New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2011‒07‒02
eight papers chosen by

  1. Asignación Universal por Hijo y su impacto potencial en Jujuy By Liliana Bergesio; Laura Golovanevsky; Alfredo Ramírez
  2. Official Dollarization as a Monetary Regime: Its Effects on El Salvador By Andrew Swiston
  3. Los Cambios en la Distribución del Ingreso de Argentina entre 1998 Y 2005: Un Análisis de Microdescomposiciones Utilizando Información de Paneles By Juan Ignacio Zoloa
  4. Corporate Leverage, the Cost of Capital,and the Financial Crisis in Latin America By Ricardo Bebczuk; Arturo Galindo
  5. Adjusting the labor supply to mitigate violent shocks : evidence from rural Colombia By Fernandez, Manuel; Ibanez, Ana Maria; Pena, Ximena
  6. Poverty, Indigence and Public Investment in Bolivia: A Simulation Analysis By Aliaga Lordemann, Jevier; Villegas Quino, Horacio
  7. Modelando a mudança estrutural do consumo e da renda agregados no Brasil: fatos estilizados a partir de um modelo de cointegração com parâmetros variando no tempo By Leite, Fernando Scarpa Rezende; Marçal, Emerson Fernandes
  8. Favored child? School choice within the family By Chumacero, Rómulo; Paredes, Ricardo

  1. By: Liliana Bergesio (Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Nacional de Jujuy.); Laura Golovanevsky (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) y Facultad de Ciendias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de Jujuy.); Alfredo Ramírez (Facultad de de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de Jujuy.)
    Abstract: In Argentina, the implementation of the Programa Asignación Universal por Hijo in October 2009 brought about a significant change in childhood-oriented social policies. Although its purpose is broader than that of the specific social programs implemented since 2002 (with the change in the economic model), the scope of the Program is not as wide as it is claimed to be. The purpose of this study is to discuss the impacts of this measure on households poverty in the province of Jujuy (north-west of the Argentine Republic) based on estimates from microdata of the Encuesta Permanente de Hogares in San Salvador de Jujuy - Palpalá for 2009. Based on this information, it may be determined what households would be entitled to the referred allowance and it may be simulated how poverty and extreme destitution rates would change if such benefit were actually received. With the aim of comparing this quantitative approach to the little qualitative information available, we review various means of communication with national scope in order to find clues to the controversies and support in connection with the program, focused on the main difficulties for the poor or extremely destitute population in accessing this benefit in Jujuy. Thus, based on a two-fold approach, we intend to show the extent to which the children’s allowance program in Jujuy may impact life conditions of the households in question and to analyze the difficulties and limitations regarding access to such benefit, pointing out possible alternatives to address these issues.
    Keywords: Asignación Universal por Hijo, Jujuy (Argentina), Poverty.
    JEL: H53 I31 I38
    Date: 2011–06
  2. By: Andrew Swiston
    Abstract: This paper examines El Salvador’s transition to official dollarization by comparing aspects of this regime to the fixed exchange rate regime prevailing in the 1990s. Commercial bank interest rates are analyzed under an uncovered interest parity framework, and it is found that dollarization lowered rates by 4 to 5 percent by reducing currency risk. This has generated net annual savings averaging ½ percent of GDP for the private sector and ¼ percent of GDP for the public sector (net of the losses from foregone seigniorage). Estimated Taylor rules show a strong positive association between Salvadoran output and U.S. Federal Reserve policy since dollarization, implying that this policy has served to stabilize economic activity more than it did under the peg and more than policy rates in Central American countries with independent monetary policy have done. Dollarization does not appear to have affected the transmission mechanism, as pass-through of monetary policy to commercial interest rates has been similar to pass-through under the peg and in the rest of Central America.
    Date: 2011–06–06
  3. By: Juan Ignacio Zoloa
    Abstract: This paper analyses the changes in inequality occurred during the period 1998 – 2005. A set of results are presented in order to contribute to a better understanding of the changes in inequality. The obtained results show that important distributive effects were hidden by the apparent observed distribution stability between both years. The returns to education have played an important role in the rise in inequality while the rise in the unobservable factors and the higher levels of employment seem to have reduced it.
    JEL: C14 C15 C24 D31 I21 I32 J23 J31
    Date: 2011–06
  4. By: Ricardo Bebczuk; Arturo Galindo
    Abstract: Using a quarterly dataset of 185 listed firms in six Latin American countries between 1993 and 2009 we find that leverage is positively related to tangibility, firm size and the market to book ratio, and negatively related to profitability. The average cost of debt is negatively related with size, tangibility, firm growth, the leverage ratio, and the ratio of long- to short-term debt and positively to profitability. We find that the recent international crisis did not have a significant impact on the set of firms in our sample, but affected the way in which leverage and the interest to debt ratio relate to firm fundamentals. In particular we find that the links between leverage, tangibility and profitability were strengthened, and that financial constraints were not increased during the crisis.The evidence is consistent with a flight-to-quality phenomenon in favor of big, listed firms.
    Keywords: Corporate leverage, cost of debt, financial crisis, Latin America.
    JEL: F3 G3 O54
    Date: 2011–05
  5. By: Fernandez, Manuel; Ibanez, Ana Maria; Pena, Ximena
    Abstract: This paper studies the use of labor markets to mitigate the impact of violent shocks on households in rural areas in Colombia. It examines changes in the labor supply from on-farm to off-farm labor as a means of coping with the violent shock and the ensuing redistribution of time within households. It identifies the heterogeneous response by gender. Because the incidence of violent shocks is not exogenous, the analysis uses instrumental variables that capture several dimensions of the cost of exercising terror. As a response to the violent shocks, households decrease the time spent on on-farm work and increase their supply of labor to off-farm activities (non-agricultural ones). Men carry the bulk of the adjustment in the use of time inasmuch as they supply the most hours to off-farm non-agricultural work and formal labor markets. Labor markets do not fully absorb the additional labor supply. Women in particular are unable to find jobs in formal labor markets and men have increased time dedicated to leisure and household chores. Additional off-farm supply does not fully cover the decrease in consumption. The results suggest that in rural Colombia, labor markets are a limited alternative for coping with violent shocks. Thus, policies in conflict-affected countries should go beyond short-term relief and aim at preventing labor markets from collapsing and at supporting the recovery of agricultural production.
    Keywords: Labor Policies,Rural Poverty Reduction,Housing&Human Habitats,Labor Markets,Regional Economic Development
    Date: 2011–06–01
  6. By: Aliaga Lordemann, Jevier (IISEC, Universidad Católica Boliviana); Villegas Quino, Horacio (IISEC, Universidad Católica Boliviana)
    Abstract: The study of the impact of public investment on poverty is currently of particular importance due to, among other factors, the commitments that several countries have acquired in the framework of the Millennium Development Goals and the current political situation which gives a more prominent role the government in the economy. We use a general equilibrium model to analyze the impact of public investment on income from various sectors of the economy. Subsequently, we use these results to impute income in the MECOVI 2007 survey. In this way, we calculate various measures of poverty and indigence, and analyze its evolution over time. The estimated measurements indicate that public investment has a positive effect in reducing poverty and indigence in Bolivia, however this effect is small. The most important results are evident in the headcount index that is reduced about 3 points in a scenario of high public investment and 2 points in a scenario like the current investment. However, the results for the poverty gap and severity of poverty and indigence are more modest.
    Keywords: Model; MECOVI; Public Investment; Policy; Poverty
    JEL: C68 H54 Z13
    Date: 2011–04
  7. By: Leite, Fernando Scarpa Rezende; Marçal, Emerson Fernandes
    Abstract: O trabalho tem como objetivo analisar a relação entre consumo e renda agregados das famílias no Brasil para os últimos 60 anos. Para realizar esta análise, foi utilizado a metodologia econométrica construída por Bierens e Martins (2010), que consiste na estimação de Vetor Autoregressivo com Mecanismo de Correção de Erros (VECM) similar ao modelo proposto por Johansen (1988), porém permitindo que o vetor de cointegração varie ao longo do tempo. Este modelo estimado mostrou-se melhor comparado a análise tradicional de Johansen (1988). Os resultados obtidos neste trabalho sugerem que a dinâmica do consumo e da renda variou ao longo do período amostral e que o consumo brasileiro parece não ser bem descrito por um passeio aleatório.
    Date: 2011–06–21
  8. By: Chumacero, Rómulo; Paredes, Ricardo
    Abstract: We study school choice within the family, analyzing how birth order, gender, innate talent, and family financial restrictions impact the parents´ decision to prioritize the education of one or more of the children over the rest. We find that parents, particularly from lower income homes, are more likely to select more prestigious, higher cost schools for their eldest child, male children and the most talented children. This behavior may explain part of the positive “male bias” in learning and may have a relevant impact on income distribution among family members.
    Keywords: School Choice; Siblings; Chile
    JEL: D13 C25
    Date: 2011–06–25

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