nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2015‒07‒04
six papers chosen by

  1. Risky Health Behaviors: Evidence for an Emerging Economy By Ana María Iregui-Bohórquez; Ligia Alba Melo-Becerra; María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo
  2. Violence and Birth Outcomes: Evidence from Homicides in Brazil By Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner; Marco Manacorda
  3. Technological Progress with Segmented Factor Markets and Welfare Implications for the Urban Poor By Pedro M. G. Martins
  4. Multi-Office Incumbency Advantage: Political Careers in Brazil By Leandro De Magalhães; Salomo Hirvonen
  5. The economics of policy instruments to stimulate wind power in Brazil By Landis,Florian; Timilsina,Govinda R.
  6. The Role of Investments in Export Growth: Evidence of a Middle-Income Country. By Adriana Peluffo

  1. By: Ana María Iregui-Bohórquez; Ligia Alba Melo-Becerra; María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo
    Abstract: This paper uses the Colombian National Health Survey to analyze the relationship between education and risky health behaviors, namely smoking, heavy drinking, being obese, and unsafe sexual behavior, by estimating the education gradient using Logit models. We also provide evidence on the effect of education, socio-economic and knowledge variables on these health behaviors by gender and area of residence. Results indicate that there is a negative and significant effect of years of schooling on the probability of smoking, whereas the probability of heavy drinking and unsafe sexual behaviors increases with education, highlighting the importance of social and cultural factors. Knowledge variables not only reduce the probability of smoking, but also the probability of heavy drinking and being obese, indicating that campaigns and research on the negative effects of these behaviors have raised awareness about how harmful they are.
    Keywords: Education, risky health behaviors, Colombia
    JEL: I1 I12 I20
    Date: 2015–06–18
  2. By: Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner (University of Leicester); Marco Manacorda (Queen Mary University of London, CEP (LSE), CEPR and IZA)
    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 show 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 and are particularly pronounced among children of poorly educated mothers, implying that violence compounds the disadvantage that these children already suffer as a result of their households' lower socioeconomic status. Our estimates imply that homicides are responsible for around 10 percent of the incidence of low birthweight (<=2.5 kg) in urban areas of Brazil.
    Keywords: Birth outcomes, Birthweight, Homicides, Stress, Brazil
    JEL: I12 I15 I39 J13 K42
    Date: 2015–06
  3. By: Pedro M. G. Martins
    Abstract: This paper provides a comprehensive assessment of structural change patterns in the world economy. It uses a new dataset on sectoral employment produced by the International Labour Organization, which is complemented by national accounts and population data from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The sample includes 169 countries, representing about 99 percent of the world's output and population in 2013. One of the main contributions of this paper is its focus on the sub-regional level, which has been hitherto absent from the literature. We provide an assessment of 13 sub-regions in Africa, Asia and Latin America in order to offer deeper and richer insights into the recent dynamics of structural change. Overall, our results suggest that within-sector productivity improvements were the key driver of output per capita growth in most sub-regions. Nonetheless, structural change has also played a critical role in enhancing economic performance since 2002 – mainly through services. Changes in the demographic structure and employment rates have also contributed to the recent performance, albeit to a much lesser extent. Accelerating the pace of structural change – by exploiting existing productivity gaps – will be crucial to sustain current economic growth rates in developing regions.
    Keywords: Structural change, labour productivity JEL Classifications: J20, O11, O40
  4. By: Leandro De Magalhães; Salomo Hirvonen
    Abstract: Incumbency may have effects on a political career that go beyond increasing the probability of reelection. In particular, incumbency may affect the probability of winning different political offices. So far, the literature has not looked at these multi-office incumbency effects. In contexts where politicians move frequently to other offices, ignoring multi-office advantages may generate biased estimates of the true effect of holding a political office on the success of one's career. We define Multi-Office Incumbency Advantage and study it using a novel data set that tracks all Brazilian politicians, from local councillor to federal legislator, from 1994 to 2010. Furthermore, we use our results to evaluate two standing hypothesis regarding Brazilian politics. The first is that there is an incumbency disadvantage in Brazil. The second is the hypothesis that holding a federal legislative office is a spring board to becoming a Mayor. We find no support for either.
    Keywords: Incumbency Advantage, Political Careers, Regression Discontinuity Design, Brazil.
    JEL: D70 D72 J00
    Date: 2015–06–22
  5. By: Landis,Florian; Timilsina,Govinda R.
    Abstract: Large-scale deployment of renewable energy technologies, such as wind power and solar energy, has been taking place in industrialized and developing economics mainly because of various fiscal and regulatory policies. An understanding of the economy-wide impacts of those policies is an important part of an overall analysis of them. Using a perfect foresight computable general equilibrium model, this study analyzes the economy-wide costs of achieving a 10 percent share of wind power in Brazil?s electricity supply mix by 2030. Brazil is in the midst of an active program of wind capacity expansion. The welfare loss would be small, 0.1 percent of total baseline welfare in the absence of the 10 percent wind power expansion. The study also finds that, in the case of Brazil, production subsidies financed through increased value-added tax would have superior impacts on welfare and greenhouse gas mitigation, compared with a consumption mandate where electricity utilities are allowed to pass the increased electricity supply costs directly to consumers. These two policies would impact various production sectors differently to achieve the wind power expansion targets: the burden of the mandate falls mostly on electricity-intensive production and consumption, whereas the burden of the subsidy is distributed toward goods and services with higher value added.
    Keywords: Energy Production and Transportation,Environment and Energy Efficiency,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Climate Change Economics,Energy and Environment
    Date: 2015–06–30
  6. By: Adriana Peluffo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: In this work we follow the recent strand of work linking innovation, productivity and exports. We test the hypothesis that a rise in investment favors entrance in export markets and increases exports among previously exporting firms. We address causal links through impact evaluation techniques for observational data. We examine the binary case as well as continuous treatment analysis for investment as treatment. The analysis is conducted for a panel of Uruguayan manufacturing firms for the period 1997-2008. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of our approach for a Latin American economy, and the relatively long time span of our data makes it possible a better characterization of new entrants and firms with changing export behavior. Also, our data appears to be richer, including information to estimate total factor productivity, and R&D and training investments, which provide better controls for confounding factors. We find evidence that investments "cause" exports and export orientation, which provides a rationale for carefully designing investment promotion policies rather than focusing on other export support policies.
    Keywords: international trade, investments, export behavior
    JEL: F14 O33 D22
    Date: 2015–07

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