nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2016‒09‒04
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Low Test Scores in Latin America: Poor Schools, Poor Families, or Something Else? By Theodore R. Breton; Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza
  2. World income inequality databases: an assessment of WIID and SWIID By Stephen P. Jenkins
  3. Pension reforms in Chile and social security principles, 1981–2015 By Mesa-Lago, Carmelo; Bertranou, Fabio
  4. Impacto del microcrédito sobre las utilidades de las microempresas en Colombia. By Diana Fernández Moreno.
  5. Efectos de la provisión universal de educación preescolar sobre la asistencia y la participación laboral femenina. Evidencia para el caso uruguayo. By Natalia Nollenberger; Ivone Perazzo
  6. Análisis experimental de la evasión en Colombia By Ana Paola Cruz Rodríguez; Alvin Alejandro Olarte

  1. By: Theodore R. Breton; Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza
    Abstract: Latin American students consistently score low on international tests of cognitive skills. In the PISA 2012 results, students in seven Latin American countries had an average score of 395, or about 100 points lower than the average score of 497 in four Scandinavian countries. We examine why Latin American scores are lower and conclude that 50 points are explained by Latin American families’ lower average educational and socioeconomic characteristics, 25 points are explained by Latin America’s weak cultural orientation toward reading books, and the remaining 25 points are explained by the lower effectiveness of educational systems in teaching cognitive skills.
    Keywords: Latin America; test scores; PISA; books; school quality
    Date: 2016–06–19
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000122:015008&r=lam
  2. By: Stephen P. Jenkins
    Abstract: This article assesses two secondary data compilations about income inequality – the World Income Inequality Database (WIIDv2c), and the Standardized World Income Inequality Database (SWIIDv4.0) which is based on WIID but with all observations multiply-imputed. WIID and SWIID are convenient and accessible sources for researchers seeking cross-national data with global coverage for relatively long time periods. Against these undoubted benefits must be set costs arising from lack of data comparability and quality and also, in the case of SWIID, questions about its imputation model. WIID and SWIID users need to recognize this benefit-cost trade-off and ensure their substantive conclusions are robust to potential data problems. I provide detailed description of the nature and contents of both sources plus illustrative regression analysis. From a data issues perspective, I recommend WIID over SWIID, though my support for use of WIID is conditional.
    Keywords: global inequality; inequality; Gini; imputation; WIID; SWIID
    JEL: C81 C82 D31
    Date: 2015–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ehl:lserod:62173&r=lam
  3. By: Mesa-Lago, Carmelo; Bertranou, Fabio
    Abstract: Chile pioneered in Latin America not only the introduction of social security pensions, but the structural reform that privatized them and a process of “re-reform” implementing key improvements. A Presidential Commission in Chile, appointed in 2014 to evaluate reform progress and remaining problems in the pension system, released its report in September 2015. In light of the Commission’s findings, the article assesses Chile’s compliance with International Labour Organization social security guiding principles: social dialogue, universal coverage, equal treatment, social solidarity, gender equity, adequacy of benefits, efficiency and affordable administrative cost, social participation in management, state role and supervision, and financial sustainability. The exercise follows three stages: the structural reform (1981–2008), the re-reform (2008–2015), and the Presidential Commission proposals (2015).
    Keywords: pension scheme, social security reform, ILO Convention, Chile, pensions
    JEL: H55 J18
    Date: 2015–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:73437&r=lam
  4. By: Diana Fernández Moreno.
    Abstract: El microcrédito es una modalidad de préstamos que está enfocada a nanciar la microempresa, la cual generalmente ha presentado acceso limitado a los mercados de crédito formales. En los años más recientes, el microcrédito en Colombia ha presentado un rápido crecimiento, y a pesar de ser un crédito de bajo monto, concentra un gran número de deudores. Es por ello que esta clasicación de crédito llama la atención sobre cuáles son los efectos que está teniendo sobre los microempresarios colombianos, en especial por el hecho de que gran parte de las instituciones enfocadas en este mercado aplican tecnología microcrediticia. Debido a la escasa información que hay al respecto, este estudio utiliza la base de datos de una institución que otorga microcrédito en Colombia y un grupo de control basado en encuestas nacionales. Los principales resultados sugieren que esta nanciación puede tener un impacto positivo, pero decreciente, sobre las ganancias de los micronegocios. Sin embargo, existen microempresas donde no se observan estos crecimientos, lo cual puede estar asociado a una ubicación geográca lejana de las actividades de la micronanciera.
    Keywords: microcrédito, impacto, utilidades, emparejamiento, Colombia. Classification JEL:C14, D40, D61, G21
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bdr:temest:79&r=lam
  5. By: Natalia Nollenberger (IE Business School- IE University); Ivone Perazzo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: The provision of public preschool is expected to facilitate families, particularly mothers, their link with the labor market. However, empirical evidence on its effects is inconclusive. This research estimates the effect of an expansion in the provision of public preschool, held in Uruguay in the mid-1990s, on the attendance of children 4 and 5 years old to preschool and on the participation of mothers in the labor market. Following Duflo (2001) and Berlinski and Galiani (2007), the identification strategy exploits the differences in the number of new places available across regions, produced by the timing and priorities of the program. The results indicate that the expansion of places increased the preschool’s attendance although the take up rate in Uruguay was relatively low in comparison with the result of the same policy in similar countries (as in the case of Argentina). This was partially because the expansion of public places crowded out the attendance to private schools, particularly among children of high-skill mothers. The policy was much more effective in increasing the attendance of children of lowskill mothers. For this group of mothers, it would be expected to find a positive effect on employment or activity. However, we did not find any effect of the policy on their labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: Pre-primary education; Female labor supply
    JEL: J13 J22 I28
    Date: 2016–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-04-16&r=lam
  6. By: Ana Paola Cruz Rodríguez; Alvin Alejandro Olarte
    Abstract: La presente investigación tiene como objetivo analizar si tasas mayores de sanción inciden en el comportamiento de evasión fiscal de los declarantes. Para lograr tal cometido, a partir de la metodología experimental, se obtiene una primera aproximación que procede a examinar los datos provenientes de una muestra de estudiantes universitarios. El diseño del experimento introduce los costes psicológicos de la estructura clásica asociados al incumplimiento por medio de un procedimiento de inspección y sanción en dos tipos de tratamiento: un Sistema Débil (SD) con una tasa de sanción menor a la de un Sistema Fuerte (SF), aunque con igual probabilidad de inspección en los dos. Los resultados sugieren que no existe una diferencia significativa entre los montos declarados entre un sistema y otro, lo que concuerda con una tendencia a la evasión en el país, tema ya abordado por diferentes estudios. Sin embargo, el aporte individual total, que se compone de declaraciones y sanciones, sí es significativamente mayor en el SF, aspecto tocado superficialmente en las recomendaciones dadas por la Comisión de Expertos para la Equidad y Competitividad Tributaria, quienes proponen básicamente crear un código tributario, ampliar la base y aumentar las tasas impositivas.
    Keywords: evasión, sanción, economía experimental, política fiscal.
    JEL: C91 E62 H26
    Date: 2016–08–26
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000176:015028&r=lam

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