nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2020‒03‒23
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Impacto de sistemas de selección por mérito, el caso de Chile post reforma By Andrés Fernández; Javier Fuenzalida; Carlos Castro
  2. Parental Beliefs, Investments, and Child Development : Evidence from a Large-Scale Experiment By Amaro Da Costa Luz Carneiro,Pedro Manuel; Galasso,Emanuela; Lopez Garcia,Italo Xavier; Bedregal,Paula; Cordero,Miguel
  3. Dynamic Incentives in Retirement Earnings-Replacement Benefits By Dean, Andres; Fleitas, Sebastian; Zerpa, Mariana
  4. Trust and Saving in Financial Institutions By Sebastian Galiani; Paul Gertler; Camila Navajas Ahumada

  1. By: Andrés Fernández; Javier Fuenzalida; Carlos Castro
    Abstract: La principal motivación de este artículo radica en la necesidad estudiar la efectividad de reformas que buscan promover y fortalecer el mérito en la gestión de personas en el Estado. En ese sentido, una evaluación de los efectos de la Ley 20.955 representa una oportunidad única, que no solo puede generar aprendizajes de política pública para el país, sino también para el resto de los países de América Latina. El artículo se estructura como sigue: en un primer capítulo se presenta al Servicio Civil en Chile, su contexto de creación y la labor que cumple el Sistema de Alta Dirección Pública. En el segundo capítulo se detalla la metodología a utilizar, describiendo las variables y modelos econométricos. El tercer capítulo presenta los resultados obtenidos en el estudio, y el cuarto capítulo presenta las principales conclusiones levantadas a partir de los resultados, y en línea con la labor de apoyar la construcción de políticas públicas de probidad en la región latinoamericana.
    Keywords: Servicio Civil, Política Pública, Corrupción, Chile, América Latina, Civil Service, Public Policy, Corruption, Chile, Latin America
    JEL: D73 F43 H57 H83 L38 O10
    Date: 2019–07–24
  2. By: Amaro Da Costa Luz Carneiro,Pedro Manuel; Galasso,Emanuela; Lopez Garcia,Italo Xavier; Bedregal,Paula; Cordero,Miguel
    Abstract: This paper experimentally evaluates 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. 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. There were no statistically detectable impacts on other types of skills. The treatments also led to improvements in home environments and parenting behaviors of comparable magnitudes, which far outlasted the short duration of the intervention. A simple mediation analysis suggests that up to 13 percent of treatment impacts on language, and up to 36 percent of impacts on child socio-emotional development, can be attributed to changes in the home environment, as well as in nurturing and discipline parenting behaviors.
    Keywords: Health Care Services Industry,Reproductive Health,Early Childhood Development,Nutrition,Early Child and Children's Health,Children and Youth,Public Health Promotion,Social Protections&Assistance
    Date: 2019–02–14
  3. By: Dean, Andres (IECON, Universidad de la República); Fleitas, Sebastian (KU Leuven); Zerpa, Mariana (KU Leuven)
    Abstract: Many defined-benefit pension systems in developed and developing countries use a small set of final years of earnings to compute pension benefits. This provides dynamic incentives to report higher earnings in the final years of the career. In this paper, we document the responses of self-employed and employed workers to these incentives, using social security administrative records and household surveys from Uruguay. We implement event studies that leverage the use of a 10-year benefit-calculation window, combined with the discrete change in the probability of retirement at the minimum retirement age. We find that reported earnings of self-employed workers and employees of small firms start increasing sharply 10 years prior to minimum retirement age, reaching a 3% increase on average. This is not the case for employees of large firms, where earnings underreporting is less prevalent. These responses are not explained by changes in total earnings or hours of work, as reported in household surveys, suggesting a change in reporting behavior. Back of the envelope calculations for the self-employed bound the cost of these responses between 1.9% and 2.6% of the total cost of pensions for this group.
    Keywords: earnings replacement benefits, social security, tax compliance
    JEL: J26 H26 H55 O15 O17
    Date: 2020–02
  4. By: Sebastian Galiani; Paul Gertler; Camila Navajas Ahumada
    Abstract: We examine the role of trust in financial institutions as a necessary condition for the wider use of formal financial services by the poor. We randomly assigned beneficiaries of a conditional cash transfer program in 130 villages in Peru to attend a 3.5 hour training session designed to build their trust in financial institutions. Using household survey data combined with high-frequency administrative data, we find that the intervention: (a) significantly increased the level of trust in the financial system, but had no effect on knowledge of the banking system or financial literacy; and (b) resulted in the treatment group saving 13 Peruvian Soles more than he control group over a ten month period and (c) had no effect of the use of bank accounts for transactions. The increase in savings is close to double the savings of the treatment over the 10 month period prior to the intervention, 7 times the savings of the control group over the same period, and a 1.6 percentage point increase in the savings rate out of the cash transfer depostis.
    JEL: O16
    Date: 2020–02

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