nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2017‒08‒13
seven papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. City Size, Distance and Formal Employment Creation By O´Clery, Neave; Lora, Eduardo
  2. Housing Subsidies, Labor Supply and Household Welfare. Experimental Evidence from Argentina By Alzúa, María Laura; Amendolaggine, Julián; Cruces, Guillermo; Greppi, Catrihel
  3. What is the Role of Urban Growth on Inequality, and Segregation? The Case of Urban Argentina´s Urban Agglomerations By Goytia, Cynthia; Dorna, Guadalupe
  4. Valuation of Public Amenities and Differences in Quality of Life among Latin American Cities By Arrosa, María Laura; Gandelman, Néstor
  5. High-skilled workers´ segregation and productivity in Latin American cities By Garrido, Nicolás; Vargas, Miguel
  6. Integrating Early-life Shocks and Human Capital Investments on Children´s Education By Duque, Valentina; Rosales-Rueda, María; Sánchez, Fabio
  7. Public expenditures and debt at the subnational level: Evidence of fiscal smoothing from Argentina By Besfamille, Martín; Grosman, Nicolás; Jorrat, Diego; Manzano, Osmel; Sanguinetti, Pablo

  1. By: O´Clery, Neave; Lora, Eduardo
    Abstract: Cities thrive through the diversity of their occupants because the availability of complementary skills enables firms in the formal sector to grow, delivering increasingly sophisticated products and services. The appearance of new industries is path dependent in that new economic activities build on existing strengths, leading cities to both diversify and specialize in distinct areas. Hence, the location of necessary capabilities, and in particular the distance between firms and people with the skills they need, is key to the success of urban agglomerations. Using data for Colombia, this paper assesses the extent to which cities benefit from skills and capabilities available in their surrounding catchment areas. Without assuming a priori a definition for cities, we sequentially agglomerate the 96 urban municipalities larger than 50,000 people based on commuting time. We show that a level of agglomeration equivalent to between 45 and 75 minutes of commuting time, corresponding to between 62 and 43 cities, maximizes the impact that the availability of skills has on the ability of agglomerations to generate formal employment. Smaller urban municipalities stand to gain more in the process of agglomeration. A range of policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Ciudades, Educación, Investigación socioeconómica, Sector privado, Trabajo y protección social,
    Date: 2016
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dbl:dblpap:959&r=lam
  2. By: Alzúa, María Laura; Amendolaggine, Julián; Cruces, Guillermo; Greppi, Catrihel
    Abstract: We study the impact of a social housing policy program implemented in Argentina, exploiting the random assignment rule to identify the policy's causal effect on labor market and other socio-economic outcomes. In particular, this paper evaluates an intervention that combines access to quality housing at a heavily subsidized cost, the granting of property rights, and relocation in a suburb of Rosario, Argentina's third largest city. In a preliminary analysis, based on administrative social security records, we find that the policy generates a reduction in registered employment by more than 7 percentage points, especially for women and beneficiaries over 50 years of age. We went further and conducted a purposely-designed household survey among a sample of beneficiaries in order to understand the underlying mechanisms and welfare implications of these results. All in all, our analysis points to the existence of an income effect and confirms the registered fall in formal employment and labor force participation. We do not find an increase in informalization, although beneficiaries' perceived access to local job opportunities are signicantly reduced.
    Keywords: Economía, Investigación socioeconómica, Trabajo y protección social, Vivienda,
    Date: 2016
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dbl:dblpap:971&r=lam
  3. By: Goytia, Cynthia; Dorna, Guadalupe
    Abstract: We analyze the relationship between urban sprawl and changing patterns of inequality and segregation in metropolitan areas of Argentina. The existing literature has endeavored to study the determinants of the expansion of cities, but less attention has been placed in understanding the effects of this sprawl on the livelihood of the people that live in them. Understanding whether different patterns of urban extension determine both segregation and inequality is extremely relevant in the context of fast growing urban agglomerates of Latin American countries. Among other findings, we provide evidence that there is segregation of the poor and not of the rich in all urban agglomerates but in Greater Buenos Aires, where segregation of the affluent, not the poor, prevails in the areas of greater informal urban expansion, measured by the extension of informal settlements. Yet, not all the patterns of urban development and built-up growth have the same effect. More leapfrog appears to explain greater segregation -particularly of the poor- while both infill and extension are positively related to more homogeneous urban agglomerations. This means that the most disadvantaged are more evenly distributed in agglomerations that have not seen much of their sprawl due to discontinue urban expansion of their borders. Finally, we also find a positive association between more unequal municipalities and greater slum expansions. The causality of this relationship is unclear and further analysis could be promising. It might be the case that more unequal municipalities allow for institutional environments in which slums can grow faster. Or it might well be that places which have experienced more accelerated slum growth have become more unequal because of the arrival of new families that accentuates such disparities.
    Keywords: Ciudades, Desarrollo social, Desarrollo urbano, Economía, Equidad e inclusión social, Investigación socioeconómica, Pobreza,
    Date: 2016
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dbl:dblpap:972&r=lam
  4. By: Arrosa, María Laura; Gandelman, Néstor
    Abstract: We use a life satisfaction approach for the valuation of public goods and amenities in Latin American cities. We apply a homogenous database of seventeen cities gathered by the Development Bank of Latin America CAF. Using the estimated monetary value for several public goods and neighborhood amenities we construct a city level quality of life index. We find that access to electricity, access to running water and security are the three largest valued urban characteristics in terms of life satisfaction and housing satisfaction. The monetary equivalent valuations represent more than duplicating the household per capita income. Lacking access to them has a tremendous impact on quality of life. We also show that although richer households have more access, public good and amenities are a source for reductions in quality of life disparities.
    Keywords: Ciudades, Investigación socioeconómica, Servicios públicos,
    Date: 2016
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dbl:dblpap:979&r=lam
  5. By: Garrido, Nicolás; Vargas, Miguel
    Abstract: The aim of this work is to study the relationship between high-skilled workers’ segregation and productivity in Latin American cities. This relationship is not clear at first sight. On the one hand high-skilled workers’ spatial concentration would take advantage of agglomeration economies and cause positive spillovers amongst the most advantaged that could compensate productivity losses due the existence of low-skilled workers ghettos. On the other hand, it would be the case that those spillovers are not enough for compensating the worse-off groups’ productivity losses, and hence the aggregated productivity would be negatively affected. We calculate this group segregation for a group of Latin American countries’ most important cities. We found a negative and significant relationship amongst cities’ productivity and high-skilled workers segregation. However, we found evidence of a quadratic relationship between segregation and productivity as well.
    Keywords: Ciudades, Investigación socioeconómica, Trabajo y protección social,
    Date: 2016
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dbl:dblpap:1016&r=lam
  6. By: Duque, Valentina; Rosales-Rueda, María; Sánchez, Fabio
    Abstract: This study investigates how early-life conditions interact with subsequent human capital investments to influence future educational outcomes. To provide causal evidence, we exploit two sources of exogenous variation: i) variation in early-life environments resulting from a child's exposure to extreme rainfall and drought shocks in early-life; and ii), variation in subsequent investments resulting from the availability of conditional cash transfers (CCT) that promote investments in children's health and education. Using Colombian administrative data, we combine a natural experiment with a regression discontinuity design using the CCT assignment rule. Results show that, although the CCT has an overall positive impact on children's educational outcomes, it does not have a differential effect on children exposed to early-life shocks; however, the overall effect of the program is large enough to mitigate the negative impact of the weather shock. These findings have important policy implications as they provide evidence of the role of social policies in closing gaps generated by early-life trauma.
    Keywords: Desarrollo social, Educación, Equidad e inclusión social, Investigación socioeconómica, Salud, Niñez, Familia,
    Date: 2016
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dbl:dblpap:955&r=lam
  7. By: Besfamille, Martín; Grosman, Nicolás; Jorrat, Diego; Manzano, Osmel; Sanguinetti, Pablo
    Abstract: This paper uses the particular features of the tax-sharing regime Coparticipación Federal de Impuestos and the fact that some provinces earn hydrocarbon royalties to investigate public expenditures and debt at the subnational level in Argentina.We obtain that facing a one peso increase in intergovernmental transfers, provinces spend on average 36 cents in public expenditures with no changes in public debt. On the other hand, when royalties increase one peso, 59 cents are used to pay back public debt while public expenditures are not affected. These results, which are robust to many different specifications of the basic regressions, suggest a non-negligeable expenditure/debt smoothing behavior of Argentine provinces.
    Keywords: Finanzas públicas, Investigación socioeconómica, Deuda pública, Gasto público,
    Date: 2017
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dbl:dblpap:1009&r=lam

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