nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2012‒09‒09
thirteen papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Latin American Exchange Rate Dependencies: A Regular Vine Copula Approach By Rubén Albeiro Loaiza Maya; Luis Fernando Melo Velandia
  2. FDI and Income Inequality - Evidence from Latin American Economies By Dierk Herzer; Philipp Hühne; Peter Nunnenkamp
  3. LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT: INCOME DYNAMICS AND THE EVOLVING POLITICAL PREFERENCES OF FORWARD-LOOKING BAYESIAN VOTERS By Michael Carter; John Morrow
  4. Spillovers from Conditional Cash Transfer Programs:Bolsa Família and Crime in Urban Brazil By Laura Chioda; João Manoel Pinho de Mello; Rodrigo R. Soares
  5. La negociación salarial en Uruguay: un modelo para analizar sus efectos By Ivone Perazzo
  6. Ethnic Groups and Anthropometric Differences in Colombia By karina Acosta; Adolfo Meisel
  7. TEORÍA DE LA MIGRACIÓN COLECTIVA COMO EXPLICACIÓN AL DESPLAZAMIENTO FORZADO EN COLOMBIA By Diego Felipe Gutiérrez Bedoya
  8. Wages and Informality in Developing Countries By Costas Meghir; Renata Narita; Jean-Marc Robin
  9. The Welfare Cost of Homicides in Brazil: Accounting for Heterogeneity in the Willingness to Pay for Mortality Reductions By Daniel R.C. Cerqueira; Rodrigo R. Soares
  10. Targeting the Poor: A Macroeconomic Analysis of Cash Transfer Programs By Eduardo Zilberman; Tiago Berriel
  11. Decentralization of Health and Education in Developing Countries: A Quality-Adjusted Review of the Empirical Literature By Anila Channa; Jean-Paul Faguet
  12. Water Scarcity and Birth Outcomes in the Brazilian Semiarid By Rudi Rocha; Rodrigo R. Soares
  13. Does workers’ control affect firm survival? Evidence from Uruguay By Gabriel Burdin

  1. By: Rubén Albeiro Loaiza Maya; Luis Fernando Melo Velandia
    Abstract: This study implements a regular vine copula methodology to evaluate the level of contagion among the exchange rates of six Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) from June 2005 to April 2012. We measure contagion in terms of tail dependence coefficients, following Fratzscher’s [1999] definition of contagion as interdependence. Our results indicate that these countries are divided into two blocs. The first bloc consists of Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Mexico, whose exchange rates exhibit the largest dependence coefficients, and the second bloc consists of Argentina and Peru, whose exchange rate dependence coefficients with other Latin American countries are low. We also found that most of the Latin American exchange rate pairs exhibit asymmetric behaviors characterized by non-significant upper tail dependence and significant lower tail dependence. These results imply that there exists contagion in Latin American exchange rates in periods of large appreciations.
    Keywords: Copula, Regular Vine, Exchange Rates, Tail Dependence Coefficients. Classification JEL:C32, C51, E42.
    Date: 2012–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bdr:borrec:729&r=lam
  2. By: Dierk Herzer; Philipp Hühne; Peter Nunnenkamp
    Abstract: We analyze whether foreign direct investment (FDI) has contributed to the typically wide income gaps in five Latin American host countries. We perform country-specific and panel cointegration techniques to assess the long-run impact of inward FDI stocks on income inequality among households in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay. The panel cointegration analysis reveals a significant and positive effect on income inequality. Furthermore, FDI contributed to widening income gaps in all individual sample countries, except for Uruguay. Our findings are robust to the choice of different estimation methods. There is no evidence for reverse causality
    Keywords: FDI, income inequality, cointegration techniques, Latin America
    JEL: F21 D31
    Date: 2012–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:kie:kieliw:1791&r=lam
  3. By: Michael Carter; John Morrow
    Abstract: The political left turn in Latin America, which lagged its transition to liberalized market economies by a decade or more, challenges conventional economic explanations of voting behavior. While the implications of upward mobility for the political preferences of forward-looking voters have been studied, neither the upward mobility model nor conventional myopic median voter models are well equipped to explain Latin America's political transformation. This paper generalizes the forward-looking voter model to consider a broad range of dynamic processes. When voters have full information on the nature of income dynamics in a transition economy, we show that strong support for redistributive policies will materialize rapidly if income dynamics offer few prospects of upward mobility for key sections of the electorate. In contrast, when voters have imperfect information, our model predicts a slow and politically polarizing shift toward redistributive voter preferences under these same non-concave income dynamics. Simulation using fitted income dynamics for two Latin American economies suggests that the imperfect information model better accounts for the observed shift back to the left in Latin America, and that this generalized, forward-looking voter approach may offer additional insights about political dynamics in other transition economies.
    Keywords: income dynamics, redistributive politics, polarization, Bayesianlearning, Latin America.
    JEL: D31 D72 D83 P16
    Date: 2012–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cep:stieop:034&r=lam
  4. By: Laura Chioda (World Bank); João Manoel Pinho de Mello (Department of Economics PUC-Rio); Rodrigo R. Soares (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs on crime. Making use of a unique dataset combining detailed school characteristics with time and geo-referenced crime information from the city of São Paulo, Brazil, we estimate the contemporaneous effect of the Bolsa Família program on crime. We address the endogeneity of CCT coverage by exploiting the 2008 expansion of the program to adolescents aged 16 and 17. We construct an instrument that combines the timing of expansion and the initial demographic composition of schools to identify plausibly exogenous variations in the number of children covered by Bolsa Família. We find a robust and significant negative impact of Bolsa Família coverage on crime. The evidence suggests that the main effect works through increased household income or changed peer group, rather than from incapacitation from time spent in school
    Date: 2012–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rio:texdis:599&r=lam
  5. By: Ivone Perazzo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: Con el fin de disponer de una herramienta útil para evaluar, entre otros, el cumplimiento efectivo con los acuerdos alcanzados así como los efectos distributivos de las modificaciones salariales, el principal objetivo de este trabajo es la realización de un empalme entre las categorías y subgrupos de los convenios colectivos y las ramas de actividad relevadas por la Encuesta Continua de Hogares (ECH). Habiendo logrado empalmar casi 60% de los asalariados privados, se encuentra que el nivel de incumplimiento se encontraría entre 12,1% y 17,4% en 2006 cuando se considera el menor de los laudos de cada subgrupo. Las características de los trabajadores con salarios por debajo del laudo mínimo es la esperable: el incumplimiento es mayor en el interior del país, entre los menores de 20 años, decreciente con el nivel educativo y con el tamaño de la empresa, no mostrando un vínculo muy fuerte con el sexo aunque sería peor la situación de las mujeres. Asimismo, la brecha media de incumplimiento o distancia al laudo mínimo, de 27%, estaría indicando que el problema es de una magnitud considerable. Finalmente, a partir de un ejercicio de simulación, se encuentra que de realizarse políticas tendientes a promover un mayor cumplimiento del laudo mínimo por subgrupo (tanto las que promuevan una mayor formalización como una mayor fiscalización en empresas formales), se lograría un incremento de los ingresos medios, en particular en la cola baja de la distribución, reduciéndose la dispersión salarial.
    Keywords: negociación colectiva, Uruguay, cumplimiento de laudos.
    JEL: J01 J59
    Date: 2012–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-07-12&r=lam
  6. By: karina Acosta; Adolfo Meisel
    Abstract: Using data from the 2010 Colombia Demographic and Health Survey and of the National Survey of the Nutritional Situation in Colombia (ENDS-ENSIN), we analyzed the evolution of the height for the Colombian birth cohorts in the period 1946-1992 by ethnic groups defined through self-classification. We find that there are statistically significant differences in height between the ethnic groups considered. Those who identified themselves as Afrocolombians have greater average height than the indigenous group and are also taller than those who don’t identify themselves as belonging to either of these two groups. This latter category was denominated in the survey as others. We also find that the height gap between afros and others became smaller during the time period under study. Moreover, the results suggest that the Colombian indigenous group has a higher potential for growth in ‘biological well-being’ if their socioeconomic status improves.
    Date: 2012–08–29
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000094:009913&r=lam
  7. By: Diego Felipe Gutiérrez Bedoya
    Abstract: El documento tiene el objetivo de explicar la dinámica de la evolución del desplazamiento forzado en Colombia 1996-2010; por medio de la teoría de la migración colectiva, cuyo propósito es responder a la pregunta de ¿Cómo afecta la decisión individual de migración en la decisión de migración colectiva?, a través de simulaciones sociales basadas en liderazgo y capacidad de detección del entorno de los individuos.
    Date: 2012–01–17
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000176:009934&r=lam
  8. By: Costas Meghir; Renata Narita; Jean-Marc Robin
    Abstract: It is often argued that informal labor markets in developing countries promote growth by reducing the impact of regulation. On the other hand informality may reduce the amount of social protection offered to workers. We extend the wage-posting framework of Burdett and Mortensen (1998) to allow heterogeneous firms to decide whether to locate in the formal or the informal sector, as well as set wages. Workers engage in both off the job and on the job search. We estimate the model using Brazilian micro data and evaluate the labor market and welfare effects of policies towards informality.
    JEL: J24 J3 J42 J6 O17
    Date: 2012–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18347&r=lam
  9. By: Daniel R.C. Cerqueira (IPEA); Rodrigo R. Soares (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the health dimension of the welfare cost of homicides in Brazil incorporating age, gender, educational, and regional heterogeneities. We use the marginal willingness to pay approach from the “value of life” literature to assign monetary values to the welfare cost of increased mortality due to violence. The results indicate that the present discounted value of the welfare cost of homicides in Brazil corresponds to roughly 78% of the GDP or, measured in terms of yearly flow, 2.3%. The analysis also indicates that reliance on aggregate data to perform such calculations, without taking into account the relevant dimensions of heterogeneity, can lead to biases of the order of 20% in the estimated social cost of violence
    Date: 2012–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rio:texdis:600&r=lam
  10. By: Eduardo Zilberman (Department of Economics PUC-Rio); Tiago Berriel (EPGe/FGV)
    Abstract: This paper introduces cash transfers targeting the poor in an incomplete marketsmodel with heterogeneous agents facing idiosyncratic risk. These transfers change the degree of insurance in the economy and affect precautionary motives asymmetrically,leading the poorest households to decrease savings proportionally more than their richer counterparts. In a model economy calibrated to Brazil, once the cash transfer program is adopted, wealth inequality and social welfare increase, poverty decreases,while employment and income inequality remain about the same. Imperfect access to financial markets is important for these results, whereas whether the program is funded with lump sum or distortive taxes is not.
    Date: 2012–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rio:texdis:598&r=lam
  11. By: Anila Channa; Jean-Paul Faguet
    Abstract: We review empirical evidence on the ability of decentralization to enhance preference matching and technical efficiency in the provision of health and education in developing countries. Many influential surveys have found that the empirical evidence of decentralization's effects on service delivery is weak, incomplete and often contradictory. Our own unweighted reading of the literature concurs. But when we organize the evidence first by substantive theme, and then - crucially - by empirical quality and the credibility of its identification strategy, clear patterns emerge. Higher quality evidence indicates that decentralization increases technical efficiency across a variety of public services, from student test scores to infant mortality rates. Decentralization also improves preference matching in education, and can do so in health under certain conditions, although there is less evidence for both. We discuss individual studies in some detail. Weighting by quality is especially important when evidence informs policy-making. Firmer conclusions will require an increased focus on research design, and a deeper examination into the prerequisites and mechanisms of successful reforms.
    Keywords: Decentralization, School-Based Management, Education, Health, Service Delivery, Developing Countries, Preference Matching, Technical Efficiency
    Date: 2012–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cep:stieop:038&r=lam
  12. By: Rudi Rocha (UFRJ); Rodrigo R. Soares (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of rainfall fluctuations during the gestational period on health at birth. We concentrate on the semiarid region of Northeastern Brazil to highlight the role of water scarcity as a determinant of early life health. We find that negative rainfall shocks are robustly correlated with higher infant mortality, lower birth weight, and shorter gestation periods. Mortality effects are concentrated on intestinal infections and malnutrition, and are greatly minimized when the local public health infrastructure is sufficiently developed (municipality coverage of piped water and sanitation). We also …nd that e¤ects are stronger during the fetal period (2nd trimester of gestation), for children born during the dry season, and for mortality in the first 6 months of life. The results seem to be driven by water scarcity per se, and not by reduced agricultural production. Our estimates suggest that expansions in public health infrastructure would be a cost-effective way of reducing the response of infant mortality to rainfall shocks in the Brazilian semiarid
    Date: 2012–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rio:texdis:601&r=lam
  13. By: Gabriel Burdin (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía / University of Siena (Italia). Department of Economics.)
    Abstract: Worker-managed firms (WMFs) represent a marginal proportion of total firms and aggregate employment in most countries. The bulk of firms in real economies is ultimately controlled by capital suppliers. Different theoretical explanations suggest that WMFs are prone to failure in competitive environments. Using a panel of Uruguayan firms based on social security records and including the entire population of WMFs over the period January 1997-July 2009, I present new evidence on worker managed firms´ survival. I find that the hazard of exit is 24%-38% lower for WMFs than for conventional firms. This result is robust to alternative estimation strategies based on semi-parametric and parametric frailty duration models that impose different distributional assumptions about the shape of the baseline hazard and allow to consider firm-level unobserved heterogeneity. The evidence suggests that the marginal presence of WMFs in market economies can hardly be explained by the fact that these organizations exhibit lower survival chances than conventional firms. This paper adds to the literature on labor-managed firms, shared capitalism and to the industrial organization literature on firm survival.
    Keywords: labor-managed firms, capitalist firms, survival analysis.
    JEL: P13 P51 C41
    Date: 2012–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-06-12&r=lam

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