nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2013‒07‒20
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. An expansion of a global data set on educational quality : a focus on achievement in developing countries By Angrist, Noam; Patrinos, Harry Anthony; Schlotter, Martin
  2. Gasto Público e Desigualdade de Renda no Brasil By Marcelo Medeiros; Pedro Souza
  3. Countervailing inequality effects of globalization and renewable energy generation in Argentina By Andrea Vaona
  4. Are Some Degrees Worth More than Others? Evidence from college admission cutoffs in Chile By Justine S. Hastings; Christopher A. Neilson; Seth D. Zimmerman
  5. Eficiencia en la prestación de agua y saneamiento y su vinculación con regiones, propiedad e independencia de los prestadores en Brasil By Ferro, Gustavo; Lentini, Emilio J.; Mercadier, Augusto C.; Romero, Carlos A.
  6. El sistema de predicción desagregada: Una evaluación de las proyecciones de inflación 2006-2011 By Barrera, Carlos

  1. By: Angrist, Noam; Patrinos, Harry Anthony; Schlotter, Martin
    Abstract: This paper assembles a panel data set that measures cognitive achievement for 128 countries around the world from 1965 to 2010 in 5-year intervals. The data set is constructed from international achievement tests, such as the Programme for International Student Assessment and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, which have become increasingly available since the late 1990s. These international assessments are linked to regional ones, such as the South and Eastern African Consortium for Monitoring of Educational Quality, the Programme d'Analyse des Systemes Educatifs de la Confemen, and the Laboratorio Latinoamericano de Evaluacion de la Calidad de la Educacion, in order to produce one of the first globally comparable data sets on student achievement. In particular, the data set is one of the first to include achievement in developing countries, including 29 African countries and 19 Latin American countries. The paper also provides a first attempt at using the data set to identify causal factors that boost achievement. The results show that key drivers of global achievement are civil rights and economic freedom across all countries, and democracy and economic freedom in a subset of African and Latin American countries.
    Keywords: Teaching and Learning,Secondary Education,Country Strategy&Performance,Primary Education,E-Business
    Date: 2013–07–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6536&r=lam
  2. By: Marcelo Medeiros; Pedro Souza
    Abstract: Por meio de uma decomposição de fatores do coeficiente de Gini, mediu-se a contribuição para a desigualdade das transferências monetárias diretas do e para o Estado brasileiro. Entre as transferências do Estado, estão salários dos trabalhadores do setor público, previdência pública em geral e assistência social; as transferências para o Estado são os tributos diretos. Os dados são provenientes da Pesquisa de Orçamentos Familiares (POF) 2008-2009. Os resultados indicam que o Estado contribui diretamente para uma grande fração da desigualdade. Fatores associados ao trabalho no setor público – salários e Previdência – são muito concentrados e regressivos. Fatores relacionados ao setor privado também são concentradores, porém progressivos. Mecanismos redistributivos que poderiam reverter esta desigualdade, como tributos diretos e assistência social, são muito progressivos, mas seu volume é proporcionalmente pequeno; consequentemente, seu efeito positivo é completamente anulado pelas transferências regressivas do Estado. Ao contrário do que ocorre em outros países, o gasto público com trabalho e políticas sociais é concentrado em uma pequena população e, em seu conjunto, tende a aumentar a desigualdade. Using a factor decomposition of the Gini coefficient we measure the contribution to inequality of direct monetary transfers to and from the Brazilian State. Among the transfers from the State are wages of public workers, pensions and social assistance; the transfers to the State are direct taxes. Data comes from the Brazilian POF 2008-2009. The results indicate that the State contributes directly and to a large share of inequality. Factors associated to work in the public sector – wages and pensions – are very concentrated and regressive. Factors related to the private sector are still concentrated, but progressive. Redistributive mechanisms that could revert this inequality, such as taxes and social assistance, are very progressive but proportionally small; consequently their effect is completely offset by the regressive transfers from the State. Contrary to what has been found in other countries, public spending with work and social policies is concentrated in a small oligarchy and, taken as a whole, tends to increase inequality.
    Date: 2013–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ipe:ipetds:1844&r=lam
  3. By: Andrea Vaona (Department of Economics (University of Verona))
    Abstract: The present paper assesses the impacts of renewable energy generation and globalization on income inequality in Argentina. We make use of vector autoregression models. We find that globalization and hydroelectric power increase inequality, while the opposite holds true for other renewable energy sources. Several robustness checks are considered. Policy implications are discussed keeping into account the specific Argentinean context.
    Keywords: Argentina, VAR, energy sources, inequality, globalization
    JEL: Q20 Q40 D63
    Date: 2013–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ver:wpaper:12/2013&r=lam
  4. By: Justine S. Hastings; Christopher A. Neilson; Seth D. Zimmerman
    Abstract: We use administrative data from Chile from 1985 through 2011 to estimate the returns to postsecondary admission as a function of field of study, course requirements, selectivity, and student socioeconomic status. Our data link high school and college records to labor market earnings from federal tax forms. We exploit hundreds of regression discontinuities from the centralized, score-based admissions system to estimate the causal impacts of interest. Returns are positive and significant only among more-selective degrees. Returns are highly heterogeneous by field of study, with large returns in health, law and social science, as well as selective technology and business degrees. We find small to negative returns in arts, humanities and education degrees. We do not find evidence that vocational curriculum focus increases returns for less selective degrees. We do not find differential outcomes for students coming from low- versus high-socioeconomic backgrounds admitted to selective degrees.
    JEL: H52 I23 I24 I25 I28 J24 J31
    Date: 2013–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19241&r=lam
  5. By: Ferro, Gustavo; Lentini, Emilio J.; Mercadier, Augusto C.; Romero, Carlos A.
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to assess comparative efficiency in water and sanitation sector in Brazil. We run a Sthocastic Frontier Analysis model for a panel of 127 providers, covering more than 70% of urban population of the country. We search and find an explanation for cost efficiency, and we explore its interrelations with regions, property and independence of the providers. We use a database built on the SNIS (National System of Sanitation Statistics) to run a SFA cost model. We add to the formula, environmental and institutional variables, trying to capture differences in costs and efficiency attributable to the ambience of operation. We achieve a satisfactory model, showing a modest efficiency average, and we could patterns, even not well defined. The study has policy implications, in the discussion state-run versus municipal-run, public versus private, and corporitized versus dependent providers. The optimal industrial organization of the sector can be analyzed since the efficiency perspective.
    Keywords: Efficiency, water and sanitation, Brazil
    JEL: L51 L95
    Date: 2013–07–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:48247&r=lam
  6. By: Barrera, Carlos (Banco Central de Reserva del Perú)
    Abstract: El presente estudio describe las características del Sistema de Predicción Desagregada (SPD) en el marco de la literatura y presenta los resultados de una evaluación de sus capacidades predictivas en términos de las variaciones del índice de precios al consumidor de Lima Metropolitana (IPC), del índice de precios subyacente y de su complemento, el índice de precios no subyacente para el periodo julio 2006 - mayo 2011. La evaluación ex post considera las diferencias no sólo entre las principales especificaciones multi-ecuacionales en el SPD sino también respecto a un modelo auto-regresivo uni-ecuacional para el (sub-)agregado que corresponda. Esta evaluación se realiza en dos versiones: (1) la versión estática de la evaluación, que calcula la raíz del error cuadrático medio (RECM) sobre la base de la muestra completa de errores de predicción para cada horizonte h, RECM(h), y (2) la versión dinámica de la evaluación, que la calcula sobre la base de sub-muestras de errores para un horizonte h prefijado en ventanas móviles de ancho fijo con el periodo τ como cota superior, RECM(τ; h prefijado). En línea con la literatura, la evaluación ex post estática muestra la conveniencia de desagregar y predecir con modelos multi-ecuacionales frente a la alternativa de no desagregar y predecir con modelos uni-ecuacionales. El principal resultado de la evaluación ex post dinámica es la presencia de cruces en su evolución temporal, en los que un grupo de modelos con un buen [no tan buen] desempeño previo pasa luego a tener uno no tan bueno [bueno] (Aiolfi & Timmermann (2006)), lo que justifica el uso de proyecciones combinadas.
    Keywords: Modelos de series de tiempo, construcción y evaluación de modelos, predicción
    JEL: C32 C51 C52 C53
    Date: 2013–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rbp:wpaper:2013-009&r=lam

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