nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2019‒08‒19
seven papers chosen by

  1. Fiscal justice in Brazil: taxation as an instrument for equality By Luana Passos
  2. Inequidad en el acceso a los servicios de salud en Uruguay By Cecilia González; Patricia Triunfo
  3. Parental Beliefs, Investments, and Child Development: Evidence from a Large-Scale Experiment By Carneiro, Pedro; Galasso, Emanuela; Lopez Garcia, Italo; Bedregal, Paula; Cordero, Miguel
  4. Systematic Determinants of Pensions in Latin America By Ianina Rossi
  5. El rol de los socios menores en la integración comercial del MERCOSUR y del TLCAN 1990-2016 By Nicolás Reig; Martín Puchet
  6. Evaluating the impact of the selection process of principals in Brazilian public schools By Paula Pereda, Andrea Lucchesi, Karen Mendes,; Antonio Bresolin
  7. Crime and Economic Growth: A Case Study of Manaus, Brazil By Pedro Drugowick; Paula Pereda

  1. By: Luana Passos (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: "The debate around taxation in Brazil has long revolved around issues related to tax burden, efficiency, competitiveness and simplicity. Despite recent fiscal problems and a better understanding of the concentration of income and national wealth, the relevance of a progressive tax system as a tool to fight inequality still enjoys little space in mainstream media discussions. The traditional focus of the Brazilian debate on tax burden is due to the fact that the State absorbs a considerable proportion of gross domestic product (GDP)?approximately 32 per cent in 2016?as taxes. This sets Brazil apart from other countries with similar income levels: its tax burden is one of the highest in Latin America, even greater than in some developed countries, such as Spain and Canada". (...)
    Keywords: Fiscal justice, Brazil, taxation, instrument, equality
    Date: 2019–06
  2. By: Cecilia González (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Patricia Triunfo (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: En el año 2007 Uruguay comenzó una reforma del sector salud tendiente a la construcción de un Sistema Nacional Integrado de Salud, basado en un seguro público con provisión privada y pública, con el objetivo, entre otros, de universalizar el acceso a los servicios de salud. A partir de la primera Encuesta Nacional de Salud, realizada en 2014 en Uruguay, analizamos la inequidad horizontal en la utilización y el acceso a servicios médicos de la población de 18 años y más, y para diferentes subgrupos. Los resultados muestran inequidad horizontal a favor de las personas de mayor nivel socioeconómico en la realización de consultas médicas, uso de medicamentos y falta de acceso por motivos de costos. De la descomposición de los Índices de Concentración se destaca que el tipo de cobertura es de las variables que más impacta sobre la desigualdad, encontrando que la cobertura privada tiende a aumentarla y la pública a disminuirla. Finalmente, otro aspecto a destacar es que se encuentra inequidad para algunos estudios preventivos, como la realización del PAP en las mujeres y del examen de próstata en los hombres, estando concentrados este tipo de estudios entre los de mayor nivel socioeconómico.
    Keywords: inequidad horizontal en salud, índices de concentración, Uruguay
    JEL: I10 I18 I19
    Date: 2018–11
  3. By: Carneiro, Pedro (University College London); Galasso, Emanuela (World Bank); Lopez Garcia, Italo (RAND); Bedregal, Paula (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile); Cordero, Miguel (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: This paper experimentally estimates medium term impacts of a large-scale and low-cost parenting program targeting poor families in Chile. Households in 162 public health centers were randomly assigned to three groups: a control group, a second group that was offered eight weekly group parenting sessions, and a third group that was offered the same eight group sessions plus two sessions of guided interactions between parents and children focused on responsive play and dialogic reading. In spite of its short duration and intensity, three years after the end of the intervention, the receptive vocabulary and the socio-emotional development of children of families participating in either of the treatment arms improved (by 0.43 and 0.54 standard deviation, respectively) relative to children of nonparticipating families. The treatments also led to improvements in home environments and parenting behaviors of comparable magnitudes, which far outlasted the short duration of the intervention.
    Keywords: parenting, early childhood development
    JEL: H43 I10 I20 I38
    Date: 2019–07
  4. By: Ianina Rossi (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: In this paper I assess Latin American contributory pension schemes in terms of their role in replacing earnings after retirement. I look for key elements that can explain differences, resulting in useful policy recommendations. My analysis is based on microsimulations of work histories and pension rights in 10 Latin American countries according to current norms and controlled scenarios. I use response surface analysis to summarize the results, performing regression analysis to assess the impact of changes in control variables on the effective replacement rate (ERR). The effects of covariates at scenario level and at regime level are considered. Results show that individual choices and luck are very relevant in determining ERRs. I also find that some policy variables have a great impact. This is the case of the contribution rate. These findings are particularly relevant for the current discussion on pension reform and pension adequacy in Latin America.
    Keywords: contribution rate, pension, replacement rate, retirement, social security
    JEL: H55 J14 J26
    Date: 2018–11
  5. By: Nicolás Reig (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Martín Puchet (Facultad de Economía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)
    Abstract: El objetivo de este documento es analizar y comparar, en el marco de los procesos de integración comercial de los dos grandes bloques de las Américas, la integración de Uruguay en el MERCOSUR y de México en el TLCAN en el periodo 1990-2016, en base a métodos y técnicas de análisis estructural. La evidencia y los resultados sugieren que los bloques y los socios menores tuvieron trayectorias divergentes en sus procesos de integración comercial. El MERCOSUR no tuvo avances significativos y continúa siendo un bloque poco integrado, mientras que el TLCAN profundizó la integración entre sus socios a lo largo del periodo. En este contexto, la integración de los socios menores tuvo grandes diferencias, siendo mucho más intensa en el caso de México que en el de Uruguay.
    Keywords: Integración comercial, bloques económicos, MERCOSUR, TLCAN, Uruguay, México
    JEL: F13 F14 F15
    Date: 2018–11
  6. By: Paula Pereda, Andrea Lucchesi, Karen Mendes,; Antonio Bresolin
    Abstract: Educational quality in Brazil has improved at a slow pace despite continued public policy efforts. The international literature has noted the importance of school management and the principal's profile on students' performance, but this discussion is recent in Brazil. In this study, we investigate the effects of the selection process of principals on students' performance from public state schools in Brazil. We conclude that while the “selection process†channel is not clear, the “principal quality effect†indicates that the more democratic and technical selection methods tend to select most qualified principals in terms of leadership and managerial abilities. The principal who has time to implement changes, who adopts management practices to encourage teachers and has experience being the leader of the school present better results in terms of student’s performance. Therefore, it is important that the principal selection process choose professionals with the skills mentioned.
    Keywords: basic education; principals’ selection; evaluation of Brazilian educational policy; differences in differences propensity score matching
    JEL: I28 I21 C21 I2
    Date: 2019–07–29
  7. By: Pedro Drugowick; Paula Pereda
    Abstract: Due to economic and social advances since the 1990s, Brazil became the 7th largest economy in the world in 2012. However, crime rates have not stopped rising since the beginning of the last decade, with Brazil having the 11th largest homicide rate on the planet in that year (UN). In this paper we estimate how much crime harms economic activity from a case study of the city of Manaus, where in 2007 the organized crime group known as “Família do Norte†was created. We analyzed the effects on Manaus’ GDP per capita using the synthetic control method. The comparison between Manaus and its synthetic control in the period after the creation of the criminal group showed that the presence of the criminal faction diminished the city’s GDP by 3% per year. Robustness checks confirmed this result, showing how organized crime can disrupt the country’s economic advances.
    Keywords: Crime and economic activity; Organized crime; Synthetic control method
    JEL: K32 O47 Z18
    Date: 2019–07–29

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