New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2012‒07‒29
eight papers chosen by

  1. Pension coverage in Latin America : trends and determinants By Rofman, Rafael; Oliveri, Maria Laura
  2. Urbanización, Desarrollo Económico y Pobreza en el Sistema de Ciudades Colombianas 1951-2005 By Fabio Sánchez Torres; Irina España E.
  3. Does poverty relief spending reduce crime? Evidence from Argentina By Meloni, Osvaldo
  4. Violencia doméstica y mercados laborales: ¿Previene el trabajo femenino la violencia doméstica? By Margarita Gáfaro; Ana María Ibáñez
  5. Evaluating Micro and Macro Effects of Regional Development Policies: The Case of the Northeast Regional Fund (FNE) in Brazil, 2000-2006 By Guilherme Resende
  6. La obesidad y su concentración según nivel socioeconómico en Colombia By Karina Acosta
  7. Regional dimensions of infant mortality in Brazil By Ana Barufi; Eduardo Haddad; Antonio Paez
  8. Financing needs of nascent entrepreneurs in Chile: does gender matter? By Gianni Romani; Miguel Atienza; Ernesto Amorós

  1. By: Rofman, Rafael; Oliveri, Maria Laura
    Abstract: This document presents an analysis of pension coverage trends in Latin America for the past decades. Its preparation involved the collection, revision, and processing of household surveys in over 18 countries in the region, spanning a period of almost 40 years in some cases. The main goal of this document is to offer comparable data on pension coverage among the economically active population and the elderly, considering the relevance of several demographic, social, and economic variables on these coverage levels. By producing this large and comparable regional dataset, the document supports the discussion of several stylized facts on pension coverage in Latin America. The results show that coverage among active workers is low in most countries, although there has been a relative improvement since the early 1990s. The situation is still distressing among workers in the primary sector or employed by small enterprises as well as for women, primarily because of their persistent lower rates of labor market participation. In recent years coverage of some of the most vulnerable groups has increased, but it still presents very low rates. Among the elderly, regional averages have been very stable since the early 1990s, although this average hides important differences among countries.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Insurance&Risk Mitigation,Pensions&Retirement Systems,Debt Markets,Insurance Law
    Date: 2012–06–01
  2. By: Fabio Sánchez Torres; Irina España E.
    Abstract: La urbanización y desarrollo económico asociado con este proceso experimentó en Colombia un cambio significativo a partir de la segunda mitad del siglo XX. Utilizando información de los censos poblacionales en Colombia desde la segunda mitad del siglo XX hasta el año 2005 este documento analiza las tendencias del proceso de urbanización y su relación con las variables asociadas al desarrollo económico y social como la pobreza, cobertura a servicios públicos, precios del suelo, PIB, diversificación y especialización de la producción en las ciudades entre otras. El trabajo muestra que a partir de la segunda mitad del siglo XX se incrementó la concentración de la población en las áreas urbanas aunque con grandes diferencias por tamaño y región. Las áreas urbanas presentan una mayor dinámica de sus variables sociales y económicas que se reflejaron en menores niveles de pobreza, mayor cobertura de servicios públicos domiciliarios y de educación así como participación del PIB y de la actividad económica.
    Date: 2012–07–18
  3. By: Meloni, Osvaldo
    Abstract: A large body of empirical research suggests that welfare spending reduces crime. Contrary to this dominant finding, a few recent studies conclude that there is no relationship between several measures of welfare spending and serious crime. This paper contributes to the debate using data from the largest poverty alleviation program launched by the Argentinean government to cope with the deleterious effects of the 2002 crisis featuring double-digit unemployment and half of the population below the poverty line. Province –level dynamic panel data reveals that the cash transfers program had a negative impact total crime although the effect was rather weak. The analyses of various types of crime show that the influence of the Argentine poverty relief spending was greater in Property Crimes than Crime against Persons, with the highest effect on larceny.
    Keywords: Crime; Welfare Spending; Dynamic Panel Data; Argentina
    JEL: I38 D72 K42
    Date: 2012–07–19
  4. By: Margarita Gáfaro; Ana María Ibáñez
    Abstract: Pese a que la creciente participación de las mujeres en el mercado laboral ha propiciado un cambio en las dinámicas de género, la violencia en contra de las mujeres en el hogar es un fenómeno con una alta persistencia. El presente trabajo explora si una mayor autonomía económica de la mujer, dada por el trabajo fuera del hogar, causa una reducción en la violencia doméstica en Colombia. Los resultados obtenidos muestran que el efecto del trabajo de la mujer sobre la probabilidad de maltrato es heterogéneo entre mujeres que han sido alguna vez maltratadas y mujeres que nunca lo han sido. El trabajo no tiene efectos sobre la propensión inicial de un hogar a presentar hechos de violencia doméstica. Sin embargo, las mujeres que han sido maltratadas parecen encontrar en el trabajo un mecanismo para obtener poder de negociación en el hogar y protegerse de futuras agresiones.
    Date: 2012–07–10
  5. By: Guilherme Resende
    Abstract: The goal of this paper is to carry out two outcome evaluations of the northeast regional fund (FNE) in Brazil. With this aim, the paper assembles two types of outcome evaluation often implemented separately in the evaluation literature. The results of the micro- and macro-evaluations show that although there is a positive and statistically significant impact of the FNE industrial loans on job creation at the (micro) firm level, this impact is still too limited to have any significant effect on GDP per capita growth at the municipal (macro) level and thus reduce the regional inequalities in Brazil.
    Date: 2011–09
  6. By: Karina Acosta
    Abstract: This paper uses information from the Demographic and Health Survey, as well as the National Survey of Nutritional Status of 2005 and 2010 in order to calculate obesity concentration indices among adults in Colombia. Additionally, we performed an analysis of the factors that account for the changes between these two years. Our results indicate that Colombia is a country which is experiencing nutritional transition. Specifically, although overweight within the adult population does not completely reach the highest rank, it is otherwise increasing. In 2010 obesity rates were comparatively high among men in the upper socioeconomic strata, while remaining high within women at the bottom of the income distribution. Resumen: Usando los datos de las encuestas de Demografía y Salud (ENDS) y los de la Situación Nutricional de Colombia (ENSIN) recolectados durante los años 2005 y 2010, se estimaron los índices de concentración de la obesidad en la población adulta colombiana. De igual forma se hizo un análisis de los factores que explican los cambios experimentados entre estos dos años, los cuales también se desagregaron entre géneros. Entre los principales resultados se encuentra que Colombia está en medio de una transición nutricional, ya que si bien el sobrepeso no alcanza los rangos más altos a nivel mundial, está en ascenso. Para el 2010 la obesidad se concentra dentro del grupo de hombres con mejores niveles socioeconómicos, mientras que en las mujeres se concentra en la parte baja de la distribución de ingreso.
    Date: 2012–07–15
  7. By: Ana Barufi; Eduardo Haddad; Antonio Paez
    Abstract: Development can be understood from many perspectives. Among those, the one proposed by Amartya Sen states that a development policy should aim at expanding the freedom of individuals, and this goal can be achieved by the expansion of capabilities. With this conceptual framework in mind, health, more specifically infant mortality, is chosen as a measure of development and as the object of study. The Government should guarantee the provision of health services, as they consist in meritory goods. Mosley and Chen (1984) propose a theoretical framework to study infant mortality based on the proximal determinants, in which the socioeconomic factors affect the result observed indirectly. In Brazil there has been a substantial reduction of the average levels of infant mortality rates in the last decades. However, there is still a significant regional inequality. Econometric models for 1980, 1991 and 2000 are estimated including a spatial filter in order to account for the spatial dependency observed in the data. The study concludes that health infrastructure lost its explanative power for the differences in infant mortality rate among the localities. On the other hand, socioeconomic variables have become more relevant and significant. It means that future public policies must try to improve the access of the families to public facilities, reduce poverty and inequality and improve educational levels. Therefore, the family-based prevention against health problems should be stimulated, helping to avoid premature death.
    Date: 2011–09
  8. By: Gianni Romani; Miguel Atienza; Ernesto Amorós
    Abstract: Funding is critical during new firms´ creation and the most sources of funding in the early stages of entrepreneurial ventures are informal investors (Family, Friends, the Founding entrepreneurs themselves, and the foolhardy strangers, also known as business angels). Entrepreneurs in the initial stages are the main users of informal financing, more specifically those denominated according to the GEM definition as nascent entrepreneurs; that is, those who are involved in establishing a business or those who have made the leap from the conception of the business to its actual gestation (Reynolds et al., 2005). Informal investment has come to the attention of researchers, mostly in the United States and Europe, and very scarcely in Latin America. Nevertheless, in recent years there has been a call to study entrepreneurship taking in consideration the perspective of gender (Brush, 1992; Bird and Brush, 2002). In Chile, studies of this nature are scarce. For this reason in order to find out more of how the nascent entrepreneurs fund theirs ventures, the main objective of this article is to explore the gender differences that could exist in the financing needs of nascent Chilean entrepreneurs with regard to: Amount needed to start the business; outside financing expectations, employment creations expectations, socio-demographic characteristics, perception related to entrepreneurship. The analysis is based on a representative sample of the Chilean adult population between 18 and 64 years of age, using data from the GEM from the years 2007 and 2008. Since this is an exploratory study, we propose separating the nascent entrepreneurs by gender and using descriptive statistics and Mann–Whitney U test (non-parametric test for two independent samples). The results show that there are significant gender differences among nascent entrepreneurs with respect to the amount needed to start a business, socio-demographic characteristics, and in some aspects related to entrepreneurship. These results provide a better understanding of the financial needs of nascent entrepreneurs and the existent differences between women and men. These results can contribute to a better design of public policies to support new venture creations taking into account a gender perspective.
    Date: 2011–09

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.