nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2016‒02‒12
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Educational inequalities in Latin America, PISA 2012: causes of differences in school performance between public and private schools By Geovanny Castro Aristizabal; Gregorio Gimenez Esteban; Domingo Perez Ximenez-de-Embun
  2. Fiscal policy and the cycle in Latin America: the role of financing conditions and fiscal rules By Enrique Alberola-Ila; Iván Kataryniuk; Ángel Melguizo; René Orozco
  3. What drives inflation expectations in Brazil? Public versus private information By Waldyr D Areosa
  4. Job sector and public service motivation: evidence from Colombia By Pablo Sanabria
  5. Public Service Innovation: Solid Waste Sector from the Perspective of Clean Development Mechanism Landfill Projects By Silvia Cruz; Sônia Paulino; Faïz Gallouj
  6. Cognitive and non-cognitive skills for the Peruvian labor market : addressing measurement error through latent skills estimations By Cunningham,Wendy; Parra Torrado,Mónica; Sarzosa,Miguel Alonso

  1. By: Geovanny Castro Aristizabal; Gregorio Gimenez Esteban; Domingo Perez Ximenez-de-Embun (Faculty of Economics and Management, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali)
    Abstract: The paper notes and explains the causes of the differences in school performance between public and private schools in Latin America. It uses information from the 8 Latin American countries that participated in PISA 2012. The estimations, two steps with instrumental variables, combined with the technique of the Oaxaca-Blinder’s decomposition, reveal that Uruguay and Brazil had the highest education gap, and Colombia and Mexico the lowest. These differences are explained, mainly, by the observed component of the model. Specifically, the differences in individual characteristics explain the greater proportion of the gaps in performance; followed by family characteristics and resources of the schools. In addition, the decomposition in the no-observed component suggests that students from private schools make better use of the educational resources, both in their homes and in their schools.
    Keywords: academic achievement, public and private education, educational production function, instrumental variables, Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, PISA, Latin America.
    JEL: C29 I21 I24 I28 I29
    Date: 2016–02
  2. By: Enrique Alberola-Ila; Iván Kataryniuk; Ángel Melguizo; René Orozco
    Abstract: A stronger macroeconomic position when the financial crisis erupted allowed Latin American economies to mitigate its impact through fiscal expansions, reversing the characteristic procyclical behaviour of fiscal policy. At the same time, in the last two decades fiscal rules have been extensively adopted in the region. This paper analyses the stabilising role of discretionary fiscal policy over time, and the role of fiscal financing conditions and fiscal rules in this evolution in a sample of eight Latin American economies. The analysis shows three main results: i) fiscal policies became countercyclical during the crisis, but they have turned procyclical again in recent years; ii) financing conditions are confirmed to be a key driver of the fiscal stance, but their relevance has recently diminished; and iii) fiscal rules are associated with a more stabilising role for fiscal policy.
    Keywords: procyclical fiscal policy, fiscal rules, financing conditions, Latin America
    Date: 2016–01
  3. By: Waldyr D Areosa
    Abstract: This article applies a noisy information model with strategic interactions à la Morris and Shin (2002) to a panel from the Central Bank of Brazil Market Expectations System to provide evidence of how professional forecasters weight private and public information when building inflation expectations in Brazil. The main results are: (i) forecasters attach more weight to public information than private information because (ii) public information is more precise than private information. Nevertheless, (iii) forecasters overweight private information in order to (iv) differentiate themselves from each other (strategic substitutability).
    Keywords: incomplete information, public information, coordination, complementarities, externalities
    Date: 2016–01
  4. By: Pablo Sanabria (Faculty of Economics and Management, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali)
    Abstract: In this article I examine the determinants of job sector choice with a particular interest in the relationship with the so-called concept of public service motivation (PSM), in the context of a developing country. I use multinomial logit (MNL) to understand individuals’ decisions to take jobs in one of four sectors: government, nonprofit, for-profit, or academic jobs in Colombia. My analysis is based on data about a sample of participants on the Colombian scholarship program, Colfuturo, drawn from between 2002 and 2007. My results indicate that there are important differences in terms of the determinants of job sector choices across the four different sectors and that PSM appears to have a role on such decisions.
    Keywords: organizational behavior; human talent; motivation
    JEL: D23 D73 H7 J45 M12
    Date: 2016–02
  5. By: Silvia Cruz (UNICAMP - University of Campinas [Campinas] - University of Campinas); Sônia Paulino (University of Sao Paolo); Faïz Gallouj (Clersé - UMR CNRS 8019 - Institut de Sociologie et d'Anthropologie - Université Lille 1 - Sciences et technologies)
    Abstract: This paper is devoted to public services innovation in the municipal solid waste sector. It analyses the implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in the Bandeirantes and São João landfills in the municipality of São Paulo, Brazil. The study is based on the concept of Public-Private Innovation Networks in services (ServPPINs). Using the ServPPIN concept it was possible to identify competence gaps affecting the stakeholders involved in these CDM projects. We focus in particular on those organisational and relational competence gaps that are likely to weaken innovation feasibility in services related to solid waste. In fact, innovation is closely linked to the development of new competences among service providers and users. For the most part, these will arise out of changes in interactions between actors-given that the projects in question include the coordination of various actors (public, private, and citizen).
    Keywords: landfill,public service innovation,clean development mechanism,ServPPIN
    Date: 2015–09
  6. By: Cunningham,Wendy; Parra Torrado,Mónica; Sarzosa,Miguel Alonso
    Abstract: Evidence from developed country data suggests that cognitive and non-cognitive skills contribute to improved labor market outcomes. This paper tests this hypothesis in a developing country by using an individual-level data set from Peru that incorporates modules to measure cognitive and non-cognitive skills. The paper estimates a structural latent model with unobserved heterogeneity to capture full ability rather than just measured skill. It also applies standard ordinary least squares techniques for comparison. The analysis confirms that cognitive and non-cognitive skills are positively correlated with a range of labor market outcomes in Peru. In particular, cognitive skills positively correlate with wages and the probability of being a wage worker, white-collar, and formal worker, with verbal fluency and numeric ability playing particularly strong roles. The results are robust to methodology. The patterns are less uniform for non-cognitive skills. For instance, perseverance of effort (grit) emerges strongly for most outcomes regardless of methodology. However, plasticity?an aggregation of openness to experience and emotional stability?is only correlated with employment, and only when using the structural latent model. The ordinary least squares method also finds that the disaggregated non-cognitive skills of kindness, cooperation, emotional stability, and openness to experience emerge significantly, mostly for the wage estimates. The different results derived from the ordinary least squares and the structural model with latent skills suggest strong measurement bias in most non-cognitive skills measurement. These findings, although only correlational because of the use of a single cross-section, suggest that recent efforts by the Peruvian government to incorporate non-cognitive skill development into the school curriculum are justified.
    Keywords: Education For All,Effective Schools and Teachers,Access&Equity in Basic Education,Educational Sciences,Primary Education
    Date: 2016–02–01

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