nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2018‒09‒24
four papers chosen by

  1. Conditional cash transfers, spillovers and informal health care: Evidence from Peru By Guerrero, Natalia; Molina, Oswaldo; Winkelried, Diego
  2. Determinants of Household Position within Chilean Wealth Household’s Distribution By Felipe Martínez; Francisca Uribe
  3. Pathways to Formalization: Going beyond the Formality Dichotomy By Diaz, Juan Jose; Chacaltana, Juan; Rigolini, Jamele; Ruiz, Claudia
  4. Multi-dimensional poverty among adults in Central America and gender differences in the three I’s of poverty: Applying inequality sensitive poverty measures with ordinal variables By Espinoza-Delgado, José; Silber, Jacques

  1. By: Guerrero, Natalia; Molina, Oswaldo; Winkelried, Diego
    Abstract: The use of low-quality informal health-care providers (IHCPs) is still prominent in developing countries despite the efforts of their governments to expand institutional services. The use of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs have become instrumental in encouraging the use of formal health services, but little is known about their direct effect on the use of IHCPs. We use a large survey of rural households and a regression discontinuity design to estimate the effects of the Peruvian CCT program on the demand for IHCP. We find a sizeable reduction in the use of IHCPs not only in targeted but also in non-targeted members of treated households. This finding indicates the existence of spillover effects within the household. We also provide evidence that beyond the direct increase in income, the availability of better information about institutional services is a potential mechanism that drives these effects. We also find a corresponding improvement in the self-perception of health status. Our results are robust to a number of sensitivity analyses.
    Keywords: Informal health-care providers, cash transfer program, regression discontinuity.
    JEL: C21 I18 O17
    Date: 2018–08–20
  2. By: Felipe Martínez; Francisca Uribe
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the distribution of net wealth, its relationship with income and the factors that influence the household position within the wealth distribution in Chile. The research draws on microdata from the Survey of Household Finances 2014. We net wealth as the difference between assets and debts without considering pension wealth. The results show that wealth is unequally distributed among Chilean households. In fact, 73% of wealth is owned by the richest quintile. In addition, we show that to finance partial or totally the main residence with a subsidy has a significant effect on the probability of a household being above the lowest wealth quintile and that inheritances significantly increase the probability of belonging to a higher quintile of wealth. In terms of income we show that, even though it has a significant effect in the wealth position of a household, the relationship between income and wealth is weak.
    Date: 2018–09
  3. By: Diaz, Juan Jose (GRADE); Chacaltana, Juan (ILO International Labour Organization); Rigolini, Jamele (World Bank); Ruiz, Claudia (ILO International Labour Organization)
    Abstract: Too often, academics and policy makers interpret formality as a binary choice and formalization as an irreversible process. Yet, formalization has many facets and shades on the business and labor fronts, and firms may not be able or willing to formalize all at once. This paper explores the joint process of business and labor formalization, using a unique panel data set of Peruvian micro enterprises. The paper finds that business formality does not imply labor formality, and vice versa. Further, there is significant churning in and out of different dimensions of formality within a relatively short period. Using an instrumental variable approach, the paper infers that business formalization affects labor formalization but not the other way around, and that enforcement is a key driver of formalization. Overall, the analysis shows that formalization is a gradual and reversible process, with small entrepreneurs weighing their possibilities in each pathway to business (often) or labor (less often) formalization, but rarely both at the same time.
    Keywords: informality, business formalization, labor formalization, small enterprises
    JEL: O17 O12 D21 L26
    Date: 2018–08
  4. By: Espinoza-Delgado, José; Silber, Jacques
    Abstract: The Alkire and Foster (2011) methodology, as the mainstream approach to the measurement of multi-dimensional poverty in the developing world, is insensitive to inequality among the multi-dimensionally poor individuals and does not consider simultaneously the concepts of efficiency and distributive justice. Moreover, the vast majority of empirical indices of multi-dimensional poverty in the literature overlook intra-household inequalities, an issue that is crucial to a better understanding of gender inequalities, because they equate the poverty status of the household with the poverty status of all individuals in the household. Consequently, using the general framework proposed by Silber and Yalonetzky (2013) and Rippin’s ideas on multi-dimensional poverty measurement (2013, 2017), we propose in this paper to depart somehow from the mainstream approach and take an individual-based and inequality sensitive view of multi-dimensional poverty when only ordinal (dichotomized) variables are available. We use such an approach to estimate multi-dimensional poverty among individuals aged 18 and 59 years living in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, shedding thus some light on gender differences in poverty and inequality in those countries. Overall, we find that individuals living in Guatemala have the highest probability of being multi-dimensionally poor, followed by the ones from Nicaragua; people living in Costa Rica, by contrast, have by far the lowest probability of being poor. In the middle appears Honduras and El Salvador, Hondurans having a larger probability of being multi-dimensionally poor than the Salvadorians. Regarding the gender gaps, the overall estimates suggest that the incidence and the intensity of multi-dimensional poverty in Central America are higher among females; inequality, however, is somewhat higher among males.
    Keywords: multi-dimensional poverty measurement, inequality, gender inequality, Latin America, Central America
    JEL: D1 D13 D6 D63 I3 I32 O5 O54
    Date: 2018–08–31

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