nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2015‒11‒21
nine papers chosen by

  1. Appraising cross-national income inequality databases : an introduction By Ferreira,Francisco H. G.; Lustig,Nora-451471; Teles,Daniel Chaim
  2. An Appraisal of Floating Exchange Rate Regimes in Latin America By Roberto Frenkel
  3. Bad Investments and Missed Opportunities? Capital Flows to Asia and Latin America, 1950-2007 By Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria; Mark Wright; Lee Ohanian
  4. Women?s police stations and domestic violence : evidence from Brazil By Perova,Elizaveta; Reynolds,Sarah
  5. Entrepreneurial Funding Challenges for Latin American Women Start-up Founders By Katherina Kuschel; María-Teresa Lepeley; Fernanda Espinosa; Sebastián Gutiérrez
  6. School Reputation and School Choice in Brazil: a Regression Discontinuity Design By Andrea Lépine
  7. Evaluating the Spillover Effects of the Plan Colombia in Ecuador By José Fernández; Matteo Pazzona
  8. Education Expansion and Decline in Tertiary Premium in Brazil: 1995-2013 By Yang Wang
  9. How forced displacement flows affect public good contributions: The social consequences of conflict in Colombia By Hopfensitz, Astrid; Miquel-Florensa, Josepa

  1. By: Ferreira,Francisco H. G.; Lustig,Nora-451471; Teles,Daniel Chaim
    Abstract: In response to a growing interest in comparing inequality levels and trends across countries, several cross-national inequality databases are now available. These databases differ considerably in purpose, coverage, data sources, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and quality of documentation. A special issue of the Journal of Economic Inequality, which this paper introduces, is devoted to an assessment of the merits and shortcomings of eight such databases. Five of these sets are microdata-based: CEPALSTAT, Income Distribution Database, Luxembourg Income Study, PovcalNet, and Socio-Economic Database for Latin America and the Caribbean. Two are based on secondary sources: All the Ginis and the World Income Inequality Database; and one is generated entirely through multiple-imputation methods: the Standardized World Income Inequality Database. Although there is much agreement across these databases, there is also a nontrivial share of country/year cells for which substantial discrepancies exist. In some cases, different databases would lead users to radically different conclusions about inequality dynamics in certain countries and periods. The methodological differences that lead to these discrepancies often appear to be driven by a fundamental trade-off between a wish for broader coverage on the one hand, and for greater comparability on the other hand. These differences across databases place considerable responsibility on both producers and users: on the former, to better document and explain their assumptions and procedures, and on the latter, to understand the data they are using, rather than merely taking them as true because available.
    Keywords: E-Business,Services&Transfers to Poor,Inequality,Information and Communication Technologies,Poverty Impact Evaluation
    Date: 2015–11–12
  2. By: Roberto Frenkel (Buenos Aires University and CEDES)
    Abstract: The exchange rate regimes are the crucial variable of international economic relations. This paper attempts to evaluate the performance of floating exchange rate regimes in the major Latin American countries.
    Keywords: Central banks and their policies, Current account adjustment, Financial crises, Macroeconomic impact of globalization, Foreign exchange, Exchange rate regimes.
    JEL: E58 F32 G01 F31
    Date: 2015–11
  3. By: Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria (Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis and The); Mark Wright (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago); Lee Ohanian (University of California Los Angeles)
    Abstract: Theory predicts that capital should flow to countries where economic growth and the return to capital is highest. However, in the post-World War II period, per-capita GDP grew almost three times faster in East Asia than in Latin America, yet capital flowed in greater quantities into Latin America. In this paper we propose a 3-country 2-sector growth model, augmented by 'wedges' to quantify and evaluate the importance of international capital market imperfections versus domestic imperfections in explaining this anomalous behavior of capital flows. We find that during the 1950's capital controls where important, but domestic conditions dominate. And contrary to what has been thought, after 1960 capital controls in Asia encouraged borrowing.
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Perova,Elizaveta; Reynolds,Sarah
    Abstract: Although women?s police centers have been gaining popularity as a measure to address domestic violence, to date no quantitative evaluations of their impacts on the incidence of domestic violence or any other manifestations of gender equality have been done. This paper estimates the effects of women?s police stations in Brazil on female homicides, as a measure of the most severe form of domestic violence. Given that a high fraction of female deaths among women ages 15 to 49 years can be attributed to aggression by an intimate partner, female homicides appear the best available proxy for severe domestic violence considering the scarcity of data on domestic violence. The paper uses a panel of 2,074 municipalities and takes advantage of the gradual rollout of women?s police stations from 2004 to 2009, to estimate the effect of establishing a women?s police station on the municipal female homicide rate. Although the analysis does not find an association on average, women?s police stations appear to be highly effective among some groups of women: women living in metropolitan areas and younger women. Establishing a women?s police station in a metropolitan municipality is associated with a reduction in the homicide rate by 1.23 deaths per 100,000 women (which roughly amounts to a 17 percent reduction in the average homicide rate in metropolitan municipalities). The reduction in the homicide rate of women ages 15 to 24 is even higher: 5.57 deaths per 100,000 women. Qualitative work suggests that better economic opportunities and less traditional social norms in metropolitan areas may explain the heterogeneous impacts of women?s police stations in metropolitan areas and outside them.
    Keywords: Gender and Health,Gender and Law,Population Policies,Adolescent Health,Gender and Development
    Date: 2015–11–17
  5. By: Katherina Kuschel; María-Teresa Lepeley; Fernanda Espinosa; Sebastián Gutiérrez (School of Business and Economics, Universidad del Desarrollo)
    Abstract: Purpose: This study explores the funding opportunities for women start-up founders who have received support from the Chilean government agency accelerator Start-Up Chile. It examines the role of gender in Latin American women founders at the stage when they are raising funds and equity capital. Design/methodology/approach: The study includes an inductive, qualitative approach and interviews with 20 female founders. Findings: The thematic analysis revealed 10 subthemes that condition founder’s access to capital in the following categories: capital needs, network, and individual characteristics. Originality/value: The contribution of this study is the identification of predominant factors for female entrepreneurs raising capital followed by implications for public policies in entrepreneurial ecosystems including future research orientation.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, New high-technology ventures, Female founders, Entrepreneurial ecosystem, Start-Up Chile, Latin America
    Date: 2015–10
  6. By: Andrea Lépine
    Abstract: The provision of information on schools' performance on standardized tests is expected to generate pressure on schools as students and their families can compare them and make more informed school choices. This paper uses administrative data from Brazil to explore whether the publication of grades obtained at a standardized high school test (the Enem) resulted in changes in enrollments in high and low performing schools, through a sharp regression discontinuity design. The results show that the disclosure of school grades did not result in students reallocating between both types of school, in neither private nor public schools. The findings remain unchanged when I control for the degree of competition faced by schools or their socio-economic environment.
    Keywords: School choice; Standardized tests; School accountability
    JEL: I25 I28 D83
    Date: 2015–10–30
  7. By: José Fernández; Matteo Pazzona
    Abstract: The implementation of the Plan Colombia is thought to have had significant violence-related spillovers in Ecuador's bordering provinces with Colombia. We investigate whether the Plan Colombia lead to an increase in violence, measured by homicide rates, in such provinces. Using a difference in difference approach we do not find any evidence of a crime-increasing effect. As a next step, we evaluate the impact of migration on the level of homicides in Ecuador. The instrumental variable results, based on the intensity of the Plan Colombia, show a significant, although small, crime-reducing effect.
    Keywords: Plan Colombia, Ecuador, Violence and Migration.
    JEL: D74 F22 K42 O54
    Date: 2015–11–16
  8. By: Yang Wang (Department of Economics, Tulane University)
    Abstract: According to the Brazil Naional Household Survey 1995-2013 data, the decline in the relative wage of tertiary-educated workers coincides with an education expansion that shifted the relative supply and might also change the quality composition of the tertiary group. This paper tries to decompose the change in the tertiary premium in Brazil during the 1995-2013 period into the "price effect", which refers to the change in educational premium caused by the shifts in suppl and demand, and the "composition effect", which refers to whether there was any significant decline in the average quality of tertiary-educated workers of the recent cohorts and how the changes in cohort quality had impacted the relative wage of the tertiary group. The results demonstrate that the growth in the relative supply had a significant negative impact on the decline of tertiary premium. The results also show that the average quality of the tertiary-educated workers of the recent cohorts declined, which also accounts for a substantial proportion of the decline in the relative wage.
    Keywords: earning inequality, education expansion, decline in tertiary premium, skill supply and demand, average cohort quality
    JEL: I24 J24 J31 O15
    Date: 2015–11
  9. By: Hopfensitz, Astrid; Miquel-Florensa, Josepa
    Abstract: Low intensity armed conflict is usually related to population displacement, altering networks and social capital in affected regions. With an incentivized questionnaire performed in the Colombian coffee growing axis (Eje Cafetero), we observe contribution to an abstract and anonymous public good when contributions are not enforceable. Game contributions are significantly higher in regions with high net-changes of population due to displacement, both for regions with net in-flow and net out-flow, compared to a more stable area. We find that the effect is especially strong for women in net out-flow areas; usually the most affected if male family members are forcibly displaced. We further propose a local inspection mechanism, and show that it increases contributions in all areas independently of the displacement history of the location and the individuals preferences with respect to this mechanism.
    Keywords: Colombia ; conflict ; displacement ; public good games
    Date: 2014–01

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