nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2010‒06‒04
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Bayesian Model Averaging. An Application to Forecast Inflation in Colombia By Eliana González
  2. Catastrophic Natural Disasters and Economic Growth By Eduardo Cavallo; Sebastian Galiani; Ilan Noy; Juan Pantano
  3. Microeconomic Approaches to Development: Schooling, Learning, and Growth By Rosenzweig, Mark R.
  4. Microeconomics of Technology Adoption By Foster, Andrew D.; Rosenzweig, Mark R.
  5. Global Wage Inequality and the International Flow of Migrants By Rosenzweig, Mark R.
  6. Infrastructure in Latin America By Calderon, Cesar; Serven, Luis

  1. By: Eliana González
    Abstract: An application of Bayesian Model Averaging, BMA, is implemented to construct combined forecasts for the colombian inflation for the short and medium run. A model selection algorithm is applied over a set of linear models with a large dataset of potencial predictors using marginal as well as predictive likelihood. The forecasts obtained when using predictive likelihood outperformed the ones obtained when using marginal likelihood. BMA forecasts reduce forecasting error compared to the individual forecasts, equal weighted average, dynamic factors model and random walk forecasts for most horizons. Additionally, the BMA outperformed for some horizons the frequentist Information theoretic model average, ITMA, when the weights of both methodologies are build based on the predictive ability of the models.
    Date: 2010–05–23
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000094:007013&r=lam
  2. By: Eduardo Cavallo (Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department); Sebastian Galiani (Washington University in St. Louis); Ilan Noy (University of Hawaii, Department of Economics); Juan Pantano (Washington University in St. Louis)
    Abstract: We examine the short and long run average causal impact of catastrophic natural disasters on economic growth by combining information from comparative case studies. We assess the counterfactual of the cases studied by constructing synthetic control groups taking advantage of the fact that the timing of large sudden natural disasters is an exogenous event. We ?find that only extremely large disasters have a negative effect on output both in the short and long run. However, we also show that this result from two events where radical political revolutions followed the natural disasters. Once we control for these political changes, even extremely large disasters do not display any signi?cant effect on economic growth. We also fi?nd that smaller, but still very large natural disasters, have no discernible effect on output in the short run or in the long run.
    Keywords: Natural Disasters, Political Change, Economic Growth and Causal Effects.
    JEL: O40 O47
    Date: 2010–04–28
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hai:wpaper:201006&r=lam
  3. By: Rosenzweig, Mark R. (Yale University)
    Abstract: I illustrate the variety of approaches to development issues microeconomists employ, focusing on studies that illuminate and quantify the major mechanisms posited by growth theorists who highlight the role of education in fostering growth. I begin with a basic issue: what are the returns to schooling? I discuss microeconomic studies that estimate schooling returns using alternative approaches to estimating wage equations, which require assumptions that are unlikely to be met in low-income countries, looking at inferences based on how education interacts with policy and technological changes in the labor and marriage markets. I then review research addressing whether schooling facilitates learning, or merely imparts knowledge, and whether there is social learning that gives rise to educational externalities. I next examine studies quantifying the responsiveness of educational investments to changes in schooling returns and assess whether and where there exist important barriers to such investments when returns justify their increase.
    JEL: J24 O11 O15 O33
    Date: 2010–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ecl:yaleco:79&r=lam
  4. By: Foster, Andrew D. (Brown University); Rosenzweig, Mark R. (Yale University)
    Abstract: There is an emerging consensus among macro-economists that differences in technology across countries account for the major differences in per-capita GDP and the wages of workers with similar skills across countries. Accounting for differences in technology levels across countries thus can go a long way towards understanding global inequality. One mechanism by which poorer countries can catch up with richer countries is through technological diffusion, the adoption by low-income countries of the advanced technologies produced in high-income countries. In this survey, we examine recent micro studies that focus on understanding the adoption process. If technological diffusion is a major channel by which poor countries can develop, it must be the case that technology adoption is incomplete or the inputs associated with the technologies are under-utilized in poor, or slow-growing economies. Thus, obtaining a better understanding of the constraints on adoption is useful in understanding a major component of growth.
    JEL: O10 O13 O33
    Date: 2010–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ecl:yaleco:78&r=lam
  5. By: Rosenzweig, Mark R. (Yale University)
    Abstract: A framework for understanding the determinants in the variation in the pricing of skills across countries and the model underlying the Mincer specification of wages that is used widely to estimate the relationship between schooling and wages are described. A method for identifying skill prices and for testing the Mincer model, using wages and the human capital attributes of workers located around the world, is discussed. A global wage equation that nests the Mincer specification is estimated that provides skill price estimates for 140 countries. The estimates reject the Mincer model. The skill price estimates indicate that variation in skill prices dominates the cross-country variation in schooling levels or rates of return to schooling in accounting for the global inequality in the earnings of workers worldwide. Variation in skill prices and GDP across countries has opposite and significant effects on the number and quality of migrants to the United States.
    JEL: J31 J61
    Date: 2010–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ecl:yaleco:77&r=lam
  6. By: Calderon, Cesar; Serven, Luis
    Abstract: An adequate supply of infrastructure services has long been viewed by both academics and policy makers as a key ingredient for economic development. Over the past quarter-century, the retrenchment of Latin America's public sector from its dominant position in the provision of infrastructure, and the opening up of these industries to private participation, have renewed the debate on the role of infrastructure in the region's development. The focus of this paper is three-fold. First, it documents, in a comparative cross-regional perspective, the trends in Latin America's infrastructure development, as reflected in the quantity and quality of infrastructure services and the universality of their access. Overall, this suggests the emergence of an infrastructure gap vis-a-vis other industrial and developing regions. Second, it provides an empirical assessment of the contribution of infrastructure development to growth across Latin America. Third, it examines the trends in the financing of infrastructure investment -- documenting the changing roles of the public and private sectors -- and analyzes how they have been shaped by macroeconomic policy constraints.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Public Sector Economics,Infrastructure Economics,Banks&Banking Reform,Non Bank Financial Institutions
    Date: 2010–05–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5317&r=lam

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