nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2021‒01‒18
two papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Do junk food bans in school really reduce childhood overweight? Evidence from Brazil By Pierre Levasseur
  2. Police Repression and Protest Behavior: Evidence from Student Protests in Chile By Gonzalez, Felipe; Prem, Mounu

  1. By: Pierre Levasseur (SADAPT - Sciences pour l'Action et le Développement : Activités, Produits, Territoires - AgroParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Childhood overweight and obesity have increased alarmingly in recent decades all over the world, particularly in middle-income countries like Brazil, Mexico and China. In response to the obesity epidemic, several states and governments have introduced restrictions on sales of high-calorie low-nutrient-dense foods and beverages in schools. However, most school canteens around the world continue to offer such unhealthy products. The lack of clear evidence about the impacts of junk food/beverage availability on childhood overweight potentially contributes to delaying the application of regulatory policies. In fact, sales of junk food represent an important source of revenues for schools, especially in contexts of budgetary pressure. Based on a representative sample of Brazilian middle school students, this article takes advantage of local initiatives that began in 2001 aimed at banning sales of junk food and beverages in schools. Among other effects, instrumental variables estimates show that in-school soft drink availability increases male BMI and overweight risk. As expected, the impacts tend to be stronger on non-poor students. No effect was found for girls, probably because of voluntary substitutions with healthier foods to control total calorie intakes and limit weight gain. Alarmingly, in-school junk food/beverage availability is positively correlated with overall junk food/beverage consumption and negatively correlated with overall healthy food intakes. In conclusion, this article provides clear evidence that banning sales of unhealthy products in schools is a useful tool to fight against the worldwide increase in childhood overweight, even in middle-income countries.
    Keywords: Brazil Childhood overweight,Body mass index,Junk food,School bans
    Date: 2020–10–17
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02971072&r=all
  2. By: Gonzalez, Felipe (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile); Prem, Mounu
    Abstract: Police repression is a common feature of street protests around the world but evidence about its impact on dissident behavior is limited. We provide an empirical analysis of people linked to a student killed by a stray bullet coming from a policeman during a large protest. Using administrative data on daily school attendance, we follow his schoolmates and those living nearby the shooting in hundreds of protest and non-protest days to estimate whether police repression affected their protest behavior. We find that repression causes a temporary deterrence effect but only on students with social (rather than geographic) links to the victim. Moreover, we show that police violence increased adherence to a student-led boycott two years after the shooting and had negative educational consequences for students. These findings cast doubt on the effectiveness of police repression in quieting dissent and ensuring public safety.
    Date: 2020–12–22
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:osf:socarx:3xk5r&r=all

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