New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2012‒10‒27
five papers chosen by

  1. Otra mirada a datos laborales urbanos colombianos: Muchas preguntas y algunas respuestas tentativas By Marc Hofstetter
  2. Formación para el Trabajo en Colombia By Juan ESteban Saavedra; Carlos Medina
  3. Product Mix Changes and Performance in Chilean Plants By Roberto Alvarez; Claudio Bravo-Ortega; Lucas Navarro
  4. The Role of Sectoral Growth Patterns in Labor Market Development By Arias-Vazquez, Francisco Javier; Lee, Jean Nahrae; Newhouse, David
  5. The Effects of Credit Subsidies on Development By Antonio Antunes; Tiago Cavalcanti; Anne Villamil

  1. By: Marc Hofstetter
    Abstract: Este documento explora algunos aspectos del mercado laboral urbano durante el último cuarto de siglo en Colombia. El artículo trata de identificar aspectos novedosos a través de datos que habían sido poco explotados anteriormente. El objetivo del artículo es abrir preguntas de investigación que ayuden a entender mejor dicho mercado y a formular lecciones de política adecuadas para el sector.
    Keywords: Mercado laboral, desempleo, salario mínimo, vacantes, oferta laboral, flujos laborales. Classification JEL: J11, J21, J23, J63, J64.
    Date: 2012–10
  2. By: Juan ESteban Saavedra; Carlos Medina
    Abstract: La participación del estado en la formación para el trabajo (FpT) se justifica por fallas contractuales en el mercado laboral y consideraciones redistributivas. Este ensayo: i) caracteriza la oferta de programas de FpT en Colombia—educación media vocacional, formación profesional técnica y tecnológica, y formación complementaria—, ii) discute evidencia rigurosa disponible referente a su impacto y pertinencia, y iii) rescata, a partir de la evidencia, lecciones para el diseño de programas de FpT. Estas lecciones incluyen la efectividad de la financiación pública a la provisión privada relativa a la provisión pública directa, los méritos de los incentivos al desempeño y de la separación de funciones de financiación, provisión y regulación, y la importancia de currículos enfocados a competencias transversales no-rutinarias.
    Keywords: Formación para el trabajo; educación media vocacional; formación técnica y tecnológica; formación complementaria; Colombia. Classification JEL: J24, M53.
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Roberto Alvarez; Claudio Bravo-Ortega; Lucas Navarro
    Abstract: A recent theoretical literature has given relevance to the study of the relationship between product mix changes and firm productivity. In this paper, taking advantage of a rich dataset for manufacturing plants in Chile during the period 1996-2000, we use matching techniques and a difference in difference approach to estimate the causal impact of product mix changes on productivity and other plant-specific outcomes. Our results suggest a positive and increasing impact of product mix changes on total factor productivity and labor productivity after two years the product mix changes are introduced. We also find positive effects on employment and sales. Nevertheless, this positive effect is mainly driven by firms that add and drop products at the same time. Our results are in line with recent theoretical developments on the study of productivity determinants on multiproduct firms and illustrate how products creation and destruction are a source of within-firm productivity growth.
    Date: 2012–10
  4. By: Arias-Vazquez, Francisco Javier (World Bank); Lee, Jean Nahrae (World Bank); Newhouse, David (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between sectoral growth patterns and employment outcomes. A broad cross-country analysis reveals that in middle-income countries, employment responds more to growth in less productive and more labor-intensive sectors. Employment in middle-income countries is susceptible to a resource curse, and grows rapidly in response to manufacturing and export manufacturing growth. Within Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico, the effects of different sectoral growth patterns are context dependent, but differences in sectoral growth effects on employment and wages are substantially reduced in states or provinces with higher measured labor mobility. Consistent with this, aggregate employment and wage effects of growth by sector are close to uniform when examined over longer time horizons, after labor has an opportunity to adjust across sectors. The results reinforce the importance of growth in more labor-intensive sectors, and suggest that job mobility may be an important mechanism to diffuse the benefits of capital-intensive growth.
    Keywords: economic growth, production structure, employment, unemployment, productivity
    JEL: O11 J20
    Date: 2012–10
  5. By: Antonio Antunes; Tiago Cavalcanti; Anne Villamil
    Abstract: Under credit market imperfections, the marginal productivity of capital will not necessarily be equalized, resulting in misallocation and lower output. Preferential interest rate policies are often used to remedy the problem. This paper constructs a general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents, imperfect enforcement and costly intermediation. Occupational choice and firm size are determined endogenously by an agent's type (ability and net wealth) and credit market frictions. The credit program subsidizes the interest rate on loans and requires a fixed application cost, which might be null, in the form of bureaucracy and regulations. First, we find that the interest credit subsidy policy has no significant effect on output, but it can have negative effects on wages and government finances. The program is largely a transfer from households to a small group of entrepreneurs with minor aggregate effects. We include a transition analysis. Second, we provide quantitative estimates of the effects of reducing the frictions directly. When comparing differences in U.S. output per capita in baseline and simulations with counterfactually high frictions such as those observed in Brazil, intermediation costs and enforcement.
    Date: 2012

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