nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2017‒01‒22
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Inflation bias in Latin America By Pacheco, André Sanchez; Tenani, Paulo Sérgio
  2. A time series analysis of household income inequality in Brazil 1977-2013 By Caperoz, Marcelo; Marçal, Emerson Fernandes; Mattos, Enlinson
  3. The structural constraints of income inequality in Latin America By Dominik Hartmann; Cristian Jara-Figueroa; Miguel Guevara; Alex Simoes; C\'esar A. Hidalgo
  4. Wage and price setting: new evidence from Uruguayan firms By Fernando Borraz; Gerardo Licandro; Daniela Sola
  5. Aspectos institucionales de los sistemas de pensiones en América Latina By Uthoff, Andras

  1. By: Pacheco, André Sanchez; Tenani, Paulo Sérgio
    Abstract: This paper accesses the presence of inflation bias in major Latin American Economies over the past decade. Using a small-scale New Keynesian DSGE model and Bayesian Techniques, the time-varying neutral rate of interest is estimated for major Latin American economies. Then the deviations in the policy rate from the neutral rate are overlapped with deviations in current inflation from target. This simple procedure allows the identification of three different regimes of monetary policy – too easy, too restrictive and appropriate. The main result is that Latin American Central Banks often set monetary policy too easy. Analogously, the same conclusion is found if one compares the policy rate with a Taylor Rule-based interest rate aimed at the center of the inflation target range. Such analysis provides evidence of inflation bias in the region, with the exception of Chile.
    Date: 2016–08–25
  2. By: Caperoz, Marcelo; Marçal, Emerson Fernandes; Mattos, Enlinson
    Abstract: This paper analyses the evolution of household income inequality in Brazil from 1977 and 2013 using Brazilian National Household Survey data at aggregated and regional levels. Four income shares quantiles are analyzed: Top 1%, Top 10%, Bottom 10% and Bottom 50%. The novelty of our study is to use time series techniques to understand the phenomenon of income inequality within this period. We use Markov-Switching Regime Change Model (Hamilton [1989]) and State Space Unobservable Model (Harvey [1990]) techniques. Both strategies suggest that income concentration periods are related to low growth rates but high in ation rates as opposed to many developed countries (Piketty and Saez [2014]). Results from Markov-switching models suggest a detection of a new regime during rst decade of 2000's in poorest quantiles (bottom 10% and 50%) increasing their correspondent income shares. Moreover a regime of low shares started to prevail at the same time for Top 10% whereas for those at the Top 1% had prevailed a concentrated income share regime during eighties and nineties. We argue that Brazilian macroeconomic instability helped to produce a regime of low income shares at the bottom of the distribution. Our results suggest that recent inequality reduction in the shares of top 1% quantile can be seen as a back to normality instead of a new era whereas signi cant changes can be seen in other quantiles. State space models results also suggests that macroeconomic of the eighties had a severe e ects on Brazilian inequality whereas the dynamics of Top 1% income shares reinforce the return of 70's level considering aggregated data. Last, our estimates unveil important regional di erences in many quantiles mainly on the low brackets where poorer regions seem to have persistent income-inequality that take longer to be reduced.
    Date: 2016–11–22
  3. By: Dominik Hartmann; Cristian Jara-Figueroa; Miguel Guevara; Alex Simoes; C\'esar A. Hidalgo
    Abstract: Recent work has shown that a country's productive structure constrains its level of economic growth and income inequality. In this paper, we compare the productive structure of countries in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) with that of China and other High-Performing Asian Economies (HPAE) to expose the increasing gap in their productive capabilities. Moreover, we use the product space and the Product Gini Index to reveal the structural constraints on income inequality. Our network maps reveal that HPAE have managed to diversify into products typically produced by countries with low levels of income inequality, while LAC economies have remained dependent on products related with high levels of income inequality. We also introduce the Xgini, a coefficient that captures the constraints on income inequality imposed by the mix of products a country makes. Finally, we argue that LAC countries need to emphasize a smart combination of social and economic policies to overcome the structural constraints for inclusive growth.
    Date: 2017–01
  4. By: Fernando Borraz; Gerardo Licandro; Daniela Sola
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on wage and price setting based on a survey of more than 300 Uruguayan firms in 2013. Most of the firms set prices considering costs and adding a profit margin; therefore, they have some degree of market power. The evidence indicates that price increases appear quite flexible in Uruguay (prices are downward rigid). Most of the firms adjust their prices without following a regular frequency which suggests that price changes in Uruguay are state-dependent, although wage changes are concentrated in January and July. Interestingly, the cost of credit is seen by companies as an irrelevant factor in explaining price increases. We also find that cost reduction is the principal strategy to a negative demand shock. Finally, the adjustment of prices to changes in wages is relatively fast.
    Keywords: price setting, labor market, survey evidence, Uruguay
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: Uthoff, Andras
    Abstract: En este documento se analizan los desarrollos institucionales necesarios para los sistemas de pensiones y se presenta la experiencia de Chile. Al revisar estos desarrollos se busca asegurar que el desempeño de un sistema de pensiones concilie la lógica de su financiamiento con la de los principios de la seguridad social y garantice que a lo largo de varias generaciones pueda superar los riesgos (captura de los fondos, cambios demográficos, crisis económicas y financieras) frente a los cuales el funcionamiento del sistema es vulnerable. La evidencia que se examina en este trabajo muestra que, en todos los avances, las dimensiones de la institucionalidad no son excluyentes y deben complementarse.
    Date: 2016–12

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