nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2015‒04‒25
six papers chosen by

  1. Functional Inequality in Latin America: News from the Twentieth Century By Pablo Astorga
  2. Does Access to Foreign Markets shape Internal Migration? Evidence from Brazil By Laura Hering; Rodrigo Paillacar
  3. The Half-Life of Happiness: Hedonic Adaptation in the Subjective Well-Being of Poor Slum Dwellers to a Large Improvement in Housing By Sebastian Galiani; Paul J. Gertler; Raimundo Undurraga
  4. La Experiencia de Chile con el Balance Fiscal Estructural By Ricardo Ffrench-Davis
  5. Supporting teachers and schools to promote positive student behaviour in England and Ontario (Canada): Lessons for Latin America By Gabriela Moriconi; Julie Bélanger
  6. Sorting through affirmative action: Three field experiments in Colombia By Ibañez, Marcela; Rai, Ashok; Riener, Gerhard

  1. By: Pablo Astorga
    Abstract: This paper presents a new consistent yearly series of gross income (between-group) inequality Ginis for four occupational categories in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela over the period 1900-2011 using a newly assembled wage dataset.  The approach used differentiates labour by skill level and allows for changing allocation of the labour force over time.  Profits and rents are calculated as a residual.  Our regional Gini shows a changing secular process with a reclined "S" shape with an inflection point around 1940 and a peak in the 1990s.  There are mixed country trends in the early and middle decades, but in most cases inequality was on the rise in the 1960s.  There was also a tendency for narrowing wage inequality in the middle decades of the last century - at the time of the Great Levelling in the developed economies - but whose impact was more than off-set by a rising share of the top group.  Inequality in the 20th century is a story of increased polarisation - particularly post 1970 - amid significant social mobility.
    Keywords: economic history, economic development, income inequality, Latin America
    JEL: N36 O15 O54
    Date: 2015–04–16
  2. By: Laura Hering (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands); Rodrigo Paillacar (University of Cergy-Pontoise, France)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how internal migration is a affected by Brazil's increased integration into the world economy. We analyze the impact of regional differences in access to foreign demand on sector-specific bilateral migration rates between the Brazilian states for the years 1995 to 2003. Using international trade data, we compute a foreign market access indicator at the sectoral level, which is exogenous to domestic migration. A higher foreign market access is associated with a higher local labor demand and attracts workers via two potential channels: higher wages and new job opportunities. Our results show that both channels play a significant role in internal migration. Further, we find a heterogeneous impact across industries according to their comparative advantage on the world market. However, the impact of market access is robust only for low-educated wor kers. This finding is consistent with the fact that Brazil is exporting mainly goods that are intensive in unskilled labor.
    Keywords: Regional migration, international trade, market access, Brazil
    JEL: F16 R12 R23
    Date: 2014–07–07
  3. By: Sebastian Galiani; Paul J. Gertler; Raimundo Undurraga
    Abstract: A fundamental question in economics is whether happiness increases pari passu with improvements in material conditions or whether humans grow accustomed to better conditions over time. We rely on a large-scale experiment to examine what kind of impact the provision of housing to extremely poor populations in Latin America has on subjective measures of well-being over time. The objective is to determine whether poor populations exhibit hedonic adaptation in happiness derived from reducing the shortfall in the satisfaction of their basic needs. Our results are conclusive. We find that subjective perceptions of well-being improve substantially for recipients of better housing but that after, on average, eight months, 60% of that gain disappears.
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2015–04
  4. By: Ricardo Ffrench-Davis
    Date: 2015–04
  5. By: Gabriela Moriconi; Julie Bélanger
    Abstract: This paper presents the findings based on case studies of the educational systems of England and of the Canadian province of Ontario, as part of a research project funded by the Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship Programme.1 This research project aims to provide inputs to policymakers and school leaders, especially in Latin America, to support teachers and schools with student behaviour issues and improve classroom and school climate. The purpose of these case studies is to investigate how system-level policies in four main areas (initial teacher education, professional development, professional collaboration and participation among stakeholders) and other types of system-level initiatives (such as student behaviour policies) have been implemented in order to improve disciplinary climate and help teachers to deal with student behaviour issues. It also aims to identify the conditions in which teaching and classroom practices take place, in order to understand the context of student behaviour and disciplinary climate in these educational systems.<BR>Ce document présente les conclusions d’études de cas menées sur les systèmes d’éducation en Angleterre et dans la province canadienne de l’Ontario, dans le cadre d’un projet de recherche financé par le Programme de bourses Thomas J. Alexander2. L’objectif de ce projet est de fournir aux décideurs et aux chefs d’établissement, notamment en Amérique latine, des propositions sur la manière de soutenir les enseignants et les établissements confrontés à des problèmes de comportement de la part de leurs élèves, et d’améliorer le climat des classes et des établissements. Ces études de cas visent à examiner la façon dont des mesures systémiques dans quatre grands domaines (formation initiale des enseignants, développement professionnel, collaboration professionnelle et participation des parties prenantes) et d’autres types d’initiatives systémiques (telles que les mesures relatives au comportement des élèves) ont été mises en oeuvre afin d’améliorer le climat de discipline et d’aider les enseignants à faire face aux problèmes de comportement de leurs élèves. L’un des autres objectifs est d’analyser les conditions dans lesquelles s’inscrivent les pratiques pédagogiques afin de mieux comprendre le contexte du comportement des élèves et du climat de discipline dans ces systèmes d’éducation.
    Date: 2015–04–21
  6. By: Ibañez, Marcela; Rai, Ashok; Riener, Gerhard
    Abstract: Affirmative action to promote women's employment is a intensely debated policy. Do affirmative action policies attract women and does it come at a cost of deterring high qualified men? In three field experiments in Colombia we compare characteristics of job-seekers who are told of the affirmative action selection criterion before they apply with those who are only told after applying. We find that the gains in attracting female applicants far outweigh the losses in male applicants. Affirmative action is more effective in areas with larger female discrimination and deters male job-seekers from areas with low discrimination.
    Keywords: Field experiment,Affirmative action,Labor market,Gender participation gap
    JEL: J21 J24 J48 C93
    Date: 2015

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