nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2021‒03‒15
four papers chosen by

  1. The Health Benefits of Solar Power Generation: Evidence from Chile By Nathaly M Rivera; Cristobal Ruiz Tagle, Elisheba Spiller
  2. Immigration, Crime, and Crime (Mis)Perceptions By Ajzenman, Nicolas; Dominguez-Rivera, Patricio; Undurraga, Raimundo
  3. The role of skills and tasks in changing employment trends and income inequality in Chile By Gabriela Zapata-Román
  4. Attitudes towards inequality in Brazil: An analysis of a highly unequal country By Granja, Cintia Denise; Carneiro, Ana Maria

  1. By: Nathaly M Rivera; Cristobal Ruiz Tagle, Elisheba Spiller
    Abstract: Renewable energy can yield social benefits through local air quality improvements and their subsequent effects on human health. We estimate some of these benefits using data gathered during the rapid adoption of large-scale solar power generation in Chile over the last decade. Relying on exogenous variation from incremental solar generation capacity over time, we find that solar energy displaces fossil fuel generation (primarily coal-fired generation) and curtails hospital admissions, particularly those due to lower respiratory diseases. These effects are noted mostly in cities downwind of displaced fossil fuel generation and are present across all age groups. Our results document the existence of an additional channel through which renewable energy can increase social welfare.
    Keywords: Coal-fired power plants; coal displacement; solar generation; power plants; pollution; morbidity; developing countries; Latin America
    JEL: I18 L94 Q42 Q53
    Date: 2021–03–08
  2. By: Ajzenman, Nicolas (São Paulo School of Economics-FGV); Dominguez-Rivera, Patricio (Inter-American Development Bank); Undurraga, Raimundo (University of Chile)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of immigration on crime and crime perceptions in Chile, where the foreign-born population more than doubled in the last decade. By using individual-level victimization data, we document null effects of immigration on crime but positive and significant effects on crime-related concerns, which in turn triggered preventive behavioral responses, such as investing in home-security. Our results are robust across a two-way fixed effects model and an IV strategy based on a shift-share instrument that exploits immigration inflows towards destination countries other than Chile. On mechanisms, we examine data on crime-related news on TV and in newspapers, and find a disproportionate coverage of immigrant-perpetrated homicides as well as a larger effect of immigration on crime perceptions in municipalities with a stronger media presence. These effects might explain the widening gap between actual crime trends and public perceptions of crime.
    Keywords: crime, immigration, crime perception, media, crime beliefs
    JEL: O15 F22 K1
    Date: 2021–02
  3. By: Gabriela Zapata-Román
    Abstract: Using decomposition methods, we analyse the role of the changing nature of work in explaining changes in employment, wage inequality, and job polarization in Chile from 1992 to 2017. Changes in occupational structure confirm a displacement of workers from low-skill occupations towards jobs demanding non-routine higher skills (professionals and technicians), and to jobs demanding routine manual and cognitive tasks (services and sales).
    Keywords: Wage inequality, Polarization, Skills, Tasks, Decomposition methods, Chile, Jobs
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Granja, Cintia Denise (UNU-MERIT, and University of Campinas); Carneiro, Ana Maria (University of Campinas)
    Abstract: Understanding public views on what is (un)fair is fundamental, as it has several policymaking implications. In this paper, we conduct a cross-sectional analysis of the determinants of attitudes towards inequality and provide an in-depth analysis of inequality perceptions in Brazil, one of the world's most unequal countries. To achieve this goal, the paper is divided as follows. Firstly, it summarises the main determinants of attitudes towards inequality, categorising each factor into one of the following categories: 1) macroeconomic factors; 2) individual economic factors; 3) social factors. Secondly, it presents Brazil's case study, using data from a study conducted in 2019 by Oxfam/Datafolha. The Brazilian data is analysed through Ordered Logistic Regressions. The results show that social factors related to skin colour/race, education and meritocracy beliefs are important to determine Brazilians attitudes towards inequality. For the economic factors, inequality perception was found to be also an essential determinant of attitudes.
    Keywords: Equality of income, Redistribution, Role of the government
    JEL: D31 D63 H23 I24
    Date: 2021–03–09

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