nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2019‒01‒14
three papers chosen by

  1. Shaping Personality and Beliefs: The Role of Military Conscription By Gabriela Ertola Navajas; Paula Lopez Villalba; Martín Rossi; Antonia Vazquez
  2. The Monetary and Fiscal History of Brazil, 1960-2016 By Joao Ayres; Marcio Garcia; Diogo A. Guillén; Patrick J. Kehoe
  3. Using RCTs to Estimate Long-Run Impacts in Development Economics By Adrien Bouguen; Yue Huang; Michael Kremer; Edward Miguel

  1. By: Gabriela Ertola Navajas (Universidad de San Andres); Paula Lopez Villalba (Universidad de San Andres); Martín Rossi (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres); Antonia Vazquez (Universidad de San Andres)
    Abstract: Military conscription is one of the most prevalent policies around the world, affecting typically men at a very young age. Still, its consequences on shaping men personality and beliefs remain unknown. We estimate the causal impact of mandatory military conscription on subsequent beliefs and personality traits. To address potential endogeneity concerns we exploit the conscription draft lottery in Argentina. We combine administrative data on the draft with data from a purposely-designed survey on beliefs and personality traits. We find that men that served in the conscription are more likely to justify violence to solve conflicts, to believe that military service should be mandatory, to support coups against civilian governments, to accept military interventions in foreign countries, and to support the right to bear arms. In addition, men that served in the conscription are less tolerant, more disciplined, more politically conservative, more authoritarian, and more belligerent. Our paper highlights the potential role that military conscription has in shaping the values and beliefs of young people from all around the world.
    Keywords: Military service, personality traits, behavior
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2019–01
  2. By: Joao Ayres; Marcio Garcia; Diogo A. Guillén; Patrick J. Kehoe
    Abstract: Brazil has had a long period of high inflation. It peaked around 100 percent per year in 1964, decreased until the first oil shock (1973), but accelerated again afterward, reaching levels above 100 percent on average between 1980 and 1994. This last period coincided with severe balance of payments problems and economic stagnation that followed the external debt crisis in the early 1980s. We show that the high-inflation period (1960–1994) was characterized by a combination of fiscal deficits, passive monetary policy, and constraints on debt financing. The transition to the low-inflation period (1995–2016) was characterized by improvements in all of these features, but it did not lead to significant improvements in economic growth. In addition, we document a strong positive correlation between inflation rates and seigniorage revenues, although inflation rates are relatively high for modest levels of seigniorage revenues. Finally, we discuss the role of the weak institutional framework surrounding the fiscal and monetary authorities and the role of monetary passiveness and inflation indexation in accounting for the unique features of inflation dynamics in Brazil.
    JEL: E0 E02 E3 E4 E42 E5 E58 E6
    Date: 2019–01
  3. By: Adrien Bouguen; Yue Huang; Michael Kremer; Edward Miguel
    Abstract: We assess evidence from randomized control trials (RCTs) on long-run economic productivity and living standards in poor countries. We first document that several studies estimate large positive long-run impacts, but that relatively few existing RCTs have been evaluated over the long-run. We next present evidence from a systematic survey of existing RCTs, with a focus on cash transfer and child health programs, and show that a meaningful subset can realistically be evaluated for long-run effects. We discuss ways to bridge the gap between the burgeoning number of development RCTs and the limited number that have been followed up to date, including through new panel (longitudinal) data, improved participant tracking methods, alternative research designs, and access to administrative, remote sensing, and cell phone data. We conclude that the rise of development economics RCTs since roughly 2000 provides a novel opportunity to generate high-quality evidence on the long-run drivers of living standards.
    JEL: I32 I38 O12 O15 O16
    Date: 2018–12

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