New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2014‒06‒07
eight papers chosen by

  1. Social policies and redistribution in Brazil By Leubolt, Bernhard
  2. Pension Design with a Large Informal Labor Market: Evidence from Chile By Joubert, Clement
  3. Tackling Social Exclusion: Evidence from Chile By Carneiro, Pedro; Galasso, Emanuela; Ginja, Rita
  4. Public-Private Collaboration on Productive Development in Chile By Andrés Zahler; Claudio Bravo; Daniel Goya; José Miguel Benavente
  5. Assesing the smpact of a student loan program on time-to-degree: The case of a program in Peru By Luis García
  6. Can Arts-Based Interventions Enhance Labor Market Outcomes among Youth? Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Rio de Janeiro By Carla Calero; Veronica Gonzales; Yuri Soares; Jochen Kluve; Carlos Henrique Corseuilt
  7. The Effects of Access to Health Insurance for Informally Employed Individuals in Peru By Bernal, Noelia; Carpio, Miguel A.; Klein, Tobias J.
  8. The Effect of Land Title on Child Labor Supply: Empirical Evidence from Brazil By Mauricio José Serpa Barros de Moura; Rodrigo de Losso da Silveira Bueno

  1. By: Leubolt, Bernhard
    Keywords: income distribution, social policy, social protection, social expenditure, political development, trend, Brazil, répartition du revenu, politique sociale, protection sociale, dépenses sociales, développement politique, tendance, Brésil, distribución del ingreso, política social, protección social, gastos sociales, desarrollo político, tendencia, Brasil
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Joubert, Clement (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
    Abstract: This paper investigates empirically the fiscal and welfare trade-offs involved in designing a pension system when workers can avoid participation by working informally. A dynamic behavioral model captures a household's labor supply, formal/informal sector choice and saving decisions under the rules of Chile's canonical privatized pension system. The parameters governing household preferences and earnings opportunities in the formal and the informal sector are jointly estimated using a longitudinal survey linked with administrative data from the pension system's regulatory agency. The parameter estimates imply that formal jobs rationing is limited and that mandatory pension contributions play an sizeable role in encouraging informality. Our policy experiments show that Chile could achieve a reduction of 23% of minimum pension costs, while guaranteeing the same level of income in retirement, by increasing the rate at which the benefits taper off.
    Keywords: informality, pensions
    JEL: J24 J26 E21 E26 O17
    Date: 2014–05
  3. By: Carneiro, Pedro (University College London); Galasso, Emanuela (World Bank); Ginja, Rita (Uppsala University)
    Abstract: We study an innovative welfare program in Chile which combines a period of frequent home visits to households in extreme poverty, with guaranteed access to social services. Program impacts are identified using a regression discontinuity design, exploring the fact that program eligibility is a discontinuous function of an index of family income and assets. We find strong and lasting impacts of the program on the take up of subsidies and employment services. These impacts are important only for families who had little access to the welfare system prior to the intervention.
    Keywords: social exclusion, social protection, Chile, extreme poverty
    JEL: C26 I38 J08
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: Andrés Zahler; Claudio Bravo; Daniel Goya; José Miguel Benavente
    Abstract: This Working Paper provides an in-depth analysis of public-private collaboration (PPC) in Chilean productive development policies (PDPs) through five case studies under two specific polices: the Technology Consortia Program and the National Cluster Policy. The analysis is based on a set of more than 30 semi-structured, in-depth interviews, and is complemented by official written information on the workings of each of the instruments and particular cases. The most significant conclusion that emerges is the importance of having institutions that allow the government to learn from the implementation of new policies in order to improve them over time.
    Keywords: Industrial Policy, Public Private Partnerships, Public-private collaboration, Productive development, Chile
    Date: 2014–05
  5. By: Luis García (Departamento de Economía de la PUC del Perú)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of a student loan program on time-to-degree for undergraduate students at a large university in Peru. The loans have been provided to low-income students who display satisfactory academic performance. The decision whether to apply for a loan depends on each student; therefore, simple regression analysis may fail to estimate the impact due to the problem of endogenous regresor. In this study, an instrumental variable approach is employed, and it is found that students with loans obtain their degrees more rapidly than similar students without loans. JEL Classification-JEL: C13, C14, C21, I22
    Keywords: student loans; time-to-degree; Peru
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Carla Calero; Veronica Gonzales; Yuri Soares; Jochen Kluve; Carlos Henrique Corseuilt
    Abstract: This paper provides findings of a small-scale, innovative labor training program that uses expressive arts and theatre as a pedagogical tool. The corresponding life skills training component is combined with a technical component teaching vocational skills. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of a training program constructed around expressive arts. Using a randomized assignment of favela youth into program and control groups, we look at the short-run treatment effects on a comprehensive set of outcomes including employment and earnings as well as measures of personality traits and risk behavior.
    Keywords: Labor market training; youths; randomized controlled trial; life skills
    JEL: J24 J68 I38
    Date: 2014–05
  7. By: Bernal, Noelia (Universidad de Piura); Carpio, Miguel A. (Universidad de Piura); Klein, Tobias J. (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: Many developing countries have recently increased health insurance coverage at a large scale. While it is commonly believed that this has positive effects, to date, it is not well understood through which channels health insurance coverage contributes to the well-being of individuals. More generally, the effects are usually not quantified at the individual level. There are two main reasons for this. First, we lack detailed data on health care utilization and health outcomes, and second, it is not easy to control for selection into insurance. The second problem means that a regression of utilization or outcome measures on insurance coverage will yield biased results and will not estimate the causal effects of health insurance. In this paper, we make progress in both directions. We use rich survey data to evaluate the impact of access to the Peruvian Social Health Insurance called "Seguro Integral de Salud" for individuals outside the formal labor market on a variety of measures for health care utilization, preventive care, health expenditures, and health indicators. We address the second concern by exploiting a fuzzy regression discontinuity design. A household is eligible for the program if a welfare index that is calculated from a number of variables is below a specific threshold. We base our analysis on a natural experiment that is generated by variation in the index around the threshold. We interpret our results through the lens of a simple model. As expected, and in contrast to studies for a number of other countries, we find strong effects of insurance coverage on measures of health care utilization, such as visiting a doctor, receiving medication and medical analysis. The program does not strongly incentivice individuals or health care providers to invest into preventive care. In line with this, in general, we find no effects of insurance coverage on preventive care. The only exceptions to this are our findings that, controlling for selection into insurance coverage, women of fertile age with insurance are more likely to receive pregnancy care and that insured individuals are more likely to be vaccinated. This is in line with the stark decrease in maternal and child mortality that was observed after the program was introduced. As for health care expenditures, we generally find positive effects on the mean and the variability. We complement these findings with quantile treatment effect estimates that show increases at the high end of the distribution. Our interpretation is that insured individuals are encouraged by health care professionals to undertake important treatments and pay for this themselves. At the same time, we find no clear effects on health outcomes at the micro level.
    Keywords: public health insurance, informal sector, health care utilization, health, regression discontinuity design
    JEL: I13 O12 O17
    Date: 2014–05
  8. By: Mauricio José Serpa Barros de Moura; Rodrigo de Losso da Silveira Bueno
    Abstract: This paper assesses the effect of property-titling on child labor. Our main contribution is to investigate the potential impact of property rights on child labor supply by analyzing household response regarding the child labor force to exogenous changes in property ownership status. The causal role of legal ownership is isolated by comparing the effect of land titling using data from a unique study in two geographically close and demographically similar communities in Osasco, a town of 654,000 people in the Sao Paulo metropolitan area. Survey data were collected from households in both communities before and after the granting of land titles, with neither type knowing ex-ante whether it would receive land titles. The econometric estimates, applying the Difference-in-Difference (DD) methodology and propensity score matching, suggest that land-titling decreases child labor.
    Keywords: Property Rights; Land Titling; Child Labor Force
    JEL: P14 Q15 J22 O18 O54
    Date: 2014–06–04

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