nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2019‒05‒27
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Tax Audits as Scarecrows. Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment By Bergolo, Marcelo; Ceni, Rodrigo; Cruces, Guillermo; Giaccobasso, Matias; Perez-Truglia, Ricardo
  2. Financing development in Latin America and the Caribbean: The role and perspectives of multilateral development banks By Artecona, Raquel; Bisogno, Marcelo; Fleiss, Pablo
  3. Measuring the Effect of Competitive Teacher Recruitment on Student Achievement: Evidence from Ecuador By Maria Daniela Araujo P.

  1. By: Bergolo, Marcelo (IECON, Universidad de la República); Ceni, Rodrigo (IECON, Universidad de la República); Cruces, Guillermo (CEDLAS-UNLP); Giaccobasso, Matias (University of California, Los Angeles); Perez-Truglia, Ricardo (University of California, Los Angeles)
    Abstract: The canonical model of Allingham and Sandmo (1972) predicts that firms evade taxes by optimally trading off between the costs and benefits of evasion. However, there is no direct evidence that firms react to audits in this way. We conducted a large-scale field experiment in collaboration with Uruguay's tax authority to address this question. We sent letters to 20,440 small- and medium-sized firms that collectively paid more than 200 million dollars in taxes per year. Our letters provided exogenous yet nondeceptive signals about key inputs for their evasion decisions, such as audit probabilities and penalty rates. We measured the effect of these signals on their subsequent perceptions about the auditing process, based on survey data, as well as on the actual taxes paid, based on administrative data. We find that providing information about audits had a significant effect on tax compliance but in a manner that was inconsistent with Allingham and Sandmo (1972). Our findings are consistent with an alternative model, risk-as-feelings, in which messages about audits generate fear and induce probability neglect. According to this model, audits may deter tax evasion in the same way that scarecrows frighten off birds.
    Keywords: tax, evasion, audits, penalties, frictions
    JEL: C93 H26 K34 K42 Z13
    Date: 2019–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12335&r=all
  2. By: Artecona, Raquel; Bisogno, Marcelo; Fleiss, Pablo
    Abstract: This paper analyses the role that Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) have played in financing development in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and what their role will be in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In a context where multilateralism is severely questioned, donor countries are moving their resources away from middle-income countries, and MDBs' lending represents a decreasing share of total debt in the region, we show that there is room for MDBs to continue being relevant players.
    Keywords: DESARROLLO ECONOMICO, DESARROLLO SOCIAL, FINANCIACION DEL DESARROLLO, BANCOS DE DESARROLLO, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, DEVELOPMENT FINANCE, DEVELOPMENT BANKS
    Date: 2019–05–16
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ecr:col034:44608&r=all
  3. By: Maria Daniela Araujo P.
    Abstract: In the last decade, several Latin American governments have implemented new teacher recruitment policies based on evaluations of candidates’ competency and knowledge so as to raise the quality of their teachers and schools. Since 2007, the Ecuadorian government has required teacher candidates to pass national standardized tests before they can participate in merit-based selection competitions for tenure at public schools. Has this new recruitment system served as an effective screening device? Has it ultimately helped to raise student learning? To answer these questions, I analyze data from a unique Ecuadorian survey of schools in the academic year 2011-2012. I first estimate the value-added to student achievement using OLS and hierarchical linear regressions to evaluate the effect of Ecuador’s new competitive recruitment policy. I then use propensity score matching to simulate a random assignment of students to teachers and estimate causal treatment effects. The evidence suggests that teachers who were granted tenure through the new competitive recruitment policy were no more effective, overall, in raising students’ learning in reading or math than their peers at schools. Nonetheless, poorer children who were assigned to these teachers had significantly better scores in reading. Furthermore, test-screened teachers, regardless of their tenure status, seem to have had positive significant effects in reading, particularly for students living in poverty. This finding suggests that Ecuador’s teacher recruitment policy had a positive impact on the nation’s most vulnerable students.
    Keywords: Teacher quality, education policy, education reform, Latin America.
    JEL: I20 I21 I28 J45
    Date: 2019–05–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:col:000518:017285&r=all

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