nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2011‒07‒27
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. The Colonial Origins of the Divergence in the Americas: A Labour Market Approach By Robert C. Allen; Tommy E. Murphy; Eric B. Schneider
  2. The Business of Development: Trends in Lending by Multilateral Development Banks to Latin America, 1980?2009 By Michaelowa, Katharina; Humphrey, Chris
  3. The Willingness to Pay for Environmental Protection: Are Developing Economies Different? By Dorsch, Michael
  4. Distributive Effects of Regional Trade Agreements on the "Small Trading Partners": Mercosur and the case of Uruguay and Paraguay By Borraz, Fernando; Rossi, Máximo; Ferrés, Daniel
  5. Economic Crises, Maternal and Infant Mortality, Low Birth Weight and Enrollment Rates: Evidence from Argentina’s Downturns By Guillermo Cruces; Pablo Glüzman; Luis Felipe López Calva
  6. Longevity Risk in Latin America By Eduardo Fuentes Corripio

  1. By: Robert C. Allen; Tommy E. Murphy; Eric B. Schneider
    Abstract: Part of a long-run project to put together a systematic database of prices and wages for the American contingents, this paper takes a first look at standards of living in a series of North American and Latin American cities. From secondary sources we collected price data that - with diverse degrees of quality - covers various years between colonization and independence and, following the methodology now familiar in the literature, we built estimations of price indexes for Boston, Philadelphia, and the Chesapeake Bay region in North America and Bogota, Mexico, and Postosi in Latin America exploring alternative assumptions on the characteristics of the reference basket. We use these indexes to deflate the (relatively more scarce) figures on wages, and compare the results with each other, and with the now widely known series for various European and Asian cities. We find that real wages were higher in North America than in Latin America from the very early colonial period: four times the World Bank Poverty Line (WBPL) in North America while only two times the WBPL in Latin America. These wages place the North American colonies among the most advanced countries in the world alongside Northwestern European countries and the Latin American colonies among the least developed countries at a similar level to Southern European and Asian countries. These wage differences existed from the early colonial period because wages in the American colonies were determined by wages in the respective metropoles and by the Malthusian population dynamics of indigenous peoples. Settlers would not migrate unless they could maintain their standard of living, so wages in the colonies were set in the metrople. Political institutions, forced labour regimes, economic geography, disease environments and culture shaped the size of the economy of each colony but did not affect income levels.
    Keywords: Economic history, Real wages, Standard of living, Labour market, Population, Great Divergence, North America, Latin America
    JEL: N16 N31 N36 J2 J4 I32
    Date: 2011
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:oxf:wpaper:559&r=lam
  2. By: Michaelowa, Katharina; Humphrey, Chris
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate how country shareholding arrangements affect the lending of multilateral development banks (MDBs) under different economic conditions and over time. To do so, we consider three different types of MDBs - one dominated by non-borrowers (the World Bank), another controlled by borrowing countries (the Corporación Andina de Fomento, CAF), and a third where control is more evenly split between borrowers and non-borrowers (the Inter-American Development Bank, IADB) - and a common set of borrowing countries in Latin America. Descriptive statistics as well as econometric analysis based on seemingly unrelated regression estimation (SURE) and panel regressions indicate that the lending of the three MDBs does indeed react in a systematically different way to specific economic conditions. As a general trend, countries increasingly favor the CAF and IADB as a source of multilateral borrowing, while during crisis times World Bank lending tends to increase significantly and more strongly than lending by the CAF. IADB lending also increases very strongly during crises, but remains at a relatively high level throughout. In line with expectations based on the different shareholder arrangements, the paper also finds links between borrower government policy stances and World Bank/IADB lending, but none for the CAF. --
    Date: 2011
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:zbw:gdec11:57&r=lam
  3. By: Dorsch, Michael
    Abstract: This paper explores the micro-foundations of public policy over environmental protection in developing economies by examining individual-level preferences for economically costly pollution abatement. The paper empirically investigates individuals' marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) for stronger environmental protection, analyzing nearly 24,000 survey responses, from 24 developing economies, to environmental questions from the 2005-2008 wave of the World Values Survey. I analyze the probability that an individual states she is WTP for further environmental protection depending on her individual-level characteristics and her country's characteristics. The main results to emerge from the analysis include: (i) perceived environmental problems that are local do not determine MWTP, where as perceived problems that are global do, (ii) self-identification as a world citizen is the strongest determinant of demand for greater environmental protection, indicating that motivation to contribute to a global public good is not a strictly post-material notion, and (iii) the primary determinants of MWTP are not qualitatively different from those among respondents in advanced economies. The results pose a challenge to the objective problems, subjective values response to the critique of the post-materialism hypothesis. It appears that the WTP for environmental protection in developing economies follows from subjective values that are universal, rather than from objective problems. --
    Keywords: Environmental protection policy,Political preferences,Global public goods,World Values Survey,Developing economies
    JEL: Q52 Q56 Q58
    Date: 2011
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:zbw:gdec11:24&r=lam
  4. By: Borraz, Fernando; Rossi, Máximo; Ferrés, Daniel
    Abstract: Although trade integration has potential benefits for developing countries, it is disputed whether trade liberalization processes are, per se, sufficient for poverty reduction and inequality abatement. Abundant work has analyzed the link between tariff reduction, poverty levels and inequality in both developed and developing countries. Gains from trade are generally observed. Still, those benefits from integration are generally unevenly distributed.In our analysis we explore how gains from trade have been distributed in the two minor trade partners of MERCOSUR: Uruguay and Paraguay. We study the link between trade, poverty and inequality by analyzing the impact of trade liberalization through two main transmission channels: prices and income. Our papers show that in the case of Mercosur, the effect of trade on poverty (and income inequality) varies per country and per region. In particular, we conclude that trade integration policies cannot be regarded as a poverty-alleviating policy, per se. --
    Keywords: regional trade agreements,poverty,inequality
    JEL: F14 F16 D30 Q17
    Date: 2011
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:zbw:gdec11:14&r=lam
  5. By: Guillermo Cruces (CEDLAS-FCE-UNLP, CONICET and IZA); Pablo Glüzman (CEDLASFCE-UNLP and CONICET); Luis Felipe López Calva (The World Bank, Poverty and gender unit, Latin America and the Caribbean)
    Abstract: Este estudio investiga el impacto de las recientes crisis en Argentina (incluyendo la grave recesión de 2001-2002) en la salud y la educación. La estrategia de identificación se basa en la covarianza entre los cambios en el PIB regional y los resultados por provincia en términos intertemporales e interprovinciales. Estos resultados indican efectos significativos e importantes de las fluctuaciones agregadas en la mortalidad materna e infantil y en el bajo peso al nacer, así como un patrón contracíclico aunque no significativo para las tasas de matrícula. Finalmente, el gasto público provincial en salud y educación se correlacionan con la incidencia del bajo peso al nacer y la matriculación escolar de los adolescentes, con peores resultados ante una disminución del PIB.
    Keywords: crisis, infant mortality, maternal mortality, low birth weight, poverty, Argentina
    Date: 2011–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dls:wpaper:0121&r=lam
  6. By: Eduardo Fuentes Corripio
    Abstract: We analyze the potential costs of longevity risk and highlight the importance of updated mortality tables
    Keywords: Pensions, retirement, Latin America, longevity Risk
    JEL: H55
    Date: 2011–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bbv:wpaper:1121&r=lam

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