New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2012‒04‒23
five papers chosen by

  1. Innovation strategies and employment in Latin American firms By Crespi, Gustavo; Zuniga, Pluvia
  2. Trade in services. East Asian and Latin American Experiences By Nathalie Aminian; K.C. Fung; Alicia Garcia-Herrero; Francis NG
  3. El Impacto Distributivo de las Políticas Sociales By Sebastián Galiani; Leonardo Gasparini
  4. Commodity price changes and their impacts on poverty in developing countries: the Brazilian case By Azzoni, Carlos Roberto; Guilhoto, Joaquim José mantins; Haddad, Eduardo; Menezes, Tatiane; Silveira, Fernando; Hasegawa, Marcos
  5. Institutions, Informality, and Wage Flexibility: Evidence from Brazil By Marcello M. Estevão; Irineu E. Carvalho Filho

  1. By: Crespi, Gustavo (Competitiveness and Innovation Division, Institutions for Development Department, Inter-American Development Bank); Zuniga, Pluvia (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, University of Maastricht)
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of innovation strategies on employment growth in four Latin American countries (Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Uruguay) using micro-data for manufacturing firms from innovation surveys. Building on the model proposed by Harrison et al. (2008), we relate employment to three innovation strategies: make only (R&D), buy only (external R&D, licensing of patents and know-how, technical assistance, and other external innovation activities) and make and buy (mixed strategy). Firms that conduct in-house innovation activities ("make only") have the greatest impact on employment; the "make and buy" strategy comes in second. Similar results are found for small firms. These results highlight the importance of fostering in-house technological efforts not only for innovation per se, but also to promote growth in firm employment. The impact of "make only" strategies is greater in high-tech industries, whereas "make only" and "make and buy" have a similar impact on employment in low-tech industries. Finally, the study provides evidence of the mechanisms through which innovation strategies affect employment. The findings show that innovation strategies enhance technological innovation, but their impact differs between product and process innovation. Product innovation is mainly motivated by in-house technology investments, followed by mixed strategies, whereas process innovation is basically driven by "buy" strategies.
    Keywords: innovation, employment, external R&D, Latin America, innovation surveys
    JEL: O12 O14 O31 O33 O40 J21
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Nathalie Aminian; K.C. Fung; Alicia Garcia-Herrero; Francis NG
    Abstract: This paper investigates the trend and characteristics of trade in services in two fertile regions where different forms of trade integration have taken place: East Asia and Latin America. To that end, the World Bank data are utilized to categorize services trade in order to put on view the national and regional positions on dynamic sectors, and to compare East Asia and Latin America in terms of revealed comparative advantages, the weight of service activities in the regional economic activity, the share of services employment. The paper deals also with the issue of internationalization of services through FDI. Overall, it shows the increasing importance of East Asia as a trading region while the share of North & Latin America is low and declining over time.
    Keywords: Service trade, East Asia, Latin America, foreign direct investment
    JEL: F14 F15 O53 O54 O57
    Date: 2012–04
  3. By: Sebastián Galiani (Washington University in Saint Louis); Leonardo Gasparini (CEDLAS - UNLP)
    Abstract: El objetivo de este trabajo es reseñar brevemente los métodos tradicionales de evaluación del impacto distributivo de las políticas públicas y discutir algunos de los avances más relevantes en los últimos veinte años. El trabajo se concentra en la evaluación de programas sociales, dejando de lado otras intervenciones públicas y su financiamiento. El trabajo resume los progresos a nivel internacional con algunas referencias a la experiencia argentina.
    Date: 2012–03
  4. By: Azzoni, Carlos Roberto; Guilhoto, Joaquim José mantins; Haddad, Eduardo; Menezes, Tatiane; Silveira, Fernando; Hasegawa, Marcos
    Abstract: The objective of the paper is to provide an estimative of the impacts that changes in international prices of agricultural commodities will have on income distribution and poverty in Brazil. To do so, a Social Accounting Matrix is constructed and applied, using a Leontief- Miyazawa type model framework. The SAM is defined for 40 products, being 17 raw agricultural products, 15 agricultural processed products, 3 industrial agricultural inputs, 2 other industrial products, trade, transport, and services. Households are allocated to 10 groups, being 6 agricultural (4 types of family farmers, commercial farmers, and agricultural labor), and 4 urban (income quartiles). Demand elasticities (price and income) for the products defined in the SAM are considered, as well as limitations on the supply of agricultural inputs. The knowledge of the possible impacts of changes in international commodity prices on income distribution and poverty is very important for policy design within developing countries. Given the estimated impacts on different groups of producers, different sorts of cushioning policies can be designed.
    Keywords: Commodity Price; Brazil
    JEL: D57 R15 C67
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Marcello M. Estevão; Irineu E. Carvalho Filho
    Abstract: Even though institutions are created to protect workers, they may interfere with labor market functioning, raise unemployment, and end up being circumvented by informal contracts. This paper uses Brazilian microeconomic data to show that the institutional changes introduced by the 1988 Constitution lowered the sensitivity of real wages to changes in labor market slack and could have contributed to the ensuing higher rates of unemployment in the country. Moreover, the paper shows that states that faced higher increases in informality (i.e., illegal work contracts) following the introduction of the new Constitution tended to have smaller drops in wage responsiveness to macroeconomic conditions, thus suggesting that informality serves as a escape valve to an over-regulated environment.
    Keywords: Brazil , Economic models , Labor markets , Unemployment , Wages ,
    Date: 2012–03–21

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