nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2016‒11‒06
nine papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. International Banking and Cross-Border Effects of Regulation: Lessons from Chile By Luis Cabezas; Alejandro Jara
  2. Influence of socio-demographic characteristics on different dimensions of household food insecurity in Montevideo, Uruguay By Máximo Rossi; Zuleika Ferre; María Rosa Curutchet; Ana Giménez; Gastón Ares
  3. Sex-Differences in Language and Socio-Emotional Skills: Evidence from Large Scale Studies of Very Young Children By Bando, Rosangela; López Bóo, Florencia
  4. The Future Expansion of HVDC Power Transmission in Brazil: A Scenario-Based Economic Evaluation By Köhnke Mendonça, Christian; Oberst, Christian A.; Madlener, Reinhard
  5. A Snapshot on the Quality of Seven Home Visit Parenting Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean By Leer, Jane; López Bóo, Florencia; Perez Expósito, Ana; Powell, Christine
  6. Underemployment and Queues for Full Time Jobs: Evidence from Chile By Daniel Jaar; Alejandro Gonzalez; Esteban Puentes
  7. Intra-Household Behavioral Responses to Cash Transfer Programs: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design By Bergolo, Marcelo; Galvan, Estefania
  8. The Redistributive Impactive of Government Spending on Education and Health Evidence from Thirteen Developing Countries in the Commitment to Equity Project By Nora Lustig
  9. La jubilación de los “cincuentones” By Alvaro Forteza; Ianina Rossi

  1. By: Luis Cabezas; Alejandro Jara
    Abstract: In this paper we address whether foreign regulations affect the domestic activity of a select group of internationally active banks in Chile, for the 2002q2-2013q4 sample period. We find that the spillover effects generated by changes in the prudential policy abroad have a positive, but relatively weak impact on domestic lending. When comparing the two dimensions of prudential regulations, i.e. inward transmission through international exposure of domestic banks and through affiliates of foreign-owned banks, the spillovers transmitted through the first approach are stronger and economically more significant than through the foreign subsidiary relationship. This result is robust to different specifications, and might suggest that foreign subsidiaries in Chile behave just like domestic banks, as they have to comply with the local regulation in the same way as local banks. Above all, capital requirements appear to be the most significant prudential policy affecting domestic lending.
    Date: 2016–08
  2. By: Máximo Rossi (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Zuleika Ferre (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); María Rosa Curutchet (Observatorio de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional, Instituto Nacional de Alimentación); Ana Giménez (Sensometrics & Consumer Science, Instituto Polo Tecnológico de Pando, Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República); Gastón Ares (Sensometrics & Consumer Science, Instituto Polo Tecnológico de Pando, Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: Using a cross-sectional survey with a representative sample of households from the metropolitan area centered on Montevideo, we evaluate first the factorial structure of the Latin American & Caribbean Household Food Security Scale (ELCSA) with an exploratory factor analysis. Secondly, using a probit model we study the influence of socio-demographic characteristics on each of the identified dimensions of the food insecurity. The percentage of affirmative responses to the items of the ELCSA scale ranged from 31.7% to 4.4%. Two factors were identified with the exploratory factor analysis from households without children under 18 years old, whereas three factors were identified for households with children. The identified factors were associated with different severity levels of food insecurity. Likelihood of experiencing different levels of food insecurity was affected by individual characteristics of the respondent as well as characteristics of the household. Household income had the largest influence on all the dimensions, which indicates a strong relationship between income and food insecurity.
    Keywords: food security; income; factor analysis; Latin America
    JEL: I14 I31 D12
    Date: 2016–08
  3. By: Bando, Rosangela (Inter-American Development Bank); López Bóo, Florencia (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: This study explores sex differences in language and socio-emotional skills on children 7 months to 6 years old in Latin-America. Females had a significant advantage in both dimensions. To our knowledge, this is the first study to document sex differences in these dimensions at a very young age. In part, we believe this is due to our uniquely large sample size. We found geographical and cultural variation across the countries under study did not affect the gap. Within countries, variation in family characteristics, parenting practices and health investments did not explain the gap. The identification of biological and environmental factors is necessary to inform whether policy should tailor inputs to ensure equality of opportunities.
    Keywords: gender gaps, sex gaps, language, social skills, emotional skills, early childhood
    JEL: I25 J13 J16 O15 Z13
    Date: 2016–10
  4. By: Köhnke Mendonça, Christian (RWTH Aachen University); Oberst, Christian A. (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN)); Madlener, Reinhard (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN))
    Abstract: We discuss the expected future needs of the Brazilian electric grid operators for High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission lines against the background of a changing electricity sector in Brazil. On account of the spatial mismatch between the additional generation potential and the expected future electricity demand, a need for investments in long-distance transmission capacity is postulated. Due to the low losses incurred, HVDC technology is particularly suitable for this. For the analysis, we use different expansion scenarios for the year 2035 that are mainly based on hydropower or alternative renewable energy sources (primarily wind and solar power). Linear optimization is used to determine the optimal HVDC transmission lines to connect regions. The results show that large investments in HVDC transmission are needed, especially in the case of hydropower expansion, and that transmission capacity is a critical factor in the process of expanding the renewable energy generation capacity in Brazil.
    Keywords: HVDC transmission lines; Grid planning; Energy transition; Spatial mismatch
    JEL: H54 L94 Q40
    Date: 2015–08
  5. By: Leer, Jane (Inter-American Development Bank); López Bóo, Florencia (Inter-American Development Bank); Perez Expósito, Ana (Inter-American Development Bank); Powell, Christine (University of the West Indies, Kingston)
    Abstract: Although there is ample support for the causal link between home visit parenting programs and child development outcomes, few studies have explored what it is that drives this relationship – to what extent home visit programs are implemented as designed in terms of the content and strategies used by home visitors. To our knowledge, comparable data on the quality and fidelity of implementation in home visit programs in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) does not exist. In light of this gap, this note presents a snapshot of home visit quality in seven countries in which home visits reach a considerable number of children. Using an observational checklist tool, we find strong rapport between visitors and families, and consistent involvement of caregivers and children in practicing activities during the visit. However, visitors rarely explain the importance of these activities in relation to child development, often times do not bring the necessary materials, and do little to encourage meaningful dialogue and feedback from caregivers nor demonstrate the desired activity or behavior. Only one third of the observed visitors emphasized language development throughout the visit. It is important to emphasize that these results are not generalizable due to the small and non-random nature of the sample of home visits observed. Nonetheless, this study serves as a pilot of the instrument and type of domains that can and should be measured in a home visit program in order to ensure implementation quality.
    Keywords: early childhood development, quality, home visiting programs, process quality, Brazil, Nicaragua, Peru, Panama, Jamaica, Ecuador, Bolivia
    JEL: J13 H53 H75 I38
    Date: 2016–10
  6. By: Daniel Jaar; Alejandro Gonzalez; Esteban Puentes
    Abstract: This article develops a double selection model in order to test whether part-time workers are excluded from full time jobs (underemployed) or choose to put themselves into distinct labour market segments. Results show statistical support for both exclusion and self-selection in the labour market. Additionally, they suggest that underemployment is mostly driven by the structural heterogeneity of the Chilean economy with human capital variables playing a secondary role. Wage equations are estimated as to further characterize each group; they show that the same economic segments that hire more full time workers pay wage premiums, a result consistent with the hypothesis of structural heterogeneity.
    Date: 2016–10
  7. By: Bergolo, Marcelo (IECON, Universidad de la República); Galvan, Estefania (Aix-Marseille University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the behavioral responses of coupled men and women to a cash transfer program in Uruguay – Asignaciones Familiares-Plan de Equidad (AFAM-PE) –, by analyzing its effect on labor market responses, marital dissolution, and the decision-making process regarding the use of money. The identification strategy exploits both the fact that the monetary transfer is targeted to women and a local random assignment into the AFAM-PE which exogenously changed the intra-household distribution of resources across applicant households. Based on a regression discontinuity design and on a follow-up survey matched with administrative records of applicant households to the program, the insights of this study may be summarized in four broad results. First, while no significant effects are found for men, the program has significant negative effects on the formality choice of women at the eligibility cut-off, but no robust effect on the margin of employment. Secondly, these responses seem to be associated with a decline in women's movement into formal labor from unregistered jobs. These responses do not depend on their partner's labor supply. Third, contrary to findings for various welfare programs in developed countries, no effect on marital dissolution is found. Fourth, we find suggestive evidence that the AFAM-PE results in women taking greater (perceived) responsibility for decisions in specific spheres of household expenditures. In conclusion, considering the overall effects, these results suggest that conditional cash transfer programs (CCTs) do not necessary imply an increase in women's control over household resources, offering suggestive considerations for the ongoing debate in developing countries and suggesting the need to discuss new designs for social assistance.
    Keywords: conditional cash transfer program, intra-household allocations, labor market behavior, women´s decision-making
    JEL: H31 O15 D13 J22
    Date: 2016–10
  8. By: Nora Lustig (Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Department of Economics, Tulane University.)
    Abstract: Here, I examine the level, redistributive impact and pro-poorness of government spending on education and health for thirteen developing countries from the Commitment to Equity project. Social spending as a share of total income is high by historical standards, and it rises with income per capita and income inequality. Spending on education and health lowers inequality and its marginal contribution to the overall decline in inequality is, on average, 69 percent. There appears to be no “Robin Hood Paradox:” redistribution increases with income inequality, even if one controls for per capita income. Concentration coefficients indicate that spending on pre-school, primary and secondary education is pro-poor in twelve countries. Spending on tertiary education is regressive and unequalizing in three countries, and progressive and equalizing (but not pro-poor) in ten. Health spending is pro-poor in five countries. Of the remaining eight, health spending per capita is roughly equal across the income distribution in three, and progressive and equalizing (but not pro-poor) in five.
    Keywords: fiscal incidence, social spending, inequality, developing countries
    JEL: H22 D31 I3
    Date: 2015–03
  9. By: Alvaro Forteza (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Ianina Rossi (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: Algunos trabajadores de las primeras generaciones del régimen mixto de jubilaciones que administran el BPS y las AFAP recibirán jubilaciones menores que las que recibieron trabajadores de similares niveles de ingresos e historias laborales que integraron el régimen de transición. Otros recibirán jubilaciones mayores. En este documento, presentamos simulaciones que ayudan a entender el porqué de estos resultados y a identificar potenciales perdedores y ganadores.
    Keywords: jubilaciones, reforma, seguridad social, transición
    JEL: J14 J26
    Date: 2016–06

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