nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2015‒01‒09
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Understanding Differences in Growth Performance in Latin America and Developing Countries between the Asian and Global Financial Crises By Roberto Alvarez; Jose De Gregorio
  2. Growth under extractive institutions? Latin American per capita GDP in colonial times By Leticia Arroyo Abad; Jan Luiten van Zanden
  3. Impacts of Climate Change on Dengue Risk in Brazil By Tatiane Menezes; Paula Pereda; Denisard Alves
  4. Las agencias de empleo privadas en Argentina, Chile y Uruguay By Wasser, Sandra Goldflus
  5. Institutions for Macro Stability in Brazil: Inflation Targets and Fiscal Responsibility By José Roberto Afonso; Eliane Cristina Araújo

  1. By: Roberto Alvarez (University of Chile); Jose De Gregorio (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: Latin American performance during the global financial crisis was unprecedented. Many developing and emerging countries successfully weathered the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Was it good luck? Was it good policies? In this paper we compare growth during the Asian and global financial crises and find that a looser monetary policy played an important role in mitigating crisis. We also find that higher private credit, more financial openness, less trade openness, and greater exchange rate intervention worsened economic performance. Our analysis of Latin American countries confirms that effective macroeconomic management was key to good economic performance. Finally, we present evidence from a sample of 31 emerging markets that high terms of trade had a positive impact on resilience.
    Keywords: Latin America, Emerging Markets, Developing Countries, Global Financial Crisis, Macroeconomic Policies
    JEL: E58 E63 F3
    Date: 2014–11
  2. By: Leticia Arroyo Abad; Jan Luiten van Zanden
    Abstract: This paper presents new estimations of per capita GDP in colonial times for the two pillars of the Spanish empire: Mexico and Peru. We find dynamic economies as evidenced by increasing real wages, urbanization, and silver mining. Their growth trajectory is such that both regions reduced the gap with respect to Spain and even achieved parity. While experiencing swings in growth, the notable turning point is in 1780 as bottlenecks in production and later the independence wars reduced economic activity. To explain the long periods of growth between 1550 and 1780 we argue that these countries witnessed endogenous adaptations in institutions resulting in increased market orientation towards and a more balanced distribution of power between Spain and local elites. Our results question the notion that colonial institutions impoverished Latin America.
    Keywords: GDP per capita, growth, Latin America
    Date: 2014–11
  3. By: Tatiane Menezes; Paula Pereda; Denisard Alves
    Abstract: Climate has relevant impacts on human health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), climate-sensitive health problems kill millions of people every year and undermine the physical and psychological health of millions (WHO, 2012). In the particular case of vector-borne diseases, climate conditions assure the vectors' survival and reproduction and, consequently, the transmission of the diseases (Kelly-Hope and Thomson, 2008). Increases in heat, precipitation, and humidity can allow insects to move from regions where infectious diseases thrive into new places. The vector-borne disease analyzed by this study is the dengue fever. Dengue fever is the key target infectious disease in Latin America, whose incidence depends highly on climate conditions due to the mosquitos. In this sense, this study intends to identify the climate impact on dengue in the country in order to measure the impact of climate change on the dengue risk in Brazil, and also examine the public policy's role on minimizing those effects in the country. The government influence, in terms of public policy, is mainly given by the universalization of running water and sewage collection (both urban infrastructure problems controlled by the municipal government), by the type of housing, educational measures, and by assuring the health assistance of the people affected by such diseases (availability of hospital beds, health expenditures). Pereda (2012) found out that integrated actions from local governments are needed to control the spread of the disease. In order to identify the climate impacts on dengue risk, a comparative case study research will be used, based on the comparison of cities that suffered from specific climate conditions that increased the risk of dengue with cities whose climatic conditions stayed the same. The counterfactual will be created based on the synthetic controls approach, which generates control groups as a combination of units not exposed to the intervention (Abadie and Gardeazabal, 2003; and extended by Abadie et al, 2010). Thus, the synthetic control is a weighted average of the available control units that sum to one. As Brazil is a wide country, and exposed to many climate patterns, there are many possibilities of gathering good control groups by using this methodology. The preliminary results suggest that the increase in temperature in temperate regions (South of the country) increase the incidence of dengue in the region. On the other hand, the increase in temperature in the tropical areas (North of the country) could diminish the disease. Therefore, due to the expected increase of temperatures in the future, the climate change might change the dengue fever distribution in the country. The study also intends to examine the public policy's role on minimizing those effects in the country, mainly focused on water supply and sanitation.
    Keywords: Health (I130); Global Warming (Q540); Applications (C0010); Environment (R110)
    Date: 2014–11
  4. By: Wasser, Sandra Goldflus
    Abstract: El estudio examina cómo Argentina, Chile y Uruguay garantizan la protección de los derechos laborales de los trabajadores cedidos por agencias, el acceso al empleo, y las disposiciones sobre salarios mínimos, condiciones de trabajo, seguridad social, formación, seguridad y salud. También aborda cómo se estructura el servicio público de empleo y su relación con las agencias de empleo privadas. Se discute sobre las relaciones de los gobiernos, las organizaciones sindicales y los empleadores con las agencias de empleo privadas para determinar en qué medida los convenios colectivos protegen los derechos individuales y sindicales de los trabajadores involucrados; el grado de influencia de las organizaciones sindicales para hacer valer los derechos colectivos e individuales de estos trabajadores; el valor de diálogo social y/o la negociación colectiva. Se aborda la forma en que se trata de combatir a las agencias fraudulentas o inescrupulosas que vulneran las legislaciones respectivas en cada país. La responsabilidad de las opiniones expresadas en este estudio incumbe exclusivamente a su autora, y su publicación no significa que la OIT las apruebe.
    Keywords: private employment agency, temporary work agency, job placement, labour contract, labour administration, labour legislation, comment, role of ILO, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, agence pour l'emploi privée, agence de travail temporaire, placement, contrat de travail, administration du travail, législation du travail, commentaire, rôle de l'OIT, Argentine, Chili, Uruguay, agencia de empleo privada, empresa de trabajo temporal, colocación, contrato de trabajo, administración del trabajo, legislación del trabajo, comentario, papel de la OIT, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay
    Date: 2014
  5. By: José Roberto Afonso; Eliane Cristina Araújo
    Abstract: Monetary and fiscal institutions have played a decisive role in the stabilisation of the Brazilian economy since the mid-1990s. Brazil’s experience of designing and managing institutions to this end is likely to be of interest to other emerging and low- or middle-income economies. In Brazil institutional reforms were predominantly made in response to a succession of internal and, particularly, external crises. Indeed, perhaps nowhere in the world has inflation received as much attention from economists as in Brazil. The consequent accumulation of theoretical and practical knowledge resulted in a wealth of theories about the nature of Brazilian inflation. As such, the Brazilian experience offers many lessons to be learned, both in the sense of what could be done and what is better avoided. When it abandoned the exchange rate anchor, Brazil was one of the first emerging economies to adopt a system of inflation targets. In the area of fiscal policy, a succession of institutional changes – from changes in the budget and management of the public debt to the fiscal adjustment of regional governments – culminated in the adoption of the Fiscal Responsibility Law shortly after the introduction of new monetary and exchange policies. However, consolidation of the new currency, the Real, and accelerated growth shortly after the turn of the century, followed by the global financial crisis, meant that the agenda of structural reforms was abandoned. New aspects were introduced to economic policy, such as a strong link between the growth of public debt and credit supply.Recent stagnation, with repeated years of low growth, inflation pushing at the ceiling of its target, and primary surplus below its target, sets new challenges for the Brazilian economy.
    Date: 2014

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