nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2015‒01‒31
seven papers chosen by

  1. The rise of China and labor market adjustments in Latin America By Artuc, Erhan ; Lederman, Daniel ; Rojas, Diego
  2. Determinants of initial technology adoption and intensification: evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean By Waters, James
  3. Long-run effects of democracy on income inequality : evidence from repeated cross-sections By Balcazar, Carlos Felipe
  4. Accuracy and Poverty Impacts of Proxy Means-Tested Transfers: An Empirical Assessment for Bolivia By Stephan Klasen ; Simon Lange
  5. Violence and Birth Outcomes: Evidence From Homicides in Brazil By Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner ; Marco Manacorda
  6. The impact of biofuel policies on the Brazilian dairy sector By Carvalho, Carvalho R. ; Richardson, James W. ; Bryant, Henry L.
  7. General Equilibrium Analysis of Conditional Cash Transfers By Céspedes, Nikita

  1. By: Artuc, Erhan ; Lederman, Daniel ; Rojas, Diego
    Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of the rise of China on the trade of Latin American and Caribbean economies. The study proposes an index to measure the impact on trade, which suggests sizable effects, especially in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Mexico, and Paraguay. The paper uses the index and a model of labor mobility, to calculate the impact of China's growth on labor markets in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. The resulting evidence suggests that the rise of China has had positive effects on agriculture and mining in Argentina and Brazil, which offset negative impacts on manufacturing industries, thus leaving total employment and real wages virtually unchanged in the long run. In contrast, the estimated impacts of China's rise on Mexico imply that the sizable shock to manufacturing was not offset by the positive shocks on mining and agriculture, reducing employment in the long run. The paper also discusses the effect of China on the degree of informality in these three economies and contrasts short-run and long-run effects on employment and wages across industries.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Labor Markets,Labor Policies,Markets and Market Access,Trade Policy
    Date: 2015–01–01
  2. By: Waters, James
    Abstract: In this paper we examine determinants of initial adoption and subsequent intensification of corporate use of business practices employing the internet. In contrast to previous examinations that have looked at highest income countries, we study companies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Many variables such as company size and industry use previously identified as influential in high income regions continue to be important determinants. Novel determinants are also found, including informal sector competition and exporting. There are sharp differences in determinants between the two adoption types.
    Keywords: Technology; internet; adoption; intra-firm; intensification; developing countries
    JEL: O14 O30 O33 O54
    Date: 2015–01–20
  3. By: Balcazar, Carlos Felipe
    Abstract: This paper assesses the link between democracy and inequality. Inequality is measured at the cohort level with pseudo-panel data built from nine Latin American countries'household surveys (1995-2009, biannual). Democracy is measured as a stock during long periods of time both before and after each cohort's year of birth. The paper presents evidence that long-run historical patterns in the degree of democracy relate to income inequality. However, this relationship is non-monotonic: inequality ?rst increases with the stock of democracy before falling. The paper also presents evidence that education may be a mechanism explaining this result.
    Keywords: Parliamentary Government,Population Policies,Labor Policies,Inequality,Political Economy
    Date: 2015–01–01
  4. By: Stephan Klasen (Georg-August-University Göttingen ); Simon Lange (Georg-August-University Göttingen )
    Abstract: In the absence of reliable and exhaustive income data, Proxy Means Tests (PMTs) are frequently employed as a cost-effective way to identify income-poor beneficiaries of targeted anti-poverty programs. However, their usefulness depends on whether proxies accurately identify the income poor. Based on Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC)-analysis, we find that PMTs perform poorly in terms of identifying poor households in Bolivian data when transfers are targeted narrowly to the poor but that the true positive rate is highly responsive to increases in the proportion of beneficiaries. Using non-parametric regression-techniques, we show that the resulting leakage can largely be confined to the non-poor close to the poverty line. However, simulating the impact on poverty measures of a uniform transfer to beneficiaries across inclusion rates suggests that the largest poverty impact is attained with very narrow targeting. Hence, the link between targeting accuracy and poverty impact is weak.
    Keywords: targeting; transfers; social assistance; proxy means tests; poverty; ROC-analysis; Latin America; Bolivia
    JEL: C52 I38 O21
    Date: 2015–01–07
  5. By: Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner ; Marco Manacorda
    Abstract: This paper uses microdata from Brazilian natality and mortality vital statistics between 2000 and 2010 to estimate the impact of in-utero exposure to local violence - measured by homicide rates - on birth outcomes. The estimates shows that exposure to violence during the first trimester of pregnancy leads to a small but precisely estimated increase in the risk of low birthweight and prematurity. Effects are found in both rural areas, where homicides are rare, and in urban areas, where violence is endemic. Our estimates imply that homicides in Brazil are responsible for at least 0.5 percent of the incidence of low birthweight (<=2.5 kg) and 3 percent of the incidence of extremely low birthweight (<=1 kg).
    Keywords: Birth outcomes, birthweight, homicides, stress, Brazil
    JEL: I12 I15 J13
    Date: 2015–01
  6. By: Carvalho, Carvalho R. ; Richardson, James W. ; Bryant, Henry L.
    Abstract: Brazil is the fourth largest country in milk production and both production and consumption of dairy products are growing fast. However, it is unknown how the dairy sector reacts to exogenous shocks. A structural econometric model of the Brazilian dairy sector is used to analyze the consequences of biofuel policies on the production, consumption, and price of milk. The paper aims to evaluate how the Renewable Fuel Standard policy in the U.S. and the sugar cane policy in Brazil affect the dairy industry in Brazil. The policies are analyzed relative to a ten-year baseline scenario ending in 2022. Data from 1980 to 2012 are used to estimate the Brazilian dairy sector model. Annual equilibrium prices are solved by minimizing the squared difference between supply and demand for four different markets: cheese, butter, milk powder, and fresh dairy products. Both RFS and sugar cane acreage expansion have negative impact on milk production in Brazil and positive effect on consumer price. However, the impact of US’ RFS program is small. The model estimates appear to perform well in representing the actual dairy sector. The milk production forecasts were reasonable and the effects of shocks were well supported by the economic theory.
    Keywords: Policy analysis, dairy market, structural econometric model, partial equilibrium., Agricultural and Food Policy, Livestock Production/Industries, C50, C54, Q18,
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Céspedes, Nikita (Banco Central de Reserva del Perú )
    Abstract: Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program is one of the most important anti-poverty policies worldwide. In this document, I study the economic effects of this program by using a stylized dynamic general equilibrium model. I look at the program’s impact on output, human capital, poverty and income inequality. I also study its welfare implications and its effects on the intergenerational transmission of poverty. The quantitative analysis reveals that a long-term implementation of this anti-poverty program helps to reduce the intergenerational transmission of poverty. In aggregate terms the welfare gain is small, but varies across agents; the winners are those who are in the lower tail of the income distribution and the losers are those located in the upper tail. Finally, this program increases the human capital of households and, through this channel, induces a consistent reduction of both poverty and income inequality.
    Keywords: Poverty, Welfare, Cash Transfer, General Equilibrium, Inequality, Overlapping Generations
    JEL: D52 D58 D62 D64 I30 I32 I38
    Date: 2014–12

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