New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2011‒02‒05
six papers chosen by

  1. Using Pseudo-Panels to Measure Income Mobility in Latin America By Cuesta, Jose; Nopo, Hugo; Pizzolitto, Georgina
  2. Formación de las Tarifas Eléctricas e Inflación en Colombia By Ignacio Lozano; Hernán Rincón
  3. End of the line: Railroads in Chile By Raimundo Soto
  4. The economics of infrastructure finance: Public-Private Partnerships versus public provision By Engel, Eduardo; Fischer, Ronald; Galetovic, Alexander
  5. Infrastructure finance in developing countries: An overview By Estache, Antonio
  6. Productive Development Policies in Argentina By Ines Butler; Ricardo Rozemberg; Gabriel Sanchez

  1. By: Cuesta, Jose (Inter-American Development Bank); Nopo, Hugo (Inter-American Development Bank); Pizzolitto, Georgina (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper presents a comparative overview of mobility patterns in 14 Latin American countries between 1992 and 2003. Using three alternative econometric techniques on constructed pseudo-panels, the paper provides a set of estimators for the traditional notion of income mobility as well as for mobility around extreme and moderate poverty lines. The estimates suggest very high levels of time-dependent unconditional immobility for the Region. However, the introduction of socioeconomic and personal factors reduces the estimate of income immobility by around 30 percent. There are also large variations in country-specific income mobility (estimated to explain some additional 10 percent of inter-temporal income variation). Analyzing the determinants of changes in poverty incidence within cohorts revealed statistically significant roles for age, gender and education of the household head, the latter subject to distinctive effects across levels of attainment and transition in and out of poverty.
    Keywords: income mobility, poverty, pseudo-panels, Latin America
    JEL: D3 I3 O1
    Date: 2011–01
  2. By: Ignacio Lozano; Hernán Rincón
    Abstract: En Colombia, las tarifas de la energía eléctrica son reguladas por el Estado. En la provisión del servicio participan cuatro negocios independientes (generación, transmisión, distribución y comercialización), cuyas empresas enfrentan distintas condiciones de mercado. Las tarifas se fijan con base en el costo unitario, el cual se ajusta, en cierto grado, con los principales índices de precios de la economía. Este documento describe el mercado colombiano de la energía eléctrica, analiza el proceso de formación de las tarifas, caracteriza su comportamiento y cuantifica el impacto inflacionario de un choque a la tarifa, con el fin de que sirva de referencia para los pronósticos de inflación y la toma de decisiones de política. Se encuentra que durante la última década las tarifas registraron cambios mensuales asimétricos y que frente a un choque del 10% en este precio, la inflación anual aumenta en 0,78%.
    Date: 2011–01–23
  3. By: Raimundo Soto
    Abstract: Between 1860 and 1950, railroads in Chile were synonym of modernization, integration, and economic development. By the 1970s railroads were bankrupt and socially discredited, surviving out of government subsidies. By 2000, passenger services had disappeared but private sector freight operations were revitalized after swift reforms. We review the Chilean reforms and experience, focusing on regulation, public sector involvement and political interference, market entry, vertical integration, and externalities. Perhaps uniquely, two different forms of private sector participation in freight operations emerge after reforms: a vertically integrated, privatized railroad and a state-owned, open-access, concession system.
    Keywords: Railways, divestiture, regulation, industrial organization.
    JEL: L92 L51 L43
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Engel, Eduardo (Yale University); Fischer, Ronald (University of Chile); Galetovic, Alexander (Universidad de los Andes, Chile)
    Abstract: We examine the economics of infrastructure finance, focusing on public provision and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). We show that project finance is appropriate for PPP projects, because there are few economies of scope and because assets are project specific. Furthermore, we suggest that the higher cost of finance of PPPs is not an argument in favour of public provision, since it appears to reflect the combination of deficient contract design and the cost-cutting incentives embedded in PPPs. Thus, in the case of a correctly designed PPP contract, the higher cost of capital may be the price to pay for the efficiency advantages of PPPs. We also examine the role of government activities in PPP financing (e.g. revenue guarantees, renegotiations) and their consequences. Finally, we discuss how to include PPPs revenue guarantees and the results of PPP contract negotiation in the government balance sheet.
    Keywords: Fiscal accounting; PPP premium; Project finance; Renegotiations; Revenue guarantees; Special Purpose Vehicule
    JEL: G32 H54 R42
    Date: 2010–12–17
  5. By: Estache, Antonio (Université libre de Bruxelles)
    Abstract: This study analyzes the main approaches to infrastructure financing in developing countries and their evolution. It places the discussion in the context of the importance of infrastructure investment and maintenance needs to achieve growth and borader social objectives. It summarizes the evidence on the efficiency, equity and fiscal consequences of the main public and private financing options commonly used to achieve these goals in these countries. It shows the limits of the role of the private sector as a source of financing of infrastructure and the wide underestimation of public-sector financing support needed to serve the poorest and ensure that services are offered at prices consistent with their ability to pay. It concludes with forward-looking lessons from roughly 20 years of efforts to diversify the sources of infrastructure finance in developing countries.
    Keywords: Infrastructure finance; Poverty; Developing countries
    JEL: H54 H81
    Date: 2010–12–17
  6. By: Ines Butler; Ricardo Rozemberg; Gabriel Sanchez
    Abstract: In contrast to the limited impact of aggregate-level productive development policies (PDPs) in Argentina, micro-level PDPs in several sectors have proven highly successful. This study seeks to understand how these PDPs succeeded in a challenging environment, what kinds of mechanisms were generated to ensure adaptation and learning, and how these PDPs evolved. Of importance is not only policy design and implementation, but also the policymaking. Following a historical overview of PDP in Argentina, the paper presents three case studies: i) the Argentine Technology Fund (FONTAR), a horizontal PDP; ii) the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA), a vertical PDP; and iii) the application of both horizontal and vertical PDPs to the biotechnology sector. Lessons learned and conclusions are presented in a final section.
    Keywords: Productive Development Policies, Industrial Policy, Policymaking, Argentina
    JEL: O25 O43
    Date: 2011–01

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NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.