nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2018‒02‒19
eight papers chosen by

  1. Prudential Regulation, Currency Mismatches and Exchange Rates in Latin America and the Caribbean By Tobal Martín
  2. Structural Transformation and the Agricultural Wage Gap By Jorge Alvarez
  3. A time-varying fiscal reaction function for Brazil By Campos, Eduardo Lima; Cysne, Rubens Penha
  4. Calidad del empleo y crecimiento económico: El caso de Uruguay By Sylvina Porras
  5. Reformas del sistema de pensiones en Chile (1952-2008) By Vargas, Luis Hernán
  6. Evaluación de impacto del programa de acompañamiento familiar de Uruguay Crece Contigo By Alejandra Marroig; Ivone Perazzo; Gonzalo Salas; Andrea Vigorito
  7. Aspiration Adaptation in Resource-Constrained Environments By Sebastian Galiani; Paul J. Gertler; Raimundo Undurraga
  8. Electoral politics and the diffusion of primary schooling: evidence from Uruguay, 1914-1954 By Paola Azar Dufrechou

  1. By: Tobal Martín
    Abstract: This paper gathers and systemizes self-reported information about exchange rate flexibility and FX regulation in Latin America and the Caribbean for a period of twenty years beginning in 1992. The results show that, in countries in which the use of limits, liquidity and reserve requirements on FX positions was more common, the frequency of use of these instruments was particularly high during the transition towards more flexible exchange rate regimes. The exception refers to economies with a long tradition of financial dollarization in which the prudential policies were more spread out over time, possibly due to countercyclical adjustments of the regulatory instruments. Along these lines, policymakers reported that the first goal in using the regulation was to reduce currency mismatches, but, in the flexible regimes that were adopted during the 2000s the instruments were also used to dampen volatility in the exchange rate.
    Keywords: Prudential Regulation;Exchange Rate Regimes;Foreign Currency Positions
    JEL: E58 F31
    Date: 2017–12
  2. By: Jorge Alvarez
    Abstract: A key feature of developing economies is that wages in agriculture are significantly below those of other sectors. Using Brazilian household surveys and administrative panel data, I use information on workers who switch sectors to decompose the drivers of this gap. I find that most of the gap is explained by differences in worker composition. The evidence speaks against the existence of large short-term gains from reallocating workers out of agriculture and favors recently proposed Roy models of inter-sector sorting. A calibrated sorting model of structural transformation can account for the wage gap level observed and its decline as the economy transitioned out of agriculture.
    Keywords: Western Hemisphere;Brazil;Agriculture;Human capital;Wage Gaps, Structural Transformation, Sorting, Productivity Gaps, Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure, Agricultural Labor Markets, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility, General, General
    Date: 2017–12–22
  3. By: Campos, Eduardo Lima; Cysne, Rubens Penha
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the sustainability of public debt in Brazil using monthly data from the period between January 2003 and June 2016, based on estimation of fiscal reaction functions with time-varying coefficients. Three methods are considered: Kalman filter, penalized spline smoothing, and time-varying cointegration. Although the Kalman filter shows the best statistical results, all methods indicate that the fiscal reaction declined over almost the entire period considered, and lead to the conclusion that the Brazilian public debt, observing the parameters then in force, reaches an unsustainable trajectory in the last years of the study.
    Date: 2018–02–05
  4. By: Sylvina Porras (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This research aims to contribute to knowledge about the quality of employment in Uruguay. The multi-dimensionality of the problem is addressed by constructing a dependent employment quality index (Bad Employment Index -IME-) using the methodology of Alkire and Foster (2001). The IME summarizes information on quality in four dimensions of the problem: income, social protection, hours worked and productivity and development opportunities. The EMI value for the period 1991Q1 - 2016Q4 was calculated using data from the INE Continuous Household Survey. Its evolution in comparison with GDP shows that it is not enough to register economic growth to improve the quality of occupations. It is only since the last quarter of 2005 that there has been a clear improvement in the quality of salaried employment, coinciding with years of uninterrupted economic growth, but also with greater Government intervention in the rules of the labour market. This relationship is estimated using an ARDL modelling with the cointegration analysis proposed by Pesaran et al. (2001). Based on the results, it is concluded that the evolution of GDP is a significant variable in order to reduce bad jobs, but that the changes since the end of 2005 also had an impact on improving the quality of occupations.
    Keywords: quality of employment, economic growth, synthetic index, ARDL model
    JEL: C43 I31 J23 J24 J81
    Date: 2017–12
  5. By: Vargas, Luis Hernán
    Abstract: El objetivo de este documento es revisar la historia de las reformas previsionales, desde una perspectiva analítica universalista, que han ocurrido en Chile desde 1924 hasta el debate que está aconteciendo en el país durante el primer semestre de 2017. De este modo, se hace una revisión de los debates políticos y técnicos que fundaron la Caja de Seguro Obrero (1924), su modificación por la creación del Servicio de Seguro Social y las variadas Cajas Previsionales que entregaron pensiones basadas en beneficios definidos con un financiamiento tripartito de reparto (1952). Posteriormente, se examina la reforma previsional de 1980 que suprimió el antiguo sistema de reparto y comenzó con una nueva institucionalidad e industria encargada de administrar las cuentas de capitalización individual. Finalmente, el documento hace un recorrido de las modificaciones coyunturales de los primeros gobiernos democráticos y de la Reforma Previsional que creó el Sistema de Pensiones Solidarias, promulgada por la Presidenta Bachelet el 2008. Finalmente, a modo de epílogo, se presentan los principales ejes del debate previsional y la significancia del anuncio presidencial.
    Date: 2018–01–23
  6. By: Alejandra Marroig (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Ivone Perazzo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Gonzalo Salas (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Andrea Vigorito (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: We present an experimental evaluation of Acompañamiento Familiar y Trabajo de Cercanía, the home visits component of the programme Uruguay Crece Contigo. We assess a wide set of outcomes related to child health and nutritional status, child development, access to social protection schemes and other household well-being outcomes. Our research is based on two surveys specially designed to carry out this evaluation. We find a significant improvement in the nutritional status of children and access to an in-kind transfer, Tarjeta Uruguay Social, in the form of a food card. At the same time, we also find an improvement in child development, specifically in the gross motor component of ASQ:SE. The potential channels explaining these results include home visits, access to resources, increased attendance to child care, changes in parenting styles as well as reduced maternal depression.
    Keywords: Experimental impact evaluation, home visits, child development, nutrition, Uruguay, Uruguay Crece Contigo
    JEL: I38 I14 C93
    Date: 2017–12
  7. By: Sebastian Galiani; Paul J. Gertler; Raimundo Undurraga
    Abstract: We use a multi-country field experiment to test the effect of a slum-housing intervention on the housing aspirations of non-beneficiary neighbors. Initially after treatment, nontreated households’ aspirations to upgrade their dwelling are significantly higher compared to the treatment group, suggesting that they aspire to “keep-up” with their treatment Joneses’. No effects are found, however, on housing investments. Eight months later, the aspirational effect disappears. Estimates based on a structural model of aspiration adaptation show that the decay rate is 38% per month. Our evidence suggests that simply fostering higher aspirations may be insufficient to encourage forward-looking behavior among the poor.
    JEL: O1
    Date: 2018–01
  8. By: Paola Azar Dufrechou (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona; Institute of Economics, Universidad de la República-Uruguay)
    Abstract: Based on the compilation of Uruguayan department-level data, this paper argues that the extent of fiscal commitment to primary education during the first half of the 20th century can be explained by the interests of tactically motivated politicians. The empirical test relies on panel data fixed effects models covering 18 Uruguayan departments over 40 years. The main findings reveal that political motivations have had a significant role in schooling provision across the territory. Throughout the period, the incumbent government seems to have used the resource allocation in primary education both to reward its core supporters and to persuade political opponents.
    Keywords: primary education, pork-barrel, economic history
    Date: 2018–01

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