nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2018‒12‒10
five papers chosen by

  1. The Antipoverty Effectiveness of Child Support: Empirical Evidence for Latin American Countries By Laura Cuesta; Mia Hakovirta; Merita Jokela
  2. Weather Shocks and Labor Allocation: Evidence from Northeastern Brazil By Branco, D.; Feres, J.
  3. The future of social protection in Latin America in a context of accelerated changes By Bertranou, Fabio; Casali, Pablo; Velasco, Juan Jacobo
  4. 50 years after the Agrarian Reform in Chile: reflections and lessons By Valdes, A.
  5. Testing regional intergovernmental transfers asymmetries in Uruguay By Muinelo-Gallo, Leonel; Azar, Paola

  1. By: Laura Cuesta; Mia Hakovirta; Merita Jokela
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the role of child support in the economic well-being of children in single-parent families in Latin America. We use the Luxembourg Income Study wave IX and the 2012 Colombian Quality of Life Survey to answer three questions: (1) are children in single-parent families more likely to be poor than children in two-parent families? (2) what is the relative importance of different income sources in the income packages of these families? and (3) are child support transfers improving the economic well-being of children in single-parent families? Our results show that children in single-parent families are disproportionally poor relative to two-parent families in Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, and Uruguay. For other countries, poverty rates are similar (Guatemala and Peru), or higher in two-parent families than single-parent families (Mexico). Labor income is the most important income source for both types of families in all of these countries. However, child support represents between 20 and 39 per cent of total income among families receiving this transfer. The largest antipoverty effectiveness of child support is also observed among these families. Child support brings between 30 and 55 per cent of children receiving this transfer out of poverty.
    Date: 2018–08
  2. By: Branco, D.; Feres, J.
    Abstract: This paper analyzes whether rural households use labor allocation to mitigate the effect of drought shocks in the Northeaster Brazilian context. We first document that water scarcity leads to lower income derived from farm work as main, and higher income from secondary jobs. We then examine the extent to which extreme droughts affect time labor allocation. Our results indicate that an additional drought shock per year is associated with greater likelihood of have more than one job, lower share of farm activities in the total hours worked, and higher share of secondary job. The effects are higher for poorer municipalities. These findings are consistent with a mitigation response to reduced agricultural profitability due to water scarcity. Acknowledgement : This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada through Project entitled Using an Environmental Economics Perspective to Influence Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean - Latin American and Caribbean Environmental Economics Program (LACEEP). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the IDRC or its Board of Governors.
    Keywords: Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2018–07
  3. By: Bertranou, Fabio; Casali, Pablo; Velasco, Juan Jacobo
    Abstract: This article discusses the future of social protection in Latin America and the challenges the region faces in the three key performance areas: coverage, sufficiency and sustainability. In particular, the article analyses how coverage is strongly determined by the structure of employment; the limits to expand it given the inability to generate sufficient fiscal space; the consequences of widespread economic and labour informality; the governance deficits; and the acceleration of population aging. It also discusses the increasing need of an adequate combination of contributory and non-contributory social protection provision, as well as the need for a better articulation of social protection systems with the sustainable development framework and its three main spheres: economic, social and environmental. Finally, it is addressed the future of social protection in a context of a growing employment in the services sector, technological change and automation of production and employment; and the relevance of an adequate social protection response to the consequences of climate change and the effects of natural disasters.
    Keywords: social protection, social security, employment, future of work, Latin America
    JEL: H55 J11 J14 J18 J26 J32 N36
    Date: 2018–10
  4. By: Valdes, A.
    Abstract: The agrarian reform carried out between 1965 and 1973 was the result of legitimate problems in pre-reform rural society, of which slow agricultural growth was one major determinant. Ultimately the reform failed to achieve its initial objectives in terms of accelerating growth but had a profound social and political impact in rural areas. This text contributes to the literature on the objectives and outcomes of agricultural reform in Chile by raising arguments and evidence regarding various components of the process. The key lessons from this analysis are that the leaders behind the agrarian reform misinterpreted their diagnosis about the causes behind the slow growth of agriculture, attributing this slow growth to farm tenure system at the time, ignoring the adverse impact on the sector of economy-wide policies. Additionally, simply paying attention to similar agricultural reform processes worldwide may have helped the reformers avoid the Asentamientos disappointing performance. These lessons are relevant to continuing debates on the interphase between land tenure structure and agricultural policies. Acknowledgement : The authors want to thank William Foster for his valuable contribution on a previous study on the Agrarian Reform.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy
    Date: 2018–07
  5. By: Muinelo-Gallo, Leonel; Azar, Paola
    Abstract: In this paper we seek to complement the scarce empirical evidence for middle-income countries about the effects of unconditional central government transfers on subnational fiscal behaviour. To this end, we have used an unbalanced panel of 18 Uruguayan regional governments from 1991 to 2016. Our database includes data from the regional budget and other sources of information, which allows us to investigate the role of political economy factors. The application of panel data techniques with the use of instrumental variables highlights the presence of a sizeable flypaper effect and a significant role of variables related with the political economy design of sub-national finances.
    Keywords: Fiscal federalism, Intergovernmental transfers, Flypaper effect, Endogeneity, Uruguay
    JEL: E62 H7
    Date: 2018–11–26

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