nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2015‒09‒05
eleven papers chosen by

  1. The rise of noncommunicable diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges for public health policies. By Maria Victoria Anauati; Sebastian Galiani; Federico Weinschelbaum
  2. Social Protection Systems in Latin America and the Caribbean: El Salvador By Juliana Martinez Franzoni; Diego Sánchez-Ancochea
  3. A Profile of the Middle Class in Latin American Countries 2001–2011 By Leopoldo Tornarolli
  4. Female Labor Force Participation in Latin America: Patterns and Explanations. By Matias Busso; Dario Romero Fonseca
  5. Labor earnings dynamics in post-stabilization Brazil By ARABAGE, Amanda Cappellazzo; SOUZA, André Portela
  6. The Long-term E ects of Conditional Cash Transfers on Child Labor and School Enrollment By Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti; Peruffo, Marcel
  7. The Impact of Cash Transfers on Local Economies By Stephanie Levy
  8. Bolsa Família, Occupational Choice and Informality in Brazil By Ana Luiza Neves de Holanda Barbosa; Carlos Henrique L. Corseuil
  9. The Brazilian credit market : recent developments and impact on inequality By Magalhães Prates, Daniela; Nunes Ferreira, Adriana; Gorayeb, Daniela
  10. Brazil’s 35 years-old quasi-stagnation: facts and theory By BRESSER-PEREIRA, Luiz Carlos
  11. La política de precios del café en Colombia By Roberto Steiner; Natalia Salazar Ferro; Alejandro Becerra

  1. By: Maria Victoria Anauati (Universidad de San Andrés); Sebastian Galiani (University of Maryland); Federico Weinschelbaum (Universidad de San Andrés)
    Abstract: The health landscape in Latin America and the Caribbean is changing quickly. The region is undergoing a demographic and epidemiological transition in which health problems are highly concentrated on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). In light of this, the region faces two main challenges: (1) develop cost-effective policies to prevent NCD risk factors, and (2) increase access to quality healthcare in a scenario in which a large share of the labor force is employed in the informal sector. This paper describes both alternative interventions to expand health insurance coverage and their tradeoff with labor informality and moral hazard problems. The paper also focuses on obesity as a case example of a NCD, and emphasizes how lack of knowledge along with self-control problems would lead people to make suboptimal decisions related to food consumption, which may later manifest in obesity problems.
    JEL: I12 I13 I18
    Date: 2015–07
  2. By: Juliana Martinez Franzoni (IPC-IG); Diego Sánchez-Ancochea (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: "Since the end of a civil war in 1992, El Salvador has embarked on important policy transformations. Despite volatile economic growth—6 per cent annually over the first half of the 1990s and 3 per cent since then—social policy has grown in prominence. Public social spending grew from 8 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1998 to 13 per cent in 2009 and from USD191 per capita to USD382 per capita over the same period. Having grown 3.2 percentage points, more than any other sector, social security today represents the largest sector for social spending, followed by health and education." (...)
    Keywords: Social Protection Systems, Latin America, Caribbean, El Salvador
    Date: 2015–04
  3. By: Leopoldo Tornarolli (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: The evolution of Latin Americas middle class over the last decade was analysed in a companion brief: The Evolution of the Middle Class in Latin America. In that document, the middle class was identified using income thresholds, a common practice in the economic literature. Beyond that traditional economic approach, there are several economic and/or sociological studies that take a different approach, using information about other socio-economic characteristics to identify the middle class: demographic, housing and infrastructure, education, occupation, and other indicators.
    Keywords: Profile, Middle Class, Latin American Countries, 2001–2011
    Date: 2014–09
  4. By: Matias Busso (Inter-American Development Bank); Dario Romero Fonseca (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: Female labor force participation has increased 10 percentage points between 1990 and 2010. This paper analyzes the possible determinants of this increase. Among those determinants are changes in education, family structure, fertility, as well as changes in socioeconomic environment including wages, returns to working at home, preferences, and technology, among others. We discuss the mechanisms behind those determinants by organizing the very large theoretical and empirical literature on the subject. We then assess the relative importance of the determinants in two ways. We compute treatment effects estimated in the literature and combine them with information about the changes in the causing variables. We also use data from household surveys and combine them with a dataset of determinants to find correlations in the data that reinforce or reject the analysis of the literature review.
    JEL: J22 J16 N3
    Date: 2015–08
  5. By: ARABAGE, Amanda Cappellazzo; SOUZA, André Portela
    Abstract: This paper analyzes both the levels and evolution of wage inequality in the Brazilian formal labor market using administrative data from the Brazilian Ministry of Labor (RAIS) from 1994 to 2009. After the covariance structure of the log of real weekly wages is estimated and the variance of the log of real weekly wages is decomposed into its permanent and transitory components, we verify that nearly 60% of the inequality within age and education groups is explained by the permanent component, i.e., by time-invariant individual productive characteristics. During this period, wage inequality decreased by 29%. In the rst years immediately after the macroeconomic stabilization (1994􀀀1997), this decrease is explained entirely by reductions in the transitory component, suggesting that the end of the macroeconomic instability was a relevant factor in reducing inequality. In the second sub-period (1998􀀀2009), the decrease is mostly explained by reductions in the permanent component. Finally, we show that education and age account for a sizable share of the permanent component (54% on average).
    Date: 2015–06–15
  6. By: Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti; Peruffo, Marcel
    Abstract: This paper investigates the long-term e ects of conditional cash transfers on school attainment and child labor. To this end, we construct a dynamic heterogeneous agent model, calibrate it with Brazilian data, and introduce a policy similar to the Brazilian Bolsa Fam lia. Our results suggest that this type of policy has a very strong impact on educational outcomes, sharply increasing primary school completion. The conditional transfer is also able to reduce the share of working children from 22% to 17%. We then compute the transition to the new steady state and show that the program actually increases child labor over the short run, because the transfer is not enough to completely cover the schooling costs, so children have to work to be able to comply with the program's schooling eligibility requirement. We also evaluate the impacts on poverty, inequality, and welfare.
    Date: 2015–08–11
  7. By: Stephanie Levy (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: In this special edition of Policy in Focus, leading authors and practitioners present their research on how cash transfers can impact the local economy when implemented in a developing country. The aim is to gather and review research results and evidence, obtained from various methodologies ranging from randomised control trials (RCTs) to village economy models and general equilibrium analysis, applied on small-scale programmes to larger-scale policies in Latin America, Africa and South-East Asia. The economic impact of social transfers is analysed here through their effects on investment, productivity, prices, employment and trade and through more general equilibrium effects of redistributive policies. (…)
    Keywords: Impact, Cash Transfers, Local Economies
    Date: 2015–05
  8. By: Ana Luiza Neves de Holanda Barbosa (IPC-IG); Carlos Henrique L. Corseuil (IPC-IG)
    Keywords: Bolsa Família, Occupational Choice, Informality, Brazil
    Date: 2014–12
  9. By: Magalhães Prates, Daniela; Nunes Ferreira, Adriana; Gorayeb, Daniela
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse the evolution of the Brazilian credit market from 2003 to 2011, and its impact on inequality in the country.
    Keywords: banking, bank, credit, income distribution, Brazil, activité bancaire, banque, crédit, répartition du revenu, Brésil, actividad bancaria, banco, crédito, distribución del ingreso, Brasil
    Date: 2015
  10. By: BRESSER-PEREIRA, Luiz Carlos
    Abstract: Brazil is growing around 1% per capita a year from 1981; this means for a country that is supposed to catch up, quasi-stagnation. Four historical new facts explain why growth was so low after the Real Plan: the reduction of public savings, and three facts that reduce private investments: the end of the unlimited supply of labor, a very high interest rate, and the 1990 dismantling of the mechanism that neutralized the Dutch disease, which represented a major competitive disadvantage for the manufacturing industry. New-developmental theory offers an explanation and two solutions for the problem, but does not underestimate the political economy problems involved
    Date: 2015–08–07
  11. By: Roberto Steiner; Natalia Salazar Ferro; Alejandro Becerra
    Abstract: Este artículo analiza la política de precios internos del café en Colombia. Los resultados de los ejercicios econométricos sugieren que el Pacto de Cuotas fue efectivo en lograr una mayor estabilidad de los precios al productor y que luego de la caída del acuerdo, se produjo un aumento de la participación del precio al productor en el precio externo aumentó. También se encuentra evidencia de que desde entonces, las fluctuaciones del precio internacional se transmiten de manera asimétrica al precio al productor mientras que en Brasil la transmisión es simétrica. Así mismo se analiza el efecto de la volatilidad de la tasa de cambio en los precios internos del grano. En la segunda parte del artículo, se hace evalúa del programa de subsidios de apoyo al precio interno que ha operado desde finales de 2001. Los resultados sugieren que la última etapa del subsidio ha tenido elevados costos para el fisco, además de que por su diseño su asignación no ha sido equitativa.
    Keywords: Agricultura, Materias Primas, Políticas de Estabilización, Café, Subsidios Agrícolas
    JEL: O13 Q02 Q10 Q11
    Date: 2015–02–08

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