nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2016‒11‒27
four papers chosen by

  1. Child Discipline and Social Programs: Evidence from Colombia By Diana Lopez-Avila
  2. What is Different about Urbanization in Rich and Poor Countries? Cities in Brazil, China, India and the United States By Juan Pablo Chauvin; Edward Glaeser; Kristina Tobio
  3. Capital Allocation across Regions, Sectors and Firms: evidence from a commodity boom in Brazil By Paula Bustos; Gabriel Garber; Jacopo Ponticelli
  4. Balance Sheet Effects in Colombian Non-Financial Firms By Adolfo Barajas; Sergio Restrepo; Roberto Steiner; Juan Camilo Medellín; César Pabón

  1. By: Diana Lopez-Avila (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper examines how interventions during early childhood affect disciplining methods in Colombia, where poor households are eligible for a number of social programs targeted to young children, based on a proxy means index. These programs include child care options, nutritional programs and health checks. I analyze whether these programs affect parents' disciplining methods through two different identification strategies. I implement a regression discontinuity design exploiting the discontinuity on the probability of benefiting from these programs, as a function of the proxy means index used for targeting. I also implement a propensity score matching using differences in length of exposure to one of these programs, a subsidized child care program. Results from the first identification strategy show that fathers of children who benefit from these programs to a larger extent, use less physical ways to discipline their children. On the other hand, mothers of children who have been exposed longer to the subsidized child care option, appear to move to more pedagogic ways of discipline. These results hold in particular for households with working or more educated mothers.
    Keywords: Early Childhood Development,Childcare,Parenting,Domestic Violence, J13, J18, O15
    Date: 2016–04
  2. By: Juan Pablo Chauvin (Harvard University); Edward Glaeser (Harvard University and NBERAuthor-Name: Yueran Ma; Harvard University); Kristina Tobio (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Are the well-known facts about urbanization in the United States also true for the developing world? We compare American metropolitan areas with analogous geographic units in Brazil, China and India. Both Gibrat’s Law and Zipf’s Law seem to hold as well in Brazil as in the U.S., but China and India look quite different. In Brazil and China, the implications of the spatial equilibrium hypothesis, the central organizing idea of urban economics, are not rejected. The India data, however, repeatedly rejects tests inspired by the spatial equilibrium assumption. One hypothesis is that spatial equilibrium only emerges with economic development, as markets replace social relationships and as human capital spreads more widely. In all four countries there is strong evidence of agglomeration economies and human capital externalities. The correlation between density and earnings is stronger in both China and India than in the U.S., strongest in China. In India the gap between urban and rural wages is huge, but the correlation between city size and earnings is more modest. The cross-sectional relationship between area-level skills and both earnings and area-level growth are also stronger in the developing world than in the U.S. The forces that drive urban success seem similar in the rich and poor world, even if limited migration and difficult housing markets make it harder for a spatial equilibrium to develop.
    Keywords: Urbanization; developing countries; spatial equilibrium; agglomeration economies; human capital externalities
    JEL: O15 O18 R12 R23
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Paula Bustos; Gabriel Garber; Jacopo Ponticelli
    Abstract: We study the allocation of capital across regions, sectors and firms. In particular, we assess to what extent growth in agricultural productivity can lead to an increase in the supply of credit in industry and services. For this purpose, we identify an exogenous increase in agricultural profits due to the adoption of genetically engineered soy in Brazil. We find that regions with larger increases in agricultural productivity experienced larger increases in local bank deposits. However, there was no increase in local bank lending. Instead, capital was reallocated towards other regions through bank branch networks. This increase in credit supply affected firms' credit access through the extensive and intensive margin. First, regions with more bank branches receiving funds from soy areas experienced an increase in credit market participation of small and medium sized firms. In addition, banks experiencing faster deposit growth in soy areas increased their lending to firms with whom they had preexisting relationships. In turn, these firms grew faster in terms of employment and wage bill. Our estimates imply that the elasticity of firm growth to credit is largest in the manufacturing sector. These findings suggest that agricultural productivity growth can lead to structural transformation through a financial channel.
    Date: 2016–11
  4. By: Adolfo Barajas; Sergio Restrepo; Roberto Steiner; Juan Camilo Medellín; César Pabón
    Abstract: After building up foreign currency denominated (FC) liabilities over several years, the balance sheets of Colombian firms might be particularly vulnerable to a shift in external conditions. We undertake four exercises in order to get a better understanding of these vulnerabilities. First, through probit/logit estimations we identify the firm-level and macroeconomic determinants of FC borrowing by non-financial corporations. Second, we investigate the implication of the balance sheet vulnerability for real activity. We find evidence of a FC balance sheet effect that transmits exchange rate fluctuations to firm-level investment, and show that this effect is asymmetric, much greater for depreciations than for appreciations. Third, using logit/probit estimations, we show that not all firms use forward exchange derivatives solely to hedge their FC liabilities. This might be a consequence of exchange rate intervention by the monetary authority, protecting against extreme exchange rate misalignments. Finally, we report results of a survey-based qualitative analysis on the hedging policies and activities of 12 large non-financial firms.
    JEL: E22 F31
    Date: 2016–11–18

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