nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2014‒12‒29
four papers chosen by

  1. Finance, growth and social fairness : Evidence for Latin America and Bolivia By Sucre Reyes, M.A.
  2. Tackling Social Exclusion: Evidence from Chile By Carneiro, Pedro; Galasso, Emanuela; Ginja, Rita
  3. Fiscal policy, inequality and the ethnic divide in Guatemala By Maynor Cabrera; Nora Lustig; Hilcias E. Moran
  4. Tourism statistics: correcting data inadequacy using coarsened exact matching By Patricio Aroca; Juan Gabriel Brida; Juan Sebastián Pereyra; Serena Volo

  1. By: Sucre Reyes, M.A. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: This PhD thesis explores the role of finance in promoting economic growth and social fairness. Our case studies concentrate on Latin America and the Caribbean, and on Bolivia, a developing region and a country for which the relationship between finance, growth, and social fairness turns out to be particularly important. Bolivia is considered as one of the poorest and most unequal countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Poverty and inequality are not only deeply rooted in the country, but they are also among the most distinctive features of the region. In general, economic growth in Latin American countries has not met expectations, regardless of significant institutional reforms and an inherent potential to fare better. Consequently, the identification of factors that would promote economic growth and social fairness in Bolivia and the region becomes transcendental and necessary. At the same time, the study seeks to contribute to the scarce regional and single country-level research in this field. To pursue this goal, theoretical and empirical literature has been reviewed and original empirical evidence prepared. Moreover, the goal of this research is to conduct an integral investigation that does not rely only on macroeconomic evidence (at the regional and single country level) but also uses microeconomic evidence regarding the role of value chain financial mechanisms in a value chain case study. Throughout the thesis, different dimensions of finance such as financial depth, access to finance, and institutional diversification have been taken into account. Several of these aspects of finance have recently been studied in the empirical literature. Additionally, regarding the limited access to finance for certain agents in Bolivia – in particular, small-sized firms and rural and poor households – value chain finance has been considered as an important alternative for making financial services accessible. The results of this dissertation have implications for the design of financial and social policies for the Latin American and Caribbean region and for Bolivia.
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Carneiro, Pedro; Galasso, Emanuela; Ginja, Rita
    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: Poverty; Welfare Programs
    JEL: I3
    Date: 2014–05
  3. By: Maynor Cabrera (Fedes); Nora Lustig (Tulane University); Hilcias E. Moran (Bank of Guatemala)
    Abstract: Guatemala is one of the most unequal countries in Latin America and has the highest incidence of poverty. The indigenous population is more than twice as likely of being poor than the nonindigenous group. Fiscal incidence analysis based on the 2009-2010 National Survey of Family Income and Expenditures shows that taxes and transfers do almost nothing to reduce inequality and poverty overall or along ethnic and rural-urban lines. Persistently low tax revenues are the main limiting factor. Tax revenues are not only low but also regressive. Consumption taxes are regressive enough to offset the benefits of cash transfers: poverty after taxes and cash transfers is higher than market income poverty.
    Keywords: inequality, poverty, ethnic divide, fiscal incidence, taxes, social spending, Guatemala.
    JEL: D31 H22 I14
    Date: 2014–10
  4. By: Patricio Aroca (Business School, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Viña del Mar, Chile.); Juan Gabriel Brida (School of Economics and Management - Free University of Bolzano, Italy.); Juan Sebastián Pereyra (School of Economics and Management - Free University of Bolzano, Italy.); Serena Volo (School of Economics and Management - Free University of Bolzano, Italy.)
    Abstract: Tourism statistics are key sources of information for economic planners, tourism researchers and operators. Still, several cases of data inadequacy and inaccuracy are reported in literature. The aim of this paper is to describe Coarsened Exact Matching, a methodology useful to improve tourism statistics. This method provides tourism statisticians and authorities with a tool to improve the reliability of available sample surveys. Data from a Chilean region are used to illustrate the method. This study contributes to the realm of tourism statistics literature in that it offers a new methodological approach to the creation of accurate and adequate tourism data.
    Keywords: attrition bias, accretion bias, sample weights, accommodations, tourism planning, Chile.
    Date: 2014–12

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