New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2010‒08‒06
five papers chosen by

  1. Educational Inequality in Argentina: The best and worst performers. By Melisa Morales; Corina Paz Terán
  2. Evolution of Gender Wage Gaps in Latin America at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: An Addendum to "New Century, Old Disparities" By Nopo, Hugo; Hoyos, Alejandro
  3. New Century, Old Disparities: Gender and Ethnic Wage Gaps in Latin America By Nopo, Hugo; Atal, Juan Pablo; Winder, Natalia
  4. Chile: Climbing on Giants’ Shoulders: Better Schools for all Chilean Children By Nicola Brandt
  5. Chile: Boosting Productivity Growth by Strengthening Competition, Entrepreneurship and Innovation By Cyrille Schwellnus

  1. By: Melisa Morales (Inter-American Development Bank); Corina Paz Terán (Universidad Nacional de Tucumán)
    Abstract: What do we know about inequality in educational attainment across Argentina's cities? To answer this question, we present the education Gini coefficient for the period 2002-2007. Using microdata from the national household survey, we document the following results. First, educational inequality has declined in almost all metropolitan areas whereas i t has increased in Posadas, Mar del Plata, Rosario and Formosa. Second, although there are no important differences in the average years of schooling across cities, great disparities exist with respect to the education Gini. Buenos Aires City is in a leading position, especially in relation to the northeast region of the country and, particularly, Posadas city.
    Keywords: Gini, Inequality, Bootstrap
    JEL: C43 D3 J24
    Date: 2010–05
  2. By: Nopo, Hugo (Inter-American Development Bank); Hoyos, Alejandro (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: This paper complements the findings of Atal, Ñopo and Winder (2010) on gender and ethnic wage gaps for 18 Latin American countries circa 2005 by analyzing gender wage gaps for the same countries between circa 1992 and circa 2007. During this span the overall gender earnings gaps dropped about 7 percentage points, while the unexplained component dropped between 3 and 4 percentage points, depending on the control variables used. The gap declined most notably among workers at the bottom of the earnings distribution, with children at home, the self-employed, part-time workers and those in rural areas – the segments of the labor market that were previously reported as having the highest unexplained gender disparities. Most of the reduction in unexplained gaps occurred within segments rather than due to the composition of labor markets. The paper additionally finds a limited role for job tenure in explaining gender wage gaps.
    Keywords: gender, wage gaps, Latin America, matching
    JEL: C14 D31 J16 O54
    Date: 2010–07
  3. By: Nopo, Hugo (Inter-American Development Bank); Atal, Juan Pablo (Inter-American Development Bank); Winder, Natalia (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: This paper surveys gender and ethnic wage gaps in 18 Latin American countries, decomposing differences using matching comparisons as a non-parametric alternative to the Blinder-Oaxaca (BO) decomposition. It is found that men earn 9-27 percent more than women, with high cross-country heterogeneity. The unexplained pay gap is higher among older, informal and self-employed workers and those in small firms. Ethnic wage differences are greater than gender differences, and educational attainment differentials play an important role in explaining the gap. Higher ethnic wage gaps are found among males, single-income generators of households and full-time workers, and in rural areas. An important share of the ethnic wage gap is due to the scarcity of minorities in high-paid positions.
    Keywords: gender, ethnicity, wage gaps, Latin America, matching
    JEL: C14 D31 J16 O54
    Date: 2010–07
  4. By: Nicola Brandt
    Abstract: Chile has made impressive progress in educational attainment. Yet, despite recent improvements, outcomes, as measured by PISA results, still need to catch up with OECD standards and equity problems should be addressed. One decisive ingredient will be better teachers. Chile should aim to attract qualified individuals to the profession and bolster initiatives to improve initial teacher education and training. A second ingredient will be stronger quality assurance mechanisms. For a long time, Chile has relied to a considerable extent on competition to ensure school quality. But there has been limited success, in part due to very unequal conditions for public and private schools to compete in terms of their ability to select children, their flexibility to employ teachers and in terms of financing. Chile has started to address this by prohibiting the selection of students until 6th grade. The ongoing introduction of a nation-wide quality assurance system based on independent evaluation of results is a welcome complement. Finally, Chile will have to improve outcomes for students with poor results even more than for the rest which would lift the average and improve equity at the same time. The government has recently made important changes to invest more in students from weak socio-economic backgrounds. These extra resources can help to make considerable progress. This Working Paper relates to the 2010 Economic Survey of Chile (<P>Chili : Un défi de taille : des écoles plus performantes pour tous les jeunes Chiliens<BR>La progression des niveaux d.instruction au Chili est impressionnante. Pourtant, malgre des ameliorations recentes, les resultats . mesures dans le cadre du PISA . doivent encore rattraper ceux des pays de l.OCDE, et il faut aussi s.employer a resoudre les problemes d.equite. Les enseignants auront dans ces domaines un role capital. Le Chili doit s.efforcer d.attirer des personnes qualifiees vers le metier d.enseignant et de soutenir les initiatives visant a ameliorer leur formation initiale et en cours d.emploi. Il faut egalement renforcer les mecanismes d.assurance qualite. Depuis longtemps, le Chili recourt largement a la concurrence pour assurer la qualite des etablissements scolaires, mais cette methode n.a eu que des resultats limites, en partie a cause de regles du jeu tres inegales entre ecoles publiques et privees concernant la selection des eleves, le recrutement des enseignants et le mode de financement. Le Chili a commence a s.attaquer a ces problemes en interdisant la selection des eleves jusqu.a la 6eme annee de scolarite. Le nouveau dispositif national d.assurance qualite, fonde sur une evaluation independante des resultats, est en cours de mise en oeuvre et viendra utilement completer l.ensemble. Enfin, il faudra aider les eleves en difficulte encore plus que les autres si le Chili veut ameliorer les resultats scolaires moyens et renforcer l.equite dans le meme temps. Les pouvoirs publics ont entrepris recemment des reformes d.envergure pour investir davantage en faveur des enfants de familles modestes. Ces ressources supplementaires peuvent contribuer a obtenir des progres considerables. Ce document de travail se rapporte a l.Etude economique de l.OCDE du Chili 2010 (
    Keywords: education policy, Chile, PISA, School competition, Chili, PISA, politique d'éducation, concurrence entre les établissements scolaires
    JEL: I20 I28
    Date: 2010–06–17
  5. By: Cyrille Schwellnus
    Abstract: Productivity growth has declined since the late 1990s, slowing the catching-up process. Structural reforms to strengthen competition, entrepreneurship and innovation would go a long way toward enhancing it. Recent competition policy reforms that strengthen enforcement of cartel law must now be implemented effectively. The National Economic Prosecutor should receive sufficient resources and the ceiling on fines against cartels, which has recently been raised, may need to be reviewed again. Entrepreneurship should be strengthened by reducing regulatory “red tape” for start-ups and simplifying bankruptcy procedures. Recent reforms to the innovation policy framework are welcome but the focus on sectoral priority clusters will need to be accompanied by appropriate monitoring procedures and sunset clauses for public support. This Working Paper relates to the 2010 Economic Survey of Chile (<P>Chili : Augmenter la croissance de la productivité par le renforcement de la concurrence, l'entrepreneuriat et l'innovation<BR>Le déclin de la croissance de la productivité observé depuis la fin des années 90 ralentit le processus de rattrapage. Des réformes structurelles visant à renforcer la concurrence, l’entrepreneuriat et l’innovation ouvriraient largement la voie à un raffermissement de cette croissance. Il convient désormais de mettre concrètement en oeuvre les récentes réformes de la politique de la concurrence visant à consolider l’application de la législation sur les ententes. Il faut doter le Procureur économique national de ressources suffisantes et revoir éventuellement le plafond – déjà relevé il y a peu – des amendes frappant les auteurs d’ententes. L’entrepreneuriat doit être renforcé grâce à l’allègement de la réglementation qui pèse sur la création d’entreprise et à la simplification des procédures de faillite. Les toutes dernières réformes du cadre de la politique de l’innovation vont dans le bon sens mais il faudra assortir les pôles sectoriels prioritaires de procédures de suivi adaptées et de clauses de caducité du soutien de l’État. Ce document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE du Chili 2010 (
    Keywords: growth, productivity, competition, innovation, regulation, Chile, productivité, croissance, réglementation, innovation, concurrence, Chili
    JEL: F43 L16 L5 O3 O4 O54
    Date: 2010–06–16

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