nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2015‒08‒01
four papers chosen by

  1. Long Term Impacts of Vouchers for Vocational Training: Experimental Evidence for Colombia By Orazio Attanasio; Arlen Guarín; Carlos Medina; Costas Meghir
  2. Do performance agreements help improve service delivery ? the experience of Brazilian states By Vinuela,Lorena; Zoratto,Laura De Castro
  3. The Role of International Policy Transfer and Diffusion for Policy Change in Social Protection - A Review of the State of the Art By Katja Bender; Sonja Keller; Holger Willing
  4. Information Access and Smallholder Farmers’ Selling Decisions in Peru By Salas Garcia, Vania B.; Fan, Qin

  1. By: Orazio Attanasio; Arlen Guarín (Banco de la República de Colombia); Carlos Medina (Banco de la República de Colombia); Costas Meghir
    Abstract: We use experimental data of a training program in 2005 in Colombia. We find that even up to ten years ahead, the JeA program had a positive and significant effect on the probability to work in the formal sector, and to work for a large firm. Applicants in the treatment group also contributed more months to social security during the analyzed period. Earnings of treated applicants were 11.8% higher in the whole sample, and they made larger contributions to social security. We also present non parametric bounds showing that for some percentiles of the sample of women, there are positive and nearly significant effects of the program. Thus, the effects of the program would have been capitalized both in increases in the likelihood of being formal, and increases in productivity. We also present evidence that the estimated program effects on the likelihood of working for the formal sector, the likelihood of working for a large firm, and the earnings in the formal sector, are not an artifact of analyzing multiple outcomes. We also find those in the treatment group have 0.315 more years of education, and have a probability of graduating from high school 10 percent higher than the control group. We find no significant effect on the probability of attending college or any school program, nor on fertility decisions, marital status or some dimensions of assortative mating. Among applicants matching to the census of the poorest population, we find that beneficiaries are more likely to participate in the labor market, to be employed, and to be enrolled in a private health insurance at the time of the survey. Finally, we find that the benefits of the JeA program are higher than it costs, leading to an internal rate of return of at least 22.1 percent. Classification JEL: J24, M53
    Keywords: Vocational Training, Human Capital, Skills, Occupational Choice, Labor Productivity
    Date: 2015–07
  2. By: Vinuela,Lorena; Zoratto,Laura De Castro
    Abstract: A growing number of states and municipalities in Brazil rely on results-based management, and many other local and state governments are considering adopting the practice. This paper examines the experiences of the Brazilian states that have implemented results agreements linked to variable pay. The analysis compares current with pre-intervention outcomes in the education, health, and security sectors. The changes are examined in relation to regional trends to determine whether the improvements depart in meaningful ways from the overall trend. In addition, a truncated time-series cross-section model is used to control for several additional factors influencing service delivery outcomes. The results suggest that, at least in the short and medium term, the implementation of results agreements is associated with significant and positive changes in outcomes in the security and education sectors. On average, states using team-level targets and performance-related pay have 15 fewer homicides per 100,000 inhabitants than those that do not, all else equal. Similarly, states that have introduced performance agreements and a bonus for teachers and school staff have improved their Basic Education Development Index score for public secondary schools by 0.3 additional points compared with the scores of states with similar characteristics. The conclusions are in line with the findings of in-depth impact evaluations and case study work in the education and security sectors (Bruns, Evans and Luque 2011, Milagres de Assis 2012). The paper does not analyze unit or team level data, which would be necessary to draw more rigorous conclusions about how results-based interventions affect the behavior of civil servants and outcomes over time. Therefore, the results should be interpreted with caution, as some of the assumptions behind the models cannot be examined with the available data.
    Keywords: E-Business,Public Sector Development,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Population Policies,Labor Policies
    Date: 2015–07–22
  3. By: Katja Bender (Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE)); Sonja Keller (Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE)); Holger Willing (Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE))
    Abstract: Over the past two decades many governments of low and middle income countries have started to introduce social protection measures or to extend the coverage and improve the functioning of public social protection systems. These reforms are a "global phenomenon" and can be observed in many African, Asian and Latin American countries. This paper focuses on international determinants for policy change within social protection by assessing the state of the art of both policy diffusion and policy transfer studies. Empirical studies of policy transfer and diffusion in the field of social protection are furthermore assessed in light of the theoretical background.
    Keywords: Development Policy; Policy Change; Policy Diffusion; Policy Learning; Policy Transfer; Political Economy; Social Protection; Transgovernmental Networks; Policy networks
    Date: 2015–02
  4. By: Salas Garcia, Vania B.; Fan, Qin
    Abstract: Previous studies have examined the effects of information access on rural price dispersion and local economy in developing countries, but few studies investigate information access on farmers’ selling decisions that directly relate to individual farmer’s utility and welfare. No study, to our knowledge, has particularly examined the effects of information access on smallholder farmers in Peru who generally occupy plots of less than five hectares and face enormous disadvantages. To bridge the gap in the literature, we employ an instrumental variable (IV) approach and seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) to examine the effects of internet and cell phones on Peruvian smallholder farmers’ selling decisions using IV Agricultural Census (IV CENAGRO) of Peru data for the year 2012. Results suggest that internet positively affects Peruvian smallholder farmers’ decisions to sell in both national and international markets and tends to have larger impact on decisions to sell in the national market. Mobile phones have smaller impacts compared to internet and only affect farmers’ decisions to sell in the international market. Results provide empirical support for policies and social programs that promote internet usage and mobile phone coverage for rural Peru, which are important channels to enhance information access for economically disadvantaged smallholder farmers. Our results also suggest that ignoring endogeneity of information access understates its effects.
    Keywords: Information and communication technology, Internet, Mobile phones, Smallholder farmers, Selling decisions, Peru, Community/Rural/Urban Development, International Development, Political Economy, L86, O13, O18, Q12, Q13,
    Date: 2015

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