nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2020‒05‒04
three papers chosen by

  1. Fiscal Decentralization and Life Satisfaction in Chile By Leonardo Letelier S.; José Luis Sáez Lozano
  2. The Fight against Corruption : Taming Tigers and Swatting Flies By Chuah,Lay Lian; Loayza,Norman V.; Myers,C. Bernard
  3. Estimate of underreporting of COVID-19 in Brazil by Acute Respiratory Syndrome hospitalization reports By Leonardo Costa Ribeiro; Américo Tristão Bernardes

  1. By: Leonardo Letelier S. (Institute of Public Affairs, University of Chile); José Luis Sáez Lozano (Department of International and Spanish Economics, University of Granada)
    Abstract: This research hinges upon the relationship between fiscal decentralization (FD) and subjective well-being (SWB) in Chile. We merge data from two household surveys (2011 and 2013) in which a life satisfaction question was included, with municipal-level information. By using a FD proxy that measures the share of municipal unconditional grants on all revenues, we produce an instrumental variable to test in the context of an ordered logistic multilevel model. Our contribution is twofold. First, we find evidence that, on average, FD does affect SWB positively. Second, we find this effect to depend on the satisfaction group in which individuals belong. Evidence from this study indicates that the effect in question is non-linear and that only high SWB groups are clearly benefitted. Since this reflects different priorities across SWB groups, this paper’s evidence is a call for a more aggressive inter-municipal fiscal equalization scheme.
    Date: 2020–04
  2. By: Chuah,Lay Lian; Loayza,Norman V.; Myers,C. Bernard
    Abstract: Corruption robs the public of precious resources, distorts the incentives to engage in productive activities, destroys confidence in public institutions, and spurs political instability. It disproportionately harms the poor and vulnerable. In turn, corruption is the result of perverse incentives, concentration of power, and lack of accountability. Countries are not condemned to suffer from corruption. They can break the vicious cycle with a comprehensive approach that tackles country-specific governance gaps. This approach should include streamlining rules and regulations; building a meritocratic and well-paid civil service; promoting transparency in public employment, procurement, and services; enabling citizen voice and government accountability; and enforcing anti-corruption laws and penalties.
    Keywords: National Governance,Social Policy,Judicial System Reform,Youth and Governance,Legal Reform,Government Policies,Public Sector Economics,Legislation,Legal Products,Public Finance Decentralization and Poverty Reduction,Regulatory Regimes,Governance Indicators,Educational Sciences,Public Sector Administrative&Civil Service Reform,Administrative&Civil Service Reform,Democratic Government,Public Sector Administrative and Civil Service Reform,De Facto Governments
    Date: 2020–01–01
  3. By: Leonardo Costa Ribeiro (Cedeplar-UFMG); Américo Tristão Bernardes (UFOP)
    Abstract: The number of COVID-19 infected people in each country is a crucial factor to determine public policies. It guides the governments to strengthen movement restrictions of people or to relieve it. The number of infected people is very important to forecast the needs of the health systems, which are collapsing in many countries. Thus, underreporting of infected people is a huge problem, since authorities do not know the real problem and act in darkness. In the present work, we discuss this subject for the Brazilian case. We take the time series of acute respiratory syndromes reported in the health public system in the last ten years and estimated the number for March/20 when the COVID-19 appeared in Brazil. Our results show a 7.7:1 rate of underreporting, meaning that the real cases in Brazil should be, at least, seven times the publicized number.
    Keywords: Corona virus, COVID-19; Underreporting; Brazil
    JEL: C15 I18
    Date: 2020–04

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