nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2016‒03‒17
four papers chosen by

  1. Volatility transmission between US and Latin American Stock Markets: testing the decoupling hypothesis By Diego A. Agudelo; Marcela Gutiérrez; Laura Cardona
  2. Crime and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean: towards evidence-based policies By Laura Jaitman; Stephen Machin
  3. Long Run Effects of Youth Training Programs: Experimental Evidence from Argentina By Alzúa, María Laura; Cruces, Guillermo; Lopez, Carolina
  4. Salario Mínimo y Distribución salarial: Evidencia para Argentina 2003 – 2013 By Malena Arcidiácono

  1. By: Diego A. Agudelo; Marcela Gutiérrez; Laura Cardona
    Abstract: Abstract: We test for volatility transmission between US and the six largest Latin American stock markets (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) using MGARCH-BEKK models in daily frequency from March 1993 to March 2013. As expected, we find strong evidence of volatility transmission from US to the Latin American markets but not so in the opposite direction. Testing the hypothesis of decoupling between US and Brazil and Mexico the evidence goes against it: the conditional correlations between US and the two emerging markets have steadily increased over the sample period and the volatility transmission have become more significant from 2003 onwards. We also find some evidence on the leadership of Brazil in the region, being the only Latin American stock market consistently transmitting volatility to US.
    Keywords: Volatility transmission, MGARCH, decoupling hypothesis, emerging markets, conditional correlation
    JEL: G15 F36 C32
    Date: 2015–10–01
  2. By: Laura Jaitman; Stephen Machin
    Abstract: Latin America and the Caribbean account for a third of the world's homicides but under 10% of the world's population. What's more, homicide rates in the region are higher than they should be given countries' levels of income, poverty and inequality. These are among the facts reported by Laura Jaitman and Stephen Machin in the latest issue of CentrePiece. What can be done to reduce crime in Latin America and the Caribbean from its extraordinarily high levels? The researchers outline evidence that could contribute to crime prevention in the region, as well as the opportunities to start closing gaps in knowledge about which policies are most effective. They conclude that a sound research agenda on citizen security is critical to guide crime prevention policies.
    Keywords: crime, crime prevention, youth crime, education, policing, Latin America, Caribbean, government policies
    Date: 2016–02
  3. By: Alzúa, María Laura (CEDLAS-UNLP); Cruces, Guillermo (CEDLAS-UNLP); Lopez, Carolina (CEDLAS-UNLP)
    Abstract: We study the effect of a job training program for low income youth in Cordoba, Argentina. The program included life-skills and vocational training, as well as internships with private sector employers. Participants were allocated by means of a public lottery. We rely on administrative data on formal employment, employment spells and earnings, to establish the effects of the program in the short term (18 months), but also – exceptionally for programs of this type in Latin America and in developing countries in general – in the medium term (33 months) and in the long term (48 months). The results indicate sizable gains of about 8 percentage points in formal employment in the short term (about 32% higher than the control group), although these effects dissipate in the medium and in the long term. Contrary to previous results for similar programs in the region, the effects are substantially larger for men, although they also seem to fade in the long run. Program participants also exhibit earnings about 40% higher than those in the control group, and an analysis of bounds indicates that these gains result from both higher employment levels and higher wages. The detailed administrative records also allow us to shed some light on the possible mechanisms underlying these effects. A dynamic analysis of employment transitions indicates that the program operated through an increase in the persistence of employment rather than from more frequent entries into employment. The earnings effect and the higher persistence of employment suggest that the program was successful in increasing the human capital of participants, although the transient nature of these results may also reflect better matches from a program-induced increase in informal contacts or formal intermediation.
    Keywords: youth labor training programs, youth unemployment, field experiment
    JEL: J08 J24 J68 O15
    Date: 2016–02
  4. By: Malena Arcidiácono (CEDLAS - UNLP)
    Abstract: En el presente trabajo se estudia el impacto distributivo del aumento del salario mínimo evidenciado en Argentina durante el período 2003 – 2013. Utilizando información de la Encuesta Permanente de Hogares Continua se estima, mediante el método propuesto por Lee (1999), el efecto casual del salario mínimo sobre la distribución salarial de los asalariados a tiempo completo. Los resultados sugieren un efecto igualador del aumento del salario mínimo real para el total de asalariados y para los asalariados formales, no así para los asalariados no registrados. Al descomponer la caída observada de la desigualdad salarial entre la variación aportada por el aumento del salario mínimo real y aquella relacionada con otros factores, el aumento del valor del salario mínimo explica una disminución de las brechas salariales, en promedio, de 0.5 puntos porcentuales por año, para los trabajadores formales, y de 0.3 puntos porcentuales para el total de asalariados.
    JEL: D31 J31 J38
    Date: 2015–12

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