nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2010‒12‒11
nine papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Gender Differences in Competitiveness and Risk Taking: Comparing Children in Colombia and Sweden By Juan Camilo Cárdenasl; Anna Dreber; Emma von Essen; Eva Ranehill
  2. Cambio social en Colombia durante la segunda mitad del siglo XX By Alejandro Gaviria
  3. Crime and Conspicuous Consumption By Daniel Mejía; Pascual Restrepo
  4. Risk Attitudes and Well-being in Latin America By Juan Camilo Cárdenas; Jeffrey Carpenter
  5. Transición Demográfica y Pobreza en América Latina. Un Análisis de Microsimulaciones By Javier Alejo
  6. The Effect of Conditional Cash Transfers on Educational Opportunities - Experimental Evidence from Latin America By Andrés Ham
  7. Industrial Policy in Chile By Manuel Agosin; Nicolas Grau; Christian Larrain
  8. The Impact of ICT on Adolescents' Perceptions and Consumption of Substances By Ana Balsa; Nestor Gandelman; Rafael Porzecanski
  9. Economic Implications of Long Distance Commuting in the Chilean Mining Industry By Patricio Aroca; Miguel Atienza

  1. By: Juan Camilo Cárdenasl; Anna Dreber; Emma von Essen; Eva Ranehill
    Abstract: We explore gender differences in preferences for competition and risk among children aged 9-12 in Colombia and Sweden, two countries differing in gender equality according to macro indices. We include four types of tasks that vary in gender stereotyping when looking at competitiveness: running, skipping rope, math and word search. We find that boys and girls are equally competitive in all tasks and all measures in Colombia. Unlike the consistent results in Colombia, the results in Sweden are mixed, with some indication of girls being more competitive than boys in some tasks in terms of performance change, whereas boys are more likely to choose to compete in general. Boys in both countries are more risk taking than girls, with a smaller gender gap in Sweden.
    Date: 2010–11–29
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000089:007719&r=lam
  2. By: Alejandro Gaviria
    Abstract: Este artículo describe las principales transformaciones experimentadas por la sociedad colombiana durante la segunda mitad del siglo XX. Los cambios descritos fueron sustanciales. La esperanza de vida, la alfabetización y la urbanización convergieron hacia los valores observados en el mundo en desarrollo. La pobreza disminuyó de manera significativa. La condición de la mujer mejoró ostensiblemente, mucho más que en otros países latinoamericanos. La educación creció de manera rápida, especialmente durante los años sesenta. Y la movilidad social también parece haber aumentado. Todo a pesar de un mediocre desempeño económico. A finales de siglo, sin embargo, la violencia, la desigualad y el desempleo habían alcanzado niveles muy altos tanto históricamente como en comparación con otros países de la región.
    Date: 2010–10–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000089:007714&r=lam
  3. By: Daniel Mejía; Pascual Restrepo
    Abstract: This paper develops an incomplete information model wherein individuals face a trade-off between status and security when deciding the optimal amount of conspicuous consumption. On the one hand, we assume that individuals derive utility from status, which is obtained by signaling wealth through the consumption of an observable good. On the other hand, the increased consumption of observable goods also signals wealth to a criminal audience, thus increasing the chance of becoming target for criminal activities. The paper proposes an information channel through which crime distorts consumption decisions; this channel is different in nature from the channel whereby crime acts as a direct tax on observable and stealable consumption goods. More precisely, we argue that, in the presence of crime, individuals reduce their consumption of observable goods, not only because criminals may steal these goods, but also because it reveals information that could be used by criminals to target individuals’ wealth. We test our model’s predictions using U.S. data, and find that crime has a negative and significant impact on conspicuous consumption; also that this effect cannot be explained by the fact that some of these goods tend to be stolen by criminals. Finally, we show that this result is robust to different specifications and alternative measures of conspicuous consumption and crime.
    Date: 2010–11–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000089:007716&r=lam
  4. By: Juan Camilo Cárdenas; Jeffrey Carpenter
    Abstract: A common premise in both the theoretical and policy literature on development is that people remain poor because they are too impatient to save and too risk averse to take the sort of chances needed to accumulate wealth. The empirical literature, however, suggests that this assumption is far from proven. We report on field experiments designed to address many of the problems confounding previous analyses of the links between risk preferences and well-being. Our sample includes more than 3,000 participants who were drawn representatively from six Latin American cities: Bogotá, Buenos Aries, Caracas, Lima, Montevideo, San José. In addition to the experiment which reveals interesting cross-country differences, participants completed an extensive survey that provides data on a variety of well-being indicators and a number of important controls. Focusing on risk preferences, we find little evidence of robust links between risk aversion and wellbeing. However, when we analyze the results of three treatments that add elements of reality to the decision problem, we see that these, more subtle, instruments correlate better with well-being, even after controlling for a variety of other important factors like the accumulation of human capital and access to credit.
    Date: 2010–11–22
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000089:007718&r=lam
  5. By: Javier Alejo (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP y CONICET)
    Abstract: La literatura empírica ha encontrado evidencia de una tendencia hacia el envejecimiento de la población en América Latina. Este documento analiza el impacto de los cambios demográficos sobre la pobreza utilizando las proyecciones demográficas de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas junto con distintos escenarios en la estructura educativa. La metodología utilizada en este trabajo es la de microsimulaciones econométricas. Su principal innovación consiste en proponer el método de máxima verosimilitud empírica como estrategia de simulación de ponderadores. Bajo todos los supuestos del modelo de simulación, los resultados sugieren que si la dinámica poblacional se mantiene los niveles de pobreza se verán reducidos. Sin embargo el efecto cuantitativo es muy débil, dejando un amplio margen para la planificación de políticas económicas orientadas a la reducción de la pobreza.
    Keywords: transición demográfica, envejecimiento, pobreza, microsimulaciones, Empirical Likelihood, Quantile Regression, América Latina.
    Date: 2010–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dls:wpaper:0108&r=lam
  6. By: Andrés Ham (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP y CONICET)
    Abstract: Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) provide income to the poor in an effort to improve current welfare and promote investment in human and social capital to prevent future deprivation. So far, the impact evaluation literature has focused on estimating current effects on outcomes such as school attendance, consumption and labor supply. However, these studies overlook potential redistributive effects, mainly via the equalization of opportunities. The ensuing analysis draws from recent contributions in the literature on opportunities and incorporates these with impact evaluation methods. The main findings indicate a remarkable redistributive effect of CCTs and a positive initial impact on opportunities. However, while mean outcomes improve markedly, the evidence suggests that the distribution of opportunities readjusts to the positive gains, perhaps indicating deeply rooted inequities. These results are expected to encourage discussion on program impact beyond those evaluated and addressing the programs’ long-term consequences.
    Keywords: poverty, opportunities, education, children, impact evaluation, conditional cash transfers
    JEL: D30 D63 I38 J22
    Date: 2010–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dls:wpaper:0109&r=lam
  7. By: Manuel Agosin; Nicolas Grau; Christian Larrain
    Abstract: This paper studies three horizontal policy instruments and two vertical ones in Chilean industrial policy, particularly regarding small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The horizontal instruments are (1) a guarantee program for borrowing by SMEs (FOGAPE), (2) a small subsidy to new exports that was applied from 1985 through 2003, and (3) the innovation subsidies provided by the Corporación de Fomento de la Producción (CORFO). The vertical policy instruments are the activities of Fundación Chile (FCh), a semi-public entrepreneur cum venture capitalist, and a CORFO program to attract foreign direct investment in information technology. Although most programs are well designed, they are numerous and insufficiently funded; Chile could benefit from a prioritization of needs and consolidation of these programs. Moreover, the instruments for making strategic bets on new sectors are particularly weak. In particular, FCh needs to refocus its activities on high-risk projects with long payoffs, something it cannot do with its small endowment.
    Keywords: Industrial policy, Small and medium enterprises, Chile
    JEL: F43 L52
    Date: 2010–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:wpaper:4695&r=lam
  8. By: Ana Balsa; Nestor Gandelman; Rafael Porzecanski
    Abstract: This paper reports the results of a three-month randomized controlled trial to estimate the impact of an Internet and mobile telephone short message service (SMS) intervention on adolescents’ information about substances and rates of consumption. A low percentage of participants logged on to the Web platform, but most participants were reached through e-mails and SMS. It is found that the intervention was able to affect awareness that certain substances are drugs, but no significant changes in consumption habits were found.
    Keywords: Randomized trial, Drugs, Smoking, Alcohol
    JEL: I1 O31 C93
    Date: 2010–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:wpaper:4692&r=lam
  9. By: Patricio Aroca (Department of Economics, Universidad Católica del Norte); Miguel Atienza (Department of Economics, Universidad Católica del Norte)
    Abstract: More than 10 percent of the labor force that works in Antofagasta lives in other regions, commuting on average more than 800 kilometers in a shift system that allows working several days in a row followed by several days off. The mining industry is the main contractor of such workers and the impact of the process spreads through the rest of Chilean territory. Using an input-output approach, this paper shows that a significant amount of resources generated by the mining industries in the Region of Antofagasta goes to other regions in wages earned by commuters who have decided to work in this region but live in another. The commuting process seems to be driven by centripetal forces that support centralization, thus arguing for regional policies to promote the attractiveness of the peripheral regions.
    Keywords: Long distance commuting, Spillover by labor commuting, labor commuting impact
    Date: 2010–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cat:dt2010:dt03&r=lam

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