nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2019‒08‒12
five papers chosen by

  1. Multi-dimensional poverty among adults in Central America and gender differences in the three I’s of poverty: Applying inequality sensitive poverty measures with ordinal variables By José Espinoza-Delgado; Jacques Silber
  2. New Stuff or Better Ways: What Matters to Access International Markets? By Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso; Adriana Peluffo; Ernesto Silva
  3. Impacts of Labor Market Institutions and Demographic Factors on Labor Markets in Latin America By Adriana D. Kugler
  4. Crime-related Exposure to Violence and Social Preferences: Experimental Evidence from Bogotá By Francesco Bogliacino; Camilo Gómez; Gianluca Grimalda
  5. The Geography of Dictatorship and Support for Democracy By Maria Angelica Bautista; Felipe Gonzalez; Luis R. Martınez; Pablo Munoz; Mounu Prem

  1. By: José Espinoza-Delgado (University of Goettingen / Germany); Jacques Silber (Bar-Ilan Univesity, Ramat-Gan / Israel)
    Abstract: The Alkire and Foster (2011) methodology, as the mainstream approach to the measurement of multi-dimensional poverty in the developing world, is insensitive to inequality among the multidimensionally poor individuals and does not consider simultaneously the concepts of efficiency and distributive justice. Moreover, the vast majority of empirical indices of multi-dimensional poverty in the literature overlook intra-household inequalities, an issue that is crucial to a better understanding of gender inequalities, because they equate the poverty status of the household with the poverty status of all individuals in the household. Consequently, using the general framework proposed by Silber and Yalonetzky (2013) and Rippin’s ideas on multi-dimensional poverty measurement (2013, 2017), we propose in this paper to depart somehow from the mainstream approach and take an individual-based and inequality sensitive view of multi-dimensional poverty when only ordinal (dichotomized) variables are available. We use such an approach to estimate multi-dimensional poverty among individuals aged 18 and 59 years living in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, shedding thus some light on gender differences in poverty and inequality in those countries. Overall, we find that individuals living in Guatemala have the highest probability of being multidimensionally poor, followed by the ones from Nicaragua; people living in Costa Rica, by contrast, have by far the lowest probability of being poor. In the middle appears Honduras and El Salvador, Hondurans having a larger probability of being multi-dimensionally poor than the Salvadorians. Regarding the gender gaps, the overall estimates suggest that the incidence and the intensity of multidimensional poverty in Central America are higher among females; inequality, however, is somewhat higher among males.
    Keywords: multi-dimensional poverty measurement, inequality, gender inequality, Latin America, Central America
    JEL: I3 I32 D1 D13 D6 D63 O5 O54
    Date: 2018–09–27
  2. By: Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso (University of Goettingen / Germany); Adriana Peluffo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay)); Ernesto Silva (Universidad de la República (Uruguay))
    Abstract: Innovation and export decisions are closely interlinked. Both activities contribute to firm performance in various ways: exporting provides a wider market to sell products, while innovation provides new and better products to supply those markets and/or more efficient ways to reduce costs. The connection of innovation and exporting is of major interest to developing countries aiming to achieve higher growth and wellbeing given that foreign markets are both a new challenge and a source of knowledge for firms. This study analyzes whether different types of innovation affect export behavior at the firm level for an unbalanced panel of Uruguayan manufacturing firms. Logistic regression and matching with difference-in-differences (MDID) techniques are applied to data from 2003 to 2012. Using logit models we find that previous innovation increases the probability of exporting. Unlike other studies, productivity-enhancing (or cost-reducing) innovation shows a stronger correlation than product innovation pointing out that price competition is more important than quality competition for Uruguayan products in foreign markets. Furthermore, using MDID we establish a direct causal link from innovation to exporting. Finally, we analyze export intensity by means of Tobit models. We find that innovation fosters export intensity. Overall, the findings indicate that active innovation policies along with other export promotion policies help to promote firms’ participation in foreign markets.
    Keywords: product innovation, process innovation, exporting
    JEL: F14 D21 C23 O31 O33
    Date: 2018–11–06
  3. By: Adriana D. Kugler
    Abstract: This paper documents recent labor market performance in the Latin American region. The paper shows that unemployment, informality, and inequality have been falling over the past two decades, though still remain high. By contrast, productivity has remained stubbornly low. The paper, then, turns to the potential impacts of various labor market institutions, including employment protection legislation (EPL), minimum wages (MW), payroll taxes, unemployment insurance (UI) and collective bargaining, as well as the impacts of demographic changes on labor market performance. The paper relies on evidence from carefully conducted studies based on micro-data for countries in the region and for other countries with similar income levels to draw conclusions on the impact of labor market institutions and demographic factors on unemployment, informality, inequality and productivity. The decreases in unemployment and informality can be partly explained by the reduced strictness of EPL and payroll taxes, but also by the increased shares of more educated and older workers. By contrast, the fall in inequality starting in 2002 can be explained by a combination of binding MW throughout most of the region and, to a lesser extent, by the introduction of UI systems in some countries and the role of unions in countries with moderate unionization rates. Falling inequality can also be explained by the fall in the returns to skill associated with increased share of more educated and older workers.
    Date: 2019–07–17
  4. By: Francesco Bogliacino; Camilo Gómez; Gianluca Grimalda
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the relationship between exposure to violence (ETV) and pro-social behavior using two artefactual field experiments in Bogotá, Colombia. We focus on two dimensions of ETV: trauma and negative economic shock. In our first experiment, after manipulating a recall of ETV, we collate a number of decisions from a trust game and a dictator game. Using a design inspired by Falk and Zehnder (2013), we compare the measures of in-group bias at the district level. In our companion experiment, we use a similar design, which includes a Prisoners’ Dilemma, and we introduce a 2-by-2 design where we attempt to disentangle the effect of trauma and a negative wealth shock. Our results suggest that there is a positive relationship between ETV and pro-social behavior, driven by both trauma and shock. Finally, there is evidence of in-group bias at the district level in Bogotá, but this is task specific. When we explore possible mediating variables proposed by the literature, we find that only beliefs seem to be affected, however the result is not robust. On the other hand, evidence is consistent with a generalized explanation based on either the dual system theory or the role of negative emotions. *** En este artículo estudiamos la relación entre exposición a violencia (ETV) y comportamiento prosocial usando dos experimentos de campo artefactuales en Bogotá (Colombia). Nos centramos en dos dimensiones de ETV: trauma y choque económico negativo. En el primer experimento, recolectamos una serie de decisiones a partir de un juego de confianza y un juego del dictador, después de manipular un recuerdo de exposición a violencia. Usando un diseño inspirado por Falk y Zehnder (2013), recolectamos medidas de sesgo intra-grupo a nivel de localidad. En el experimento complementario usamos un diseño similar, pero incluimos un dilema del prisionero y un diseño 2x2 donde intentamos separar los efectos del trauma y de un choque negativo de riqueza. Nuestros resultados sugieren una relación positiva entre ETV y comportamiento prosocial, guiado tanto por el trauma como por el shock. Finalmente, hay evidencia de un sesgo intragrupo a nivel de localidad en Bogotá, sin embargo, es específico a la tarea. Cuando exploramos posibles variables mediadoras propuestas por la literatura, encontramos que solo las creencias parecen ser afectadas, pero este resultado no es robusto, mientras que la evidencia es consistente con una explicación generalizada basada en la teoría del sistema dual o en el papel de las emociones negativas.
    Keywords: discrimination; trust; trustworthiness; cooperation; violence; third party punishment, social heuristics hypothesis
    JEL: D63 D64 D91 C91
    Date: 2019–07–23
  5. By: Maria Angelica Bautista (University of Chicago); Felipe Gonzalez (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile); Luis R. Martınez (University of Chicago); Pablo Munoz (University of California - Berkeley); Mounu Prem (Universidad del Rosario)
    Abstract: We show that proximity to military bases during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile (1973-1990) exposed civilians to more state repression and led to (i) stronger electoral opposition to Pinochet and (ii) a long-lasting strengthening of democratic values. Our empirical strategy exploits the location of military bases during the many decades of democratic rule before the military coup, which we show is unrelated to pre-coup electoral outcomes. We find that residents of counties housing these bases both registered and voted “No†to Pinochet’s continuation in power at higher rates in the crucial 1988 plebiscite that bolstered the democratic transition. These counties also experienced more civilian deaths and forced disappearances during the dictatorship, indicating that increased exposure to repression affected voters' behavior. After democratization, residents of these counties who were exposed to the military coup report greater support for democracy in surveys, but there are no persistent effects on electoral outcomes.
    Keywords: Chile,dictatorship, repression, democratization, human rights
    JEL: D72 N46
    Date: 2019–08

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