New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2010‒05‒22
three papers chosen by

  1. Measuring Economic and Social Impacts of Migration in Colombia: New evidence By Mauricio Cárdenas; Carlos Medina; Andrés Trejos
  2. Social protection in Latin America : achievements and limitations By Ferreira , Francisco H.G.; Robalino, David
  3. Conscription and Crime: Evidence from the Argentine Draft Lottery By Sebastian Galiani; Martín A. Rossi; Ernesto Schargrodsky

  1. By: Mauricio Cárdenas; Carlos Medina; Andrés Trejos
    Abstract: This paper analyses a comprehensive dataset on migration using robust econometric methodologies to assess a range of economic and social impacts of migration on individuals and households left behind. Our findings indicate that there is no significant impact on labour force participation in households with migrants, but remittances do appear to have a negative effect on labour force participation. Migration (either absent or returned) increases total per capita expenditure by nearly US$35 per month while households that receive remittances increase per capita expenditures by US$49 per month on average. Expenditures in health and education also increase. However, there is no effect on school attendance, while individuals living in a household with an absent migrant are almost 4 per cent less likely to state that their health is good. Households with migration experience are around 8 per cent less likely to keep their immediate families together, with this effect particularly pronounced in the sub-group of households with return migrants. Our policy recommendations emphasize the importance of family reunification, and issue that deserves more decisive policy actions on the part of the Colombian government.
    Date: 2010–05–13
  2. By: Ferreira , Francisco H.G.; Robalino, David
    Abstract: Social protection systems in Latin America have been transformed in the past two decades. Until the 1980s, those who were not covered by the social security arrangements available primarily in the urban formal sector received little public assistance beyond universal subsidies for some food or fuel purchases. Since the 1990s, the introduction of non-contributory social insurance programs (including"social pensions") and conditional cash transfers has substantially extended the coverage and improved the incidence of social assistance. However, the organic growth of subsidized social assistance in parallel to the older social insurance system, financed largely out of taxes on formal sector employment, has led to a dual system that is neither properly equitable nor efficient. The twin challenges that now face social protection in Latin America are to better integrate those two halves of the system, and to develop programs that promote sustainable self-reliance, by moving from"safety nets"to"opportunity ropes."
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Services&Transfers to Poor,Debt Markets,Insurance Law,Health Monitoring&Evaluation
    Date: 2010–05–01
  3. By: Sebastian Galiani (Washington University in St. Louis); Martín A. Rossi (Universidad de San Andrés); Ernesto Schargrodsky (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella)
    Abstract: We estimate the causal effect of mandatory participation in the military service on the involvement in criminal activities. We exploit the random assignment of young men to military service in Argentina through a draft lottery to identify this causal effect. Using a unique set of administrative data that includes draft eligibility, participation in the military service, and criminal records, we find that participation in the military service increases the likelihood of developing a criminal record in adulthood. The effects are not only significant for the cohorts that performed military service during war times, but also for those that provided service at peace times. We also find that military service has detrimental effects on future performance in the labor market.
    Keywords: Military Service, Violent behavior, Crime
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2010–05

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