nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2012‒05‒15
fifteen papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Unemployment in Bolivia: Risks and Labor Market Policies By Werner Hernani; Maria Villegas; Ernesto Yanez
  2. Export Pioneers in Latin America By Charles Sabel; Eduardo Fernandez-Arias; Ricardo Hausmann; Andres Rodriguez-Clare; Ernesto H. Stein
  3. The impact of the occupations and economic activities on the gender wage gap using a counterfactual framework By Dusan Paredes
  4. Protecting Workers against Unemployment in Latin America and the Caribbean: Evidence from Argentina By Martín Gonzalez Rozada; Lucas Ronconi; Hernan Ruffo
  5. Productivity and Resource Misallocation in Latin America By Matias Busso; Lucia Madrigal; Carmen Pages-Serra
  6. Sub-National Revenue Mobilization in Latin American and Caribbean Countries: The Case of Argentina By Daniel Artana; Sebastian Auguste; Marcela Cristini; Cynthia Moskovitz; Ivana Templado
  7. Determinantes da Estrutura de Capital das Empresas Brasileiras: uma abordagem em regress˜ao quantílica By Guilherme Resende Oliveira; Benjamin Miranda Tabak; José Guilherme de Lara Resende; Daniel Oliveira Cajueiro
  8. Health Perceptions in Latin America By Eduardo Lora
  9. Latin American Preliminary Trade Estimates 2011 By Paolo Giordano; Rafael Lopez-Monti; Mauricio Mesquita Moreira; Matthew Shearer; Carolina Osorio
  10. Flujos de capital, fragilidad financiera y desarrollo financiero en Colombia By José Eduardo Gómez; Luisa Silva; Sergio Restrepo; Mauricio Salazar
  11. Flujos de capital, fragilidad financiera y desarrollo financiero en Colombia By José Eduardo Gómez; Luisa Silva; Sergio Restrepo; Mauricio Salazar
  12. Financing Local Development: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Municipalities in Brazil, 1980-1991 By Stephan Litschig
  13. The World of Forking Paths: Latin America and the Caribbean Facing Global Economic Risks By Andrew Powell
  14. Rising Food Prices and Children’s Welfare By Nora Lustig
  15. Sistemas pensionales y solidarios de Chile, Irlanda,Polonia, Brasil y Perú. By María Claudia LLANES VALENZUELA; Gabriel Armando PIRAQUIVE G.

  1. By: Werner Hernani; Maria Villegas; Ernesto Yanez
    Abstract: This paper attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of Bolivia’s labor market institutions, particularly the Plan Nacional de Empleo de Emergencia (PLANE). It is found that unemployment as conventionally defined may not be the most important problem in Bolivia’s labor market, as the non-salaried market is always an alternative. While un- employment durations and unemployment scarring consequences are relatively low, labor market regulations and labor market programs do not help to increase the size of the formal market, apparently as a result of Bolivia’s rigid labor markets and labor policies based mainly on temporary employment programs. Such programs, however, may have helped to smooth consumption. Given the country’s high level of infor- mality, protection policies are second best to active policies specifically designed to increase the productivity/employability of vulnerable populations.
    JEL: J08 J21 J64
    Date: 2011–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:wpaper:4758&r=lam
  2. By: Charles Sabel; Eduardo Fernandez-Arias; Ricardo Hausmann; Andres Rodriguez-Clare; Ernesto H. Stein
    Abstract: Export Pioneers in Latin America analyzes a series of case studies of successful new export activities throughout the region to learn how pioneers jump-start a virtuous process leading to economic transformation. The cases of blueberries in Argentina, avocados in Mexico, and aircraft in Brazil illustrate how an initially successful export activity did not stop with the discovery of a single viable product, but rather continued to evolve. The book explores the conjecture that costly burdens to entrepreneurial self-discovery (due to the deterrent effects of imitation by competitors) have held back potential exporters in post-reform Latin America. It also considers the conjecture that new export activities are a complex enterprise that can only come to fruition when innovative contributions of many actors are somehow provided jointly.
    JEL: F14 F19 O14 Q17
    Date: 2012–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:wpaper:4769&r=lam
  3. By: Dusan Paredes (IDEAR - Department of Economics, Universidad Católica del Norte - Chile)
    Abstract: This paper presents a methodology to estimate the individual gender wage gap as the difference between wages of the women and their counterfactuals defined by Coarsened Exact Matching. If the women show a higher wage than comparable men, then it is called positive gap. Using eight surveys between 1992 and 2009 for Chile, a stable average of 44% of women show positive gap. This group is considered interesting from the policy perspective because they can provide lessons to decrease the negative discrimination observed on women. Additional analysis shows that the occupations such as Managers, Professionals and Technicians and Associated Professionals always increase the positive gap. Finally, the most successful economic activity to increase the positive gap is Finance and Insurance Activities.
    Keywords: Gender earnings gap, statistical discrimination, occupational sorting
    JEL: J01 J20 J31
    Date: 2012–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cat:dtecon:dt201208&r=lam
  4. By: Martín Gonzalez Rozada; Lucas Ronconi; Hernan Ruffo
    Abstract: This paper takes advantage of several reforms that provide time and cross sectional variation to identify the effects of unemployment insurance and severance payments on the duration of unemployment and on the separation probability in Argentina. Administrative data permits analysis of the duration of unemployment of covered spells with detailed information about transfers and their duration, while household surveys permit the study of separation probability and transitions to informal jobs, which are not observed in administrative data. It is found that unemployment duration increases significantly when unemployment insurance transfers are higher or are provided for a longer period; the effects of severance pay on unemployment duration are less robust. On the other hand, higher severance pay is found to reduce separation probability, while unemployment insurance transfers have a positive but small effect on separations.
    JEL: I38 J64 J65 J68
    Date: 2011–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:wpaper:4759&r=lam
  5. By: Matias Busso; Lucia Madrigal; Carmen Pages-Serra
    Abstract: Total factor productivity (TFP) in Latin America has not increased since the mid- 1970s, and in many countries it has declined. Moreover, resource misallocation can lower aggregate TFP. This paper presents evidence based on firm-level data from 10 Latin American countries to quantify the heterogeneity of firm productivity and the degree of resource misallocation within countries. Productivity heterogeneity and resource misallocation are found to be much larger than in the United States. Achieving an efficient allocation of resources could boost manufacturing TFP between 45 percent and 127 percent depending on the countries and years considered.
    JEL: D24 L25 O47 O54
    Date: 2012–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:wpaper:4753&r=lam
  6. By: Daniel Artana; Sebastian Auguste; Marcela Cristini; Cynthia Moskovitz; Ivana Templado
    Abstract: This paper analyzes sub-national revenues in Argentina. Following a discussion of the recent evolution of government revenues and their vertical imbalance, the paper then analyzes the most important taxes collected by federal, provincial and local governments. Subsequently considered are the determinants of sub-national revenues and the impact of the 2001-2002 crisis. It is found that automatic transfers improve collections of the cascade sales tax and the property tax by enlarging the disposable income of the private and public sector of the provinces favored by the regional redistribution of income, while discretionary transfers reduce own-source revenue effort and encourage public investment. The paper concludes by analyzing options to improve sub-national revenue mobilization and offering specific proposals, particularly in regard to improving the cascade provincial sales tax.
    JEL: H71 H77
    Date: 2012–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:wpaper:4765&r=lam
  7. By: Guilherme Resende Oliveira; Benjamin Miranda Tabak; José Guilherme de Lara Resende; Daniel Oliveira Cajueiro
    Abstract: This work examines the determinants of the capital structure of Brazilian companies between the years 2000 and 2009. Based on quantile regression model and on the comparison with conventional models (least squares and fixed effects), the work provides better understanding of capital structure to reveal the available information on quantiles. This was not observed in Brazilian previous studies that analyzed only the general trend of the determinant's parameters. According to the results, we conclude that there exists a significant statistical influence of the quantile on the estimated coefficients, i.e., the effects of the determinants change depending on the quantile. This can be theoretically justified by bankruptcy and agency costs relative to the leverage of firms, hence, relative to each quantile. Therefore, the predicted effects of main theories of capital structure, pecking order and trade-off, apply, depending on the determinant, type of debt and quantile analyzed. Nevertheless the results of the variables size and profitability show that the pecking order becomes stronger as the quantile increases.
    Date: 2012–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bcb:wpaper:272&r=lam
  8. By: Eduardo Lora
    Abstract: This is the first study that uniformly analyzes health perceptions in all of Latin America and tests in a systematic way their relation to economic conditions at the country, income group and individual levels. The study uses three types of health self-assessment questions: i) health satisfaction; ii) health status on a scale of 0- 10; and iii) the EuroQol 5D instrument (EQ-5D), which asks about mobility, self- care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression. The empirical analysis finds support for the hypothesis that cultural differences between countries prevent cross-national comparisons of health perceptions, but it does not find support for the widely held view that the same applies within countries, presumably because the poor are more tolerant of their health problems.
    JEL: I10 J10
    Date: 2011–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:wpaper:4757&r=lam
  9. By: Paolo Giordano; Rafael Lopez-Monti; Mauricio Mesquita Moreira; Matthew Shearer; Carolina Osorio
    Abstract: This note presents the preliminary estimates of 2011 trade flows produced by the Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) Integration and Trade Sector. The estimates are based on partial year data for sixteen available Latin American countries and are calculated on the basis of national sources and the IDB's INTrade database. Estimates were not run for the Caribbean for lack of an adequate year-­to-­date sample on which to base robust calculations.
    Keywords: Integration & Trade, Trade Estimates
    Date: 2011–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:brikps:67358&r=lam
  10. By: José Eduardo Gómez; Luisa Silva; Sergio Restrepo; Mauricio Salazar
    Abstract: En este trabajo se estudian las interrelaciones existentes entre flujos de capital y estabilidad financiera en Colombia en el período comprendido entre 1995 y 2011 con datos trimestrales. Utilizando modelos VAR cointegrados en niveles, se encuentra que si bien no parece haber una relación directa significativa entre flujos de capital y estabilidad financiera, existe una relación indirecta entre estas dos variables, intermediada por la relación cartera/PIB.
    Date: 2012–05–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000094:009594&r=lam
  11. By: José Eduardo Gómez; Luisa Silva; Sergio Restrepo; Mauricio Salazar
    Abstract: En este trabajo se estudian las interrelaciones existentes entre flujos de capital y estabilidad financiera en Colombia en el período comprendido entre 1995 y 2011 con datos trimestrales. Utilizando modelos VAR cointegrados en niveles, se encuentra que si bien no parece haber una relación directa significativa entre flujos de capital y estabilidad financiera, existe una relación indirecta entre estas dos variables, intermediada por la relación cartera/PIB.
    Keywords: Flujos de capital, estabilidad financiera, modelos VAR. Classification JEL: F32, N16
    Date: 2012–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bdr:borrec:706&r=lam
  12. By: Stephan Litschig
    Abstract: This paper uses a regression discontinuity design to estimate the impact of additional unrestricted grant financing on local public spending, public service provision, schooling, literacy, and income at the community (municipio) level in Brazil. Additional transfers increased local public spending per capita by about 20% with no evidence of crowding out own revenue or other revenue sources. The additional local spending increased schooling per capita by about 7% and literacy rates by about 4 percentage points. The implied marginal cost of schooling accounting for corruption and other leakagesamounts to about US$ 237, which turns out to be similar to the average cost of schooling in Brazil in the early 1980s. In line with the effect on human capital, the poverty rate was reduced by about 4 percentage points, while income per capita gains were positive but not statistically significant. Results also suggest that additional public spending had stronger effects on schooling and literacy in less developed parts of Brazil, while poverty reduction was evenly spread across the country.
    Keywords: Intergovernmental grants, decentralization, economic development
    JEL: D70 H40 H72 O15
    Date: 2011–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bge:wpaper:510&r=lam
  13. By: Andrew Powell
    Abstract: This report details the divergent paths that the world economy may take and their potential effects on Latin America and the Caribbean. Scenarios are constructed employing a modeling exercise that captures the trade, financial and other linkages between the region and the rest of the world. While vulnerabilities remain and external shocks have been and remain critical, the region enjoys many strengths and has developed a growing arsenal of policy tools. What is the balance of vulnerabilities versus strengths? How can countries address the existing vulnerabilities? How can they perfect their policy tools and minimize the effect of external crises?
    JEL: E52 E62 F34 N16
    Date: 2012–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:wpaper:4766&r=lam
  14. By: Nora Lustig (Division of Policy and Practice,UNICEF)
    Abstract: After three consecutive decades of decline, world prices of food commodities have risen over the past few years at an alarming pace. Rising food prices are a cause of major concern because high food prices bring significant and immediate setbacks for poverty reduction, nutrition, social stability, inflation and a rules-based trading system. Food prices are unique since food is unlike any other good. Food is essential for survival; it is the most basic of basic needs
    Keywords: child poverty, child disparities, policy design, measuring poverty, development strategies,food prices,basic needs,poverty reduction, nutrition, social stability
    Date: 2012
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:uce:wbrief:1201&r=lam
  15. By: María Claudia LLANES VALENZUELA; Gabriel Armando PIRAQUIVE G.
    Abstract: Existen una serie de diferencias en la forma en que se incorporan los distintos segmentos de la población al mercado laboral. En ese sentido, algunos grupos de ocupados por sus características presentan historias laborales incompletas y por lo tanto no obtienen pensiones adecuadas, una vez en la vejez. Incluso algunos trabajadores formales no logran obtener pensiones adecuadas. De igual forma, las personas pobres que por sus bajos ingresos no tienen la capacidad de ahorro quedan excluidas del sistema contributivo. Por lo anterior, y con el objeto de ampliar la cobertura y de reducir la pobreza se crean los sistemas solidarios. Efectivamente, según la (OIT (2002) y la CEPAL 2006) existe consenso en la necesidad de ampliar la cobertura a quienes carecen de ella y en utilizar como políticas públicas orientadas en tal sentido la implementación de regímenes de pensiones mínimas (Comisión Europea, 2006) y de pensiones no contributivas y asistenciales. Un sistema pensional puede, reproducir e incluso ampliar los efectos redistributivos regresivos que pueda tener el mercado laboral. Por su parte, los sistemas solidarios pretenden revertir estos efectos.
    Date: 2012–05–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000118:009596&r=lam

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