nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2016‒02‒23
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. How Much Will Health Coverage Cost? Future Health Spending Scenarios in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico - Working Paper 382 By Amanda Glassman and Juan Ignacio Zoloa
  2. Lighting and violent crimes: evaluating the effect of an electrification policy in rural Brazil on violent crime reduction By ARVATE, Paulo; FALSETE, Filipe Ortiz; RIBEIRO, Felipe Garcia; SOUZA, André Portela
  3. The impact of ICTs on employment in Latin America: A call for comprehensive regulation By Garcia-Murillo, Martha
  4. The Health Consequences of Aerial Spraying of Illicit Crops: The Case of Colombia - Working Paper 408 By Adriana Camacho and Daniel Mejia

  1. By: Amanda Glassman and Juan Ignacio Zoloa
    Abstract: As Latin American countries seek to expand the coverage and benefits provided by their health systems under a global drive for universal health coverage (UHC), decisions taken today – whether by government or individuals – will have an impact tomorrow on public spending requirements. To understand the implications of these decisions and define needed policy reforms, this paper calculates long-term projections for public spending on health in three countries, analyzing different scenarios related to population, risk factors, labor market participation, and technological growth. In addition, the paper simulates the effects of different policy options and their potential knock-on effects on health expenditure. Without reforms aimed at expanding policies and programs to prevent disease and enhancing the efficiency of health systems, we find that health spending will likely grow considerably in the not-distant future. These projected increases in health spending may not be a critical situation if revenues and productivity of other areas of the economy maintain their historical trends. However, if revenues do not continue to grow, keeping the share of GDP spent on health constant despite growing demand will certainly affect the quality of and access to health services. Long-term fiscal projections are an essential component of planning for sustainable expansions of health coverage in Latin America.
    Keywords: health financing, Latin America, fiscal projections, fiscal policy, health policy
    JEL: O23 I15 I18
    Date: 2014–10
  2. By: ARVATE, Paulo; FALSETE, Filipe Ortiz; RIBEIRO, Felipe Garcia; SOUZA, André Portela
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of lighting on violent crime reduction. We explore an electrification program (LUZ PARA TODOS or Light for All - LPT) adopted by the federal government to expand electrification to rural areas in all Brazilian municipalities in the 2000s as an exogenous source of variation in electrification expansion. Our instrumental variable results show a reduction in homicide rates (approximately five homicides per 100,000 inhabitants) on rural roads/urban streets when a municipality moved from no access to full coverage of electricity between 2000 and 2010. These findings are even more significant in the northern and northeastern regions of Brazil, where rates of electrification are lower than those of the rest of the country and, thus, where the program is concentrated. In the north (northeast), the number of violent deaths on the streets per 100,000 inhabitants decreased by 48.12 (13.43). This moved a municipality at the 99th percentile (75th) to the median (zero) of the crime distribution of municipalities. Finally, we do not find effects on violent deaths in households and at other locations. Because we use an IV strategy by exploring the LPT program eligibility criteria, we can interpret the results as the estimated impact of the program on those experiencing an increase in electricity coverage due to their program eligibility. Thus, the results represent local average treatment effects of lighting on homicides.
    Date: 2016–01–19
  3. By: Garcia-Murillo, Martha
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Adriana Camacho and Daniel Mejia
    Abstract: This paper exploits the variation in aerial spraying across time and space in Colombia and employs a panel of individual health records in order to study the causal effects of aerial spraying of herbicides (Glyphosate) on short term health-related outcomes. The results show that exposure to the herbicide used in aerial spraying campaigns increases the number of medical consultations related to dermatological and respiratory related illnesses and the number of miscarriages. This finding is robust to the inclusion of individual fixed effects, which compares the prevalence of these medical conditions for the same person under different levels of exposure to the herbicide used in the aerial spraying program over a period of 5 years. Also, the results are robust to controlling for the extent of coca cultivation of illicit crops in the municipality of residence.
    Keywords: Aerial spraying, Eradication policies, health, Plan Colombia, Glyphosate.
    JEL: I15 H75
    Date: 2015–06

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