nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2020‒02‒17
nine papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. A community based program promotes sanitation By María Laura Alzúa; Habiba Djebbari; Amy J. Pickering
  2. Examining the life-cycle artistic productivity of Latin American photographers By Jose Sanchez-Fung
  3. Efectos sobre la Oferta de Trabajo de la Extensión del Seguro de Salud a los Cónyuges de los Trabajadores Formales By Cecilia Parada
  4. Structural transformations and the lack of inclusive growth: The case of Chile By Solimano Andrés; Zapata-Román Gabriela
  5. Chile?s Solidarity Pillar : A Benchmark for Adjoining Zero Pillar with DC Schemes By Fajnzylber,Eduardo
  6. La Incidencia Distributiva del Gasto Público Social y su Financiamiento en la Provincia de Buenos Aires By Leonardo Gasparini; Jorge Puig
  7. Child Care Markets, Parental Labor Supply, and Child Development By Berlinski, Samuel; Ferreyra, Maria Marta; Flabbi, Luca; Martin, Juan David
  8. The effects of wartime institutions on households’ ability to cope with shocks: Evidence for Colombia By Justino Patricia; Arjona Ana; Cárdenas Juan; Ibáñez Ana; Arteaga Julián
  9. Decline in Wage Inequality in Brazil : A Survey By Firpo,Sergio; Portella,Alysson

  1. By: María Laura Alzúa (CEDLAS-FCE-Universidad Nacional de la Plata – Conicet, La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina); Habiba Djebbari (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France.); Amy J. Pickering (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, MA)
    Abstract: Basic sanitation facilities are still lacking in large parts of the developing world, engendering serious environmental health risks. Interventions commonly deliver in-kind or cash subsidies to promote private toilet ownership. In this paper, we assess an intervention that provides information and behavioral incentives to encourage villagers in rural Mali to build and use basic latrines. Using an experimental research design and carefully measured indicators of use, we find a sizeable impact from this intervention: latrine ownership and use almost doubled in intervention villages, and open defecation was reduced by half. Our results partially attribute these effects to increased knowledge about cheap and locally available sanitation solutions. They are also associated with shifts in the social norm governing sanitation. Taken together, our findings, unlike previous evidence from other contexts, suggest that a progressive approach that starts with ending open defecation and targets whole communities at a time can help meet the new Sustainable Development Goal of ending open defecation.
    Keywords: sanitation, behavioral change, community-based intervention, social norm
    Date: 2020–01
  2. By: Jose Sanchez-Fung (University of Nottingham, Ningbo)
    Abstract: The paper examines the life-cycle artistic productivity of three leading Latin American photographers of the twentieth century: Manuel à lvarez Bravo (Mexico), Sergio Larraín (Chile), and Sebastião Salgado (Brazil). The analysis constructs narratives using art books and other sources of expert commentary, following the approach in earlier contributions to the economic literature on the subject (David W. Galenson, 2007, Old masters and young geniuses: The two life cycles of artistic creativity, Princeton University Press). The research identifies Manuel à lvarez Bravo as a ‘conceptual innovator’, a feature that caught the French surrealists’ attention early in his career. In contrast, Sergio Larraín and Sebastião Salgado accomplish their contributions to photography like ‘experimental innovators’. The investigation assembles and evaluates metrics from museum holdings and selected retrospectives to gauge the robustness of the conclusions emerging from the benchmark narratives.
    Keywords: life-cycle artistic productivity; conceptual and experimental innovators; age-output profiles; photographers; Latin America
    JEL: Z1 Z11
    Date: 2020–02
  3. By: Cecilia Parada (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS), IIE-FCE, Universidad Nacional de La Plata and University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: A partir de diciembre de 2010 el Seguro de Salud en Uruguay se extiende a los cónyuges de los trabajadores formales. Esta extensión podría modificar los incentivos laborales respecto a la ocupación y la formalidad de las personas en pareja, en particular, dependiendo del estatus de formalidad del cónyuge. Es decir, para aquellas personas con cónyuge formal, al disminuir la utilidad relativa de estar ocupado en el sector formal respecto a la situación previa a la política, se espera que tengan incentivos a no estar ocupados o a hacerlo sin estar registrados. Para las personas con cónyuge informal o no ocupado, se produce el efecto contrario, aumentando la utilidadrelativadeestarocupadoenelsectorformalrespectoalasituaciónanterior y, por lo tanto, se esperarían incentivos positivos sobre la ocupación y formalidad. En este trabajo se estiman los posibles efectos comparando en el tiempo a las personas afectadas por la política con aquellos semejantes pero no afectados, mediante una metodología de diferencias en diferencias, a partir de datos de las Encuestas Continuas de Hogares de Uruguay. Los resultados sugieren que la expansión del seguro introdujo incentivos a que las personas en pareja se muevan entre formalidad/informalidad y, en menor medida,entre el empleo/no empleo,siendo las mujeres quienes ajustan en mayor magnitud sus decisiones de inserción laboral respecto a las características de la ocupación de su pareja.
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: Solimano Andrés; Zapata-Román Gabriela
    Abstract: This paper describes the structural transformations that Chile has experienced in the last 50 years and how they have contributedâ۠or notâ۠to inclusive growth and genuine economic modernization from a historical perspective. The empirical analysis of the paper shows a premature deindustrialization process since the 1970s, continuing to the present.We observe in the transition from the import-substitution industrialization strategy to the outward-oriented neoliberal model of high inequality, a decline in the value-added shares of manufacturing and agriculture and a rise in services (mainly financial services, insurance, and real estate) with ups and downs in mining shares.These trends are more emphasized in employment shares, with the decline in relative employment generation in agriculture and manufacturing going directly to the services sector that now accounts for two-thirds of total employment in the economy.The trend of persistent deindustrialization and high inequality is worrisome and could negatively affect Chile’s ability to achieve structural transformations towards higher and more sophisticated levels of productive development and technological advancement.
    Keywords: Chile,Inclusive growth,inequality of income,Inequality of opportunities,inequality of wealth,deindustrialization,Structural transformation
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Fajnzylber,Eduardo
    Abstract: In 2008, Chile introduced a New Solidarity Pillar (NSP) designed to eliminate the incidence of poverty among elderly adults by setting a floor at around forty percent of the minimum monthly income for the poorest sixty percent of the population. This paper describes the NSP?s main characteristics and the main results achieved during its first seven years of operations: coverage, fiscal cost, poverty reduction, and the system?s role in reducing the significant gender gap in pensions. Its effects on incentives to contribute are discussed, as well as the literature that has attempted to measure these effects. Finally, the main challenges facing the NSP and the implications for other countries under defined contribution pension schemes are summarized.
    Keywords: Inequality,Labor Markets,Rural Labor Markets,Gender and Development,Pensions&Retirement Systems,Social Protections&Assistance
    Date: 2019–04–01
  6. By: Leonardo Gasparini (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS), IIE-FCE - Universidad Nacional de La Plata, CONICET); Jorge Puig (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS), IIE-FCE - Universidad Nacional de La Plata)
    Abstract: La provincia de Buenos Aires cuenta con una extensa red de programas y políticas públicas de carácter social con el objeto de mejorar el nivel de vida de los bonaerenses, aumentar sus oportunidades económicas y fomentar la inclusión social. Dos de cada tres pesos del presupuesto provincial son destinados a programas en sectores sociales: educación, salud, asistencia social, vivienda, saneamiento. Durante 2017 la Provincia destinó casi el 6% de su PBG a programas en esos sectores. Ese presupuesto social se financia con un conjunto de fuentes, entre las que sobresalen cuatro impuestos provinciales: ingresos brutos, inmobiliario, automotor y sellos. La discusión sobre la naturaleza, tamaño y asignación del presupuesto social y su financiamiento es parte esencial del debate democrático sobre las políticas públicas. Este trabajo pretende contribuir a ese debate brindando información y análisis sobre una de las dimensiones centrales de la política fiscal: su incidencia distributiva. ¿A quiénes beneficia el gasto público social (GPS) en la Provincia? ¿Quiénes lo aprovechan en mayor medida: los grupos más vulnerables, los estratos medios o los más afluentes? ¿Sobre quiénes recae la carga de los impuestos? ¿En qué medida la desigualdad de ingresos se modifica cuando se considera el efecto conjunto de la provisión gratuita de servicios por parte del Estado y la carga de su financiamiento mediante impuestos? Las respuestas a este tipo de preguntas constituyen insumos fundamentales para la toma de decisiones de política y para el desarrollo de un debate de política más racional y productivo.Length: 16 pages
    Date: 2020–02
  7. By: Berlinski, Samuel (Inter-American Development Bank); Ferreyra, Maria Marta (World Bank); Flabbi, Luca (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); Martin, Juan David (World Bank)
    Abstract: We develop and estimate a model of child care markets that endogenizes both demand and supply. On the demand side, families with a child make consumption, labor supply, and child-care decisions within a static, unitary household model. On the supply side, child care providers make entry, price, and quality decisions under monopolistic competition. Child development is a function of the time spent with each parent and at the child care center; these inputs vary in their impact. We estimate the structural parameters of the model using the 2003 Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which contains information on parental employment and wages, child care choices, child development, and center quality. We use our estimates to evaluate the impact of several policies, including vouchers, cash transfers, quality regulations, and public provision. Among these, a combination of quality regulation and vouchers for working families leads to the greatest gains in average child development and to a large expansion in child care use and female labor supply, all at a relatively low fiscal cost.
    Keywords: child care markets, child care quality, early childhood development, female labor supply
    JEL: J13 J22 L1
    Date: 2020–01
  8. By: Justino Patricia; Arjona Ana; Cárdenas Juan; Ibáñez Ana; Arteaga Julián
    Abstract: This paper studies the legacies of wartime institutions, measured as rebelocracy, on the ability of households to cope with negative income shocks. Rebelocracy is the social order established by non-state armed actors in the communities they control.By providing public goods and a predictable framework within which to operate, rebelocracy may generate incentives for households to expand production and accumulate wealth, placing them in a higher income trajectory than households living in war zones amid violence and chaos. If these better economic conditions persist after non-state armed actors leave the territory, households in communities that had stronger rebelocracy levels will be better able to cope with negative income shocks.The empirical strategy identifies households’ responses to random weather shocks and estimates their heterogeneous impact by the level of rebelocracy. Using a household panel in four conflict regions in Colombia, the estimation controls for time-invariant unobservables.The study finds that in regions with strong rebelocracy, households are better able to cope with negative weather shocks than those living in regions with non-state armed actor presence but with limited or no intervention. The former households face a lower economic impact of weather shocks and resort less to survival migration.The effect of rebelocracy is driven mostly by the provision of public goods by non-state armed actors. While this paper is not claiming causal impacts of rebelocracy, its coefficient estimates are robust to controlling for confounders that may explain rebelocracy in the first place.
    Keywords: Armed conflict,Colombia,Migration,Weather shock,Institutions
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Firpo,Sergio; Portella,Alysson
    Abstract: In the last decades, Brazil experienced a historical decline in its wage inequality level, particularly in the first decade of the 21st century. This paper reviews the literature that attempted to explain the observed pattern. It considers mechanisms related to the supply and demand for labor, as well as institutional factors. The paper argues that the favorable economic environment in the period, combined with increases in the minimum wage, higher formalization, and a larger supply of skilled workers led to a compression in wages. However, some aspects of the decline in wage inequality are still unanswered, such as the causes behind a reduction in the experience premium and interfirm payment heterogeneity, as well as the exact role of technological changes. The paper concludes by discussing future trends in wage inequality in Brazil.
    Date: 2019–12–19

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