nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2019‒07‒15
four papers chosen by

  1. Innovation, Competition, and Incentives: Evidence from Uruguayan Firms By Ramiro de Elejalde; Carlos J. Ponce; Flavia Roldán
  2. Exposure to Pollution and Infant Health: Evidence from Colombia By Dolores de la Mata; Carlos Felipe Gaviria Garces
  3. Low-Skilled Workers and the Effects of Minimum Wage: New Evidence Based on a Density-Discontinuity Approach By Sharon Katzkowicz; Gabriela Pedetti; Martina Querejeta; Marcelo Bérgolo
  4. Minimum Age Requirements and the Role of the School Choice Set By Julio Cáceres-Delpiano; Eugenio P. Giolito

  1. By: Ramiro de Elejalde (Departamento de Economía, Universidad Alberto Hurtado); Carlos J. Ponce (Departamento de Economía, Universidad Alberto Hurtado); Flavia Roldán (Universidad ORT Uruguay)
    Abstract: Using a sample of manufacturing firms in Uruguay, this paper studies the eect of product market competition on innovative activities, labor practices and the provision of incentives within firms. Our estimates show that a higher level of product market competition: (i) decreases innovative expenditures, (ii) increases the number of innovations per dollar spent on innovative activities, and: (iii) leads firms to implement incentive payment schemes based on employee performance. These results suggest that, in developing economies, firms react to a higher level of product market competition by providing internal incentives that ultimately lead to significant increases in the productivity of their innovative outlays.
    Keywords: Competition, Innovation, Innovative Productivity, Incentives.
    Date: 2019–03
  2. By: Dolores de la Mata (CAF-Development Bank of Latin America); Carlos Felipe Gaviria Garces (Universidad de Antioquia)
    Abstract: We study the impact of air pollution exposure (CO, O3 and Pm10) during pregnancy and early years of life on infant health for a sample of children attending public kinder- gartens in Bogota, Colombia. The study uses a unique database that gathers information on children health which allows to combine information of residential location of the mother with information from the city air quality monitors. To overcome endogeneity problems due to residential sorting we identify pairs of siblings in the dataset and imple- ment panel data models with mother xed e ects. Results show evidence that mothers, who are exposed to higher levels of CO and O3 during pregnancy, have a higher proba- bility of their babies being born with a low birth weight. Furthermore, a child exposed in-utero to higher levels of O3 has a higher probability of being diagnosed with a lung- related disease. Our ndings advocate for more strict environmental regulations as a way to improve human capital in developing countries.
    Keywords: Air Pollution, Infant Health, Mother-Family Fixed Effects, Panel Data
    JEL: C33 J13 Q53
    Date: 2019–03
  3. By: Sharon Katzkowicz; Gabriela Pedetti; Martina Querejeta; Marcelo Bérgolo
    Abstract: We estimated the impact of the minimum wage on wages, unemployment, and formal-informal sector mobility for women in the domestic-work sector in Uruguay. Applying the dual-economy, density-discontinuity design developed by Jales (2017), we used cross-sectional data for 2006-2016 from the National Household Survey and found that the minimum wage had significant effects on labor outcomes, with almost 20% of women increasing their wages to reach the minimum. This effect was observed in both the formal and informal sector, though the latter was not covered by the policy. Our results showed a drop in employment as well as a significant effect on sector mobility with negative impacts on formality. Nevertheless, these undesired effects were offset by other labour policies undertaken in the period, by sustained economic growth, and by improvement in labor- market conditions. A novel identification strategy that is particularly suited to developing countries provides empirical evidence regarding the effects of a minimum wage on women workers in the informal sector.
    Keywords: Minimum wage, labour market, gender, informal sector, developing countries
    JEL: J08 J16 J21 J31
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Julio Cáceres-Delpiano (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); Eugenio P. Giolito (ILADES/ Universidad Alberto Hurtado and IZA)
    Abstract: Using several data sources from Chile, we study the impact of the size of the school choice set at the time of starting primary school. With that purpose, we exploit multiple cutoffs defining the minimum age at entry, which not only define when a student can start elementary school, but also the set of schools from which she/he can choose. Moreover, differences across municipalities in the composition of the schools according to these utoffs, allow us not only to account for municipality fixed factors (educational markets) but also for differences in the characteristics between schools choosing different deadlines. That is, we compare across municipalities the difference in outcomes for children living in the same municipality around the different cutoffs with those for children in other municipalities that experience a different change in the available set of schools across cutoffs (double difference in RD). We show that a larger set of schools increases the probability of starting in a better school, measured by non high-stakes examination. Moreover, this quasi-experimental variation reveals an important reduction in the likelihood of dropping out, and a reduction in the probability that a child would switch schools during her/his school life. Secondly, for a subsample of students who have completed high school, we observe that a larger school choice set at the start of primary school increases students’ chances of taking the national examination required for higher education and the likelihood of being enrolled in a selective college.
    Date: 2018–07

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