New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2012‒05‒29
ten papers chosen by

  1. EDUCATION AND LABOUR MARKET OUTCOMES: EVIDENCE FROM BRAZIL By R Freguglia; G Spricigo; Geraint Johnes; A Aggarwal
  2. Structural change in developing countries: has it decreased gender inequality? By Michelle Rendall
  3. A Comparison of Product Price Targeting and Other Monetary Anchor Options, for Commodity Exporters in Latin America By Frankel, Jeffrey A.
  4. A Solution to Overoptimistic Forecasts and Fiscal Procyclicality: The Structural Budget Institutions Pioneered by Chile By Frankel, Jeffrey A.
  5. Regional Policy Dialogue: Innovation in the Service Sector: Opportunities for the Caribbean By José Jorge Saavedra
  6. Número de hermanos, orden de nacimiento y resultados educativos en la niñez: evidencia en Perú. By Víctor Saldarriaga
  7. The impacts of trade liberalization on informal labor markets: an evaluation of the Brazilian case. By Paz, Lourenco
  8. Efectos heterogéneos del trabajo infantil en la adquisición de habilidades cognitivas. By Carmen Ponce
  9. The Measurement of Educational Inequality: Achievement and Opportunity By Jérémie Gignoux; Francisco H. G. Ferreira
  10. Calidad, igualdad y equidad en la educación colombiana (Análisis de la prueba SABER 2009) By Jesús Duarte; María Soledad Bos; Martín Moreno

  1. By: R Freguglia; G Spricigo; Geraint Johnes; A Aggarwal
    Abstract: The effect of education on labour market outcomes is analysed using both survey and administrative data from The Brazilian PNAD and RAIS-MIGRA series, respectively. Occupational destination is examined using both multinomial logit analyses and structural dynamic discrete choice modelling. The latter approach is particularly useful as a means of evaluating policy impacts over time. We find that policy to expand educational provision leads initially to an increased take-up of education, and in the longer term leads to an increased propensity for workers to enter non-manual employment.
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Michelle Rendall
    Abstract: This paper examines the evolution of female labor market outcomes from 1987 to 2008 by assessing the role of changing labor demand requirements in four developing countries: Brazil, Mexico, India and Thailand. The results highlight the importance of structural change in reducing gender disparities by decreasing the labor demand for physical attributes. The results show that India, the country with the greatest physical labor requirements, exhibits the largest labor market gender inequality. In contrast, Brazil's labor requirements have followed a similar trend seen in the United States, reducing gender inequality in both wages and labor force participation.
    Keywords: Structural change, job tasks, female employment, wage gap, Latin America, Asia
    JEL: J20 J23 J24 J31 O31 O33
    Date: 2012–05
  3. By: Frankel, Jeffrey A.
    Abstract: Seven possible nominal variables are considered as candidates to be the anchor or target for monetary policy. The context is countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), which tend to be price takers on world markets, to produce commodity exports subject to volatile terms of trade, and to experience procyclical international finance. Three anchor candidates are exchange rate pegs: to the dollar, euro and SDR. One candidate is orthodox Inflation Targeting. Three candidates represent proposals for a new sort of inflation targeting that differs from the usual focus on the CPI, in that prices of export commodities are given substantial weight and prices of imports are not: PEP (Peg the Export Price), PEPI (Peg an Export Price Index), and PPT (Product Price Targeting). The selling point of these production-based price indices is that each could serve as a nominal anchor while yet accommodating terms of trade shocks, in comparison to a CPI target. CPI-targeters such as Brazil, Chile, and Peru are observed to respond to increases in world prices of imported oil with monetary policy that is sufficiently tight to appreciate their currencies, an undesirable property, which is the opposite of accommodating the terms of trade. As hypothesized, a product price target generally does a better job of stabilizing the real domestic prices of tradable goods than does a CPI target. Bottom line: A Product Price Targeter would appreciate in response to an increase in world prices of its commodity exports, not in response to an increase in world prices of its imports. CPI targeting gets this backwards.
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Frankel, Jeffrey A.
    Abstract: Historically, many countries have suffered a pattern of procyclical fiscal policy: spending too much in booms and then forced to cut back in recessions, thereby exacerbating the business cycle. This problem has especially plagued Latin American commodity-producers. Since 2000, fiscal policy in Chile has been governed by a structural budget rule that has succeeded in implementing countercyclical fiscal policy. The key innovation is that the two most important estimates of the structural versus cyclical components of the budget – trend output and the 10-year price of copper – are made by expert panels and thus insulated from the political process. Chile’s fiscal institutions could usefully be emulated everywhere, but especially in other commodity-exporting countries. This paper finds statistical support for a series of hypotheses regarding forecasts by official agencies that have responsibility for formulating the budget. 1) Official forecasts of budgets and GDP in a 33-country sample are overly optimistic on average. 2) The bias toward over-optimism is stronger the longer the horizon 3) The bias is greater among European governments that are politically subject to the budget rules in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). 4) The bias is greater at the extremes of the business cycle, particularly in booms. 5) In most countries, the real growth rate is the key macroeconomic input for budget forecasting. In Chile it is the price of copper. 6) Real copper prices mean-revert in the long run, but this is not always readily perceived. 7) Chile’s official forecasts are not overly optimistic on average. 8) Chile has apparently avoided the problem of official forecasts that unrealistically extrapolate in boom times. The conclusion: official forecasts, if not insulated from politics, tend to be overly optimistic, and the problem can be worse when the government is formally subject to budget rules. The key innovation that has allowed Chile in general to achieve countercyclical fiscal policy, and in particular to run surpluses in booms, is not just a structural budget rule in itself, but a regime that entrusts to panels of independent experts the responsibility for estimating the extent to which contemporaneous copper prices and GDP have departed from their long-run trends.
    Date: 2011
  5. By: José Jorge Saavedra
    Abstract: This presentation was performed for the Regional Policy Dialog meeting in Belize City, on December 5th, 2011. It provides facts and figures related to the state of the service sector in the Caribbean as well as the Compete Caribbean initiative. This initiative is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.
    Keywords: Private Sector, Integration & Trade, compete caribbean
    Date: 2011–12
  6. By: Víctor Saldarriaga (Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE))
    Abstract: El presente estudio investiga el efecto del número de hijos y el orden de nacimiento en la asistencia a la escuela, en la probabilidad de retraso escolar y en el año o grado normativo para la edad en niños de 6 a 14 años de edad. La estrategia de identificación se basa en el uso de variables instrumentales, tomando los eventos de nacimientos múltiples y preferencias por balance de sexo de los hijos como potenciales instrumentos de identificación. Utilizando datos de las Encuestas Demográficas y de Salud Familiar (ENDES) de los años 1996, 2000, 2004-2008 y 2009, se encuentra que un hijo adicional en familias afectadas por eventos de nacimientos múltiples incrementa la probabilidad de asistencia a la escuela de los hijos mayores entre 3,5 y 4,5 puntos porcentuales. Este efecto es mayor en niños residentes en zonas rurales, en los varones y en aquellos niños que reportan vivir en hogares donde ambos padres se encuentran presentes. No obstante, el efecto es menor para niños con edades más cercanas a los 6 años. No se encuentran efectos significativos en la probabilidad de retraso escolar ni tampoco en el año o grado normativo para la edad de los niños, lo cual sugiere que no existe un vínculo causal entre el tamaño familiar y el progreso escolar de los niños. Adicionalmente, se encuentran efectos diferenciados de acuerdo al orden de nacimiento de los hijos.
    Keywords: Asistencia escolar, Niños, Educación, School Attendance, Children, Education, Peru
    JEL: I24 J13
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Paz, Lourenco
    Abstract: Several developing countries that underwent trade liberalization experienced an increase in the share of informal workers in manufacturing industries. This phenomenon deserves careful examination because informal jobs are not only generally viewed as low-quality and low-paying jobs, but they also account for more than 30% of the workforce in some countries. In this paper, I examine the effects of the Brazilian trade liberalization episode (1989-2001) on the industry-level share of informal workers and on the average formal and informal wages. I find that a percentage point decrease in import tariffs increases the informality share by 0.09 percentage points and the average informal wage by 0.06%, and decreases the average formal wage by 0.05%. A similar change in foreign import tariffs decreases the informality share by 0.17 percentage points and the average informal wage by 0.34%, and increases the average formal wage by 0.32%. The results are found to be robust to endogeneity and self-selection concerns, which are addressed using instrumental variables and a switching regressions approach.
    Keywords: informal labor markets; trade liberalization; Brazil
    JEL: F16 O17 F12 H26
    Date: 2012–03–12
  8. By: Carmen Ponce (Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE))
    Abstract: El estudio se ocupa de los efectos heterogéneos del trabajo en la formación de capital humano a través de una definición amplia de trabajo que incluye toda actividad asociada a responsabilidades no escolares. Dada la variedad de responsabilidades asumidas por niños y adolescentes peruanos, se toma en cuenta dos criterios para clasificar los diferentes tipos de trabajo: el tipo de actividad desarrollada (si es una actividad económica o una doméstica) y la relación del niño o adolescente con su empleador o supervisor (si es un familiar o no). La información estadística empleada proviene de una base longitudinal única con información de uso del tiempo e indicadores de desarrollo contemporáneos y pasados de una cohorte de adolescentes peruanos de 14 años de edad. Para evitar una sobreestimación de los efectos sobre el capital humano debido a una mayor prevalencia del trabajo infantil y una menor calidad de la escuela en las áreas rurales, el estudio analiza por separado las áreas urbanas y las rurales. La estrategia de estimación atiende los problemas de endogeneidad de la decisión de uso del tiempo de los adolescentes y controla por condiciones iniciales y características familiares y comunales que puedan afectar tanto el desarrollo de habilidades cognitivas como las decisiones de uso del tiempo en el hogar. En el área rural no se encuentra efectos significativos de una hora adicional de trabajo en actividades económicas, aunque sí efectos negativos de horas adicionales de actividad doméstica (en el hogar del adolescente). En contraste, los estimados urbanos muestran efectos negativos de horas adicionales de trabajo en actividades económicas. El tipo de trabajo que estaría detrás de este efecto es el desarrollado en actividades económicas fuera del entorno familiar (cargadores en mercados, labores de reciclaje, etc.). Estos resultados del área urbana son consistentes otros estudios internacionales. El documento explora un canal de transmisión específico: el potencial trade-off entre trabajo y escuela (debido a la competencia por tiempo y energía entre ambas), y discute sus implicancias en las políticas públicas más allá de las restricciones legales al trabajo infantil y adolescente.
    Keywords: Trabajo de menores, Adolescentes, Desarrollo de habilidades, Child labour, Adolescents, Skills development, Peru
    JEL: J24 J13
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Jérémie Gignoux (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - INRA, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Francisco H. G. Ferreira (The World Bank - The World Bank, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - IZA)
    Abstract: This paper proposes two related measures of educational inequality: one for educational achievement and another for educational opportunity. The former is the simple variance (or standard deviation) of test scores. It is selected after careful consideration of two measurement issues that have typically been overlooked in the literature: the implications of the standardization of test scores for inequality indices, and the possible sample selection biases arising from the PISA sampling frame. The measure of inequality of educational opportunity is given by the share of the variance in test scores which is explained by pre-determined circumstances. Both measures are computed for the 57 countries in which PISA surveys were conducted in 2006. Inequality of opportunity accounts for up to 35% of all disparities in educational achievement. It is greater in (most of) continental Europe and Latin America than in Asia, Scandinavia and North America. It is uncorrelated with average educational achievement and only weakly negatively correlated with per capita GDP. It correlates negatively with the share of spending in primary schooling, and positively with tracking in secondary schools.
    Keywords: Educational inequality ; Educational achievement ; Inequality of opportunity
    Date: 2011–11
  10. By: Jesús Duarte; María Soledad Bos; Martín Moreno
    Abstract: Esta Nota Técnica describe la desigualdad en los aprendizajes de los alumnos colombianos y analiza la equidad en la distribución de los recursos y procesos que ocurren en la escuela y su relación con los aprendizajes. Usando la base de datos del SABER 2009, el análisis muestra que en Colombia existen altas desigualdades en los resultados académicos de los estudiantes, asociadas al nivel socioeconómico de sus familias y al tipo de gestión y zona geográfica de las escuelas a las que asisten. Esta relación es más importante entre las escuelas que al interior de las mismas, denotando una alta segregación de las escuelas colombianas según el nivel socioeconómico de los alumnos. En cuanto a la distribución de recursos y procesos escolares, hay altas inequidades con clara desventaja para las escuelas que atienden a los alumnos más pobres y las escuelas públicas urbanas y rurales, que se asocia a su vez con mayor riesgo de sus alumnos de obtener resultados insatisfactorios en la prueba SABER. Los resultados de las estimaciones de los modelos multinivel, donde se analizan de manera conjunta las interacciones entre factores escolares y los resultados de las pruebas, indican que mejores condiciones físicas de las aulas, la conexión adecuada a servicios públicos, la jornada completa, la presencia de reglas en el aula, los menores niveles de violencia en las escuelas y mayor satisfacción docente están asociados de manera significativa con más altas probabilidades de que los estudiantes logren resultados adecuados en las pruebas. Mejorar dichos factores en las escuelas que atienden a la población pobre tendría un alto potencial en incrementar al mismo tiempo la calidad y la equidad de los aprendizajes escolares en Colombia.
    Keywords: Educación :: Educación primaria y secundaria, Desarrollo social :: Pobreza, Desarrollo social :: Jóvenes y niños, Educación :: Educación y calidad de los maestros, Educación :: Evaluación educativa, desigualdad, aprendizajes, alunnos, inequidades, resultados academicos, nivel socioeconómico, calidad, equidad, igualidad, inequidad
    JEL: I24
    Date: 2012–04

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