nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2015‒03‒13
seventeen papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Non-residential capital stock in Latin America. 1875-2008 By Xavier Tafunell; Cristián Ducoing
  2. The International Transmission of Risk: Causal Relations Among Developed and Emerging Countries’ Term Premia By Juan Andrés Espinosa-Torres; Jose E. Gomez-Gonzalez; Luis Fernando Melo-Velandia; José Fernando Moreno-Gutiérrez
  3. Gender differences in the distribution of total work-time of Latin- American families: the importance of social norms By Campaña, Juan Carlos; Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio; Molina, José Alberto
  4. On the Development Gap between Latin America and East Asia: Welfare, Efficiency, and Misallocation By Mendez-Guerra, Carlos
  5. Sectores de altos ingreso en Uruguay: participación relativa y patrones de movilidad en el período 2009-2012. By Gabriel Burdín; Mauricio De Rosa; Andrea Vigorito
  6. Innovation dynamics and productivity : evidence for Latin America By Crespi G.A.; Tacsir E.; Vargas F.
  7. Maternity and Labor Markets: Impact of Legislation in Colombia By Natalia Ramírez Bustamante; Ana Maria Tribin Uribe; Carmiña O. Vargas
  8. Maternity and Labor Markets: Impact of Legislation in Colombia By Natalia Ramírez Bustamante; Ana Maria Tribin Uribe; Carmiña O. Vargas
  9. Environmental and Economic Impacts of Growing Certified Organic Coffee in Colombia By Ibanez, Marcela; Blackman, Allen
  10. New patterns of structural change and effects on inclusive development: A case study of South Africa and Brazil By Greenstein, Joshua
  11. Forecast Accuracy of Small and Large Scale Dynamic Factor Models in Developing Economies By Germán López Espinosa
  12. Evaluación de impacto y análisis costo beneficio de los programas de formación de capital intelectual de Colciencias: Jóvenes Investigadores y Becas de Doctorados By Jairo Núñez Méndez; Felipe Castro; Fernando Estupiñan; Andrés Gordillo
  13. Marco regulatorio y empresas públicas en Uruguay By Rosario Domingo; Leandro Zipitría
  14. The accumulation of capital and economic growth in Brazil. A long-term prospective (1950-2008) By Mateo Tomé, Juan Pablo
  15. Inflation Dynamics and the Hybrid Neo Keynesian Phillips Curve: The Case of Chile By Medel, Carlos
  16. “Regional wage gaps, education, and informality in an emerging country. The case of Colombia” By Paula Herrera-Idárraga; Enrique López-Bazo; Elisabet Motellón
  17. The Impact of a One Laptop per Child Program on Learning: Evidence from Uruguay By de Melo Gioia; Machado Alina; Miranda Alfonso

  1. By: Xavier Tafunell; Cristián Ducoing
    Abstract: This work offers non-residential capital stock estimation for major Latin American economies – Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico - made towards a homogeneous method. This work covers the whole twentieth century and the years of the XXI century, expanding backward half century the present available estimations. Our research has the virtue of creating a capital stock method that could be applied to almost all Latin American economies, using the gross fixed capital formation data base (1850–1950) elaborated by one of the authors. This data could be linked with the investment series of standardized National Accounts of the Region, by ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean). Also, the authors have done a comparison between Latin American countries and most advanced economies, especially on the comparative performance of two settlers countries, Argentina and Australia.
    Keywords: Capital Stock, Latin America, Gross fixed capital formation, National Accounts.
    JEL: N16 E22 E01
    Date: 2015–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:upf:upfgen:1472&r=lam
  2. By: Juan Andrés Espinosa-Torres; Jose E. Gomez-Gonzalez; Luis Fernando Melo-Velandia; José Fernando Moreno-Gutiérrez
    Abstract: We study the effect of shocks to the United States government bonds term premium on Latin American government bonds term premia. For doing so, we compute dynamic multipliers. Our main findings indicate that Latin American countries’ term premia respond permanently to changes in United States term premium. However, impulse-response functions vary depending on the country and particular time-length for which premia are computed. Responses are larger for Brazil and Colombia. Mexico exhibits the lowest responses for the four economies in our study.
    Keywords: Term Premium, Sovereign Risk, Latin America, Dynamic Multipliers.
    JEL: E43 F36 C22
    Date: 2015–03–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000094:012609&r=lam
  3. By: Campaña, Juan Carlos; Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio; Molina, José Alberto
    Abstract: We analyze differences by gender in the time dedicated to total work (paid and unpaid) by families in Latin America, with particular attention to the effect of social norms. To this end, we use survey data on time use in Mexico (2009), Peru (2010), Ecuador (2012) and Colombia (2012), to estimate differential equations through OLS. Our results reveal differences between countries in terms of the gender distribution of total work (paid work plus unpaid work), with Colombia and Peru being more equitable. These two countries could be approaching a situation of "iso-work", or equality of work, in the sense that men and women spend similar amounts of time in total work. When considering the social norms that explain gender differences in the time spent in total work, we use data from the last wave (2010-2014) of the World Values Survey (WVS). Our results indicate that the more egalitarian countries exhibit the highest levels of equality in the distribution of work. It is important to know how men and women from these four countries distribute their time in total work, in order to understand why there are clear differences by gender.
    Keywords: Total work, Latin America, differences by gender, social norms.
    JEL: D13 J13 J16 J22
    Date: 2015–03–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:62759&r=lam
  4. By: Mendez-Guerra, Carlos
    Abstract: Both long economic stagnation in Latin America and sustained growth and in East Asia imply a rapidly raising development gap between the two regions. Using a series of numerical decompositions, this article documents three facts about this gap. First, differences in welfare-adjusted development are larger than those predicted by per-capita GDP. Second, differences in labor productivity account for most of the differences in both production and welfare-adjusted development. Third, inefficient production is the main factor holding down labor productivity. Furthermore, detailed analysis of the sectorial dynamics suggests that labor misallocation across sectors had been reducing economy-wide efficiency in Latin America. In particular, premature deindustrialization (i.e., workers moving from manufacturing into services) and falling productivity in the service sector had potentially large negative effects on efficiency, productivity, and welfare-adjusted development.
    Keywords: welfare efficiency misallocation
    JEL: O4 O40 O5 O53 O54 O57
    Date: 2014–02–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:62588&r=lam
  5. By: Gabriel Burdín (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Mauricio De Rosa (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Andrea Vigorito (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the evolution of income inequality and characterizes income mobility in Uruguay during the period 2009-2012, focusing on top income groups. The study exploits novel individual-level panel data based on personal income tax records, which contain information on income, taxes and individual attributes (sex, age) and covers 75% of the Uruguayan population aged 20 and over. The main findings of the paper are the following: (1) pre-tax income inequality decreased during the period of study, even though the fall is milder in tax records than in harmonized household surveys; (2) the top 1% income share remained stable at 14% over the period and top income positions are highly persistent: the annual persistent rate at the top 1% is approximately 80%; (3) women´s persistent rates at the top of the income distribution are slightly lower than men´s; (4) comparisons by income sources show that capital and self-employment income are relatively more mobile than wages, salaries and pensions; (5) the comparison between annual and permanent income-based inequality measures suggests that the equalizing effect of income mobility is modest, at least for the short period considered (1.4 p.p. and 0.5 p.p. reduction in the Gini index and the top 1% income share respectively); (6) finally, personal income taxation in Uruguay redistributes roughly 2 p.p. of the Gini index. This paper contributes to the literature on income mobility in Latin America where, due to the lack of individual-level panel data, previous studies have mainly relied on pseudo panel techniques. The paper also adds to the emerging literature on top income mobility. Despite the short time dimension of the panel precludes the study of the evolution of income mobility in a long time span, it allows to examine how mobility patterns vary by income strata and between different demographic groups and income sources.
    Keywords: top incomes, income inequality, personal income taxation, uruguay
    JEL: D31 H24 O54
    Date: 2015–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-03-15&r=lam
  6. By: Crespi G.A.; Tacsir E.; Vargas F. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: Innovation is fundamental for economic catching-up and raising living standards. Evidence demonstrate a virtuous circle in which RD spending, innovation, productivity, and per capita income mutually reinforce each other and lead to long-term, sustained growth rates and may foster job creation. Previous evidence highlights that Latin America and the Caribbean LAC has great potential to benefit from investment and policies that foster innovation. However, one important limitation of previous research on innovation in LAC is the absence of harmonised and comparable indicators across the different countries. This seriously limits the possibility to infer policy conclusions that are not affected by country specificities with respect to data quality and coverage. Also, most of this research is focused on estimating firm level correlations without attempting to identify market failures or other limitations which harm innovation investment or which could guide policy. In this paper, a wide range of innovation indicators are analysed in order to describe the innovation behaviour of manufacturing firms in LAC using the Enterprise Survey ES database. Our objective is to understand the main characteristics of innovative firms in LAC and to gather new evidence with regard to the nature of the innovation process in the region. In this paper we apply a structural model based on Crepon, Duget and Mairesse 1998, to estimate the determinants of innovation RD and its impact on total factor productivity. We pay special attention to whether there is heterogeneity in the effects of investments in innovation on productivity and whether there is any evidence of spillovers that could guide policy design. We found strong evidence concerning the relationships between innovation input and output, and innovation output and productivity. We found that private returns to innovation depend on the type of innovation, being larger for product than process innovation. Furthermore, we found some evidence that spillovers are stronger in the case of product than process innovation. It was also found that innovation returns are higher for the most productive firms. This increasing relationship between returns and productivity is not consistent with an interpretation that financial constraints cause more harm to low productivity firms. However, it is consistent with alternative interpretations about the lack of innovation opportunities in the case of low productivity firms or that low private returns are the results of poor appropriability.
    Keywords: Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development; Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology; Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives; Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes; Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity: General;
    JEL: O12 O14 O31 O33 O40
    Date: 2014
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unm:unumer:2014092&r=lam
  7. By: Natalia Ramírez Bustamante; Ana Maria Tribin Uribe (Banco de la República de Colombia); Carmiña O. Vargas (Banco de la República de Colombia)
    Abstract: Our research seeks to determine the impact on female labor outcomes of the amendment on the Colombian labor law in which maternity leave was extended from 12 to 14 weeks (through Law 1468 of July 2011). To identify this impact we compare labor market outcomes of two groups of women with differences in their fertility rates. We find evidence that as a result of the extension of the maternity leave period, women in the high-fertility age group have experienced an increase in inactivity rates, informality, and self-employment. We argue that a redesign of maternity protection policy is due, one through which the economic and social costs of bearing children are shared by both parents and which may generate social change regarding the importance of paternal care. Classification JEL: J08, J2, J3, J7, K31
    Keywords: maternity leave, women’s labor market, labor regulation.
    Date: 2015–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bdr:borrec:870&r=lam
  8. By: Natalia Ramírez Bustamante; Ana Maria Tribin Uribe; Carmiña O. Vargas
    Abstract: Our research seeks to determine the impact on female labor outcomes of the amendment on the Colombian labor law in which maternity leave was extended from 12 to 14 weeks (through Law 1468 of July 2011). To identify this impact we compare labor market outcomes of two groups of women with differences in their fertility rates. We find evidence that as a result of the extension of the maternity leave period, women in the high-fertility age group have experienced an increase in inactivity rates, informality, and self-employment. We argue that a redesign of maternity protection policy is due, one through which the economic and social costs of bearing children are shared by both parents and which may generate social change regarding the importance of paternal care.
    Keywords: Maternity leave, women’s labor market, labor regulation.
    JEL: J08 J2 J3 J7 K31
    Date: 2015–03–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000094:012610&r=lam
  9. By: Ibanez, Marcela; Blackman, Allen (Resources for the Future)
    Abstract: According to advocates, eco-certification can improve developing country farmers’ environmental and economic performance. However, these notional benefits can be undercut by self-selection: the tendency of relatively wealthy farmers already meeting eco-certification standards to disproportionately participate. Empirical evidence on this matter is scarce. Using original farm-level survey data along with matching and difference-in-differences matching models, we analyze the producer-level effects of organic coffee certification in southeast Colombia. We find that certification improves coffee growers’ environmental performance. It significantly reduces sewage disposal in the fields and increases the adoption of organic fertilizer. However, we are not able to discern economic benefits. The return on certified production is not significantly different from that on conventional production.
    Keywords: organic certification, coffee, Colombia, difference-in-differences matching
    JEL: Q13 Q20 O13 Q56
    Date: 2015–02–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-15-02&r=lam
  10. By: Greenstein, Joshua
    Abstract: This study explores the question of structural change and inclusive development in South Africa and Brazil. Using Census data from the two countries, the analysis combines a household level multidimensional indicator of well-being with the applications of
    Keywords: structural change, inclusive development, productivity, employment and development, South Africa, Brazil
    Date: 2015
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2015-006&r=lam
  11. By: Germán López Espinosa (Universidad de Navarra)
    Abstract: This paper compares forecast accuracy of two Dynamic Factor Models in a context of constraints interms of data availability. Estimation technique and properties of the factor decomposition depend onthe cross section dimension of the dataset included in each model: a large dataset composed by seriesbelonging to seven broad categories or a small dataset with a few prescreened variables. Short term outof-sample forecast of GDP growth is carried out with both models reproducing the real time situationof data accessibility derived from the publication lags of the series in six Latin American countries.Results show i) the important role of the inclusion of latest released data in the forecast accuracy ofboth models, ii) the better precision of predictions based on factors with respect to autoregressivemodels and iii) identify the most adequate model for each of these six countries in different temporalhorizons.
    Keywords: Factor models, nowcast, forecast, real time, developing economies
    JEL: C32 C53 E37 O54
    Date: 2015–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2015-03&r=lam
  12. By: Jairo Núñez Méndez; Felipe Castro; Fernando Estupiñan; Andrés Gordillo
    Abstract: Este documento presenta la evaluación de dos de los principales programas de Colciencias para la formación de capital intelectual: Jóvenes Investigadores y Becas Doctorales. En este estudio se utilizó el método de Propensity Score Matching (PSM) para evaluar el impacto de estos dos programas, y el método de análisis costo beneficio (ACB) para cuantificar el retorno social de cada programa. Para la evaluación se utilizaron bases de datos con características socio-económicas de beneficiarios y no beneficiarios de las becas, información salarial proveniente de la planilla integrada de liquidación de aportes en Colombia (PILA), las bases de datos de CvLAC y GrupLAC y los créditos financieros aprobados para los beneficiarios y no beneficiarios del programa de becas doctorales. Los resultados indican que las personas beneficiadas con las becas doctorales ganan en promedio más dinero al mes, aportan a seguridad social por más tiempo al año, publican más artículos y reciben más créditos financieros que las personas que no ganaron las becas. En el caso del programa Jóvenes Investigadores no se encontraron efectos significativos, a excepción del impacto en las publicaciones de los grupos de investigación que emplean a estos jóvenes. Finalmente, los resultados del ACB indican que las becas doctorales generan beneficios en términos sociales pues el valor presente neto de las mismas es positivo; sin embargo, los beneficios del programa de Jóvenes Investigadores está condicionado a la decisión de continuar con estudios doctorales en el futuro, es decir, si efectivamente la beca promueve la carrera de investigación.
    Keywords: Evaluación de Impacto, Análisis Costo Beneficio, Educación, Capital Humano, Política Pública
    JEL: C21 D02 D04 D61 H52 I22
    Date: 2014–12–30
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000124:012612&r=lam
  13. By: Rosario Domingo (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Leandro Zipitría (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: La existencia de empresas públicas es un fenómeno habitual y económicamente significativo en la mayoría de los países. En este trabajo se analiza la existencia de empresas estatales en la región y en Uruguay, considerándose los motivos para su creación; las propuestas de reforma surgidas en los noventa; y el marco regulatorio en el que actúan estas empresas En particular, en Uruguay los controles constitucionales y legales previstos para las empresas públicas tienen como objetivo implícito controlar los incentivos que éstas pueden tener en descuidar la eficiencia, sin embargo no están diseñados para atender las particularidades de cada sector y se rigen en base a criterios generales que se aplican tanto a la administración pública como a las empresas públicas. En los últimos años se observa un retroceso en la institucionalidad de los órganos reguladores, el que se verifica en una mayor libertad de estas empresas para actuar en sus mercados con prescindencia del entorno.
    Keywords: Regulación, empresas públicas, Uruguay
    JEL: L33 L43 L50 L97
    Date: 2014–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ude:wpaper:1514&r=lam
  14. By: Mateo Tomé, Juan Pablo (Kingston University London)
    Abstract: This article analyses the development of economic growth in Brazil in terms of capital accumulation, following the Marxist approach. The aim is to identify the relationship between the two processes, looking at the profit rate, which along with investment effort determines productive investment. In turn, this one affects the capital-labour ratio and labour productivity. Both, with the addition of the price ratio, determine the productivity of capital, a key variable in understanding the accumulation process in Brazil. Using the period 1950-2008 allows comparing two phases in the Brazilian economy, the period of substitutive industrialisation and the neoliberal phase, all from the perspective of the relationship between the aforementioned variables.
    Keywords: growth; investment; profitability; productivity
    JEL: E11 E22 E32 N16 O40
    Date: 2015–03–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ris:kngedp:2014_003&r=lam
  15. By: Medel, Carlos
    Abstract: It is recognised that the understanding and accurate forecasts of key macroeconomic variables are fundamental for the success of any economic policy. In the case of monetary policy, many efforts have been made towards understanding the relationship between past and expected values of inflation, resulting in the so-called Hybrid Neo-Keynesian Phillips Curve (HNKPC). In this article I investigate to which extent the HNKPC help to explain inflation dynamics as well as its out-of-sample forecast, for the case of the Chilean economy. The results show that the forward-looking component is significative and accounts from 1.58 to 0.40 times the lagged inflation coefficient. Also, I find predictive gains close to 45% (respect to a backward-looking specification) and up to 80% (respect to the random walk) when forecasting at 12-months ahead.
    Keywords: New Keynesian Phillips Curve; inflation forecast; out-of-sample comparisons; survey data; real-time dataset
    JEL: C22 C53 E31 E37 E47
    Date: 2015–03–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:62609&r=lam
  16. By: Paula Herrera-Idárraga (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana); Enrique López-Bazo (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Elisabet Motellón (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper uses Colombian micro-data to analyze the role of education and informality on regional wage differentials. Our hypothesis is that apart from differences in the endowment of human capital across regions, regional heterogeneity in the incidence of informality is another important source of regional wage inequality in developing and emerging countries. This is confirmed by the evidence from Colombia, which in addition reveals remarkable heterogeneity across territories in the wage return to individuals’ characteristics. Regional heterogeneity in returns to education is especially intense in the upper part of the wage distribution. In turn, heterogeneity in the informal pay penalty is more relevant in the lower part.
    Keywords: Regions, Wage differentials, Quantile-based decompositions, Formal/Informal Jobs, Economic Development JEL classification: C21, J31, J38.
    Date: 2015–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ira:wpaper:201509&r=lam
  17. By: de Melo Gioia; Machado Alina; Miranda Alfonso
    Abstract: We present evidence on the impact on students' math and reading scores of one of the largest deployments of an OLPC program and the only one implemented at a national scale: Plan Ceibal in Uruguay. We have unique data that allow us to know the exact date of laptop delivery for every student in the sample. This gives us the ability to use days of exposure as a treatment intensity measure. Given that there is some variation in the date of laptop delivery across individuals within the same school, we can identify the effect of the program net of potential heterogeneity in the rate schools gain improvements on students' achievement over time independently of the OLPC program. Our results suggest that in the first two years of its implementation the program had no effects on math and reading scores. The absence of effect could be explained by the fact that the program did not involve compulsory teacher training and that laptops in class were mainly used to search for information on the internet.
    Keywords: technology, education, impact evaluation.
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2014–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bdm:wpaper:2014-22&r=lam

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