nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2015‒12‒08
twelve papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. The EMBI in Latin America: Fractional Integration, Non-linearities and Breaks By Guglielmo Maria Caporale; Hector Carcel; Luis A. Gil-Alana
  2. Is there real freedom of school choice? An analysis from Chile By Mauro Mediavilla; Adrián Zancajo
  3. Financial Education Programs in Colombia: Challenges in Assessing their Effectiveness By Diego A. Restrepo Tobón; Pilar B. Álvarez Franco; Melisa Muñoz Murillo
  4. Macroprudential and Monetary Policy Interaction: a Brazilian perspective By Fabia A. de Carvalho; Marcos R. de Castro
  5. Creación y destrucción comparada de cooperativas de trabajadores y empresas capitalistas en Uruguay By Andrés Dean
  6. The growth-employment-poverty nexus in Latin America in the 2000s: Cross-country analysis By Guillermo Cruces; Gary Fields; David Jaume; Mariana Viollaz
  7. Employment Formalization in Argentina: Recurring and New Challenges for Public Policies By Bertranou, Fabio; Casanova, Luis
  8. A Prática de Atividades Artísticas Pode Melhorar a Situação dos Jovens no Mercado de Trabalho? evidências de um experimento aleatório no Rio de Janeiro By Carla Calero; Carlos H. Corseuil; Veronica Gonzalez; Jochen Kluve; Yuri S. D. Soares
  9. The rise of the middle class : Brazil (1839-1950) By María Gómez León
  10. Efectos fiscales y distributivos de un sistema de pensiones multi-pilar en Perú By Javier Olivera
  11. Local Unit Root and Inflationary Inertia in Brazil By Wagner Piazza Gaglianone; Osmani Teixeira de Carvalho Guillén; Francisco Marcos Rodrigues Figueiredo
  12. Poder de mercado, contratos y resultados de salud en el sistema de salud colombiano entre 2009 y 2011 By Juan Esteban Carranza; Álvaro J. Riascos; Natalia Serna

  1. By: Guglielmo Maria Caporale; Hector Carcel; Luis A. Gil-Alana
    Abstract: This paper analyses the main statistical properties of the Emerging Market Bond Index (EMBI), namely long-range dependence or persistence, non-linearities, and structural breaks, in four Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela). For this purpose it uses a fractional integration framework and both parametric and semiparametric methods. The evidence based on the former is sensitive to the specification for the error terms, whilst the results from the latter are more conclusive in ruling out mean reversion. Further, non-linearities do not appear to be present. Both recursive and rolling window methods identify a number of breaks. Overall, the evidence of long-range dependence as well as breaks suggests that active policies might be necessary for achieving financial and economic stability in these countries.
    Keywords: Emerging markets; EMBI; fractional integration; non-linearities
    JEL: C22 G12
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Mauro Mediavilla (University of Valencia & IEB); Adrián Zancajo (Autonomous University of Barcelona & GEPS)
    Abstract: Between 1981 and 1990, Chile began to implement an education reform based on school choice and a financing system through vouchers. In theory, the system ensures complete freedom of choice of school by families. This paper attempts to identify the existence of factors that conditioned the enrolment process in the different types of schools existing nowadays in the Chilean educational system, the largest quasi-market of Latin America. Results show a social stratification and separation by schools and indicate how geographical distance and social composition are the most critical factors for families when choosing a school.
    Keywords: School choice, social class, quasi-markets, voucher, Chile
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Diego A. Restrepo Tobón; Pilar B. Álvarez Franco; Melisa Muñoz Murillo
    Abstract: Abstract: Financial education programs enjoy widespread governmental and financial industry support. They are considered an important tool for improving financial literacy, encouraging financial inclusion, and increasing consumer financial protection. Therefore, assessing their effectiveness is important to guarantee that public and private resources are allocated wisely. As we highlight in this paper, the available empirical literature casts serious doubts on the effectiveness of those programs in achieving their main objectives. Even properly designed—from an impact evaluation viewpoint—financial education programs fail to deliver long-run effects on individuals’ financial literacy or financial choices. We highlight the challenges to evaluate the impact of financial education programs and, consequently, their merits. We showcase the international experience in assessing the effectiveness of these programs and draw lessons for Colombia. We offer a set of recommendations regarding the minimum set of attributes that financial education programs should have to allow serious policy evaluation.
    Keywords: Financial literacy, financial education, impact evaluation.
    JEL: A20 D04 D14 C18
    Date: 2015–12–01
  4. By: Fabia A. de Carvalho; Marcos R. de Castro
    Abstract: This paper discusses the interaction between monetary and macroprudential policy in Brazil under both normative and positive perspectives. We investigate optimal combinations of simple, implementable macroprudential and monetary policy rules that react to the financial cycle using a DSGE model built to reproduce Brazilian particularities, and estimated with Bayesian techniques with data from the inflation targeting regime. We also investigate whether recent macroprudential policy announcements that targeted credit variables had important spillover effects on variables targeted by monetary policy in Brazil. To this end, we use a rich daily panel of private inflation forecasts surveyed by the Central Bank of Brazil’s Investor Relations Office and investigate the impact of announcements of macroprudential policy changes on the gap between inflation forecasts and the inflation target. The paper also presents an overview of the challenges facing macroprudential policy in Brazil after the global financial crisis and glimpses at a few important future challenges
    Date: 2015–11
  5. By: Andrés Dean (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This paper revisits the question of why there are so few labor-managed firms in capitalist economies. We analyze the processes of creation (entries) and destruction (exits) of labor-managed firms, compare to capitalist firms. We focus on macroeconomic conditions changes that affect firms, favoring its creation or dissolution. And particularly if these changes affect labor-managed firms and capitalist firms differently. We use a panel data including the universe of worker cooperatives and a sample of 20% of Uruguayan capitalist firms, during the period 1996-2013. While part of the theoretical and empirical literature suggests that entries and exits of labor-managed firms follow a countercyclical pattern, we find evidence partially supporting this hypothesis. Furthermore our evidence suggests that creation and dissolution flows of this kind of firms are also driven by institutional factors.
    Keywords: Entries, Exits, Business cycle, Labor-managed Firms
    JEL: D21 J54
    Date: 2015–10
  6. By: Guillermo Cruces; Gary Fields; David Jaume; Mariana Viollaz
    Abstract: In the great majority of Latin American countries in the 2000s, economic growth took place and brought about improvements in almost all labour market indicators and consequent reductions in poverty rates. Across countries, economic growth was not all that mattered; external factors were particularly important for changes in labour market conditions, while reductions in poverty were strongly related to improvements in earnings and employmentindicators. Although the 2008 crisis affected some countries differently from others, nearly all labour market indicators were at least as high or higher by 2012 than immediately before the crisis in all countries but one.
    Keywords: labour markets, economic growth, poverty, inequality, Latin America
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Bertranou, Fabio; Casanova, Luis
    Abstract: This article analyzes employment formalization in Argentina from 2003 to 2014 as well as the public policies associated with that process. It identifies the critical segments of informality along with the challenges they pose to a strategy aimed at reducing informality in a labor market that has proven relatively resistant to such reductions in recent years. The results show a decrease in informality for salaried employment, though there has not been a similar decrease among the self-employed. After a significant drop in non-registered salaried employment between 2003 and 2008, slower formal employment growth has offset advances in formalization. Informality affects nearly 44% of all employed individuals. The need to develop specific actions as part of a comprehensive strategy is due to the characteristics of the critical segments of the labor market and the persistence of a heterogeneous productive structure. It can also be attributed to a lower and more volatile rate of economic growth in recent years. In this context, the measures included in the "Law for the Promotion of Registered Employment and Labor Fraud Prevention” passed in 2014 are likely not only to improve working and employment conditions but also to increase productivity. However, in order for these tools to have a true impact on employment formalization, they must be accompanied by other productive, fiscal, social and labor policies, along with a macroeconomic framework that ensures stable economic growth.
    Keywords: informal employment, non-registered salaried employment, labor policies, Argentina
    JEL: J21 J48 J80
    Date: 2015–08
  8. By: Carla Calero; Carlos H. Corseuil; Veronica Gonzalez; Jochen Kluve; Yuri S. D. Soares
    Abstract: Por meio do uso de um experimento aleatório, observa-se a criação de emprego e rendimentos proporcionados a partir de um programa de treinamento de jovens, Programa Galpão Aplauso, que faz uso da arte e do teatro como ferramentas pedagógicas. As evidências apresentadas constatam benefícios para os jovens tanto no curto quanto no médio prazo. Esses impactos são economicamente grandes se comparados àqueles tipicamente descritos na literatura. Não encontramos evidências de impactos em outras variáveis, como em traços relativos à personalidade, sugerindo que essas marcas podem ser inflexíveis no curto prazo para jovens adultos. Argumentamos que os impactos estimados no mercado de trabalho sejam em consequência da combinação de melhores competências e sinalização positiva de trabalhadores de melhor qualidade entre os participantes. Using a randomized trial, we look at employment and earnings of a youth training program in Brazil that uses arts and theater-based pedagogic tools. The evidence we present shows youth benefit both in the short- and medium-term. The impacts are economically large, compared to those typically found in the literature. We find no evidence of significant program impacts on other outcomes, including personality- -related traits, suggesting that these traits may not be malleable for young adults in the short-run. We argue that the estimated labor market impacts are due to a combination of both skills formation and signaling of higher quality workers to employers.
    Date: 2015–11
  9. By: María Gómez León
    Abstract: This article investigates the rise of the middle class in Brazil between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries and its connection with inequality. To this purpose Brazil's income distribution is explored from two dimensions: inequality and polarisation. A new middle class index (MCI), based on polarisation methods, is used to assess the evolution of the middle class in terms of both income and status. Results suggest that during the nineteenth century low income levels prevented the achievement of high inequality values and the emergence of a middle class. Then in the early twentieth century Brazil experienced a process of economic growth accompanied by increasing inequality in a Kuznetsian sense in which the middle class arose. Yet, despite rapid economic growth during the following decades, the continued increase of inequality, especially between 1930 and 1950, impeded the consolidation of the middle class and the reduction of poverty.
    Keywords: middle class , inequality , polarisation , Brazil
    JEL: D31 D63 N16 N36 O15
    Date: 2015–11
  10. By: Javier Olivera (Luxembourg Institute for Socio-Economic Research (LISER) y KU Leuven)
    Abstract: El objetivo del presente trabajo es estudiar los efectos de la implementación de un sistema multi-pilar en el sistema de pensiones peruano. En este nuevo sistema, una parte de las contribuciones de los afiliados va a un fondo de solidaridad para financiar pensiones mínimas y otra parte a sus cuentas de capitalización individual. Se usan muestras de las bases de registros administrativos del sistema privado y público a diciembre del 2013 para simular la deuda actuarial y las distribuciones de pensiones futuras. Se toman en cuenta los efectos en la deuda actuarial, la desigualdad de pensiones y el nivel de bienestar general de los afiliados con el objeto de ilustrar los diferentes trade-offs que están presentes en la reforma de pensiones. Asimismo, la incorporación de juicios normativos en la evaluación del bienestar permite establecer que, incluso bajo el supuesto extremo de neutralidad a la desigualdad, un sistema multi-pilar es mejor que el sistema actual.
    Keywords: Reforma de pensiones, desigualdad de pensiones, seguridad social, Perú, política económica
    JEL: H55 H63 I30 G23
    Date: 2015–12
  11. By: Wagner Piazza Gaglianone; Osmani Teixeira de Carvalho Guillén; Francisco Marcos Rodrigues Figueiredo
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the persistence of Brazilian inflation using quantile regression techniques. To characterize the inflation dynamics we employ the Quantile Autoregression model (QAR) of Koenker and Xiao (2004, 2006), where the autoregressive coefficient may assume different values in distinct quantiles, allowing testing the asymmetry hypothesis for the inflation dynamics. Furthermore, the model allows investigating the existence of a local unit root behavior, with episodes of mean reversion sufficient to ensure stationarity. In other words, the model enables one to identify locally unsustainable dynamics, but still compatible with global stationarity; and it can be reformulated in a more conventional random coefficient notation to reveal the periods of local non-stationarity. Another advantage of this technique is the estimation method, which does not require knowledge of the innovation process distribution, making the approach robust against poorly specified models. An empirical exercise with Brazilian inflation data and its components illustrates the methodology. As expected, the behavior of inflation dynamics is not uniform across different conditional quantiles. In particular, the results can be summarized as follows: (i) the dynamics is stationary for most quantiles; (ii) the process is non-stationary in the upper tail of the conditional distribution; (iii) the periods associated with local unsustainable dynamics can be related to those of increased risk aversion and higher inflation expectations; and (iv) out-of-sample forecasting exercises show that the QAR model at the median quantile level can exhibit, in some cases, lower mean squared error (MSE) compared to the random walk and AR forecasts
    Date: 2015–11
  12. By: Juan Esteban Carranza; Álvaro J. Riascos; Natalia Serna
    Abstract: En este artículo se estudian los tipos de contrato entre las aseguradoras y los prestadores de servicios de salud en Colombia. Específicamente, se estudia su relación con los resultados de salud de sus usuarios a partir de una base de datos que contiene el universo de usuarios del sistema contributivo de salud colombiano. Los dos tipos de contratos más prevalentes en los datos son los contratos de capitación y de pago por servicios, que distribuyen el riesgo y los incentivos de forma opuesta entre la aseguradora y el prestador del servicio. El análisis estadístico muestra que los contratos de capitación están asociados con menores tasas de retorno a urgencias y con menores tasas de recaída que los contratos de prestación de servicios, lo cual es consistente con la teoría de contratos con información asimétrica. Adicionalmente, hay evidencia de que el poder de mercado de la aseguradora o el prestador de servicio está asociado con la elección del tipo de contrato.
    Keywords: Contratos verticales, aseguradoras en salud, prestadores de servicio, capitación, pago por servicio
    JEL: D86 I11 L14
    Date: 2015–12–02

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