nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2013‒10‒02
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Politicising poverty in Latin America in the light of Rawls’ ‘strains of commitment’ argument for a social minimum By Armando Barrientos
  2. The use of intellectual property in Chile By Maria Jose Abud; Carsten Fink; Bronwyn Hall; Christian Helmers
  3. Better Work in Central America: assessing the opportunities for upgrading in Nicaragua’s apparel sector By Jennifer Bair; Gary Gereffi
  4. Padrão de financiamento aos investimentos em inovação no Brasil By Márcia Rapini
  5. Prices and Supply Disruptions during Natural Disasters By Alberto Cavallo; Eduardo Cavallo; Roberto Rigobon
  6. Antipoverty transfers and labour force participation effects By Armando Barrientos; Juan Miguel Villa

  1. By: Armando Barrientos
    Abstract: Abstract The paper discusses the rise of poverty and poverty reduction in the political and policy agenda in Latin America, reflected inter alia in the growth of social assistance. It identifies and discusses two main explanations offered in the literature: democratisation and left partisan power. It then introduces a third explanation based on Rawls’ theory of justice, in which a social minimum is essential for preventing the ‘strains of commitment’ from becoming excessive. Analysis of cross-country panel data for 18 Latin American countries for the period 1990-2008 assesses the plausibility of these explanations.
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Maria Jose Abud (INAPI); Carsten Fink (World Intellectual Property Organization, Economics and Statistics Division, Geneva, Switzerland); Bronwyn Hall (U. Berkeley); Christian Helmers (U. Carlos III)
    Date: 2013–07
  3. By: Jennifer Bair; Gary Gereffi
    Abstract: Abstract What can Better Work offer producers in a country like Nicaragua to alleviate the burden caused by the heavily trade-dependent nature of the industry’s development, and how do the relatively high-level institutional development and work-place protections in the country affect the willingness of manufacturers to cooperate with Better Work Nicaragua? Drawing on data collected by the authors during fieldwork in Nicaragua, as well as from secondary literature, this working paper explores the contemporary context of the Nicaraguan industry, outlining the opportunities and challenges confronting the country’s apparel sector. Nicaragua is the first and only Central American country to participate in Better Work. The second poorest country in the hemisphere, its manufactured exports are heavily concentrated in apparel. While Latin America’s share of the US apparel import market has declined in recent years, Nicaraguan export growth has remained robust. Nicaragua’s strong performance relative to other regional exporters reflects the special benefits it has received under the Dominican Republic–Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) with the US, namely the tariff preference levels (TPLs) that permit apparel exports from Nicaragua to enter the US market duty-free even when these garments do not meet CAFTA rules of origin (RoO). Although these preferences have enhanced Nicaragua’s competitiveness vis-à-vis other regional exporters, the TPL programme is set to expire in 2014. Better Work Nicaragua is thus being implemented during a period of uncertainty, therefore it is critical to understand what local stakeholders in both the public and the private sectors believe will be the consequences of this change in the regulatory regime, and how they are trying to respond to it. This paper concludes that there is a crucial need to craft a programme that reflects the specific conditions that characterize Nicaragua and differentiate it from other Better Work countries.
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Márcia Rapini (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the pattern of financing R & D and innovation in Brazilian firms. For this data from Brazilian Innovation Survey (PINTEC) are used in the years 1998-2000, 2001-2003, 2003-2005. The PINTEC data show that, for all firms, financing R & D and innovation is mostly done with their own resources. Moreover, the government support for businesses is not significant being concentrated in financing machinery and equipment acquisition. The micro data estimations suggest that for 2003 and 2005 Surveys, is less likely to innovate in the presence of financial barriers. Multivariate analysis points to a distinct pattern of response of innovative and non-innovative firms, suggesting the need for a specific set of funding instruments.
    Keywords: Funding, innovation, PINTEC, Brazil
    JEL: O31
    Date: 2013–09
  5. By: Alberto Cavallo; Eduardo Cavallo; Roberto Rigobon
    Abstract: We study the daily behavior of supermarket prices and product availability following two recent natural disasters: the 2010 earthquake in Chile and the 2011 earthquake in Japan. In both cases there was an immediate and persistent effect on product availability. The number of goods available for sale fell 32% in Chile and 17% in Japan from the day of the disaster to its lowest point, which occurred 61 and 18 days after the earthquakes, respectively. Product availability recovered slowly, and a significant share of goods remained out of stock after six months. By contrast, prices were stable for months, even for goods that were experiencing severe shortages. These trends are present at all levels of aggregation, but there is heterogeneity across categories. We further look at the frequency and magnitudes of price changes in both countries and find that the results in Chile are consistent with pricing models where retailers have fear of "customer anger". In Japan the evidence suggests a bigger role for supply disruptions that restricted the ability of retailers to re-stock goods after the earthquake.
    JEL: E20 E30 O57 Q54
    Date: 2013–09
  6. By: Armando Barrientos; Juan Miguel Villa
    Abstract: Abstract The paper examines labour market outcome effects from participation in Familias en Acción in urban areas, a conditional cash transfer programme in Colombia. There is considerable interest in the potential impact of antipoverty transfers on labour market outcomes in developing countries. The available literature finds at best very marginal effects, both positive and negative, of participation on labour market outcomes. Relying on a regression discontinuity design and a large panel dataset, the paper finds significant and largely positive effects on labour market outcomes. These effects are heterogeneous in household composition and gender, confirming that the effects of antipoverty transfers on labour supply reflect a re-organisation of household productive resources in response to the transfer.
    Date: 2013

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