nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2010‒09‒18
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Update on the Venezuelan Economy By Mark Weisbrot; Rebecca Ray
  2. Family Allowances and Child School Attendance: An ex-ante Evaluation of Alternative Schemes in Uruguay By Veronica Amarante; Rodrigo Arim; Gioia de Melo; Andrea Vigorito
  3. Conditional Cash Transfer Programmes and Gender Vulnerabilities: Case Studies of Brazil, Chile and Colombia By Fabio Veras Soares; Elydia Silva
  4. What Are The Implications of The Global Crisis and its Aftermath for Developing Countries, 2010-2020? By Andy Sumner; Joe Ballantyne; Andrew Curry
  5. Performance of Fe y Alegria high school students in Colombia : is it a matter of Fe (faith) or Alegria (joy) ? By Osorio, Juan Carlos Parra; Wodon, Quentin

  1. By: Mark Weisbrot; Rebecca Ray
    Abstract: This paper examines recent economic data, including the most recent data released the third week of August 2010, in an attempt to evaluate the Venezuelan economy's prospects in the foreseeable future. It finds that the Venezuelan economy, which went into recession in the first quarter of 2009 after six years of record economic growth, is now most likely in recovery, and that the 2009 recession has probably ended. This is based on seasonally adjusted quarterly data, which show that the Venezuelan economy grew by an estimated 5.2 percent in the second quarter of 2010, on an annualized basis. The paper then considers possibilities and arguments that the Venezuelan economy will remain mired in recession or stagnation, and/or is doomed to long term decline. It finds that although there are a number of analysts who are predicting that the Venezuelan economy is on the verge of inevitable (and long-anticipated) ruin, there is nothing in the recent data – or that of the last decade – to indicate that this is true.
    Keywords: venezuela, foreign exchange, economy,
    JEL: E E58 E6 E62 F F1 F14 O54 O E I O4 O54 E65 E61 E2
    Date: 2010–09
  2. By: Veronica Amarante; Rodrigo Arim; Gioia de Melo; Andrea Vigorito
    Abstract: Asignaciones Familiares is a child allowances program that was incepted in Uruguay in 1942 and significantly modified in 2008. The program is focused on children aged 0 to 18 and aims at alleviating poverty and promoting school attendance particularly among teen-agers. This paper presents an ex-ante evaluation on the effects of this reform on teenager school attendance, poverty, inequality and adult labour supply. Our ex-ante estimated effects indicate that teenage school attendance rates may increase by six to eight percentage points as a result of the new program, and that this change in school attendance shows a progressive pattern. The program also significantly reduces extreme poverty, and to a lesser extent, the intensity and severity of poverty. Effects on poverty incidence and inequality are of small magnitude. Finally, the transfer may influence adult labor supply, inducing a reduction of work hours for household heads and spouses.
    Keywords: Impact Evaluation, Conditional Cash Transfers, School Attendance, Poverty, Inequality
    JEL: I38 I32
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Fabio Veras Soares (International Poverty Centre); Elydia Silva (International Poverty Centre)
    Abstract: This paper analyses Brazilian, Chilean and Colombian experiences with conditional cash transfer programmes and how they have helped tackle gendered economic and social vulnerabilities. It is argued that Bolsa Família, Chile Solidario and Familias en Acción should be analysed within the broader social protection strategies in which they are meant to be components. Such an approach can help generate thinking on ways to improve the impacts of the programmes in terms of gender equality. A detailed description of the programmes? design and implementation features is provided in order to understand both their rationale and their impacts. We conclude that the programmes do tackle a number of gendered vulnerabilities but also have clear limits with regard to a more decisive role in tackling gender inequities. (...)
    Keywords: Conditional Cash Transfer Programmes and Gender Vulnerabilities: Case Studies of Brazil, Chile and Colombia
    Date: 2010–09
  4. By: Andy Sumner (Institute of Development Studies, Sussex); Joe Ballantyne (The Futures Company); Andrew Curry (The Futures Company)
    Abstract: Some major ?game changers? beyond the recent economic crisis and food/fuel crisis will have an impact on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to 2015 and afterwards. ?Future-proofing? the MDGs is about thinking how future(s) might impact the Goals, MDG gains, costs, strategies and opportunities for faster progress on poverty reduction. Scenarios?multiple coherent and plausible futures?are a vehicle both for acting on possible future(s) and interpreting their implications. This paper explores the implications for growth and poverty reduction in developing countries of four futures scenarios to address the following question: ?What are the implications of the global financial crisis and its aftermath, regionally and globally, for developing countries, taking a 5?10 year view? The scenarios and modelling were developed through interviews and workshops with a range of stakeholders in the United Kingdom, India and Kenya. This paper takes a structured approach to reviewing outcomes for growth, poverty reduction and the MDGs for different developing economies, against the background of the post-crisis context. The scenarios were developed using a version of the morphological scenarios approach, field anomaly relaxation (FAR). This creates a backdrop of internally consistent futures for policy formation and decision making by identifying and analysing the most significant drivers of change in the global financial and political systems. The scenarios are closely connected to a ?soft? model that identifies possible pathways, causal linkages and transmission variables between the scenarios and associated levels of economic growth and poverty reduction via key economic variables. This permits more granular interpretation of the scenario outcomes than conventional scenario-analysis techniques. The work was financed by Britain?s Department for International Development (DFID). (...)
    Keywords: What Are The Implications of The Global Crisis and its Aftermath for Developing Countries, 2010-2020?
    Date: 2010–08
  5. By: Osorio, Juan Carlos Parra; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: Fe y Alegria is a catholic network of schools that started operations in Colombia in 1971, and in 2009 served more than 72,000 students in 61 schools. This paper assesses the performance of Fe y Alegria secondary schools in Colombia using test scores for Spanish and mathematics, as well as detailed information on the characteristics of the household to which students belong. Simple statistics suggest that Fe y Alegria schools perform worse than other schools for all years in the sample. However, Fe y Alegria schools also cater to poorer students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Once controls are included for student background, Fe y Alegria schools actually often perform as well and in some cases better than other schools for mathematics and Spanish, thus partially reversing the previous finding.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Secondary Education,Gender and Education,Teaching and Learning,Primary Education
    Date: 2010–09–01

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