nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2018‒09‒17
eight papers chosen by

  1. Income Distribution in Latin America. The Evolution in the Last 20 Years: A Global Approach By Leopoldo Tornarolli; Matías Ciaschi; Luciana Galeano
  2. Estimating the production function for human capital: results from a randomized controlled trial in Colombia By Orazio Attanasio; Sarah Cattan; Emla Fitzsimons; Costas Meghir; Marta Rubio Codina
  3. Efficient Labor Supply for Latin Families: Is the Intra-Household Bargaining Power Relevant? By Campaña, Juan Carlos; Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio; Molina, José Alberto
  4. Health at Birth, short-run health effects and educational outcomes By Furtado, Isabela Brandão; Mattos, Enlinson
  5. Moneda de facturación de las empresas uruguayas By Andrea Barón; Gerardo Licandro; Miguel Mello; Pablo Picardo
  6. Assessing the Distributive Effects of Minimum Wage By Fernando Borraz; Nicolás González Pampillón
  7. Foreign Currency Invoicing of Domestic Transactions as a Hedging Strategy Theory and Evidence for Uruguay By Gerardo Licandro; Miguel Mello
  8. Las expectativas educativas de los estudiantes de secundaria de regiones amazónicas: un análisis de los factores asociados desde el enfoque de eficacia escolar By León, Juan; Sugimaru, Claudia

  1. By: Leopoldo Tornarolli (CEDLAS-FCE-UNLP); Matías Ciaschi (CEDLAS-FCE-UNLP); Luciana Galeano (CEDLAS-FCE-UNLP)
    Abstract: While Latin America has historically been considered a region of very high inequality, the performance of most Latin American countries in terms of reduction of income inequality has been remarkable good in the first decade of this century. Given that those improvements took place in a context of rising inequality in most of the world, the evolution of income inequality in the region has caught the attention of researchers and policy makers around the world. Taking advantage of a large database of comparable microdata from household surveys, this article updates the evidence on the trends of income inequality in all Latin American countries for the period 1992-2015. It also provides an analysis of how the distinctive evolution of income inequality in this century in Latin America has changed the position of the different countries of the region in both, the global distribution of income in the world and the global distribution of income in Latin America. Finally, the paper decomposes the evolution of income inequality in several countries of the region, discussing the role played by several factors on that evolution.
    JEL: D63 I31 J11 J21 J31 J82 N36
    Date: 2018–09
  2. By: Orazio Attanasio (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Sarah Cattan (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Emla Fitzsimons (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute of Education, University of London); Costas Meghir (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Yale University); Marta Rubio Codina (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: We examine the channels through which a randomized early childhood intervention in Colombia led to signi cant gains in cognitive and socio-emotional skills among a sample of disadvantaged children aged 12 to 24 months at baseline. We estimate the determinants of parents' material and time investments in these children and evaluate the impact of the treatment on such investments. We then estimate the production functions for cognitive and socio-emotional skills. The effects of the program can be explained by increases in parental investments, emphasizing the importance of parenting interventions at an early age. An earlier version of this working paper is available here.
    Date: 2018–07–11
  3. By: Campaña, Juan Carlos (University of Zaragoza); Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio (University of Zaragoza); Molina, José Alberto (University of Zaragoza)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the efficient labor supply of male and female workers in Latin American countries employing the collective model framework (Chiappori et al.,2002). Using data from Time Use Surveys for Mexico (2009) and Colombia (2012), we find evidence of Pareto-efficient labor supply decisions within households, as the collective rationality is not rejected in the two countries. We find that higher female wages are related to more labor market hours of female workers, and male workers show an altruistic behavior towards females with the increase of their labor income. Sex ratio are related to transfers of additional income from male to female workers in Colombia, which sheds light on the relevance of distribution factors in the internal decision process of the couple. Our results suggest that the distribution of bargaining power within the household is an important factor that should be considered when analyzing household decisions.
    Keywords: household, collective models, labour supply, Latin America countries
    JEL: D10 J22
    Date: 2018–07
  4. By: Furtado, Isabela Brandão; Mattos, Enlinson
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effects of birth weight on health and educational outcomes for Brazil using a twin fixed effect approach. The recent literature, mainly based on data from developed countries, has provided evidence that health at birth is a critical factor for outcomes related to health and to cognition. Using a matching of administrative records of birth and school enrollment we aim to provide this type of evidence for Brazil. The main finding is that birth weight matters. For instance, there is evidence that a 10% increase in weight is associated with a 0.6% increase in Apgar, a score for health at birth. In the educational dimension, the findings suggest that a 10% increase in birth weight is associated with a 6% increase in the chances of completing high school by the age of 17 and with a 3.6% decrease in the probability of repeating a grade. Furthermore, estimates provide evidence that parents tend to reinforce, rather than compensate, the negative effects of adverse initial health conditions. Larger effects are found for the infants with low birth weight, limited access to basic health care services, lower maternal education and enrolled at schools of lower socioeconomic status.
    Date: 2018–08
  5. By: Andrea Barón (Banco Central del Uruguay); Gerardo Licandro (Banco Central del Uruguay); Miguel Mello (Banco Central del Uruguay); Pablo Picardo (Banco Central del Uruguay)
    Abstract: En este trabajo se presenta el resultado de una encuesta a empresas uruguayas sobre prácticas de facturación por moneda tanto en comercio exterior como en el mercado doméstico. El cuestionario fue distribuido a una muestra representativa de las empresas grandes que forman el marco de la encuesta de actividad económica del INE en junio de 2016. Encontramos que cerca de un 50% de las empresas hacen al menos algo de su facturación doméstica en moneda extranjera, mientras que un 34% realiza más de un 10% de la facturación en esa moneda. La facturación en moneda extranjera en el mercado doméstico está positivamente relacionada con el nivel de exportaciones de la empresa, con la participación de los insumos importados en los costos totales y con la participación de los insumos domésticos facturados en moneda extranjera en los insumos totales. A su vez, las empresas grandes tienen menor incidencia de la facturación doméstica en moneda extranjera. Asimismo, una gran proporción de las empresas toma la decisión de facturación doméstica por moneda de forma no dicotómica lo que sugiere la importancia de prácticas de manejo de riesgos financieros (en particular de tipo de cambio) en la decisión de moneda de facturación. Nuestros resultados en materia de facturación de comercio exterior son generalmente consistentes con la literatura internacional, y reafirman el rol que el dólar tiene como moneda vehículo de comercio en el Uruguay.
    Keywords: facturación doméstica, moneda de facturación, comercio internacional, dolarización, precios, insumos importados, Uruguay
    JEL: E42 F10 F31 F33
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Fernando Borraz (Banco Central del Uruguay; Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República; Universidad de Montevideo); Nicolás González Pampillón (Universitat de Barcelona; IEB)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of Uruguay’s sharp minimum wage increases after 2004 amidst the country’s slight wage inequality decrease. We found that the minimum wage increase has contributed to the reduction of wage inequality for formal workers mainly. However, we also found a negative impact on employment outside the capital city, Montevideo, and observed a reduction in working hours. These results raise doubts about the effectiveness of minimum wage as a redistribution instrument in developing countries.
    Keywords: minimum wage, wage inequality, instrumental variables, employment effect, difference in difference
    JEL: J20 J31 J38
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Gerardo Licandro (Banco Central del Uruguay); Miguel Mello (Banco Central del Uruguay)
    Abstract: In this paper we study the factors associated to the use of the US Dollar for the invoicing of domestic transactions, as a common practice of Uruguayan firms. We first build a basic model to understand the role that foreign currency invoicing might have as a financial hedging strategy in the case of a firm that exports in foreign currency, has imported imports and has both assets and liabilities in domestic and foreign currency. We show that risk averse firms might use their flows position in order to hedge currency mismatches in their stocks. Domestic invoicing of transactions is more likely the larger are negative financial positions of firms, the bigger the share of imported inputs and the smaller the share of exports. We then estimate several models for the fraction of domestic sales invoiced in foreign currency and find evidence that supports the intuition of the model.
    Keywords: Hedging, Exchange Rate Risk, Dollarization, Uruguay
    JEL: G G30 G31
    Date: 2017
  8. By: León, Juan (Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE)); Sugimaru, Claudia (Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE))
    Abstract: Este estudio explora las expectativas durante la adolescencia, etapa fundamental del desarrollo en la cual se deciden las metas personales y aspiraciones que orientarán el tránsito hacia la adultez. Específicamente, se describen las expectativas educativas u ocupacionales de los estudiantes de quinto de secundaria en las regiones de Amazonas, Loreto, Madre de Dios, San Martín y Ucayali, así como los factores individuales, familiares y escolares asociados a su formulación. Los hallazgos muestran que las expectativas de los estudiantes de la selva son altas y que la mayoría piensa cursar estudios superiores después de terminar la secundaria. Variables como el nivel socioeconómico de la familia, el trabajo adolescente, el sexo y la edad están vinculadas con las decisiones que ellos toman respecto a lo que harán tras dejar el colegio. Otro hallazgo es que provenir de aulas con mayor número de estudiantes y ser víctimas de bullying son factores que afectan negativamente el rendimiento y, a su vez, la formulación de expectativas universitarias. Finalmente, se encuentra un efecto directo de las variables de rendimiento y de los recursos audiovisuales de la institución educativa sobre la formulación de expectativas. Entendiendo las expectativas sobre educación superior como un resultado educativo, continuar políticas como el Plan Selva es de vital importancia para revertir lo que la literatura llama “el triángulo perverso”: a menor nivel socioeconómico, menores oportunidades de aprendizaje y menores resultados educativos (Cueto y otros 2015).
    Keywords: Expectativas educacionales, Estudiantes, Educación secundaria, Amazonía, Perú, College students, Secondary education, Amazonia, Peru
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2017

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