nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2012‒09‒16
ten papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Regional Monetary Cooperation in Latin America By José Antonio Ocampo; Daniel Titelman
  2. Wages and Informality in Developing Countries By Costas Meghir; Renata Narita; Jean-Marc Robin
  3. Latin American banking efficiency and use of production factors. Are domestic and foreign banks so different? By Francisco Javier Sáez-Fernández; Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo
  4. Sovereign Debt in Latin America, 1820–1913 By Gerardo della Paolera; Alan M. Taylor
  5. Can Policies Affect Employment Intensity of Growth? A Cross-Country Analysis By Davide Furceri; Ernesto Crivelli; Joël Toujas-Bernate
  6. What's new in the new industrial policy in Latin America ? By Devlin, Robert; Moguillansky, Graciela
  7. Do Migrant Girls Always Perform Better? Differences between the Reading and Math Scores of 15-Year-Old Daughters and Sons of Migrants in PISA 2009 and Variations by Region of Origin and Country of Destination By Kornder Nils; Dronkers Jaap
  8. Introducción a la econometría espacial: Una aplicación al estudio de la fecundidad en la Argentina usando R. By Herrera Gómez, Marcos; Cid , Juan Carlos; Paz , Jorge Augusto
  9. State–society cycles and political pacts in a national–dependent society : Brazil By Pereira, Luiz C. Bresser (Luiz Carlos Bresser)
  10. Early-Life Health and Adult Circumstance in Developing Countries By Janet Currie; Tom Vogl

  1. By: José Antonio Ocampo (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)); Daniel Titelman
    Abstract: Latin American has the longest history of regional integration efforts in the developing world. This paper analyzes the experience of regional monetary cooperation in Latin America over the past three decades. This experience has been overall successful but also uneven, both in terms of country coverage and services provided. Although strictly not a form of monetary cooperation, development financing does play a useful complementary role by proving counter-cyclical or at least stable financing during crises, when private financing for developing countries dries up.
    Keywords: Regional monetary cooperation, Monetary cooperation, Latin America, development financing
    JEL: O23 O54
    Date: 2012–08
  2. By: Costas Meghir (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Renata Narita (World Bank); Jean-Marc Robin (Dept. of Economics, Sciences Po)
    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.
    Keywords: Informality, Unemployment, Job search, Wage posting, Equilibrium wage distributions, On the job search, Method of moments
    JEL: J24 J3 J42 J6 O17
    Date: 2012–09
  3. By: Francisco Javier Sáez-Fernández (Universidad de Granada); Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo (Universidad de Valencia)
    Abstract: This paper assesses efficiency in Latin-American and Caribbean banking, distinguishing between domestic and foreign banks. Scores of both proportional and input-specific technical efficiency are computed using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) techniques. Furthermore, the so-called program approach is employed to assess differences in the technology used by domestic and foreign banks. Foreign banks are found to manage all production factors more efficiently; furthermore, this greater efficiency is partly due to the superior technology they use.
    Date: 2012–09
  4. By: Gerardo della Paolera; Alan M. Taylor
    Abstract: This paper examines sovereign lending to Latin America and the Caribbean from 1820 to 1913. We examine four waves of capital flows where defaults were followed by a return to market access. In spite of extended default, countries kept promising high returns that attracted international investors again and again: financial autarky thus gave way to eras of high integration to global markets as measured by sovereign risk pricing. We discuss imperfections of the sovereign debt institutional context in the region and discuss a menu of options that some countries used to seek funds in the global financial markets after defaults. The parallel with the modern Latin American and Caribbean sovereign bond market experience is striking.
    JEL: F34 H63 N16 N26 N46
    Date: 2012–09
  5. By: Davide Furceri; Ernesto Crivelli; Joël Toujas-Bernate
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide new estimates of employment-output elasticities and assess the effect of structural and macroeocnomic policies on the employment-intensity of growth. Using an unbalanced panel of 167 countries over the period 1991 - 2009, the results suggest that structural policies aimed at increasing labor and product market flexibility and reducing government size have a significant and positive impact on employment elasticities. In addition, the results also suggest that in order to maximize the positive impact on the responsiveness of employment to economic activity, structural policies have to be complemented with macroeconomic policies aimed at increasing macroeconomic stability.
    Date: 2012–08–31
  6. By: Devlin, Robert; Moguillansky, Graciela
    Abstract: Latin America was an aggressive practitioner of industrial policies (IP) in the years 1950-1980. During much of the period the general practice was in line with the then mainstream thinking in development economics. Significant growth, industrialization and modernization took place, but serious flaws in concept and execution of the IP caused them to fail as a vehicle for economic catch-up with rich countries in an era of an expansive world economy. A very serious Latin American external debt crisis in the 1980s, coupled with the ascendance in international discourse of arguments for retrenchment of the State in economics and life, contributed to a pendulum swing in the region to the policies of the so-called Washington Consensus. Major structural adjustments and reforms designed to bring the free market forward and push back the market governance of the State dominated the 1980s and 1990s. In recent years, however, countries in Latin America have witnessed a renaissance in the deployment of systematic IP. This paper explains why IP have emerged and why they are a necessary step for the more profound structural change needed to drive sustained high rates of growth. Based on illustrated cases which we think reflect the current state of affairs in the region, the paper highlights the nature of the shift to a more proactive state promotion of industrial and services upgrading, as well as the important new characteristics of the current outbreak of IP which are different from the ones of the past and offer hope for greater success. It also identifies a legacy of some bad habits which linger and need to be addressed with urgency if the new trend is to be successfully consolidated.
    Keywords: Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures,E-Business,ICT Policy and Strategies,Climate Change Economics,Economic Theory&Research
    Date: 2012–09–01
  7. By: Kornder Nils; Dronkers Jaap (METEOR)
    Abstract: As a follow-up of earlier analyses of the educational performance of all pupils with a migrationbackground with Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) waves 2003 and 2006, weanalyze the differences between the educational performance of 15-year old daughters and sons ofmigrants from specific regions of origin countries living in different destination countries. Weuse the newest PISA 2009 wave. Instead of analyzing only Western countries as destinationcountries, we analyze the educational performance of 16,612 daughters and 16,804 sons of migrantsin destination countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania. We distinguish 62 origincountries and 12 origin areas in 30 destination countries. We test three hypotheses: 1) Thedaughters of migrants from poorer, more traditional regions perform much better in reading thancomparable sons of migrants from the same origin regions, while the daughters of migrants frommore affluent and liberal regions perform slightly better in reading than comparable sons ofmigrants from the same regions. 2) Individual socioeconomic background has a stronger effect onthe educational performance of daughters of migrants than on the performance of sons of migrants.3) The performance of female native pupils has a higher influence on the performance of migrantdaughters than the performance of male native pupils has on the performance of migrant sons. Thefirst hypothesis can only partly be accepted. Female migrant pupils have both higher reading andmath scores than comparable male migrant pupils, and these gender differences among migrant pupilsare larger than among comparable native pupils. The additional variation in educationalperformance by region of origin is, however, not clearly related to the poverty or traditionalismof regions. Neither the second nor the third hypothesis can be accepted, given our results.
    Keywords: microeconomics ;
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Herrera Gómez, Marcos; Cid , Juan Carlos; Paz , Jorge Augusto
    Abstract: Spatial econometrics is a relatively young branch econometric but with a great growth in the last decades. The complexity of spatial analysis and the estimation of spatial models has been the major obstacle for applied studies. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the diffusion of spatial tools developed. Specifically, this paper performs a concise review of the theoretical aspects that involve the spatial treatment. We also present an empirical application of the techniques discussed. Using the statistical program R, we analyze the determinants of fertility in Argentina.
    Keywords: Econometría Espacial; Autocorrelación Espacial; Fecundidad; Programa Estadístico R
    JEL: J13 R12 C21
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Pereira, Luiz C. Bresser (Luiz Carlos Bresser)
    Abstract: The history of independent Brazil may be divided into three major state–society cycles, and, after 1930, five political pacts or class coalitions can be identified. These pacts were nationalist; only in the 1990s did the Brazilian elites surrender to the neoliberal hegemony. Yet, since the mid-2000s they have been rediscovering the idea of the nation. The main claim of the essay is that Brazilian elites and Brazilian society are “national–dependent”, that is, they are ambivalent and contradictory, requiring an oxymoron to define them. They are dependent because they often see themselves as “European” and the mass of the people as inferior. But Brazil is big enough, and there are enough common interests around its domestic market, to make the Brazilian nation less ambivalent. Today Brazil is seeking a synthesis between the last two political cycles – between social justice and economic development in the framework of democracy.
    Date: 2012–08–28
  10. By: Janet Currie; Tom Vogl
    Abstract: A growing literature documents the links between long-term outcomes and health in the fetal period, infancy, and early childhood. Much of this literature focuses on rich countries, but researchers are increasingly taking advantage of new sources of data and identification to study the long reach of childhood health in developing countries. Health in early life may be a more significant determinant of adult outcomes in these countries because health insults are more frequent, the capacity to remediate is more limited, and multiple shocks may interact. However, the underlying relationships may also be more difficult to measure, given significant mortality selection. We survey recent evidence on the adult correlates of early-life health and the long-term effects of shocks due to disease, famine, malnutrition, pollution, and war.
    JEL: I12 I15 J24 O15
    Date: 2012–09

This nep-lam issue is ©2012 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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.