nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2017‒03‒19
five papers chosen by

  1. Self-employment and educational childcare time: Evidence from Latin America By Juan Carlos, Campaña; J. Ignacio, Giménez-Nadal; Jose Alberto, Molina
  2. The Trade-off between Governance and Checks and Balances By Alvaro Forteza; Juan Sebastian Pereyra Barreiro
  3. The Impact of Prison Labor Programs on Recidivism: The Case of Chile By Francisca Gomez; Nicolas Grau
  4. Women at Work in Latin America and the Caribbean By Natalija Novta; Joyce Wong
  5. The Relative Effectiveness of Spot and Derivatives Based Intervention; The Case of Brazil By Milan Nedeljkovic; Christian Saborowski

  1. By: Juan Carlos, Campaña; J. Ignacio, Giménez-Nadal; Jose Alberto, Molina
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the time employed and self-employed mothers devote to paid work and childcare activities, focusing on the activities aimed at increasing the human capital of children. To that end, we use time-use survey data for Mexico (2009), Peru (2010), Panama (2011), Ecuador (2012) and Colombia (2012). In our econometric results, we find that self-employed mothers in Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, and Colombia devote more time to educational child care, compared to employed mothers. Furthermore, the level of education of the mother also influences behavioral patterns between self-employed and employed mothers in childcare. To the extent that differences in the time mothers spend with their children influence the present and future outcomes of those children, our results are important for policy reasons.
    Keywords: self-employment; educational child care, Latin America
    JEL: D13 J13 J22
    Date: 2017–03–08
  2. By: Alvaro Forteza; Juan Sebastian Pereyra Barreiro
    Abstract: Strong checks and balances aimed at protecting citizens from government abuse of power are key features of well performing democracies. Nevertheless, some presidents have enjoyed strong and often explicit popular support when they undermined these controls. We present a formal model of the trade-off between control on the executive and delegation to analyze voters' decision on the strength of checks and balances. We argue that voters may support their loosening, even when this allows rent extraction, if they are convinced that checks on the executive are blocking necessary reforms. We discuss several cases of strong presidents in Latin America who, alleging that radical reforms were necessary, obtained popular support that allowed them to loosen checks on the executive. Some of these presidents had a pro- and some an anti-market reform agenda so, as our model suggests, voters' willingness to remove checks and balances can emerge under both right- and left-wing executives.
    Keywords: political agency; separation of powers; checks and balances
    JEL: H11 P16 P48
    Date: 2017–03
  3. By: Francisca Gomez; Nicolas Grau
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of prison labor programs on recidivism using a nationwide census-based dataset of all prison inmates released in 2010 in Chile and tracked for two years after release. Because participation in prison labor programs is not random, we use an instrumental variables (IV) regression procedure to address endogeneity and to estimate whether there is a reduced probability of recidivism that can be attributed to participation in prison labor programs. The results indicate that once the endogeneity problem is addressed, participation in prison labor programs does not contribute to a statistical reduction in the odds of recidivism for the overall sample; however, the estimation of heterogeneous effects reported statistically significant effects for specific groups. Length:31 pages
    Date: 2017–03
  4. By: Natalija Novta; Joyce Wong
    Abstract: Women across the world remain an underutilized resource in the labor force. Participation in the labor force averages around 80 percent for men but only 50 percent for women – nearly half of women’s productive potential remains untapped compared to one-fifth for men. Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), as a region, saw the largest gains in female labor force participation (LFP) in the world during the last two decades. Women in LAC are becoming increasingly active in paid work, closing the gap with men and catching up to their counterparts in advanced economies at an impressive rate. In this paper, we document the recent trends in female LFP and female education in the LAC region, discuss the size of potential gains to GDP from increasing female LFP and policies which could be deployed towards this goal.
    Keywords: Labor force participation;Latin America;Caribbean;Women;Labor productivity;Education;Economics of gender, Women’s labor supply, Public policy affecting female LFP
    Date: 2017–02–14
  5. By: Milan Nedeljkovic; Christian Saborowski
    Abstract: This paper studies the relative effectiveness of foreign exchange intervention in spot and derivatives markets. We make use of Brazilian data where spot and non-deliverable futures based intervention have been used in tandem for more than a decade. The analysis finds evidence in favor of a significant link between both modes of intervention and the first two moments of the real/dollar exchange rate. As predicted by theory for the case of negligible convertibility risk, the impact of spot market intervention in our baseline sample is strikingly similar to that achieved through futures based intervention worth an equivalent amount in notional principal.
    Keywords: Foreign exchange intervention;Brazil;Financial derivatives;Spot exchange rates;Derivative markets;Exchange rates;Econometric models;FX Intervention; Derivatives; Exchange rates
    Date: 2017–01–24

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