nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2020‒06‒22
three papers chosen by

  1. Spatial divisions of poverty and wealth: How much does segregation matter for educational achievement? By Rafael Carranza; Gabriel Otero; Dante Contreras
  2. Integrating Social Insurance and Social Assistance Programs for the Future World of Labor By Palacios, Robert; Robalino, David A.
  3. Demand for Safe Spaces : Avoiding Harassment and Stigma By Kondylis,Florence; Legovini,Arianna; Vyborny,Kate; Zwager,Astrid Maria Theresia; Cardoso De Andrade,Luiza

  1. By: Rafael Carranza (London School of Economics); Gabriel Otero (Utrecht University); Dante Contreras (Universidad de Chile)
    Abstract: We explore how different spatial compositions affect the educational achievement in mathematics of 16 year-old students in Chile, a Latin American country with high income inequality and school segregation. We develop a critical review on the literature on negative "neighbourhood effects" associated with concentrated poverty, complementing it with studies concerning self-segregation preferences by members of the upper-middle class. We combine administrative data about student performance with survey data for the 52 municipalities of the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile. We cluster the districts based on factors such as unemployment, economic inequality, access to services, experiences of violence and stigmatization. Using longitudinal data, we look at the effect of each of the six spatial clusters on academic performance. Spatial clusters report a significant effect, above and beyond that of individual, household, and school-level characteristics. We conclude that space complements and reinforces the processes of accumulation of socioeconomic (dis)advantages.
    Keywords: Class; Education; Inequality; Socio-economic environment; Urban studies.
    JEL: D63 I24 R23
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: Palacios, Robert (World Bank); Robalino, David A. (World Bank)
    Abstract: Given the prevalence of informal labor, most countries have combined contributory social insurance programs (pensions, unemployment benefits, and health insurance), with non-contributory insurance programs and several types of "safety nets." All of these programs involve different types of subsidies and taxes, sometimes implicit. Because of design problems and the lack of coordination/integration between programs, these subsidies/taxes tend to cause four problems: 1) they can reduce incentives to contribute to mandatory insurance programs and to create formal jobs; 2) they can be regressive since redistribution often benefits middle/high income workers more than low income workers 3) they do not provide continuous protection as workers change occupations and constrain rather than facilitate, labor mobility; and 4) coverage tends to exclude many informal sector workers in the middle of the income distribution. As such, existing programs are not well prepared to deal with a world of labor characterized by persistent low productivity jobs, more frequent labor market transitions including across sectors and geographic regions and higher equilibrium unemployment rates for some groups of workers. This paper develops a policy framework to integrate, in a transparent way, the insurance function (actuarially-fair risk pooling or savings) and the redistributive function (transfers) of the social protection system in order to expand coverage, improve equity, and reduce labor market distortions. We illustrate this type of integration with the case of old-age pensions which is typically the most important intervention, at least from a fiscal perspective.
    Keywords: social insurance, social assistance, universal basic income, jobs, pensions, future of work, COVID-19
    JEL: H24 J26 J46 J65 J32 I13 H53 H55
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Kondylis,Florence; Legovini,Arianna; Vyborny,Kate; Zwager,Astrid Maria Theresia; Cardoso De Andrade,Luiza
    Abstract: What are the costs to women of harassment on public transit? This study randomizes the price of a women-reserved"safe space"in Rio de Janeiro and crowdsource information on 22,000 rides. Women in the public space experience harassment once a week. A fifth of riders are willing to forgo 20 percent of the fare to ride in the"safe space". Randomly assigning riders to the"safe space"reduces physical harassment by 50 percent, implying a cost of $1.45 per incident. Implicit Association Tests show that women face a stigma for riding in the public space that may outweigh the benefits of the safe space.
    Keywords: Transport in Urban Areas,Urban Transport,Gender and Development,Crime and Society,Transport Services,Labor Markets
    Date: 2020–06–03

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