nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2019‒06‒24
eight papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Electricity and the role of the state: New Zealand and Uruguay before state-led development (1870-1930) By Reto Bertoni; Henry Willebald
  2. Gender Gaps in Labor Informality: The Motherhood Effect By Inés Berniell; Lucila Berniell; Dolores de la Mata; María Edo; Mariana Marchionni
  3. Tax Bunching at the Kink in the Presence of Low Capacity of Enforcement: Evidence From Uruguay By Marcelo Bérgolo; Gabriel Burdín; Mauricio De Rosa; Matías Giaccobasso; Martín Leites
  4. ¿Qué tan bien recuerdan las madres? Una validación de datos de desempeños al nacer para Uruguay By Maira Colacce; Ivone Perazzo; Andrea Vigorito
  5. The Effect of Job Referrals on Labor Market Outcomes in Brazil By O'Leary, Christopher J.; Cravo, Tulio; Sierra, Ana Cristina; Justino, Leandro
  6. Un análisis del desempeño comparado de Empresas Recuperadas, otras Empresas Gestionadas por sus Trabajadores y Empresas Convencionales en Uruguay By Andrés Dean
  7. Are not any silver in the cloud? Subjective well-being among deprived young people By Paula Carrasco; Rodrigo Ceni; Ivone Perazzo; Gonzalo Salas
  8. Aversión a la desigualdad centrada o no autocentrada: Evidencia en base a un cuestionario experimental para Uruguay By Santiago Burone; Martín Leites

  1. By: Reto Bertoni (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Sociales. Programa de Historia Económica y Social); Henry Willebald (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: The configuration of a “modern” production structure requires there to be sufficient energy supply at competitive costs to justify exploiting the corresponding natural resources. New Zealand’s better economic performance, since the last third of the 19th century in coal production and better natural conditions to generate electric energy at low cost –thus offering energy at low prices– explain, at least partially, the differences with respect to Uruguay. New Zealand's advantage in energy endowments facilitated the development of a dairy sector, certain energy-intensive manufactures and a more efficient use of railways that reinforced the differences between the two economies. However, endowments are not the complete story and the institutional arrangements are another relevant factor of differentiation. Our argument is based on the concept of endogeneity of natural resources and we use it to prove the hugely different roles of states in the creation and management of the electricity systems. These differences were not related to the extent of state intervention but to the achievements of such action. This action aimed at improving the welfare conditions in the case of Uruguay without paying enough attention to those aspects related to the production conditions; instead, in New Zealand, the productive development was the focus of the public intervention. The result was the creation of differential production conditions that explain the long-run divergent economic performance in terms of sector diversification and international competitiveness in favour of New Zealand.
    Keywords: settler economies, endogeneity of natural resources, role of state, electric system
    JEL: N50 N70 Q41
    Date: 2019–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-04-19&r=all
  2. By: Inés Berniell (Centro de Estudios Distributivos Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Lucila Berniell (CAF-Development Bank of Latin America, Research Department); Dolores de la Mata (CAF-Development Bank of Latin America, Research Department); María Edo (Universidad de San Andr´es and CONICET); Mariana Marchionni (Centro de Estudios Distributivos Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata and CONICET)
    Abstract: Recent work has quantified the large negative effects of motherhood on female labor market outcomes in Europe and the US. But these results may not apply to developing countries, where labor markets work differently and informality is widespread. In less developed countries, informal jobs, which typically include microenterprises and self-employment, offer more time flexibility but poorer social protection and lower labor earnings. These characteristics affect the availability of key inputs in the technology to raise children, and therefore may affect the interplay between parenthood and labor market outcomes. Through an event-study approach we estimate short and long-run labor market impacts of children in Chile, an OECD developing country with a relatively large informal sector. We find that the birth of the first child has strong and long lasting effects on labor market outcomes of Chilean mothers, while fathers remain unaffected. Becoming a mother implies a sharp decline in mothers’ labor supply, both in the extensive and intensive margins, and in hourly wages. We also show that motherhood affects the occupational structure of employed mothers, as the share of jobs in the informal sector increases remarkably. In order to quantify what the motherhood effect would have been in the absence of an informal labor market, we build a quantitative model economy, that includes an informal sector which offers more flexible working hours at the expense of lower wages and weaker social protection, and a technology to produce child quality that combines time, material resources and the quality of social protection services. We perform a counterfactual experiment that indicates that the existence of the informal sector in Chile helps to reduce the drop in LFP after motherhood in about 35%. We conclude 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 their labor market prospects.
    JEL: J13 J16
    Date: 2019–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dls:wpaper:0247&r=all
  3. By: Marcelo Bérgolo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Gabriel Burdín (The University of Leeds); Mauricio De Rosa (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Matías Giaccobasso (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Martín Leites (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: A first-order policy issue in low and middle income countries is how to design optimal tax systems in order to improve the state’s potential of supporting economic development. Although information regarding behavioral responses to taxation is a key input for tax design, the evidence in developing contexts is still scarce. In this paper we contribute to fill this gap by exploring in detail how individual taxpayers respond to personal income taxation in Uruguay. To do this, we rely on rich administrative tax records covering the universe of Uruguayan taxpayers and implement a bunching design. First, we find a moderate implied elasticity of taxable income (0.16) in the first kink point of the tax schedule. Second, we investigate the mechanisms driving these responses extensively. We find that the observed responses are a combination of both gross labor income and deductions responses. In particular, we document a more intensive use of personal deductions for taxpayers close to the kink point, and suggestive evidence of evasion responses through unilateral and employer-employee collusion labor income misreporting. Our results suggest that policy efforts should be directed at broadening the tax base and improving the enforcement capacities of tax authorities rather than eroding tax progressivity.
    Keywords: Personal income taxation, tax bunching, elasticity of labor income, deductions behavior, misreporting, developing economies
    JEL: H21 H24 H30 J22
    Date: 2019–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-05-19&r=all
  4. By: Maira Colacce (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Ivone Perazzo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Andrea Vigorito (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: To assess maternal and child well-being and health goals derived from national and international agreements, many household surveys collect information on reproductive, maternal and child health. However, scarce representative validation exercises are comparing these data to administrative records information at the individual level. In this study, we contrast household surveys against data from clinical histories and vital statistics information. Also, we explore whether the significance and magnitude of the relationships between the variables change depending on the data source used. Based on the merging of vital statistics microdata with the official Uruguayan Nutrition, Child Development and Health Survey (ENDIS), we analyze the accuracy in mothers recall of weeks of gestation and prenatal visits. In general terms, our exercise validates the use of survey data, even though the identification of premature births and early prenatal visits have significant differences. We find that the accuracy of the recall by mothers is high and the discrepancies are associated with lower maternal education levels, the recall period (child´s age), and the birth order. However, the incidence of prematurity and early uptake is underestimated by 20%. Although the (respective) association of gestational weeks and prenatal controls with birth weight shows similar signs in both data sources, the levels of significance and effects magnitude appear to be greater in the administrative records.
    Keywords: prenatal visits, weeks of gestation, premature births, vital statistics, household surveys, validation
    JEL: I10 J13 C89
    Date: 2019–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-10-19&r=all
  5. By: O'Leary, Christopher J.; Cravo, Tulio; Sierra, Ana Cristina; Justino, Leandro
    Abstract: This paper uses for the first time program administrative data from Brazil’s National Employment System (SINE) to assess the impact of SINE job interview referrals on labor market outcomes. Data for the five-year period 2012-2016 is used to evaluate the impact of SINE on employment probability, wage rates, time until reemployment and job tenure. Difference-in-differences estimates suggest that a SINE job interview referral increases the probability of finding a job within three months of the referral, and reduces the number of months to find reemployment, the average job tenure of the next job and the reemployment wage. Subgroup analysis suggests that compared to more educated workers, SINE is more effective in helping less educated workers by increasing their probability of finding a job and reducing time until reemployment. Finally, the evidence suggests that online labor exchange is less effective than the service provided in person at SINE offices.
    Keywords: employment agencies; labor market policy; employment services; labor exchange; job matching; job interview referrals; difference-in-differences
    JEL: J68 J18 J23
    Date: 2019–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:brikps:9509&r=all
  6. By: Andrés Dean (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: In the recent economic crisis experienced by many developed countries in the last decade and during the past crisis at the beginning of the 21st century in Argentina and Uruguay we could observe the emergence of the phenomenon of the so-called recovered firms (RFs) or employee buyouts of failed capitalist firms (CFs). While it is obvious that one of the objectives sought by these workers is to keep their jobs, it is not clear how the subsequent performance of these firms is. Are the RFs more likely to fail than other worker managed firms (WMFs) or than the CFs? Do the RFs workers perceive a higher wage than their peers in other WMFs or in CF? This analysis is based on a linked employer-employees panel data set from the Uruguayan social security administrative records. The main findings are that the RFs survive longer than other WMFs or than CFs. However, the RFs workers receive a wage substantially lower than their peers with similar observable characteristics in other WMFs or in CFs. This wage differential is explained partially because of a drain process of the more qualified and younger workers who did not participated in the workers takeover.
    Keywords: Employee Buyouts, Workers Takeovers, Labor-Managed Firms, Survival, Wage differentials
    JEL: D22 J54 P13
    Date: 2019–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-11-19&r=all
  7. By: Paula Carrasco (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Rodrigo Ceni (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Ivone Perazzo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Gonzalo Salas (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: Este artículo analiza los canales que afectan al Bienestar Subjetivo (SWB, por sus siglas en inglés), y cuáles son los efectos de un Programa de Intermediación Social. Desarrollamos un simple modelo teórico para vincular el SWB con la riqueza individual y de referencia, el esfuerzo, y el nivel de aspiraciones. Luego de superar los problemas de selección con una variable instrumental que nos permite identificar los efectos causales, encontramos un impacto negativo sobre el SWB siendo el principal canal de este cambio la Riqueza Relativa Subjetiva, es decir, la relación entre el individuo y la riqueza de referencia. No hay efecto a través de los restantes canales teóricos, aunque los resultados sobre el SWB son heterogéneos según características psicológicas; son más altos entre aquellos con bajos niveles de aspiraciones y locus de control externo. Finalmente, desentrañamos las principales características del programa que podrían generar este efecto, brindando información relevante para los hacedores de políticas.
    Keywords: social intermediation program, subjective well-being, aspiration
    JEL: D60 I38 O15
    Date: 2019–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-09-19&r=all
  8. By: Santiago Burone (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Martín Leites (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to contribute evidence on the empirical relevance of two notions of inequality aversion that has been explored by the Economic literature: self-centered and nonself-centered inequality aversion. We used a more flexible model and designed an experimental survey which allowed us to distinguish these two notions of aversion to inequality. The strategy was carried out on a sample of first-year University students (Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administration, Uruguay). To the best of our knowledge, there are no previous papers that have jointly addressed both of those notions of inequality aversion and contributed evidence on the empirical relevance of that distinction. The present paper contributes original evidence for a developing country, which confirms the relevance of both notions of aversion to inequality. Most participants present non-self-centered inequality aversion, and a minority appear to be inequality-lovers. For most individuals, the magnitude associated with this notion of aversion to inequality is very sensitive to the individual's position in the income distribution. The selfcentered notion summarizes various effects, which is manifested in the fact that the magnitude of the parameters is more heterogeneous. In a minority, the effect on non-self-centered aversion dominates, with individuals being more willing to pay to reduce inequality. Finally, not considering both notions together can induce a bias in the measurement of inequality aversion.
    Keywords: Self-centered inequality aversion, or non-self-centered inequality aversion, relative income, social preferences, experimental survey
    JEL: D63 D64 C91
    Date: 2019–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-06-19&r=all

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