nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2018‒02‒12
four papers chosen by

  1. Growing Together: Assessing Equity and E ciency in an Early-Life Health Program in Chile* By Clarke, Damian; Cortés, Gustavo; Vergara, Diego
  2. Corruption, Custom Reform and Firm Growth: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Colombia By Laajaj, Rachid; Eslava, Marcela; Kinda, Tidiane
  3. Instability constraints and development traps: An empirical analysis of growth cycles and economic volatility in Latin America By Sartorello Spinola, Danilo
  4. Does Investor Attention Affect Trading Volume In The Brazilian Stock Market? By Heloisa Elias de Souza; Claudio Henrique da Silveira Barbedo; Gustavo Silva Araujo

  1. By: Clarke, Damian; Cortés, Gustavo; Vergara, Diego
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of participation in Chile Crece Contigo (ChCC), Chile’s flagship earlylife health and social welfare program, on neonatal health outcomes. We use administrative birth data matched to social benefits usage, and the staggered program roll-out, to identify the impact of participation. We find that this targeted social program had significant effects on birth weight (approximately 10 grams) and other early life human capital measures. These benefits are largest among the most socially vulnerable groups, however shift outcomes toward the middle of the distribution of health at birth. We show that program is efficient when compared to other successful neonatal health programs around the world, and find some evidence to suggest that maternal nutrition components and increased links to the social safety net are important mechanisms of action.
    Keywords: Medición de impacto,
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Laajaj, Rachid; Eslava, Marcela; Kinda, Tidiane
    Abstract: Customs are often prone to corruption because it concentrates a lot of discretionary power in the hand of custom agents who take decisions with high economic stakes for the firms, providing an opportunity for custom agents to extract a rent from the firms. Communication technologies offer the possibility to limit this discretionary power by reducing direct interactions between firms and custom agents. Combining firm level panel data on about 6,000 manufacturing firms with custom level data, we assess the effects on firm level outcomes of a computerization of import transactions that occurred sequentially in the 26 Colombian customs between 2000 and 2005. We apply a triple difference strategy that makes use of the variation between customs, time and the firms' exposure to the reform, based on whether it was an importing firm before it started. We find large effects of the computerization of the custom on the growth of importing firms' inputs, investments and value added. We also provide evidence of a large increase of imports declared, taxes collected, and a reduction in corruption cases following the custom reform.
    Keywords: Comercio internacional, Economía, Impuestos, Investigación socioeconómica, Sector privado, Corrupción, Aduanas,
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Sartorello Spinola, Danilo (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Latin America is a region marked by an endogenous pattern of volatility that halts its development process. This article consists of empirically testing its volatility characteristics in terms of cycles. This paper (1) uses a filter decomposition to isolate economic cycles of distinct natures on the GDP growth time series for 136 countries covering the period 1950-2016. (2) It calculates each country's cycle GDP volatility (standard deviation), and finally (3) applies clustering methods to classify the results into groups. The main conclusions point that the majority of Latin American countries the relative dominance of the long-run economic cycles explaining the overall volatility. Exceptions to that are Mexico, Colombia and Chile, in which the short-run cycle shows a higher relative importance. Data shows that LAC is not the most volatile region of the world, but it has some characteristics as a region in terms of the origin of their volatility.
    Keywords: Macroeconomic Volatility, Economic Cycles, Time Series, Filter Decomposition
    JEL: C21 C32 O47
    Date: 2018–01–16
  4. By: Heloisa Elias de Souza; Claudio Henrique da Silveira Barbedo; Gustavo Silva Araujo
    Abstract: Given the large amount of information available about companies and stocks, investors have to be selective about the information they process. This behavior is related to the attention effect, which comes from the natural human incapacity to process all existing information. The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship between a proxy of attention effect, media coverage, and trading volume in the Brazilian stock market. Media coverage may attract unsophisticated investors. The results suggest that, in periods with high stock index level, there is a strong positive reaction of the trading volume on the same day of the news release in printed newspapers. Moreover, this relation occurs only if the news is negative for the firm. In addition, less visible companies in the media are more susceptible to the attention effect when news is more widespread
    Date: 2018–01

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