New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2013‒07‒28
seven papers chosen by

  1. Social security, economic development and the labor force participation of the elderly in Latin America By Bernardo Queiroz
  2. Why is Prior Consultation Not Yet an Effective Tool for Conflict Resolution? The Case of Peru By Almut Schilling-Vacaflor; Riccarda Flemmer
  3. Power Convergence, Divergence and a Complex Interplay: Chile and the International and Transnational Anti-Corruption Campaign By Malte Gephart
  4. From Military Instruments of Dictatorship to Political Instruments of Democracy: Regimes of Exception in Bolivia 2000?2010 By Claire Wright; Ana Soliz Landivar
  5. The educational efficiency drivers in Uruguay: Findings from PISA 2009. By Santín, Daniel; Sicilia, Gabriela
  6. The Effects of Punishment of Crime in Colombia on Deterrence, Incapacitation, and Human Capital Formation By Arlen Guarín; Carlos Medina; Jorge Andrés Tamayo
  7. The road towards a better vital registration system: changes in the mortality profile, under-registration of death counts, and ill-defined causes of deaths in Brazil By Everton Lima; Bernardo Queiroz

  1. By: Bernardo Queiroz (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: In this paper I investigate labor force participation of older males in Latin America. The empirical analysis is divided in two parts. First, I use household survey data from twenty-three (23) Latin American and the Caribbean countries, from around 2005, to perform a cross-country analysis on labor force participation focusing on differences rural and urban status, formal and informal relation to the labor market and coverage of public pension programs. I also use the data to show different patterns by income level and stage of the demographic transition to describe historical trends in labor force participation rates of older workers. The second part of the paper, I use data on the 23 Latin American countries to investigate the effects of economic development and social security system in the labor force participation of the elderly for the past 30 years.
    Keywords: labor force participation, economic development elderly, social security, retirement, Latin America
    JEL: J10 J11 J14 J18
  2. By: Almut Schilling-Vacaflor (GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies); Riccarda Flemmer (GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies)
    Abstract: Prior consultation is an increasingly accepted instrument internationally for guaranteeing the rights of indigenous peoples. Conceived of theoretically as a means for conflict resolution, in practice it lies at the heart of social conflicts all over Latin America. Using concepts from the “contentious politics” approach, we take a closer look at Peru – where indigenous mobilizations would lead to the only Latin American consultation law enacted to date. We also critically analyze the content and formulation of its regulating norm. We argue that this new legislation will not help to turn such consultations into a tool for conflict resolu tion as long as the normative framework itself is contested and the necessary basic conditions are not in place. The most important conditions that we identify for implementing effective prior consultation are impartial state institutions capable of justly balancing the diverse interests at stake, measures that reduce power asymmetries within consultations, and joint decision-making processes with binding agreements.
    Keywords: prior consultation, Peru, conflict resolution, contentious politics, indigenous peoples, extractive industries
    Date: 2013–04
  3. By: Malte Gephart (GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies)
    Abstract: Several anthropological scholars have argued from an ethnographic viewpoint that local understandings of corruption vary around the world. Others who have critically analyzed the international and transnational anti-corruption campaign (ITACC) have argued that the ITACC is capable of covering up these differences, which creates misunderstandings about the aims in the fight against corruption. This article combines and advances both arguments by applying a post-development perspective and argumentative discourse analysis (ADA) to explore the local anti-corruption discourse in Chile – a country that is considered a success case in Latin America. This exploration shows that Chile’s anti-corruption activities are highly political and are deeply related to narratives in the country’s transition to democracy. By relating local narratives back to the ITACC the article reveals a complex interplay between local (and competing) corruption narratives that, at the same time, partially form discourse coalitions with the ITACC.
    Keywords: corruption, anti-corruption, discourse analysis, narratives, Chile, Latin America, post development
    Date: 2013–05
  4. By: Claire Wright (University of Salamanca, Spain); Ana Soliz Landivar (GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies)
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to discover the role played by regimes of exception (RoEs) in contemporary Bolivian politics. RoEs have been seldom studied by political scientists, despite constituting a key legacy of authoritarian regimes that have survived the transitions to democracy in Latin America. Focusing on the case of Bolivia, the research is based on relevant laws as well as 65 presidential decrees, which are analyzed with the method of content analysis. As a result of the analysis, we show that in Bolivia both the legal framework and political use of RoEs have moved on from a purely repressive mechanism to a more administrative one. The study has important implications for how RoEs are conceptualized from a theoretical point of view as well as for our understanding of the nature of emergency politics in fragile democracies in recent years.
    Keywords: Bolivia, democracy, regimes of exception, presidents, decrees, content analysis.
    Date: 2013–03
  5. By: Santín, Daniel; Sicilia, Gabriela
    Abstract: The aim of this research is to identify the main drivers of secondary school efficiency in Uruguay. We are particularly interested in identifying which variables could be influenced by the design of public policies in order to improve academic outcomes with the current resource allocation. To do this, we build a two-stage semiparametric model using PISA 2009 database. In the first stage, we use data envelopment analysis (DEA) to estimate efficiency scores, which are then regressed on school and student contextual variables. This second stage is carried out using four alternative models: a conventional censured regression (Tobit) and three different regression models based on the use of bootstrapping recently proposed in the literature. The results show an average inefficiency of 7.5% for the evaluated Uruguayan schools, suggesting that there is room for improving academic outcomes by adopting appropriate educational policies. Following on from this, the findings of the second stage demonstrate that increasing educational resources, such as reducing class size, has no significant effects on efficiency. In contrast, educational policies should focus on reviewing grade-retention policies, teaching-learning techniques, assessment systems and, most importantly, encouraging students to spend more time reading after school in order to reduce inefficiencies.
    Keywords: Educational production, efficiency, data envelopment analysis, bootstrap, PISA
    JEL: C61 D61 I2
    Date: 2012–03
  6. By: Arlen Guarín; Carlos Medina; Jorge Andrés Tamayo
    Abstract: Based on individual data on the population of those arrested in Medellín, we assess whether the change in punishment at age 18, mandated by law, has a deterrent effect on arrests. No deterrent effect was found on index, violent or property crimes, but a deterrence effect was found on non-index crimes, specifically those related to drug consumption and trafficking. This implies an elasticity of arrests with respect to punishment that varies between -1.0 and -6.7 percent. The number of days that arrested individuals take to recidivate is 300, higher for index crimes if they are arrested right after, rather than before, reaching 18 years of age, in which case they are less likely to recidivate in any type of crime. The change in criminal penalties at 18 years of age does not explain future differences in human capital formation among the population that had been arrested immediately after versus immediately before reaching 18 years of age. There is no evidence that the longer length of time to recidivate on the part of individuals arrested for the first time immediately after reaching 18 implies future differences in human capital formation. This suggest that our estimated incapacitation effect would not be explained by the impossibility of the arrested population to recidivate due to their having been imprisoned, but rather by a specific deterrence effect resulting from the harsher experience while in prison of those arrested right after, rather than before, reaching 18.
    Keywords: Crime, Deterrence, Regression Discontinuity. Classification JEL: K42, H56, C21
    Date: 2013–07
  7. By: Everton Lima (Cedeplar-UFMG); Bernardo Queiroz (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: This paper examines the spatial pattern of ill-defined causes of death across Brazilian regions, and its relationship to the evolution of completeness of death counts registration and the changes in the mortality age profile. We make use of the mortality database available at the Brazilian Ministry of Health Database - Datasus and Population Censuses from 1980 to 2010. We applied traditional demographic methods to evaluate the quality of mortality data for 137 small areas and correct for death counts under-registration when necessary. The second part of the analysis uses linear regression models to investigate the relation between changes in death counts coverage and age profile of mortality to changes in the reporting of ill-defined causes of death. The completeness of death counts coverage increase from about 80% in 1980-1991 to over 95% in 2000-2010 at the same time the percentage of ill-defined causes of deaths reduced about 53% in the country. The analysis suggests that efforts from the central and local governments to improve data quality in Brazil are being successful, and they will allow a better understanding of the dynamics of health and mortality transition in Brazil.
    Keywords: mortality, death counts under-registration, spatial analysis, demographic methods
    JEL: J10 J11 J14 J18
    Date: 2013–07

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