nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2016‒01‒03
eight papers chosen by

  1. Policies to attract R&D-related FDI in Chile: Aligning incentives with local linkages and absorptive capacities By Guimón , José; Chaminade , Cristina; Maggi , Claudio
  2. Diamonds Are Forever: Long-Run Effects of Mining Institutions in Brazil By Marcelo Sacchi de Carvalho
  3. Calidad de la educación superior y desigualdad en los retornos en el Perú, 2012 By Pablo Lavado; Joan Martínez; Gustavo Yamada
  4. The Effect of Remittances on Labour Supply in the Republic of Haiti By Jadotte, Evans; Ramos, Xavi
  5. Compulsory Voting and TV News Consumption: Evidence from Brazil By Raphael Bruce; Rafael Costa Lima
  6. Peer Pressure and Externalities: Evidence from a field experiment By Bruno Cardinale Lagomarsino; Matías Gutman; Lucía Freira; María Laura Lanzalot; Maximiliano Lauletta; Leandro Malchik; Felipe Montaño Campos; Bianca Pacini; Martín Rossi; Christian Valencia
  7. The Effect of Trade Protection on Productivity in Uruguay By Carlos Casacuberta; Dayna Zaclicever
  8. Do Micro-Entrepreneurship Programs Increase Wage-Work? Evidence from Chile By Claudia Martínez A.; Esteban Puentes; Jaime Ruiz-Tagle

  1. By: Guimón , José (Department of Development Economics, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid); Chaminade , Cristina (CIRCLE, Lund University); Maggi , Claudio (Gerencia de Desarrollo Competitivo, CORFO, Santiago, Chile)
    Abstract: Over the last decade we have witnessed an unprecedented growth in the number of cross-border R&D investments towards developing countries. Large emerging economies like China or India have become the first destination of R&D-related investments in the world. Latin America, however, has played a rather marginal role as recipient of R&D-related FDI – barely 3.7% of the world total between 2003 and 2013. In an effort to revert this trend, several countries in the region have launched new policy programs and incentives to enhance their attractiveness for R&D-related FDI. However, it remains uncertain whether public incentives can compensate for other locational disadvantages that characterize Latin American innovation systems. The case of Chile provides an interesting empirical setting to explore these issues, because since the early 2000s its government is actively promoting R&D-related FDI through a new policy mix. This policy mix encompasses various grants and tax incentives, targeting not only multinational corporations but also foreign start-ups, universities and public research institutes. Rather than limiting the scope of our analysis to individual policy instruments, we also consider the complementarities and synergies among them. We emphasize that for national innovation systems to benefit from R&D-related FDI it is important to ensure that appropriate linkages are established with local actors that hold absorptive capacities. Equally important for a small emerging economy like Chile is to prioritize R&D-related FDI in strategic technology areas where the country can realistically attain critical mass to compete globally.
    Keywords: FDI; technology; R&D; innovation policy; development; globalization
    JEL: E61 F21 O38
    Date: 2015–12–21
  2. By: Marcelo Sacchi de Carvalho
    Abstract: This paper uses a regression discontinuity approach to investigate whether a set of colonial policies adopted in the Diamond District of colonial Brazil have long-run impacts on development. Results regarding household income are still inconclusive. On the other hand, the estimated effects on adult literacy and light density from satellite images are positive. I also try to explore potential channels through which this historical event might influence the present. Using a geospatial road location database, I find that observations inside the District’s historical boundaries have denser road networks. Additionally I use microdata from the 1830s to show that slavery was more intense in untreated villages, which has been related in the literature to underdevelopment.
    Keywords: Institutions; Development; Colonial Brazil
    JEL: O43 O13 N56
    Date: 2015–12–03
  3. By: Pablo Lavado (Universidad del Pacífico); Joan Martínez (Universidad del Pacífico); Gustavo Yamada (Universidad del Pacífico)
    Date: 2015–12
  4. By: Jadotte, Evans (World Bank); Ramos, Xavi (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: We examine the labour supply effect of remittances in the Republic of Haiti, the prime international remittances recipient country in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region relative to its GDP. Unlike previous empirical literature we address three econometric issues that may bias the estimates. We account for endogeneity of the remittances with respect to labour supply, for the zero-inflated nature of our dependent variable, hours of work, and for the self-selection of the migrant sample. Our results are in line with previous literature, and point to a decline of labour supply in the presence of remittances. However, contrary to previous findings, the labour market response to remittances of female household heads is not as sensitive as male's.
    Keywords: international migration, remittances, labour supply, Republic of Haiti
    JEL: C39 F22 F24 J22
    Date: 2015–12
  5. By: Raphael Bruce; Rafael Costa Lima
    Abstract: Do people acquire more information when they are encouraged to participate in elections? This paper presents empirical evidence on the effects of compulsory voting laws on the consumption of TV news. In Brazil, the law determines that every literate citizen over the age of eighteen at the day of the election is subject to a number of penalties if they don't attend the ballots. This provides a natural experiment which allows us to identify the causal effect of being under a compulsory voting regime on information acquisition. Using national survey data on the consumption of media we find that compulsory voting has a significant and substantial positive impact on the probability of an individual to watch Brazil's main newscast. This result is restricted to young voters who just turned eighteen and is robust to different polynomials and bandwidth lengths.
    Keywords: Compulsory voting; Regression Discontinuity Design; Media; News
    JEL: D72 D83 L82
    Date: 2015–12–10
  6. By: Bruno Cardinale Lagomarsino (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres); Matías Gutman (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres); Lucía Freira (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres & UTDT); María Laura Lanzalot (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres); Maximiliano Lauletta (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres); Leandro Malchik (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres); Felipe Montaño Campos (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres); Bianca Pacini (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres); Martín Rossi (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres); Christian Valencia (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)
    Abstract: We provide experimental evidence on the effect of peer pressure on activities with externalities. Specifically, we study the effect of being exposed to an observer in a public restroom on hand-washing behavior. Our estimates show that being exposed to an observer increases the probability of hand-washing in 13 percentage points. We also observe urinal flushing behavior, with similar results. We find empirical support that peer pressure may provide an additional way of solving the social suboptimality arising from externalities.
    Keywords: peer pressure, externalities
    Date: 2015–12
  7. By: Carlos Casacuberta (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Dayna Zaclicever (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of trade protection on firm’s performance using a panel of firms from the Annual Manufacturing Surveys of Uruguay from 1988 to 2005. We estimate total factor productivity using Levinsohn and Petrin (2003) methodology and relate such measures to protection. Firm-specific protection is measured as the average tariff within the four-digit harmonized system classes containing the firm’s products (rather than the usual four-digit ISIC averages), tracking more closely the relevant markets, both for firm’s product and input baskets, and separate indices are calculated. We find a positive effect of reduction in output protection on total factor productivity, while the effect of lower input protection, when significant, is negative, which we find related to the overall change in effective protection. Reductions in bilateral tariffs with Uruguay’s large neighbors in the context of MERCOSUR are not found to have a significant productivity enhancing effect. The results are robust to alternative protection measures, specification and controls.
    Keywords: Total factor productivity; Trade protection.
    JEL: D24 F14
    Date: 2015–04
  8. By: Claudia Martínez A.; Esteban Puentes; Jaime Ruiz-Tagle
    Abstract: Using a randomized controlled trial of a large-scale, publicly run micro-entrepreneurship program in Chile, we assess the effectiveness of business training and asset transfers to the poor. Using survey and monthly administrative data we study the effects of the program over a period of 46 months. We find that the program significantly increases employment by 15.3 and 6.8 percentages points 9 and 33 months after implementation, respectively. There is also a significant increase in labor income. The employment increase in the short run is through self-employment, while in the long run wage work also increases. In the long run, total labor increases mostly due to an increase in wage income. This is consistent with the hypothesis that skills taught during the training lessons are also useful for wage work. We also find that the quality of the intervention matter, especially in the long run. Finally, comparing two levels of asset transfers, different employment paths emerge: those who receive a low level of transfers mostly end up with salaried work whereas those who receive a high level of transfers tend to be self-employed.
    JEL: J14 O12 L26 M53
    Date: 2015

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