Tamayo
  2. Is Latin America on the Right Track? An Analysis of Medium-Term Frameworks and the Budget Process By Carlos Scartascini; Gabriel Filc
  3. Analysis of Several Productive Development Policies in Uruguay By Juan Jose Barrios; Nestor Gandelman; Gustavo Michelin
  4. Political Institutions, Policymaking, and Economic Policy in Latin America By Martin Ardanaz; Carlos Scartascini; Mariano Tommasi
  5. Veto Players and Policy Trade-Offs- An Intertemporal Approach to Study the Effects of Political Institutions on Policy By Carlos Scartascini; Mariano Tommasi; Ernesto Stein

  1. By: Alejandro Gaviria; Carlos Medina; Jorge Tamayo
    Abstract: We use data of neighborhoods of Bogotá to assess the causal relation between their adolescent fertility and their homicide rates. We find that neighborhoods with high adolescent fertility rates, and that have low secondary enrollment and high crime rates at the moment the children of their teen mothers become teenagers, are more likely to have higher homicide rates in the future, when those children reach their peak crime ages, estimated to be between 18 to 26 years old in violent cities of Colombia. The result is robust to various specifications, and to modeling the spatial autocorrelation of homicides.
    Date: 2010–03–29
  2. By: Carlos Scartascini; Gabriel Filc
    Abstract: Medium Term Fiscal Frameworks (MTFs) have become one of the most popular reforms to the budgetary process in Latin America during the last decade, and introducing MTFs seemed to be the magic solution for most fiscal ailments. Nonetheless, there has been no comprehensive evaluation of their impact. This document discusses the normative merits of using MTFs, provides a characterization of the different types of MTF, and describes their development in the Latin American region based on extensive field work. As a first approximation for understanding how they are working, this document explores in detail the cases of Argentina, Colombia and Peru. While an unambiguous diagnosis is not possible, this document lays the groundwork for progress toward comprehensive impact evaluations and, eventually, to the consolidation of MTFs in the region.
    Keywords: Latin America, Medium-Term Fiscal Frameworks, Medium-Term Expenditure Frameworks, Budget Process, Fiscal Outcomes, Fiscal Reforms
    JEL: H61 H68 H00
    Date: 2010–03
  3. By: Juan Jose Barrios; Nestor Gandelman; Gustavo Michelin
    Abstract: This paper reviews and assesses some of the Productive Development Policies currently being implemented in Uruguay. Three horizontal and three vertical policies are considered in light of the market and public failures they attempt to address and minimize. Horizontal policies comprise Innovation, Industrial Promotion and Directives for Industrial and Technological Development. Vertical policies include the analysis of Forestry Law, Meat Traceability and the Sustainable Production Project in the agricultural sector.
    Keywords: Public economics, Regulation and industrial policy, Industrial policy
    JEL: H41 L50 O14 O25
    Date: 2010–03
  4. By: Martin Ardanaz; Carlos Scartascini; Mariano Tommasi
    Abstract: This paper surveys selected themes in the political economy of policymaking in Latin America, with an emphasis on recent research focusing on actual decision and implementation processes, and on the political institutions and state and social actors involved in those processes. In particular, the paper addresses how political rules work for or against intertemporal cooperation among political actors. The document shows that the extent to which polities obtain the key policy features that seem to determine development depends on the workings of political institutions, which define how the policymaking game is played, on the characteristics of the arenas of interaction, which define where the policymaking game is played, and on certain characteristics of key socioeconomic groups, which define who interacts with professionalpoliticians in pursuing different policy preferences.
    Keywords: Political institutions, Public policies, Economic policy, Government capabilities, Development, Latin America
    JEL: D72 D78 H10 H50 O10
    Date: 2010–03
  5. By: Carlos Scartascini; Mariano Tommasi; Ernesto Stein
    Abstract: The capacity to sustain policies over time and the capacity to adjust policies in the face of changing circumstances are two desirable properties of policymaking systems. The veto player approach has suggested that polities with more veto players will have the capacity to sustain policies at the expense of the ability to change policy when necessary. This paper disputes that assertion from an intertemporal perspective, drawing from transaction cost economics and repeated game theory and showing that some countries might have both more credibility and more adaptability than others. More generally, the paper argues that, when studying the effects of political institutions on policy outcomes, a perspective of intertemporal politics might lead to predictions different from those emanating from more a-temporal approaches.
    Keywords: Political institutions, Public policies, Veto players, Policy adaptability, Policy stability, Intertemporal, Credibility, Repeated games
    JEL: D72 D78 H10 H50
    Date: 2010–03

This nep-lam issue is ©2010 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.