nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2013‒08‒31
nine papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Financial Education in Latin America and the Caribbean: Rationale, Overview and Way Forward By Nidia García; Andrea Grifoni; Juan Carlos López; Diana Mejía
  2. Industrial Growth and Structural Change: Brazil in a Long-Run Perspective By Dante Aldrighi; Renato P. Colistete
  3. Peers Effects on a Fertility Decision: an Application for Medellín Colombia By Leonardo Morales
  4. PISA in Low and Middle Income Countries By Simone Bloem
  5. Mega Sporting Events, Real Estate, and Urban Social Economics – The Case of Brazil 2014/2016 By Thêmis Aragão; Wolfgang Maennig
  6. The Microstructure of Exchange Rate Management: FX Intervention and Capital Controls in Brazil By Calebe de Roure; Steven Furnagiev; Stefan Reitz
  7. Identificación de Episodios de Auge Crediticio: Una propuesta Metodológica con Fundamentos Económicos By Lahura, Erick; Chang, Giancarlo; Salazar, Oscar
  8. Capacidades Estatais no Programa Bolsa Família: O Desafio de Consolidação do Sistema Único de Assistência Social By Diogo R. Coutinho
  9. La agricultura colombiana de cara a los pactos bilaterales de comercio. By Carlos Gustavo Cano

  1. By: Nidia García; Andrea Grifoni; Juan Carlos López; Diana Mejía
    Abstract: Macroeconomic stability and growth in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region have allowed governments to focus on public policies that build on the complementarities between financial education, inclusion and the development of social capital. Financial education programmes can support the needs of emerging middle classes in managing their finances and benefitting from access to more sophisticated financial markets. They can also be a valuable tool to ensure a more effective financial inclusion of the most vulnerable sectors of the population, and help fight poverty and inequality.<P>L'éducation financière en Amérique latine et dans les Caraïbes : tour d'horizon et perspectives<BR>La stabilité et la croissance économique des pays d’Amérique Latine et des Caraïbes ont permis aux gouvernements de la région de concentrer leurs efforts sur la mise en place de politiques publiques qui exploitent la complémentarité entre éducation financière, inclusion financière et développent du capital social. Les programmes dédiés à l’éducation financière ont pour but d’aider les classes moyennes émergentes à gérer leurs budgets et à accéder à des marchés financiers qui deviennent plus sophistiqués. Ces programmes sont aussi importants pour la mise en place d’une inclusion financière plus efficace, ainsi que pour lutter contre la pauvreté et les inégalités.
    Keywords: Latin America, poverty reduction, financial education, financial literacy, financial inclusion, Caribbean, conditional cash transfer programmes, Amérique latine, Caraïbes, éducation financière, réduction de la pauvreté, inclusion financière, alphabétisation financière, programmes de transfert de fonds sous conditions
    JEL: D14 D31 H53 I25 I38 O19
    Date: 2013–08–22
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:oec:dafaad:33-en&r=lam
  2. By: Dante Aldrighi; Renato P. Colistete
    Abstract: This paper presents a long-run analysis of industrial growth and structural change in Brazil, from the coffee export economy in the nineteenth century to the present day. We focus on Brazil’s high economic growth in most of the twentieth century and the disruption caused by the collapse of debt-led growth in the early 1980s. We then examine the recent trends in economic growth and structural change, with a sectoral analysis of output, employment and productivity growth. Employing new data and estimates, we identify a sharp break with the earlier period of high outuput and productivity growth in Brazil’s manufacturing industry before the 1980s. From the 1990s, the relatively successful process of learning and technological advance by manufacturing firms that took place since the early industrialization has lost strength and Brazil’s productivity growth has declined and stagnated.
    Keywords: Industrial Growth; Structural Change; Brazil
    JEL: N66 O14 L60
    Date: 2013–08–21
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:spa:wpaper:2013wpecon10&r=lam
  3. By: Leonardo Morales
    Abstract: This paper addresses the estimation of peer group effects on a fertility decision. The peer group is composed of neighbors with similar socio-demographic characteristics. In order to deal with the endogeneity problem associated to the estimation of neighborhood effects, an instrumental variables procedure is performed. To control for the reflection problem, usual in linear effects models, this paper uses an identification strategy that relies on the definition of peer groups at the individual level. This paper provides evidence that peer effects explain the age at which poor women in Medellín (Colombia) decide to have their firstborn. These social forces are hazardous factors that may increase the incidence of adolescent pregnancy..
    Keywords: Fertility, Family Planning, Demographic Economics, Social Interaction Models. Classification JEL: J13, J130, C310
    Date: 2013–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bdr:borrec:777&r=lam
  4. By: Simone Bloem
    Abstract: This paper explores the participation of low- and middle-income countries in OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). It provides a detailed description of partner countries’ participation across PISA rounds and the challenges faced by low- and middle-income partner countries in effectively implementing and deriving policy value from PISA. Specific challenges are illustrated with examples from Tunisia and Kyrgyzstan.<P> Many partner countries lag considerably behind OECD countries on various dimensions of social and economic development. Three OECD countries – Chile, Mexico, Turkey – also differ from higher-income OECD countries in regards to educational achievement and other indicators of social and economic development. After grouping countries based on income (GNI per capita), this paper shows that the cognitive performance of students in countries participating in PISA varies considerably not only between different country income groups but also within them. Analysis of PISA performance in relation to national wealth provides strong arguments for grouping countries according to their social and economic development when reflecting on challenges of participation and effective use of PISA. Lack of funding and governments’ fear of bad performance have been stated as potential deterrents to participation. Lack of institutional capacity and less relevant results due to a non-representative sample of 15 year-olds and clustering of students at low proficiency levels are discussed as main challenges for the effective use of PISA. The paper concludes with some considerations on how to improve the effective use of PISA results in these countries that may be particularly relevant in the context of the OECD’s recently launched initiative called PISA for Development.<BR>Ce document examine la participation des pays à revenu faible ou intermédiaire au Programme international de l’OCDE pour le suivi des acquis des élèves (PISA). Il étudie de façon détaillée la participation des pays partenaires aux différents cycles PISA et les enjeux rencontrés, notamment par les pays partenaires à revenu faible ou intermédiaire, pour mettre en oeuvre de façon efficace l’enquête PISA et en tirer les bénéfices escomptés en termes d’action publique. Ces enjeux spécifiques sont illustrés par des exemples tirés de l’expérience de la Tunisie et du Kirghizistan.<P> De nombreux pays partenaires accusent un retard important par rapport aux pays de l’OCDE concernant différents indicateurs de développement économique et social. Trois pays de l’OCDE – le Chili, le Mexique et la Turquie – se distinguent également des pays de l’OCDE à revenu plus élevé de par leurs résultats éducatifs et d’autres indicateurs de développement économique et social. Après regroupement des pays sur la base de leur revenu (RNB par habitant), ce document montre que les performances cognitives des élèves des pays participant au PISA varient considérablement non seulement entre les différents groupes de pays regroupés par revenu, mais aussi au sein de ces derniers. L’étude de la relation entre la performance aux évaluations PISA et la richesse nationale apporte des arguments solides en faveur du regroupement des pays sur la base de leur développement économique et social lors de l’analyse des enjeux de la participation au PISA et de son utilisation efficace. Le manque de financement et la crainte des pays d’obtenir de mauvais résultats aux évaluations ont été identifiés comme des éléments pouvant dissuader les pays de participer au PISA. L’insuffisance des capacités institutionnelles et la moindre pertinence des résultats en raison de la non-représentativité de l’échantillon d’élèves de 15 ans et de la concentration des élèves aux faibles niveaux de performance sont examinés comme principaux obstacles à une utilisation efficace du PISA. Le document s’achève par une série de recommandations sur la façon d’améliorer l’efficacité de l’utilisation des résultats du PISA dans ces pays, recommandations qui pourraient s’avérer particulièrement pertinentes dans le cadre de l’initiative PISA pour le développement, lancée récemment par l’OCDE.
    Date: 2013–08–20
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:oec:eduaab:93-en&r=lam
  5. By: Thêmis Aragão (Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg); Wolfgang Maennig (Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: These events promise to improve the urban quality of life and to induce social legacy because of investments in urban infrastructure, transportation, and sporting facilities. Our analysis of the case of Brazil, especially in Rio de Janeiro (host of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games) shows that such benefits may differ locally and may accentuate the process of socio-spatial segregation. Urban projects often include forced evictions of low-income populations and the consequent expansion of social segregation. In public opinion, mega events are also responsible for increasing rents and (real estate) prices. However, such inflationary phenomenon occurs in most Brazilian cities, including non-host cities. The appreciation of real estate is explained largely by population and economic growth and the reduction of interest rates through mortgage programs, as well as reduced social inequality. Public investments in mega events account for only approximately 0.15% of Brazilian GDP from 2007 to 2016 and are thus too small to be responsible for the (increasing) social problems. Obviously, the perceived lack of public accountability for mega event finances as well as the perceived lack of susceptibility to social issues by the mega sporting projects may harm the public opinion of mega events. International sporting federations should thus have every interest in ensuring that their mega events target social inclusion and pay more attention to the needs of local urban and social policies.
    Keywords: Housing Prices, Real Estate, FIFA World Cup, Olympics, Mega Sporting Events, Rio de Janeiro 2016, Urban Planning, Accountability
    Date: 2013–08–20
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hce:wpaper:047&r=lam
  6. By: Calebe de Roure; Steven Furnagiev; Stefan Reitz
    Abstract: This paper uses a microstructure approach to analyze the effectiveness of capital controls introduced in Brazil to counter an appreciation of the Real. Based on a rich data set from the Brazilian foreign exchange market, we estimate a reduced-form VAR to characterize the interaction of the central bank, financial and commercial customers in times of regulatory policy measures. Controlling for regular FX interventions we find that capital controls change market participants' behavior. Referring to thesource of order flow, we find no evidence that the appreciation of the Real is driven by financial customers’ activity. Instead, commercial customers seem to be a primary driver of the Real within our model. To the extent that capital controls influence commercial customers' order flow, this is the likely channel policy makers use to respond to a perceived loss of international competitiveness
    Keywords: Foreign Exchange,Sterilized Intervention, Macroprudential Policies, Market Microstructure
    JEL: F31 E58 G14 G15
    Date: 2013–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:kie:kieliw:1865&r=lam
  7. By: Lahura, Erick (Banco Central de Reserva del Perú); Chang, Giancarlo (Banco Central de Reserva del Perú); Salazar, Oscar (Banco Central de Reserva del Perú)
    Abstract: Se propone una metodología alternativa de identificación de episodios de auge crediticio que incorpora fundamentos económicos. Un episodio de auge crediticio se define como un período durante el cual la trayectoria del nivel de crédito se desvía "en exceso" respecto de su "tendencia", luego de registrar un período de crecimiento persistente. La metodología propuesta consiste en modelar las desviaciones del crédito respecto de su tendencia en función de: (i) variables económicas fundamentales, y (ii) una variable (de estado) no observable que mide el componente de las desviaciones del crédito que no está asociado a sus fundamentos. La ecuación de crédito se estima a partir de su representación estado-espacio (SS) a través del filtro de Kalman (FK). La metodología propuesta se aplica al caso peruano utilizando información mensual para el período enero 1994-setiembre 2012. Los resultados permiten identificar dos posibles episodios de auge crediticio en el Perú, cuyos puntos máximos se alcanzaron en noviembre del 2008 y mayo del 2011, respectivamente.
    Keywords: Auge crediticio, crédito, filtro de Kalman
    JEL: C22 E44 G21
    Date: 2013–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rbp:wpaper:2013-011&r=lam
  8. By: Diogo R. Coutinho
    Abstract: Por meio de uma abordagem centrada na análise de arranjos político-institucionais criados para implementar políticas de desenvolvimento no contexto democrático pós-1988, este trabalho utiliza as categorias de capacidades técnico-administrativas (associadas à dimensão de efetividade) e capacidades políticas (associadas à dimensão de legitimidade) para descrever o Programa Bolsa Família (PBF) em sua interação com o campo da assistência social. Discute como se relacionam tais capacidades no plano concreto de implementação do programa, apontando o fato de que, no âmbito local (a “ponta”), o PBF confunde-se, de modo significativo, com a estrutura da assistência social, a despeito de, no plano federal (o “topo”), ambas as políticas contarem com estruturas de gestão distintas e relativamente autônomas. Nesse contexto, traz o argumento de que, no processo de consolidação do Sistema Único de Assistência Social (Suas), o aprofundamento da articulação entre o PBF e a assistência social constitui-se em um desafio relevante e premente, sendo os casos dos conselhos municipais de assistência social (CMAS) e as conferências nacionais de assistência social apresentados como exemplos de como capacidades técnico-administrativas podem ajudar a forjar e institucionalizar capacidades políticas e vice-versa. In a slow process marked by authoritarian moments, regressive effects, bureaucratic insulation, centralized arrangements and cronyism, since the 1930s Brazil has been building its Welfare State. In the wake of struggles and political clashes for ensuring rights and reviving democracy, the Constitution of 1988 brought about an important shift, as it established economic and social rights and outlined a new legal and institutional framework for social policies. Among other provisions, the 1988 Constitution also established specific guidelines for the social assistance field (i.e., a non-contributory universal policy intended to meet basic needs based on the offer of public services and payment of income). Early in the decade of 2000, concurrently with the construction. of the new social assistance system, the Bolsa Família program (PBF) was created and launched. Compared to the track record of the Brazilian social policies, PBF adopted new management arrangements, instruments and methods and has accounted for a portion of the equity gains (reduced poverty and inequality) experienced in the 2000 decade.This paper analyzes the PBF from the point of view of its political and institutional arrangement - that is, the set of rules, organizations and processes that define the way stakeholders and interests are coordinated in the implementation of a specific public policy. In particular, it considers the program from the perspective of its dynamic relationship with the social assistance field, discussing the connection between the political and institutional arrangements of these two policies “at the end” (i.e., at a local level) and on the “top” (i.e., at a federal level). To that end, it draws on the categories of administrative capabilities (associated to the dimension of effectiveness) and political capabilities (associated to the dimension of legitimacy) and gets input from interviews with officials from the Ministry of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger (MDS). The underlying assumption is that the PBF has an ambivalent relationship with the social assistance policy - this is because although it presents a very peculiar institutional arrangement, as well as an independent legal framework, PBF assumes a hybrid nature at the local level, with social assistance and its subdivisions, especially in small and underprivileged towns (the vast majority in Brazil). Therefore, PBF largely depends on the social assistance framework so that it can be organized and institutionalized in most Brazilian cities, although it is quite distant from the social assistance framework at the federal level of management (the “top”). In conclusion, I argue that in the process of consolidation of the Brazilian System of Social Assistance (SUAS), stronger coordination and synergies between the PBF and the field of social assistance demand further attention, and are translated into significant challenges.Examples taken from the city councils of social assistance and national conferences of social assistance are then discussed to show how technical and administrative capabilities can reinforce each other and help institutionalizing policies.
    Date: 2013–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ipe:ipetds:1852&r=lam
  9. By: Carlos Gustavo Cano
    Abstract: The primary obstacle to genuine multilateral global trade liberalization has been the extreme protection of agriculture in the wealthiest economies. The route left open after the collapse of the Doha Round is that of bilateral free trade agreements, which are of limited scope. The agreement with US is the result of Colombia's priority interest in making permanent the concessions granted temporarily to a portion of its exports in compensation for the fight against illegal drugs, but at the expense of the Andean Price Band System, which was the only mechanism for border protection against the subsidies to agriculture in the United States. In the agreement with the European Union, the winning sector was fruits and vegetables, and the loser was milk and dairy products. However, both treaties may lose relevance once the US and the European Union sign the treaty known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), given the huge trade diversion effect it would have. Depletion of the secular downward cycle in prices for agricultural products, and the onset of a new one characterized by an upward trend in the medium term could overwhelm the narrow spaces of such bilateral pacts with respect to the sector. To respond to these challenges and to seize new opportunities, Colombia should focus on the mass adoption of biotechnology and on resolving the conflict between current use of the land and its true agro-ecological vocation.
    Keywords: Agricultura, mercado, tratados de libre comercio. Classification JEL: F13, F14
    Date: 2013–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bdr:borrec:778&r=lam

This nep-lam issue is ©2013 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 http://nep.repec.org. For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <director@nep.repec.org>. 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.