New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2014‒05‒09
seven papers chosen by

  1. Do the drivers of loan dollarisation differ between cesee and Latin America? a meta-analysis By Mariya Hake; Fernando López-Vicente; Luis Molina
  2. The price is not always right : on the impacts of (commodity) prices on households (and countries) By Lederman, Daniel; Porto, Guido
  3. The Impact of Public Spending on the Performance of Microfinance Institutions By Janda, Karel; Zetek, Pavel
  4. Inflation Targeting in Colombia, 2002-2012 By Franz Hamann; Marc Hofstetter; Miguel Urrutia
  5. The Size of Local Legislatures and Women's Political Representation: Evidence from Brazil By Gabriel Correa; Ricardo A. Madeira
  6. Technical measures to trade in Central America : incidence, price effects, and consumer welfare By Kelleher, Sinead; Reyes, Jose-Daniel
  7. Una visión general de la política comercial colombiana entre 1950 y 2012 By Jorge García; David Camilo López; Enrique Montes Uribe; Pilar Esguerra Umaña

  1. By: Mariya Hake (Oesterreichische National Bank); Fernando López-Vicente (Banco de España); Luis Molina (Banco de España)
    Abstract: In this paper we compare the determinants of loan dollarisation in two emerging market regions, namely Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) and Latin America, by means of a meta-analysis of 32 studies that provide around 1,200 estimated coefficients for six drivers of foreign currency lending. One common pattern we identify is that macroeconomic instability (as expressed by inflation volatility) and banks’ funding in foreign currency play a significant role in explaining loan dollarisation in both regions. By contrast, the interest rate differential appears to be a key determinant only in Latin America, while the positive impact of exchange rate volatility on dollarisation implies a more prominent role for supply factors in the CESEE region. While the robustness of the results has been verified, our meta-analysis shows that estimates reported in the literature tend to be influenced by study characteristics such as the methodology applied and the data used.
    Keywords: foreign currency loans, CESEE, Latin America, meta-regression, random effects maximum likelihood
    JEL: C5 E52 F31 O57 P20
    Date: 2014–04
  2. By: Lederman, Daniel; Porto, Guido
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the impact of once-and-for-all changes in commodity prices and other prices on household welfare. It begins with a collection of stylized facts related to commodities based on household survey data from Latin America and Africa. The data uncover strong commodity dependence in both continents: households typically allocate a large fraction of their budget to commodities and they often depend on commodities to earn their income. This income and expenditure dependency suggests sizable impacts and adjustments following commodity-price shocks. The paper explores these effects with a review of the literature. It studies consumption and income responses, labor-market responses, and spillovers across sectors. It ends up providing evidence on the relative magnitudes of various mechanisms through which commodity prices affect household (and national) welfare in developing economies.
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,Economic Theory&Research,Emerging Markets,Labor Policies,Access to Markets
    Date: 2014–05–01
  3. By: Janda, Karel; Zetek, Pavel
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of public expenditures and general government debt in microfinance performance. Our panel regression applied to the data of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Latin America and the Caribbean confirms the high significance of public finance for the growth of MFIs, especially for the size of their total assets and for their yield on gross loan portfolio. Moreover, the results indicate that MFIs, operating in the country with higher growth of GDP, are characterized by higher rate of social efficiency. The positive influence on microfinance is besides public finance also associated with a growth of rural population or an economy openness of the given country.
    Keywords: public finance, government expenditure, microfinance, microcredit, poverty
    JEL: E62 G21 O11
    Date: 2014–05–03
  4. By: Franz Hamann; Marc Hofstetter; Miguel Urrutia
    Abstract: After decades using monetary aggregates as the main instrument of monetary policy and having different varieties of crawling peg exchange rate regimes, Colombia adopted a full-fledged inflation-targeting (IT) regime in 1999, with inflation as the nominal anchor, a floating exchange rate, and the short-term interest rate as the main instrument. We examine the experience of the Colombian Central Bank over the last decade, a period of consolidation and innovation of its IT strategy. We study the increasing number of instruments used by the CB, including systematic foreign exchange interventions, announcements, and, sporadically, macro-prudential policies, capital controls, and changes in reserve requirements, among others. The study also examines some political economy dimensions that help explain the behavior of the CB during this period. To guide the discussion, we estimate a small-scale open-economy-policy-model. Classification JEL: E02, E32, E42, E43, E52, E58, E61, F31, F33, F42.
    Date: 2014–05
  5. By: Gabriel Correa; Ricardo A. Madeira
    Abstract: Exploiting the exogenous changes in local legislature size at certain population thresholds in Brazil, this paper investigates whether the number of legislators can impact the political participation of women, a group that is extremely underrepresented in Brazilian politics. The results suggest that the number of seats in the legislature has a significant positive impact on women's presence in the political sphere, and we show that these effects are direct consequences of changes in local political competition. We also report that the representation of women in the decision-making process influences the municipal provision of public goods and services.
    Keywords: Legislature Size; Women’s Political Representation; Regression Discontinuity Design.
    JEL: D72 D78 H41
    Date: 2014–04–23
  6. By: Kelleher, Sinead; Reyes, Jose-Daniel
    Abstract: Despite the widespread tariff reductions sparked by the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, borders in the region remain thick, with many hurdles standing in the way of regional trade. Although anecdotal evidence suggests that nontariff measures raise trade costs and inhibit trade in the region, little is known about the magnitude of these economic effects. This paper uses a newly collected data set to quantify the incidence of sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade in the region and benchmarks it with other parts of the world. The results indicate that the Central American region has the lowest prevalence of technical nontariff measures in the world. However, there is significant heterogeneity of trade-related regulations in Central America; for instance, 48 percent of Salvadoran imports are subject to at least one nontariff measure, compared with just 16 percent of Honduran imports. The paper estimates the impact of these technical measures on border prices and finds that the price impact of sanitary and phytosanitary measures is equivalent to an ad-valorem tariff of 11.6 percent. This price-rising effect is further investigated by looking in detail at the impact of sanitary and phytosanitary measures on the prices of beef, chicken meat, bread, anddairy products in Guatemala. The impact is estimated to be equivalent to an ad-valorem tariff of 68.4 percent, 51.4 percent, 22.0 percent, and 5.0 percent, respectively. The paper shows that efforts to streamline key sanitary and phytosanitary measures affecting these products by, for example, reducing the cost and time required to obtain sanitary registries, would likely reduce the Guatemalan urban extreme poverty rate from 5.07 percent to 4.91 percent.
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,Emerging Markets,Rural Poverty Reduction,Regional Economic Development,Economic Theory&Research
    Date: 2014–05–01
  7. By: Jorge García; David Camilo López; Enrique Montes Uribe; Pilar Esguerra Umaña
    Abstract: El documento presenta y examina los principales hechos de la política comercial del país en los últimos 62 años. El análisis reseña los principales hitos de la política comercial y del comercio exterior en Colombia, destacando los orígenes de las restricciones al comercio, los antecedentes de la apertura económica, la política de comercio exterior post apertura y las medidas no arancelarias aplicadas al comercio exterior. Classification JEL: F13, F14.
    Date: 2014–04

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