nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2016‒04‒16
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. The Penn Effect Revisited: New Evidence from Latin America By Njindan Iyke, Bernard
  2. Social Norms and Information Diffusion in Water-saving Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Colombia By Jaime Torres, Mónica Marcela; Carlsson, Fredrik
  3. Agricultural productivity growth in Latin America and the Caribbean and other world regions: An analysis of climatic effects, convergence and catch-up By Lachaud, Michee Arnold; Bravo-Ureta, Boris E.; Ludena, Carlos E.

  1. By: Njindan Iyke, Bernard
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the role of relative productivity growth in real misalignment of exchange rates in Latin American countries. Specifically, we verify the validity of the Penn Effect for selected countries in this region. Our sample consists of fifteen countries from the Latin American region for the period 1951 to 2010. We employ both short- and long-panel data techniques, which allow us to experiment with estimators suitable for short and long time dimensions of panel data. The Penn Effect is found to be supported for the entire sample, and for subsamples. Relative productivity growth is dominant in the real exchange rate movement during periods of mild or weak speculative attacks, as compared with periods of severe speculative attacks. To correct for real misalignment of currencies in Latin America under speculative attacks, relative productivity growth must be sizeable.
    Keywords: Penn Effect, real exchange rate, productivity growth, Latin America
    JEL: C23 F21 F31
    Date: 2016–04–01
  2. By: Jaime Torres, Mónica Marcela (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Carlsson, Fredrik (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates direct and spillover effects of a social information campaign aimed at encouraging residential water savings in Colombia. The campaign was organized as a randomized field experiment, consisting of monthly delivery of consumption reports, including normative messages, for one year. Results indicate that social information and appeals to normbased behavior reduce water use by up to 6.8% in households directly targeted by the campaign. In addition, we find evidence of spillover effects: households that were not targeted by the campaign reduced water use by 5.8% in the first six months following the intervention. Nevertheless, neither direct nor spillover effects can be attributed to social networks for any of our chosen proxies of social and geographic proximity.
    Keywords: Peer effects; social norms; randomized evaluation; water utilities
    JEL: C93 D03 L95 O12
    Date: 2016–04
  3. By: Lachaud, Michee Arnold (University of Connecticut); Bravo-Ureta, Boris E. (University of Connecticut); Ludena, Carlos E. (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: This study estimates Climate Adjusted Total Factor Productivity (CATFP) for agriculture in Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) countries, while also providing comparisons with several regions of the world. Climatic variability is introduced in Stochastic Production Frontier (SPF) models by including average annual maximum temperature, precipitation and its monthly intra-year standard deviations, and the number of rainy days. Climatic conditions have a negative impact on production becoming stronger at the end of the 2000s compared to earlier periods. An Error Correction Model is applied to investigate catch-up and convergence across LAC countries. Argentina defines the frontier in LAC and TFP convergence is found across all South American countries, Costa Rica, Mexico, Barbados and The Bahamas. Using IPCC 2014 scenarios, the study shows that climatic variability induces significant reductions in productivity (2.3% to 10.7%), over the 2013-2040 period.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Total Factor Productivity, Stochastic Production Frontiers, Climate Effects, Convergence, Forecasting, Latin America and the Caribbean
    JEL: D24 Q54 O47 E27
    Date: 2015–09

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