New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2013‒11‒14
four papers chosen by

  1. Benchmarking container port technical efficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean : a stochastic frontier analysis By Sarriera, Javier Morales; Araya, Gonzalo; Serebrisky, Tomas; Briceno-Garmendía, Cecilia; Schwartz, Jordan
  2. Definitions Matter: Measuring Gender Gaps in Firms' Access to Credit By Claudia Piras; Andrea Filippo Presbitero; Roberta Rabellotti
  3. Admission is free only if your dad is rich! distributional effects of corruption in schools in developing countries By Emran, M. Shahe; Islam, Asadul; Shilpi, Forhad
  4. Aspiration failure: a poverty trap for indigenous children in Peru? By Laure Pasquier-Doumer; Fiorella Risso Brandon

  1. By: Sarriera, Javier Morales; Araya, Gonzalo; Serebrisky, Tomas; Briceno-Garmendía, Cecilia; Schwartz, Jordan
    Abstract: This paper presents a technical efficiency analysis of container ports in Latin America and the Caribbean using an input-oriented stochastic frontier model. A 10-year panel is employed with data on container throughput, port terminal area, length of berths, and number of cranes available in 67 ports. The model has three innovations with respect to the available literature: (i) it treats ship-to-shore gantry cranes and mobile cranes separately, in order to account for the higher productivity of the former; (ii) a binary variable is introduced for ports using ships'cranes, treated as an additional source of port productivity; and (iii) a binary variable is used for ports operating as transshipment hubs. The associated parameters are highly significant in the production function. The results show an improvement in the average technical efficiency of ports in the Latin America and the Caribbean region from 36 percent to 50 percent between 1999 and 2009; the best-performing port in 2009 achieved a technical efficiency of 94 percent with respect to the frontier. The paper also studies possible determinants of port technical efficiency, such as ownership, corruption, terminal purpose, income per capita, and location. The results reveal positive, but weak, associations between technical efficiency with landlord ports and with lower corruption levels; stronger results are observed between technical efficiency with specialized container terminals and with average income.
    Keywords: Ports&Waterways,Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Transport and Trade Logistics,Common Carriers Industry,Economic Theory&Research
    Date: 2013–10–01
  2. By: Claudia Piras (IDB); Andrea Filippo Presbitero (International Monetary Fund, Universit… Politecnica delle Marche - MoFiR); Roberta Rabellotti (Universit… di Pavia, Department of Political and Social Sciences)
    Abstract: Standards measures of female ownership and management of firms included in the World Bank Enterprise Survey do not support the existence of a gender gap in access to finance in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Nonetheless, more precise measures show that women-led businesses are more likely to be financially constrained than other comparable firms. The evidence presented herein suggests that this gender gap may be driven by taste-based discrimination. This paper exploits a rich dataset that provides detailed information about female ownership and management in firms, allowing for further understanding of gender gaps in access to finance.
    Keywords: Access to credit, Discrimination;, Firm ownership, Gender;
    JEL: G21 J16 O54
    Date: 2013–10
  3. By: Emran, M. Shahe; Islam, Asadul; Shilpi, Forhad
    Abstract: In the standard model of corruption, the rich are more likely to pay bribes for their children's education, reflecting higher ability to pay. This prediction is, however, driven by the assumption that the probability of punishment for bribe-taking is invariant across households. In many developing countries lacking in rule of law, this assumption is untenable, because the enforcement of law is not impersonal or unbiased and the poor have little bargaining power. In a more realistic model where the probability of punishment depends on the household's economic status, bribes are likely to be regressive, both at the extensive and intensive margins. Using rainfall variations as an instrument for household income in rural Bangladesh, this paper finds strong evidence that corruption in schools is doubly regressive: (i) the poor are more likely to pay bribes, and (ii) among the bribe payers, the poor pay a higher share of their income. The results indicate that progressivity in bribes reported in the earlier literature may be due to identification challenges. The Ordinary Least Squares regressions show that bribes increase with household income, but the Instrumental Variables estimates suggest that the Ordinary Least Squares results are spurious, driven by selection on ability and preference. The evidence reported in this paper implies that"free schooling"is free only for the rich and corruption makes the playing field skewed against the poor. This may provide a partial explanation for the observed educational immobility in developing countries.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures,Labor Policies,Inequality,Economic Theory&Research
    Date: 2013–10–01
  4. By: Laure Pasquier-Doumer (IRD, UMR 225 DIAL); Fiorella Risso Brandon (PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa, IRD, UMR 225 DIAL)
    Abstract: (english) This paper aims to contribute to understand the mechanisms underlying the complex exclusion process of indigenous people in Peru, by analysing the role played by aspirations in the investment in education of indigenous children. To address these issues, the paper relies on a very rich data set, the Young Lives data, and use an original instrument that allow to cast light on the causal relation between aspiration and educational outcomes. We find that aspiration failure is a channel of inequality persistence between indigenous and non-indigenous people, but that aspiration failure do not takes the form of a lack of aspiration. Indigenous children do not have internalized racial schemas about occupation or about their opportunities. However, the gap between their aspiration and their current socio-economic status is too large, in so far as it has a disincentive effect on forward-looking behaviour. _________________________________ (français) Ce document vise à mieux comprendre les mécanismes qui sous-tendent le processus d'exclusion des indigènes au Pérou. Nous analysons en particulier le rôle joué par les aspirations des enfants indigènes sur leur investissement scolaire. En utilisant les données des enquêtes Young Lives et en mobilisant un instrument original, cet article permet d’identifier la relation causale entre les aspirations et les résultats scolaires. Nous montrons que les aspirations participent à la persistance des inégalités entre les populations indigènes et non indigènes. Cependant, cette transmission des inégalités ne passe pas par une auto-limitation des aspirations de la part des enfants indigènes, mais plutôt par un écart trop important entre les aspirations des enfants indigènes et leur statut socio-économique. La trop longue distance à parcourir pour combler cet écart a un effet désincitatif sur les efforts fournis par les enfants indigènes à l’école. En revanche, il apparaît que les enfants indigènes n’ont pas intériorisé les valeurs discriminatoires à l’encontre des indigènes dans leur façon de former leurs aspirations.
    Keywords: aspiration, indigenous, educational outcomes, Peru, aspiration, indigènes, résultats scolaires, Pérou.
    JEL: D01 I24 J15 Z13
    Date: 2013–10

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