nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2019‒02‒25
five papers chosen by

  1. Measuring the Quality of the Home Environment of Young Children in Uruguay: Socioeconomic Gradients in the Home Inventory By López Bóo, Florencia; Cubides Mateus, Mayaris; Sorio, Rita; Garibotto, Giorgina; Berón, Christian
  2. Quality Regulation and Competition: Evidence from Pharmaceutical Markets By Atal, Juan Pablo; Cuesta, Jose Ignacio; Sæthre, Morten
  3. Motherhood and the missing women in the labor market By Berniell, I; Berniell, L; De La Mata, D; Edo, M; Marchionni, M
  4. Cash, Conditions and Child Development: Experimental Evidence from a Cash Transfer in Honduras By López Bóo, Florencia; Creamer, John
  5. Selection and Educational Attainment: Why Some Children Are Left Behind? Evidence from a Middle-Income Country By Méndez-Errico, Luciana; Ramos, Xavier

  1. By: López Bóo, Florencia (Inter-American Development Bank); Cubides Mateus, Mayaris (Inter-American Development Bank); Sorio, Rita (Inter-American Development Bank); Garibotto, Giorgina (Ministry of Social Development, Uruguay); Berón, Christian (Ministry of Social Development, Uruguay)
    Abstract: Uruguay is one of very few countries in Latin America that has a nationally representative, longitudinal survey of early childhood development. In 2015–2016, during the second wave of the survey, an observational module on the home environment was administered at scale for the first time. The module included items from two subscales (responsiveness and acceptance) of a widely used instrument that measures the quality of the physical and emotional environment: the HOME inventory. We find that the set of items administered from the HOME has very good concurrent validity with child development and maternal personality traits, as well as with other relevant socioeconomic variables. In line with the literature, our analysis shows that children from the most vulnerable families are exposed to a lower-quality home environment—that is, less responsive and more punitive. Interestingly, Uruguayan children are exposed to better environments as compared to children in predominantly rural samples from the Latin America and Caribbean region; however, they present comparable environments when compared to similar samples from countries such as Brazil and Chile.
    Keywords: child development, parenting practices, home, quality of the home environment, Uruguay, ASQ, ENDIS
    JEL: I10 I30 J13 I38
    Date: 2019–01
  2. By: Atal, Juan Pablo; Cuesta, Jose Ignacio; Sæthre, Morten
    Abstract: We study the equilibrium effects of quality regulation on market outcomes by exploiting the staggered phase-in of bioequivalence requirements for generic drugs in Chile. While the objective of the regulation was to increase the perceived quality of generics to reduce vertical differentiation and enhance price competition, we find mostly adverse effects. Even if a large number of drugs obtained the quality certification mandated by the regulation, we estimate that the number of drugs in the market decreased by 13% as a result of the policy. Moreover, we find that prices increased on average by 13% as well as no significant effects on the market share of generics. These adverse effects were mostly concentrated in molecules with small market size. Put together, our results suggest that the intended effects of the regulation on competition through increased (perceived) quality of generics were overturned by adverse competitive effects arising from the costs of complying with the regulation.
    Keywords: Medición de impacto, Salud,
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Berniell, I; Berniell, L; De La Mata, D; Edo, M; Marchionni, M
    Abstract: Motherhood currently stands out as a key determinant of the gender gap in labor market outcomes. Studies identifying the effect of children have mostly focused in Europe and the US. These results may not be extrapolated to developing countries with different institutional settings and cultural norms. In this paper we estimate the impact of becoming a mother on various labor outcomes in Chile. Following an event-study methodology we show that motherhood implies a drastic reduction in earnings, explained by a drop in labor supply, both in the extensive and intensive margins. These changes persist even ten years after the first child is born. No child penalties are found for fathers, neither in the short nor in the long run. The results for mothers are driven by a decline in formal employment, leading to an increase in informality rates among them. Finally, we find that effects are stronger for less educated mothers, indicating that education is a buffer for this type of child penalty. Our results suggest that mothers find in the informal sector the flexibility to cope with both family and labor responsibilities, although at the cost of resigning contributory social protection and reducing on-the-job skills accumulation.
    Keywords: Economía, Educación, Investigación socioeconómica, Mujer, Niñez,
    Date: 2018
  4. By: López Bóo, Florencia (Inter-American Development Bank); Creamer, John (U.S. Census Bureau)
    Abstract: We explore the effects of a randomly assigned conditional cash transfer in Honduras (Bono 10000) on early childhood development. We find significant impacts on cognitive development in children 0-60 months, with an average effect size of 0.13 SD. We show differential impacts by type of transfer: 0-5-year-old children from families receiving the "health" transfer, which targeted families with 0-5-year-old children only, benefited significantly from the program, whereas 0-5 year-olds in families receiving the "education" transfer, which targeted 6-18 year-olds, perceived no benefit. In comparison with other programs, the effect of this impact is sizeable (0.34 SD on average). Although the overall program appears to have slightly changed some behaviors that might affect children (i.e. decreased probability of maternal employment, and increased maternal self-esteem), we did not find heterogenous impacts of the Bono across these variables. Results are explained mainly by differences in conditions: while the "education" component imposed conditions only on children of schooling age, the "health" transfer required regular health checkups of 0-5 year old children. The "health" transfer families were more likely to attend health checkups, which may have induced behavior changes that improved children's health and cognitive development, including purchasing more nutritious food. These results imply that cash without well-targeted conditions attached, might not be as effective for the development of young children.
    Keywords: Honduras, education, health, early childhood development, children, conditional cash transfers (CCTs), impact evaluation
    JEL: C93 J13 I25 I38
    Date: 2019–01
  5. By: Méndez-Errico, Luciana (Universidad de la República de Uruguay); Ramos, Xavier (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: We model schooling as a sequential process and examine why some children are left behind. We focus on the factors that explain selection at early stages of the education system. Our findings for Uruguay suggest that long-term factors, such as parental background or ethnicity matter across all education stages while the effect of short-term factors, such as family income, wear out as individuals progress in the education system, suggesting a severe selection process at early stages.
    Keywords: schooling transition, selection, inequality, education, ethnicity, cognitive and non-cognitive abilities, sequential dynamic model
    JEL: I20 I24 J13 J15 J24
    Date: 2019–01

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