nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2013‒02‒03
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Social Spending and Income Redistribution in Argentina During the 2000s: the Rising Role of Noncontributory Pensions By Nora Lustig; Carola Pessino
  2. Gender equality and economic growth in Brazil : a long-run analysis By Agenor, Pierre-Richard; Canuto, Otaviano
  3. Economic Growth and Inequality: Evidence from the Young Democracies of South America By Manoel Bittencourt
  4. Inequality of Opportunity, Income Inequality and Economic Mobility: Some International Comparisons By Brunori, Paolo; Ferreira, Francisco H.G.; Peragine, Vito

  1. By: Nora Lustig (Department of Economics, Tulane University); Carola Pessino (School of Government and Executive Director, Centro de Investigaciones y Evaluación en Economía Social para el Alivio de la Pobreza, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina)
    Abstract: Between 2003 and 2009, Argentina’s social spending as a share of GDP increased by 7.6 percentage points. Marginal benefit incidence analysis for 2003, 2006, and 2009 suggests that the contribution of cash transfers to the reduction of disposable income inequality and poverty rose markedly between 2006 and 2009 primarily due to the launching of a noncontributory pension program – the pension moratorium – in 2004. Noncontributory pensions as a share of GDP rose by 2.2 percentage points between 2003 and 2009 and entailed a redistribution of income to the poor, and from the formal sector pensioners with above minimum pensions to the beneficiaries of the pension moratorium. The redistributive impact of the expansion of public spending on education and health was also sizable and equalizing, but to a lesser degree. An assessment of fiscal funding sources puts the sustainability of the redistributive policies into question, unless nonsocial spending is significantly cut.
    Keywords: social spending, benefit incidence, inequality, poverty, Argentina
    JEL: D31 H22 I38
    Date: 2012–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:tul:wpaper:1221&r=lam
  2. By: Agenor, Pierre-Richard; Canuto, Otaviano
    Abstract: This paper studies the long-run impact of policies aimed at fostering gender equality on economic growth in Brazil. The first part provides a brief review of gender issues in the country. The second part presents a gender-based, three-period OLG model that accounts for women's time allocation between market work, child rearing, human capital accumulation, and home production. Bargaining between spouses depends on relative human capital stocks, and thus indirectly on access to infrastructure. The model is calibrated and various experiments are conducted, including investment in infrastructure, conditional cash transfers, a reduction in gender bias in the market place, and a composite pro-growth, pro-gender reform program. The analysis showed that fostering gender equality, which may partly depend on the externalities that infrastructure creates in terms of women's time allocation and bargaining power, may have a substantial impact on long-run growth in Brazil.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Population Policies,Economic Theory&Research,Gender and Law,Labor Policies
    Date: 2013–01–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6348&r=lam
  3. By: Manoel Bittencourt (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: We investigate in this paper whether income growth has played any role on inequality in all nine young South American democracies during the period 1970-2007. The results, based on dynamic panel time-series analysis, robustly suggest that income growth has indeed played a progressive role in reducing inequality during the period. Moreover, the results suggest that this negative relationship is even stronger in the 1990s and early 2000s, a period in which the continent achieved macroeconomic stabilisation, political consolidation and much improved economic performance. On the contrary, during the 1980s (the so-called "lost decade"), the negative income growth experienced by the continent at the time has hit the poor the hardest, or alternatively speaking, it has played a regressive role on inequality. All in all, we suggest that consistent growth, and all that it encompasses, is an important equaliser which should not be discarded as a serious option by policy makers interested in a more equal income distribution.
    Keywords: Growth, inequality, South America
    JEL: E20 O11 O15 O54
    Date: 2013–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pre:wpaper:201301&r=lam
  4. By: Brunori, Paolo (University of Bari); Ferreira, Francisco H.G. (World Bank); Peragine, Vito (University of Bari)
    Abstract: Despite a recent surge in the number of studies attempting to measure inequality of opportunity in various countries, methodological differences have so far prevented meaningful international comparisons. This paper presents a comparison of ex-ante measures of inequality of economic opportunity (IEO) across 41 countries, and of the Human Opportunity Index (HOI) for 39 countries. It also examines international correlations between these indices and output per capita, income inequality, and intergenerational mobility. The analysis finds evidence of a "Kuznets curve" for inequality of opportunity, and finds that the IEO index is positively correlated with overall income inequality, and negatively with measures of intergenerational mobility, both in incomes and in years of schooling. The HOI is highly correlated with the Human Development Index, and its internal measure of inequality of opportunity yields very different country rankings from the IEO measure.
    Keywords: equality of opportunity, income inequality, social mobility, mobility
    JEL: D71 D91 I32
    Date: 2013–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7155&r=lam

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