nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2021‒02‒08
five papers chosen by

  1. Segregación Escolar Público-Privado por Nivel Socioeconómico en Uruguay: Un Análisis en Base a Microdescomposiciones By Lucía Ramírez Leira
  2. What Makes a Tax Evader? By Marcelo L. Bergolo; Martin Leites; Ricardo Perez-Truglia; Matias Strehl
  3. Trade and Informality in the Presence of Labor Market Frictions and Regulations By Dix-Carneiro, Rafael; Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou; Meghir, Costas; Ulyssea, Gabriel
  4. Changes in occupations and their task content: Implications for employment and inequality in Argentina, 2003-19 By Roxana Maurizio; Ana Paula Monsalvo
  5. Do you want to migrate to the United States? Migration intentions and Cultural Traits in Latin America By Riccardo Turati

  1. By: Lucía Ramírez Leira (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes school segregation according to socioeconomic level between public and private schools in Uruguay during the 1992-2017 period. Using microdata from household surveys, the measurements provide empirical evidence of a significant increase in segregation, especially during the last 15 years, for both the primary and secondary education levels. Applying a micro-decomposition methodology to explore the determinants of increasing segregation, the results suggest that changes in the observable characteristics of individuals, mainly the households's income, account for most of the variation in educational segregation experienced in recent decades. Furthermore, a greater propensity to choose private schools seems to have played a relevant role in the observed change, especially at the secondary education level, possibly liked to an increase in the perceived quality gap between both educational sub-systems.
    JEL: D63 I24
    Date: 2021–02
  2. By: Marcelo L. Bergolo; Martin Leites; Ricardo Perez-Truglia; Matias Strehl
    Abstract: Why do some individuals choose to evade taxes while others do not? One popular view is that some individuals cheat on their taxes because they are more dishonest, selfish, or perceive different social norms. There is, however, little direct evidence on this matter. In collaboration with the national tax agency in Uruguay, we address this question using a combination of surveys and administrative records. Leveraging a unique institutional setting, we measure individual-level evasion choices. We document significant variation in evasion decisions across individuals. For a subsample of 6,078 taxpayers, we use survey questions and incentivized laboratory games to measure traits such as honesty, selfishness, and perceived social norms. We find that these individual traits have some power to predict who evades taxes, but other factors, such as the environment, play a much bigger role.
    JEL: H24 H26 K42 Z1 Z13
    Date: 2020–12
  3. By: Dix-Carneiro, Rafael (Duke University); Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou (Yale University); Meghir, Costas (Yale University); Ulyssea, Gabriel (University College London)
    Abstract: We build an equilibrium model of a small open economy with labor market frictions and imperfectly enforced regulations. Heterogeneous firms sort into the formal or informal sector. We estimate the model using data from Brazil, and use counterfactual simulations to understand how trade affects economic outcomes in the presence of informality. We show that: (1) Trade openness unambiguously decreases informality in the tradable sector, but has ambiguous effects on aggregate informality. (2) The productivity gains from trade are understated when the informal sector is omitted. (3) Trade openness results in large welfare gains even when informality is repressed. (4) Repressing informality increases productivity, but at the expense of employment and welfare. (5) The effects of trade on wage inequality are reversed when the informal sector is incorporated in the analysis. (6) The informal sector works as an "unemployment," but not a "welfare buffer" in the event of negative economic shocks.
    Keywords: regulations, trade, informality, labor market frictions
    JEL: F14 F16 J46 O17
    Date: 2021–01
  4. By: Roxana Maurizio; Ana Paula Monsalvo
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to identify the scope and patterns of the structural transformation as evidenced by changes in occupations and their task content, and their impact on employment, earnings and income distribution in Argentina during the new millennium. Results show that the changes in jobs did not follow the same pattern as those in earnings. In particular, earnings grew but employment shares fell in low-paying occupations.
    Keywords: Skills, Tasks, Polarization, Inequality, Argentina
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Riccardo Turati (IRES/LIDAM, UCLouvain; Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates whether aspiring emigrants from nineteen Latin American countries to the United States hold a different set of cultural traits compared to stayers. Using Gallup World Poll data and proxy on individual pro social behaviors and political attitudes towards the president of the United States, we observe that aspiring migrants share more pro social behaviors and support more the U.S. political leader than stayers. We find that already existing migration network reduces cultural selection on social behaviors, which holds mainly among the young and less educated population, and in less developed countries. The paper shows that such cultural self-selection is unlikely to affect the distribution of cultural traits in the origin countries, avoiding potential negative effects for Latin American countries. If any, culturally selected immigrants should have a beneficial effect to the United States
    Keywords: International migration, migration intentions, self-selection, cultural traits, Latin America region
    Date: 2021–01

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