nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2020‒06‒15
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Household Overcrowding and Mental Well-Being: Better Safe than Sorry By Jaime Ruiz-Tagle; Ignacio Urria
  2. Poverty and COVID-19 in Developing Countries By Olivier BARGAIN; Ulugbek AMINJONOV
  3. Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Poverty and COVID-19 in Developing Countries By Bargain, Olivier; Aminjonov, Ulugbek

  1. By: Jaime Ruiz-Tagle; Ignacio Urria
    Abstract: It has been widely documented that household overcrowding over time negatively affects mental health. However, scant evidence documents this dynamic relationship in the low- and middle- income countries of Latin America, where housing issues remain a relevant policy issue. Employing a nationally representative panel dataset of 10,024 Chilean households, we examine whether variation in household overcrowding levels between 2006 and 2009 is associated with the prevalence of depressive symptoms in 2009. We find that an increase in household overcrowding levels (due to a reduction in the number of bedrooms) is associated with an increase in depressive symptoms, while a constant or decreasing trajectory of household overcrowding over time is not associated with changes in depressive symptoms. These results suggest an asymmetric relationship between household density and mental health over a three-year window and support the implementation of preventive rather than corrective housing policies to address overcrowding.
    Date: 2020–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:udc:wpaper:wp494&r=all
  2. By: Olivier BARGAIN; Ulugbek AMINJONOV
    Abstract: In March 2020, shelter-in-place and social-distancing policies have been enforced or recommended all over the world to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. However, strict containment is hardly achievable in low-income countries, as large parts of population are forced to continue income-generating activities to escape extreme poverty or hunger. To assess the trade-off between poverty and a higher risk of catching COVID-19, we use regional mobility to work and poverty rates across 241 regions of 9 countries from Latin America and Africa. With a difference-in-difference approach around the time of lockdown announcements, we mea-sure the differential time variation in work mobility between high and low-poverty regions. We find that the degree of work mobility reduction is significantly driven by the intensity of poverty. Consistently, human movements vary significantly more between poverty levels when it come to work rather than less vital activities. We also estimate how higher poverty rates translate into a faster spread of COVID-19 cases through the channel of work mobility.
    Keywords: COVID-19; poverty; lockdown; compliance; work mobility
    JEL: H12 I12 I18 O15
    Date: 2020
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:grt:bdxewp:2020-08&r=all
  3. By: Bargain, Olivier (University of Aix-Marseille II); Aminjonov, Ulugbek (University of Bordeaux)
    Abstract: In March 2020, shelter-in-place and social-distancing policies have been enforced or recommended all over the world to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. However, strict containment is hardly achievable in low-income countries, as large parts of population are forced to continue income-generating activities to escape extreme poverty or hunger. To assess the trade-off between poverty and a higher risk of catching COVID-19, we use regional mobility to work and poverty rates across 241 regions of 9 countries from Latin America and Africa. With a difference-in-difference approach around the time of lockdown announcements, we measure the differential time variation in work mobility between high and low-poverty regions. We find that the degree of work mobility reduction is significantly driven by the intensity of poverty. Consistently, human movements vary significantly more between poverty levels when it come to work rather than less vital activities. We also estimate how higher poverty rates translate into a faster spread of COVID-19 cases through the channel of work mobility.
    Keywords: COVID-19, poverty, lockdown, compliance, work mobility
    JEL: H12 I12 I18 O15
    Date: 2020–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13297&r=all

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