nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2015‒04‒02
nine papers chosen by

  1. A study of co-movements between USA and Latin American stock markets: a cross-bicorrelations perspective By Semei Coronado; Omar Rojas; Rafael Romero-Meza; Francisco Venegas-Martinez
  2. Targeting Performance and Poverty Effects of Proxy Means-Tested Transfers: Tade-offs and Challenges By Stephan Klasen; Simon Lange
  3. Analyzing the dynamics of school dropout in upper secondary education in Latin America : a cohort approach By Bentaouet Kattan,Raja; Székely,Miguel
  4. Short Term Health Shocks and School Attendance: The Case of a Dengue Fever Outbreak in Colombia By Kai Barron; Luis Fernando Gamboa; Paul Rodriguez-Lesmes
  5. How well has the Social Protection Scheme Reduced Vulnerability in Chile? By Bronfman, Javier; Floro, Maria
  6. Beyond Income: A Study of Multidimensional Poverty in Chile By Bronfman, Javier
  7. Transforming the Legal Profession Through the Use of Technology in Courts: The Case of Brazil By Denis De Castro Halis
  8. The Local Impact of Mining on Poverty and Inequality: Evidence from the Commodity Boom in Peru By Norman Loayza; Jamele Rigolini
  9. Assesing the Impact of School Subsidies in Bolivia: A Reduced Form Non-Parametric Approach By Werner L. Hernani-Limarino

  1. By: Semei Coronado; Omar Rojas; Rafael Romero-Meza; Francisco Venegas-Martinez
    Abstract: In this paper we use the Brooks and Hinich cross-bicorrelation test in order to uncover nonlinear dependence periods between USA Standard and Poor 500 (SP500), used as benchmark, and six Latin American stock markets indexes: Mexico (BMV), Brazil (BOVESPA), Chile (IPSA), Colombia (COLCAP), Peru (IGBVL) and Argentina (MERVAL). We have found windows of nonlinear dependence and co-movement between the SP500 and the Latin American stock markets, some of which coincide with periods of crisis, giving way to a possible contagion or interdependence interpretation.
    Date: 2015–03
  2. By: Stephan Klasen (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen / Germany); Simon Lange (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen / Germany)
    Abstract: In the absence of reliable and exhaustive income data, Proxy Means Tests (PMTs) are frequently employed as a cost-eective way to identify income-poor beneciaries 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 nd 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 beneciaries. Using non-parametric regression- techniques, we show that the resulting leakage can largely be conned to the non-poor close to the poverty line. However, simulating the eect on poverty measures of a uniform transfer to beneciaries across inclusion rates suggests that the largest poverty eect is attained with very narrow targeting. Hence, we nd a trade-o between targeting accuracy and poverty eect.
    Keywords: targeting; transfers; social assistance; proxy means tests; poverty; ROC-analysis; Latin America; Bolivia
    JEL: C52 I38 O21
    Date: 2015–03–18
  3. By: Bentaouet Kattan,Raja; Székely,Miguel
    Abstract: This study examines trends in school dropout at the upper secondary education level across Latin America over the past two decades, and attempts to identify factors influencing these rates. The methodology contributes to the existing literature by employing repeated cross sections of data to track the life cycle path of representative groups of individuals belonging to a birth cohort, by constructing and analyzing a synthetic data base of household survey data from 18 countries. A key finding is that while upper secondary enrollment rates increased in the region, the proportion of upper secondary age youth dropping out of school has remained persistently high, despite relatively favorable macroeconomic conditions. Furthermore, the study traces the moment in the life cycle at which the majority of dropout takes place to reveal differences between countries. Finally, to explain the trends in upper secondary dropout rates, the study examines the impact of three groups of factors: (i) shifts in the cohort size and socioeconomic composition of the population eligible for entering upper secondary education; (b) the macroeconomic environment and labor market opportunities; and (c) the returns to schooling. A series of regressions shows that an important factor that may be driving higher dropout levels has been the higher numbers of students from poor socioeconomic backgrounds reaching the upper secondary level. In addition, high returns to education have been a pull factor into the schooling system, while, especially in countries where the majority of youth dropout early (prior to upper secondary education), the data confirm an apparent substitution effect due to the opportunity cost of forgoing employment opportunities. Overall, the findings confirm the importance of policy makers'focus on upper secondary education across Latin America and suggest implications for focusing the policy agenda.
    Keywords: Primary Education,Education For All,Population Policies,Environmental Economics&Policies,Youth and Government
    Date: 2015–03–26
  4. By: Kai Barron; Luis Fernando Gamboa; Paul Rodriguez-Lesmes
    Abstract: Abstract This paper makes use of a short, sharp, unexpected health shock in the form of the 2010 Colombian Dengue outbreak to examine the direct and indirect impact of negative health shocks on behaviour of households in affected areas. Our analysis combines data from several sources in order to obtain a comprehensive picture of the influence of the outbreak, and furthermore to understand the underlying mechanisms driving the effects. Our initial analysis indicates that the outbreak had a substantial negative effect on the health status of adults and adversely affected their ability to function as usual in their daily lives. In our aggregated school data, in areas with high levels of haemorrhagic Dengue we observe a reduction in national exam attendance (last year of secondary school) and on enrolment rates in primary education. Further analysis aims to exploit detailed individual level data to gain a more in depth understanding of the precise channels through which this disease influenced the behaviour and outcomes of the poor in Colombia.
    Keywords: Education, Dengue, Colombia
    JEL: I12 I20
    Date: 2015–03–19
  5. By: Bronfman, Javier; Floro, Maria
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates the impact of Chile’s social protection’s monetary subsidies on vulnerability to poverty during 1996-2006. Using the National Socioeconomic Characterization panel survey data, we adopt the Chaudhuri et al. (2002) method to estimate vulnerability. Since access to monetary subsidies is not random, we use the propensity score matching method to address the problem of selection bias in testing the effect of these transfers. The effect of the social protection transfers on vulnerability is examined both for the entire sample and the poor using Average Treatment Effect on the Treated (ATT) approach and sensitivity analyses. Our results suggest that the impact of the monetary subsidies is limited and mixed. They tend to help lower the vulnerability of those who have access to these subsidies in all three periods covered by the survey, but the subsidies show limited effect on the transitory poor. In general, we find that these subsidies are unable to address the structural causes of vulnerability faced by individuals in Chile.
    Keywords: vulnerability, social protection, monetary subsidies, poverty reduction, Chile
    JEL: I31 I38
    Date: 2014–12–01
  6. By: Bronfman, Javier
    Abstract: Using the latest nationally representative household survey for Chile, this paper empirically assesses multidimensional poverty both at the national and subnational level. Based on the Alkire-Foster method and focusing on four dimensions of well-being –education, health, income and living standard– this study estimates the level and depth of multidimensional poverty for Chile in 2011. At national level, the results show that fewer individuals are subject to multidimensional poverty compared to the number of poor people estimated using the national income poverty line, however, large variance is found at the regional level, some regions present higher levels of multidimensional poverty than income poverty. Nonetheless, multidimensional poverty at the regional level appears to be varied, both in terms of prevalence and its nature. The multidimensional nature of this methodology provides a deeper understanding of poverty and deprivation, thus it complements income poverty estimates by informing policymakers about the joint distribution of several deprivations. This information can be used to better design and target poverty alleviation programs, as well as better allocate resources at the regional and local level.
    Keywords: Multidimensional Poverty, Capability Approach, Chile
    JEL: I31 I32
    Date: 2014–12–01
  7. By: Denis De Castro Halis (Faculty of Law, University of Macau)
    Abstract: New Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the potential of creating a revolution in the classical ways of administering judicial systems and providing judicial output to legal disputes. This potential, however, no longer needs to be only imagined. The Brazilian judiciary has started a pioneering – but still relatively silent and unknown - radical change in the way that lawyers, judges, and parties relate with each other and with the judicial bureaucracy. Part of the Brazilian legal scene is currently marked by emerging new theories, models of logic, software, and technologies which are being implemented in an attempt to reduce the time for the judiciary response to disputes and to eliminate its serious “clogsâ€. With millions of lawsuits in the various sections of the judiciary, the country is trying to streamline the judicial decision-making process and output of its courts at all levels. This interdisciplinary investigation proposes to describe and analyze the most important technical innovations that have been revolutionizing the way that judges, lawyers, and litigants act in the Brazilian context. The investigation is based on the analysis of the Brazilian courts websites, on direct interviews with legal professionals, and on reports published in the periodicals of the associations of legal professionals.
    Keywords: Legal Professions, Judges and Courts, New Technologies, Judicial Decision Making, Brazil
    JEL: K40 K41 K42
    Date: 2014–12
  8. By: Norman Loayza (World Bank); Jamele Rigolini (World Bank and IZA)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of mining activity on socioeconomic outcomes in local communities in Peru. In the last two decades, the value of Peruvian mining exports has grown by fifteen times; and since a decade ago, one-half of fiscal revenues from mining have been devolved to local governments in producing regions. Has this boom benefitted people in local communities? We find evidence that producing districts have larger consumption per capita and lower poverty rates than otherwise similar districts. However, these positive impacts decrease drastically with administrative and geographic distance from mining centers. Moreover, consumption inequality within producing districts is higher than in comparable nonproducing districts. This dual effect of mining is partially accounted for by the better educated immigrants required and attracted by mining activity. The inequalizing impact of mining, both across and within districts, may explain the social discontent with mining in Peru, despite its enormous revenues.
    Keywords: Natural resources, Mining, Poverty, Inequality, Commodity Boom, Peru
    JEL: D7 H7 O1 Q3
    Date: 2015–03
  9. By: Werner L. Hernani-Limarino (Fundación ARU)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of Bolivia’s school subsidy program, Bono Juancito Pinto (BJP), on school attendance. BJP is a relatively small cash transfer (less than 30 dollars per child per year) given conditional on being enrolled into a public school and on regular school attendance. Since there are no feasible alternatives of a control group, we use simple structural behavioral models to understand the school-work decision and derive counterfactuals of interest. Estimation is conducted using two dimensional kernel regression estimators. Our results suggest that BJP has been successful increasing school attendance only for young children – 6 to 8 years old, and particularly for girls. We conclude that BJP has only encourage households to enroll children to school at the proper age but has not give an additional incentive to attend to those already enrolled for the first time.
    Keywords: impact evaluation, conditional cash transfers, education
    JEL: C14 I2 I3
    Date: 2015–03

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