New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2012‒01‒25
six papers chosen by

  1. Chilean Direct Investment, 2006-2009 By Francisco Gaete; Miguel Ángel Urbina
  2. Between Conquest and Independence: Real Wages and Demographic Change in Spanish America, 1530-1820 By Leticia Arroyo Abad; Elwyn A.R. Davies; Jan Luiten van Zanden
  3. Remesas personales desde y hacia Chile By Álvaro del Real; Alfredo Fuentes
  4. Mercado cambiario 2000-2010: Comparación internacional de Chile. By María Gabriela Acharán V.; José Miguel Villena M.
  5. Hechos y palabras: la realidad colombiana vista a través de la prensa escrita By Juan Manuel Caicedo; Alejandro Gaviria; Javier Moreno
  6. A case study on trade liberalization: Argentina in the 1990s By Beker, Victor A.

  1. By: Francisco Gaete; Miguel Ángel Urbina
    Abstract: This paper presents the methodology to estimate foreign direct investment (FDI) statistics by type of economic activity and country. The Central Bank of Chile compiles and prepares FDI statistics under the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position´s Framework (International Monetary Fund guidelines). Knowing where investment comes from and where Chilean investment is going to provides us with bilateral information useful to those responsible for economic policy, academics, investors and the general public. Similarly, studying investment sectors allows us to show which productive sectors attract capital investment. Given the importance of foreign direct investment in Chile and Chilean direct investment abroad, this study’s main objective is to explain the methodology used to estimate the series of flows and stocks of direct investment, broken down according to their origin or immediate geographic destination and the economic sector receiving the investment, and to present the results for the 2006-2009 period. The main results show that the main foreign investor in Chile is United States. Also, a large part of Chilean direct investment abroad goes to countries in South America.
    Date: 2011–03
  2. By: Leticia Arroyo Abad; Elwyn A.R. Davies; Jan Luiten van Zanden
    Abstract: On the basis of a newly constructed dataset, this paper presents long-term series of the price levels, nominal wages, and real wages in Spanish Latin America – more specifically in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina – between ca. 1530 and ca. 1820. It synthesizes the work of scholars who have collected and published data on individual cities and periods, and presents comparable indices of real wages and prices in the colonial period that give a reasonable guide to trends in the long run. We show that wages and prices were on average much higher than in Western Europe or in Asia, a reflection of the low value of silver that must have had consequences for competitiveness of the Latin American economies. Labour scarcity was the second salient feature of Spanish Latin America and resulted in real wages much above subsistence and in some cases (Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina) comparable to levels in Northwestern Europe. For Mexico, this was caused by the dramatic decline of the population after the Conquest. For Bolivia, the driving force was the boom in silver mining in Potosi that created a huge demand for labour. In the case of Argentina, low population density was a pre-colonial feature. Perhaps due to a different pattern of depopulation, the real wages of other regions (Peru, Colombia, Chile) were much lower, and only increased above subsistence during the first half of the 18th century. These results are consistent with independent evidence on biological standards of living and with estimates of GDP per capita at the beginning of the 19th century.?
    Keywords: Wages, Prices, Latin America, Early Modern Period
    Date: 2011–12
  3. By: Álvaro del Real; Alfredo Fuentes
    Abstract: Globalization, which involves progressive integration of countries’ economies, has resulted in an increasing number of people moving from one country to another, without losing their ties to their original home economies. Increasingly, immigrants are sending money to their home countries (remittances). These remittances have raised great interest in developing countries, not only because of their signifi cant volume and impact on local economies, but also because of their potential effects on the fi nancial system and on economic development and growth. Chile has not escaped this phenomenon. Although it has not reached levels comparable to those of other Latin American economies, growing immigration from neighboring countries and the emigration process that occurred in past decades have made it necessary to investigate the issue and to measure Chile’s remittance fl ows to and from other countries. This document presents the concept of remittances and classifi cations according to international defi nitions by institutions focused on the subject, such as the World Bank, the CEMLA, the International Monetary Fund and the Group of Luxembourg. It then analyzes the mechanisms of remittance transfers currently used in the world and international experiences regarding sources and estimation methods. The main characteristics of this market in Chile are also shown. Finally, it shows the main results of the surveys carried out yearly between 2007 and 2010. These surveys were applied to money transfer companies working in Chile, which provided information about the transactions made in the period 2005-2009.
    Date: 2011–04
  4. By: María Gabriela Acharán V.; José Miguel Villena M.
    Abstract: This paper presents a comparative analysis of the Chilean foreign exchange market in an international context from 2001 to 2010, in respect of three blocks of economies: advanced, emerging and Latin American. Aspects of deepness, liquidity and the international financial integration level are examined for both spot and derivatives markets. The results reflect that Chile presents better deepness indicators than the average of emerging economies in the foreign exchange market, while it stands behind them regarding financial integration. Indicators show that, in general, the Chilean economy has more liquidity than the emerging economies in this market. Additionally, for the 2000-2010 period, relevant statistics of foreign exchange activity show stylized facts in banks and other companies that are part of the formal exchange market.
    Date: 2011–09
  5. By: Juan Manuel Caicedo; Alejandro Gaviria; Javier Moreno
    Abstract: Este artículo presenta la primera aplicación al estudio de la realidad colombiana de culturomics, una nueva metodología de investigación de las ciencias sociales que describe tendencias culturales, sociales y lingüísticas con base en el análisis cuantitativo de textos digitalizados. El artículo usa la totalidad de las noticias y opiniones publicadas durante los últimos veinte años en tres medios escritos de circulación nacional con el propósito de describir las trayectorias de algunos fenómenos socioeconómicos y políticos: la corrupción, la división de poderes, el conflicto, el optimismo económico, etc. Más allá de los hallazgos concretos, este artículo muestra de qué manera puede usarse la metodología propuesta para describir la cambiante realidad de un país en desarrollo.
    Date: 2011–11–02
  6. By: Beker, Victor A.
    Abstract: The link between trade and wages is embodied in the Stolper-Samuelson theorem and its generalizations. The Stolper-Samuelson logic is that trade affects relative factor rewards by changing relative prices. Since in Argentina non-skilled labor was neither as abundant a factor as land nor as scarce as capital it could not be expected to be the big winner in the opening-up process of the Argentine economy nor could it be expected to be a big loser. So, the huge amount of unemployment experienced by the Argentine economy in the 1990s as well as the widening wage gap between skilled and unskilled labor came as a complete surprise. This paper gives some reasons for this unexpected result. In Argentina, trade liberalization meant mainly import liberalization by lowering tariffs that protected labor-intensive industries like textiles. So, the short-run effect was massive destruction of jobs in non-skilled labor-intensive activities. The opening up of the economy significantly lowered the price of capital goods. This encouraged a drastic process of capital for labor substitution as well as promoting an increase in the demand for skilled labor. In those industries in which the import penetration increased the most, the wage inequality widened relatively more between unskilled and skilled workers. The reasons for the persistence of unemployment are discussed, the impact of the increasing unemployment and growing inequality in wage distribution on income distribution is analyzed, the alternatives of shock therapy vs. gradualism are discussed and finally some general conclusions are drawn from the analysis of the Argentine case. --
    Keywords: Trade liberalization,unemployment,skilled labor,inequality
    JEL: F14 F16 J60
    Date: 2012

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