nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2014‒11‒12
four papers chosen by

  1. The effects of intraday foreign exchange market operations in Latin America: results for Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru By Miguel Fuentes; Pablo Pincheira; Juan Manuel Julio; Hernán Rincón; Santiago García-Verdú; Miguel Zerecero; Marco Vega; Erick Lahura; Ramon Moreno
  2. Has the income share of the middle and upper-middle been stable over time, or is its current homogeneity across the world the outcome of a process of convergence? The 'Palma Ratio' revisited By José Gabriel Palma
  3. Wage inequality in Uruguay: Technological change impact on occupational tasks By Sandra Rodríguez
  4. Evaluación cualitativa de los programas de hábitat, reactivación sociocultural y recuperación de medios de vida para la atención de la población afectada por el Fenómeno de la Niña 2010-2011 By Jairo Núñez Méndez; Claudia Hurtado Caycedo; Francisco Páez; Andrés Bateman

  1. By: Miguel Fuentes; Pablo Pincheira; Juan Manuel Julio; Hernán Rincón; Santiago García-Verdú; Miguel Zerecero; Marco Vega; Erick Lahura; Ramon Moreno
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of sterilised, intraday foreign exchange market operations (non-discretionary and discretionary) on foreign exchange returns and volatility in four inflation targeting economies in Latin America. The distribution of exchange rates during intervention and non-intervention days are first compared, and then event study regressions are used to estimate the impact of intervention (and macro surprises) on exchange rate returns and exchange rate volatility as well as on foreign exchange market turnover (in Colombia). In general, the results suggest that the impact of both non-discretionary and discretionary operations is at times significant but transitory. However, an analysis of Chile’s experience suggests that the announcement effects of even non-discretionary programmes may be significant and persistent. Classification JEL: E58, F31, G14.
    Date: 2014–10
  2. By: José Gabriel Palma
    Abstract: In an article published in Development and Change in 2011, I suggested an alternative measure of inequality to the Gini - a "19th Century statistic" - which has subsequently become known as the ´Palma Ratio'. In this new article, I revisit the argument for such a measure. Using new data, I examine whether the current remarkable homogeneity in the income share of the middle and upper-middle around the world - the foundation of the so-called 'Palma Ratio' - is an historically stable stylised fact, or whether it is a new phenomenon, the outcome of a process of convergence towards the current '50/50 Rule' (a state of affairs in which half of the population in each country located within deciles 5 to 9 tends to appropriate about 50 per cent of the national income). Although partly written in response to a comment on my 2011 paper, this article has evolved to become a further attempt at contributing to the literature on inequality and the statistics to measure it. As in my 2011 paper, in this one I also conclude that if we want to understand why inequality is so unequal across the world we have little choice but to keep reminding ourselves of what I believe to be the most crucial of all distributional stylisedfacts (highlighted by the sub-title of that article): "The share of the rich is what it's all about." The logic of the 'Palma Ratio' is precisely to emphasise this fact - as well as to draw attention to the increasingly artificial (i.e., self-constructed) foundations of growing inequality (as opposed to Piketty, I believe that 'r' is currently so much greater than 'g' as a direct result of human agency, and not as a supposed inevitable outcome of the workings of the invisible hand…). And if one not only wants to understand why inequality is so unequal across the world, but also get closer to understanding why growth is also so diverse, what we should write in our noticeboards is: "It's all about the share of the rich, and what they do with it". This is particularly important to understand if we really want to do something about inequality (and growth), because as someone rightly said long ago, philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point now is to change it.
    Keywords: income distribution; inequality; 'Palma Ratio'; homogeneous middle and upper- middle; convergence; institutional persistence; ideology; neo-liberalism; 'new left'; Latin America; Africa; Brazil; Chile; South Africa; United States.
    JEL: D31 E11 E22 E24 E25 I32 J31 N16 N30 N36 O50 P16
    Date: 2014–10–15
  3. By: Sandra Rodríguez (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: Based on the “task approach” to labor markets this research seeks to analyze the contribution of technology content of tasks as another explanation factor to the distribution of men wages in Uruguay during the nineties and the first decade of the 2000s. We use unconditional quantile regressions (UQR) and a decomposition method based on the recentered influence function (RIF) regression approach. Our estimates suggest that technological task content of occupations contributes to explain changes in the distribution of men wages in Uruguay, but these effects are better capture by the information content of task rather than the automation content, therefore we cannot confirm Autor, Levy and Murnane’s routinization hypothesis.
    Keywords: wage inequality, RIF regressions, technology, occupational tasks
    JEL: J3 J5
    Date: 2014–10
  4. By: Jairo Núñez Méndez; Claudia Hurtado Caycedo; Francisco Páez; Andrés Bateman
    Abstract: El presente documento evalúa los programas adelantados en los componentes de hábitat (alojamientos temporales, apoyos de arrendamiento y reparación de vivienda), reactivación sociocultural (Profamilia, Pastoral Social y Confederación Colombiana de ONG) y recuperación de medios de vida (generación de empleo de emergencia). Esta evaluación tiene, por un lado, un carácter netamente cualitativo, en la medida en que la información recopilada y analizada proviene de la realización de grupos focales con la población y de entrevistas a profundidad con los actores institucionales (tanto a nivel nacional como regional). Por otro lado, el examen de cada una de estas intervenciones, a la luz de un esquema de cadena de valor, ayuda a entender cómo funcionaron los programas de cada componente desde su diseño, pasando por su operación, hasta llegar al impacto que produjeron en los territorios y su sostenibilidad. El trabajo de campo se llevó a cabo en los departamentos de Atlántico, Antioquia, Chocó, Magdalena y Risaralda.
    Keywords: Evaluación de programas, Fenómeno de la Niña, Desarrollo urbano, Hábitat
    JEL: H43 Q51 Q54
    Date: 2013–11–29

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