nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2017‒07‒23
six papers chosen by

  1. Migration and Remittances in Latin America and the Caribbean; Engines of Growth and Macroeconomic Stabilizers? By Kimberly Beaton; Svetlana Cerovic; Misael Galdamez; Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov; Franz Loyola; Zsoka Koczan; Bogdan Lissovolik; Jan Kees Martijn; Yulia Ustyugova; Joyce Wong
  2. Vulnerability and Clientelism By Gustavo J. Bobonis; Paul Gertler; Marco Gonzalez-Navarro; Simeon Nichter
  3. Trade Integration in Latin America: A Network Perspective By Kimberly Beaton; Aliona Cebotari; Xiaodan Ding; Andras Komaromi
  4. Educational Impacts and Cost-Effectiveness of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs in Developing Countries: A Meta-Analysis By Sandra García; Juan Saavedra
  5. Carga y estructura tributaria en Chile: comparación con países OCDE By Estéfano Rubio; Rodrigo Vergara
  6. Perception of Corruption and Public Support for Redistribution in Latin America By Esther Hauk; Mónica Oviedo; Xavier Ramos

  1. By: Kimberly Beaton; Svetlana Cerovic; Misael Galdamez; Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov; Franz Loyola; Zsoka Koczan; Bogdan Lissovolik; Jan Kees Martijn; Yulia Ustyugova; Joyce Wong
    Abstract: Outward migration has been an important phenomenon for countries in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC), particularly those in Central America and the Caribbean. This paper examines recent trends in outward migration from and remittances to LAC, as well as their costs and benefits. For the home country, the negative impact from emigration on labor resources and productivity seems to outweigh growth gains from remittances, notably for the Caribbean. However, given emigration, remittance flows play key financing and stabilizing roles in Central America and the Caribbean. They facilitate private consumption smoothing, support financial sector stability and fiscal revenues, and help reduce poverty and inequality, without strong evidence for harmful competitiveness effects through shifts in the real exchange rate.
    Date: 2017–06–29
  2. By: Gustavo J. Bobonis; Paul Gertler; Marco Gonzalez-Navarro; Simeon Nichter
    Abstract: Political clientelism is often deemed to undermine democratic accountability and representation. This study argues that economic vulnerability causes citizens to participate in clientelism. We test this hypothesis with a randomized control trial that reduced household vulnerability through a development intervention: constructing residential water cisterns in drought-prone areas of Northeast Brazil. This exogenous reduction in vulnerability significantly decreased requests for private benefits from local politicians, especially by citizens likely to be involved in clientelistic relationships. We also link program beneficiaries to granular voting outcomes, and show that this reduction in vulnerability decreased votes for incumbent mayors, who typically have more resources to engage in clientelism. Our evidence points to a persistent reduction in clientelism, given that findings are observed not only during an election campaign, but also a full year later.
    JEL: O11 O12 O54 P16
    Date: 2017–07
  3. By: Kimberly Beaton; Aliona Cebotari; Xiaodan Ding; Andras Komaromi
    Abstract: The paper applies a network analysis framework to analyze the regional and global integration of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. We compare network-based measures of trade integration to conventional measures, decomposing integration along several dimensions to better understand the sources of trade connectivity and their impact on growth. The paper finds that LAC countries are relatively well integrated in terms of links to diversified markets, but the strength of those links is weak. Comparing trade integration to predictions from gravity models, we find many LAC countries have significant scope to improve connectivity and increase their roles in regional and world trade networks.
    Date: 2017–06–30
  4. By: Sandra García; Juan Saavedra
    Abstract: We meta-analyze for impact and cost-effectiveness 94 studies from 47 conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs in low- and middle-income countries worldwide, focusing on educational outcomes that include enrollment, attendance, dropout and school completion. To conceptually guide and interpret the empirical findings of our meta-analysis, we present a simple economic framework of household decision-making that generates predictions, all else constant, for the association between certain program context and design characteristics, and impact estimates. We also present a simple model for the analysis of program costs, using it to compute cost-effectiveness estimates for a subsample of CCT programs. For all schooling outcomes, we find strong support for heterogeneity in impact, transfer-effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness estimates. Our meta-analytic results of impact and transfer-effectiveness estimates provide support to some – but not all – of the predictions from the household decision-making model.
    JEL: I25 I28 O15 O38 O57
    Date: 2017–07
  5. By: Estéfano Rubio; Rodrigo Vergara (Centro de Estudios Públicos, Santiago)
    Abstract: Uno de los argumentos utilizados para justificar la reforma tributaria de 2014, que se espera recaude 3 puntos porcentuales del PIB, fue que Chile tenía una carga tributaria inferior a la de la gran mayoría de los países de la OCDE (Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económico), por lo que era razonable aumentarla, más aún en vista de que se requería recursos para financiar programas sociales adicionales. En este trabajo se compara la carga tributaria y la estructura de dicha carga en Chile y en el resto de los países de la OCDE. La comparación se hace para cuando las naciones tenían un ingreso per cápita similar al chileno actual. La conclusión básica es que la carga tributaria en Chile post reforma tributaria será similar (un punto del PIB menor) a la de la mediana de esos países cuando tenían un nivel de desarrollo similar al chileno. También se analiza la estructura de la carga tributaria. Se concluye que la recaudación por impuesto a las utilidades de las empresas en Chile es elevada en relación al resto de los países de la OCDE, que la recaudación por el impuesto al ingreso de las personas es baja y que en términos de impuesto a los bienes y servicios la recaudación es similar. Se discuten algunas hipótesis sobre la razón por la cual la recaudación del impuesto al ingreso personal es tan baja en nuestro país (la menor entre los 35 naciones). Se concluye que la principal razón es que el mínimo exento en Chile es relativamente alto. En efecto, mientras en la mediana de los países de la OCDE los individuos comienzan a pagar impuestos cuando su ingreso es alrededor de un 30% del ingreso mediano de su respectivo país, en Chile lo hacen cuando su ingreso llega a 180% de dicho ingreso mediano. Finalmente, se debe destacar que una discusión sobre el nivel y la estructura óptima de la carga tributaria excede el propósito de esta nota. Lo aquí planteado sólo pretende ser una comparación de niveles y estructuras bajo condiciones similares de desarrollo, junto con una explicación del porqué algunas diferencias en las estructuras tributarias de Chile y el resto de los países de la OCDE.
    Keywords: Taxation, tax burden, OECD
    JEL: H29 H10
    Date: 2017–01
  6. By: Esther Hauk (Barcelona Graduate School of Economics); Mónica Oviedo (Dept. Economia Aplicada, Facultat dEconomia i Empresa, Campus UAB); Xavier Ramos (Dept. Economia Aplicada, Facultat dEconomia i Empresa, Campus UAB)
    Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between people's beliefs about the quality of their institutions, as measured by corruption perceptions, and preferences for redistribution in Latin America. Our empirical study is guided by a theoretical model which introduces taxes into Foellmi and Oechslin's (2007) general equilibrium model of non-collusive corruption. In this model perceived corruption influences people's preferences for redistribution through two channels. On the one hand it undermines trust in government, which reduces people's support for redistribution. On the other hand, more corruption decreases own wealth relative to average wealth of below-average-wealth individuals leading to a higher demand for redistribution. Thus, the effect of perceived corruption on redistribution cannot be signed a priori. Our novel empirical findings for Latin America suggest that perceiving corruption in the public sector increases people's support for redistribution. Although the positive channel dominates in the data, we also find evidence for the negative channel from corruption to demand for redistribution via reduced trust.
    Keywords: Preference for redistribution, perception of corruption, political trust, bribery, Latin America.
    JEL: D31 D63 H1 H2 P16
    Date: 2017–06

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