New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2014‒03‒30
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Production and consumption-based approaches for the Environmental Kuznets Curve in Latin America using Ecological Footprint By Marie-Sophie Hervieux; Olivier Darné
  2. Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries By Norbert Schady; Jere Behrman; Maria Caridad Araujo; Rodrigo Azuero; Raquel Bernal; David Bravo; Florencia López Bóo; Karen Macours; Daniela Marshall; Christina Paxson; Renos Vakis
  3. Engineers, Innovative Capacity and Development in the Americas By Maloney, William F.; Caicedo, Felipe Valencia
  4. Corruption and Informality: Complements or Substitutes? Qualitative Evidence from Barranquilla, Colombia By Mehling, Maxie-Lina; Boehm, Frédéric
  5. A spatial econometric approach to spillover effects between protected areas and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon By Ariane Manuela AMIN; Johanna Choumert; Pascale Combes Motel; Jean-Louis Combes; Eric Nazindigouba KERE; Jean Galbert ONGONO OLINGA; Sonia Schwartz
  6. Does Land Titling Matter ?The Role of Land Property Rights in the War on Illicit Crops in Colombia By Juan Carlos Munoz Mora; Santiago Tobon-Zapata; Jesse Willem D'Anjou
  7. Remedy of Poverty By durongkaveroj, wannaphong
  8. Early-Life Environment and Adult Stature in Brazil during the Period 1950 to 1980 By Victor Hugo de Oliveira; Climent Quintana-Domeque
  9. Trade, Skills, and Quality Upgrading: A Theory with Evidence from Colombia By Ana Cecília Fieler; Marcela Eslava; Daniel Xu
  10. Oil windfalls and tax inefficiency: evidence from Brazil By Fernando Antonio Slaibe Postali
  11. Gender stereotypes in politics: What changes when a woman becomes the local political leader? By Arvate, Paulo; Firpo, Sergio; Pieri, Renan

  1. By: Marie-Sophie Hervieux (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272); Olivier Darné (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis using the Ecological Footprint (EF), a more comprehensive indicator of environmental degradation, for ve Latin American countries covering the 1971-2007 period. We test the EKC hypothesis using a traditional quadratic function from both the supply and consumption-side, adding several explicative variables: urbanization, petrol price and industrialization for supply-side; biocapacity, life expectancy and energy use for consumption-side. We perform an ARDL modeling in order to study both short and long-run periods. We nd that there is no stable relationship between environment and economic development in the long-run. For the short-run analysis, the EKC hypothesis is supported for no one, we rather nd an increasing relationship between growth and environment. Results for explicative variables are mixed: For production-side approach, industrialization appears to have a positive impact on EF for Chile. For consumption-side approach, we nd that energy use seems to have a positive impact on EF for Argentina and Colombia whereas biocapacity and life expectancy have a positive and negative impact, respectively, on EF for Paraguay.
    Keywords: Environmental Kuznets Curve; Ecological Footprint; ARDL model.
    Date: 2014–03–13
  2. By: Norbert Schady (Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)); Jere Behrman (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Maria Caridad Araujo (World Bank Group; Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)); Rodrigo Azuero (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Raquel Bernal (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics; Northwestern University - Department of Economics); David Bravo (Department of Economics, Universidad de Chile); Florencia López Bóo (Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); IZA); Karen Macours (Paris School of Economics); Daniela Marshall (Populations Study Center, University of Pennsylvania); Christina Paxson (Office of the Dean, Brown University); Renos Vakis (District of Columbia, Washington DC, The World Bank)
    Abstract: Research from the United States shows that gaps in early cognitive and non-cognitive ability appear early in the life cycle. Little is known about this important question for developing countries. This paper provides new evidence of sharp differences in cognitive development by socioeconomic status in early childhood for five Latin American countries. To help with comparability, we use the same measure of receptive language ability for all five countries. We find important differences in development in early childhood across countries, and steep socioeconomic gradients within every country. For the three countries where we can follow children over time, there are few substantive changes in scores once children enter school. Our results are robust to different ways of defining socioeconomic status, to different ways of standardizing outcomes, and to selective non-response on our measure of cognitive development.
    Keywords: early childhood, socioeconomic gaps, Latin-American
    JEL: J13 I38
    Date: 2014–01–16
  3. By: Maloney, William F.; Caicedo, Felipe Valencia
    Abstract: Using newly collected national and sub-national data, and historical case studies, this paper argues that differences in innovative capacity, captured by the density of engineers at the dawn of the Second Industrial Revolution, are important to explaining present income differences, and, in particular, the poor performance of Latin America relative to North America. This remains the case after controlling for literacy, other higher order human capital, such as lawyers, as well as demand side elements that might be confounded with engineering. The analysis then finds that agglomeration, certain geographical fundamentals, and extractive institutions such as slavery affect innovative capacity. However, a large effect associated with being a Spanish colony remains suggesting important inherited factors.
    Keywords: Technology Industry,E-Business,Tertiary Education,Political Economy,ICT Policy and Strategies
    Date: 2014–03–01
  4. By: Mehling, Maxie-Lina; Boehm, Frédéric
    Abstract: We present results of a qualitative study based on interviews with informal vendors and experts on informality carried out in Barranquilla, Colombia, in order to investigate whether corruption and informality are complements or substitutes. It was found that it is necessary to distinguish between bureaucratic and political corruption when examining the relation with informality, as the results can be opposite. In Barranquilla, bureaucratic corruption and informality seem to be substitutes, while political corruption and informality complement each other.
    Keywords: Corruption, Informality, Colombia
    JEL: K42 O17
    Date: 2014–03
  5. By: Ariane Manuela AMIN (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Johanna Choumert (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Pascale Combes Motel (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Jean-Louis Combes (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Eric Nazindigouba KERE (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Jean Galbert ONGONO OLINGA (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Sonia Schwartz (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: Protected areas are increasingly used as a tool to fight against deforestation. This paper presents new evidence on the spillover effects that occur in the decision to deforest and the creation of protected areas in local administrative entities in Brazilian Legal Amazon over the 2001-2011 period. We also highlight the interdependence between these two decisions. We proceed in two steps. First, we assumed that protected areas are created to stop the negative effects of deforestation on biodiversity. In order to control for the non-random location of protected areas, biodiversity indicators are used as excluded instruments. This model is estimated using a spatial model with instrumental variables. Second, a simultaneous system of spatially interrelated cross sectional equations is used to take into account the interdependence between the decision to deforest and the creation of protected areas. Our results show (i) that deforestation activities of neighboring municipalities are complements and that (ii) there is evidence of leakage in the sense that protected areas may shift deforestation to neighboring municipalities. The net effect of protected areas on deforestation remains however negative; it is moreover stable across two sub-periods. Our results confirm the important role of protected areas to curb deforestation and thereby biodiversity erosion. Moreover, they show that strategic interactions deserve attention in the effectiveness of conservation policies.
    Keywords: Protected areas; deforestation; spatial interactions; simultaneous equations; Brazil; Amazon
    Date: 2014–03–18
  6. By: Juan Carlos Munoz Mora; Santiago Tobon-Zapata; Jesse Willem D'Anjou
    Keywords: land property rights; coca crops; war on drugs
    Date: 2014–02
  7. By: durongkaveroj, wannaphong
    Abstract: Economic growth is typically recognized as the effective tool in eradicating of poverty. Unfortunately, many countries enjoy their national prosperity with no improvement in citizen's living standard. The purpose of this study is to investigate the new tool aimed at reducing poverty through log-linear model and to estimate the impact of exogenous macroeconomic shock occurred in every sector on poverty through SAM multiplier. The result reveals that poverty is not sensitive to economic growth changes while it is definitely elastic to economic development. Growth is no longer an effective tool. Additionally, Latin America needs to export the commodities from meat, heavy manufacturing, and textile sector to help getting people out of poverty.
    Keywords: poverty, economic growth, economic development, sam multiplier
    JEL: C68 I32 O20 O57
    Date: 2014–03–21
  8. By: Victor Hugo de Oliveira (IPECE); Climent Quintana-Domeque
    Abstract: We study the relationship between environmental conditions at birth and adult stature using cohort-state level data in Brazil. We find that GDP per capita in the year of birth, not infant mortality rate, is a robust correlate of population stature in Brazil during the period 1950-1980. Our results are robust to a battery of robustness checks. Using a useful bracketing property of the (state) fixed effects and lagged dependent variables (heights) estimators, we find that an increase in GDP per capita of the magnitude corresponding to that period is associated with 43%-68% of the increase in adult height occurring in the same time span. Income, not disease, appears to be the main correlate of Brazilian population heights in the second half of the 20th Century.
    Keywords: infant mortality, income, adult height, bracketing property, fixed effects estimator, lagged dependent variable estimator
    JEL: I12 O54
    Date: 2014–03
  9. By: Ana Cecília Fieler; Marcela Eslava; Daniel Xu
    Abstract: We develop a model of international trade with heterogeneous firms and endogenous quality choices. Producing higher quality involves returns to scale, it is intensive in skilled labor and high-quality inputs. Firms’ quality choices are interrelated because firms sell their goods to consumers and to other firms. We estimate the model using data on manufacturing plants in Colombia before the trade liberalization, simulate a counterfactual liberalization and compare the results to post-liberalization data. Like other unilateral trade liberalizations in developing countries, the skill premium and skill intensity in manufacturing increased, and the size of firms decreased in Colombia. In the model, lower tariffs lead importers and exporters to upgrade quality, increasing the domestic demand and supply of high-quality inputs. Other firms then upgrade their own product quality, thereby amplifying these effects of domestic inputs. Relative demand for skilled labor increases in a wide range of firms, despite a contraction in sales.
    JEL: F1
    Date: 2014–03
  10. By: Fernando Antonio Slaibe Postali
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether Brazilian municipalities are losing efficiency when collecting local taxes in response to oil windfalls. A two-stage procedure was adopted. First, we calculate the efficiency scores for tax collection using the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method. In the second stage, the efficiency scores are used as the dependent variable in a quantile regression model to assess whether oil rents affect this indicator. The results reveal that the municipalities benefitting from oil revenues (royalties) reduce their efficiency in collecting taxes in response to such grants, which signals that they generate some type of X-inefficiency in municipal public management. Using a Cost-Minimization DEA, it is possible to avoid the problem of mixing technical efficiency with unobservable preferences on public goods. It is also possible to decompose efficiency within three components: technical, allocative and economic.
    Keywords: Data envelopment analysis; quantile regression; oil royalties; public sector
    JEL: H21 H71 Q33
    Date: 2014–03–18
  11. By: Arvate, Paulo; Firpo, Sergio; Pieri, Renan
    Abstract: This study documents how the presence of a woman in an executive political role affects the gender stereotype of women in politics. We use Brazilian electoral data and restrict our focus to close mayoral races (using an RDD design) in which the top two candidates are of opposite sexes. Our most important result was a reduction in the number of candidates and votes for female mayoral candidates after a woman is elected, regardless of her eligibility status for reelection. This negative result is linked only to the position of mayor and not to other political positions (councilor, state or federal deputy). In addition, our results may be interpreted as evidence that voters do not use their update on women as local leaders to change their beliefs on women’s ability to run for other political positions. Finally, female mayors do not appear to have a role model effect on younger cohorts of women. We also note that our results are not influenced by differences in mayoral policies (generally and specifically for women), which could influence voters’ gender stereotypes.
    Date: 2014–02–12

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