nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2021‒07‒19
four papers chosen by

  1. Under Pressure: Women's Leadership During the COVID-19 Crisis By Raphael Bruce; Alexsandros Cavgias, Luis Meloni, Mario Remigio
  2. The Effects of Climate Change on Labor and Capital Reallocation By Christoph Albert; Paula Bustos; Jacopo Ponticelli
  3. SARS-CoV-2 spread, detection, and dynamics in a megacity in Latin America By Rachid Laajaj; Camilo De Los Rios; Ignacio Sarmiento-Barbieri; Danilo Aristizabal; Eduardo Behrentz; Raquel Bernal; Giancarlo Buitrago; Zulma Cucunubá; Fernando de la Hoz; Alejandro Gaviria; Luis Jorge Hernández; Leonardo León; Diane Moyano; Elkin Osorio; Andrea Ramírez Varela; Silvia Restrepo; Rodrigo Rodriguez; Norbert Schady; Martha Vives; Duncan Webb
  4. Financial education for youth: A randomized evaluation in Uruguay By Borraz, Fernando; Caro, Ana; Caño-Guiral, Maira; Roa, María José

  1. By: Raphael Bruce; Alexsandros Cavgias, Luis Meloni, Mario Remigio
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the effect of women's public leadership in times of crisis. More specifically, we use a regression discontinuity design in close mayoral races between male and female candidates to understand the impact of having a woman as a mayor during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. We provide evidence that municipalities under female leadership had fewer deaths and hospitalizations per 100 thousand inhabitants and enforced more non-pharmaceutical interventions (e.g., mask usage and prohibition of gatherings). We also show that these results are not due to measures taken before the pandemic or other observable mayoral characteristics such as education or political preferences. Finally, we provide evidence that these effects are stronger in municipalities where Brazil's far-right president, who publicly disavowed the importance of non-pharmaceutical interventions, had a higher vote share in the 2018 election. Overall, our findings provide credible causal evidence that female leaders outperformed male ones when dealing with a global policy issue. Moreover, our results also showcase the role local leaders can play in counteracting bad policies implemented by populist leaders at the national level.
    Keywords: Gender; Politics; Health; COVID-19; Brazil
    JEL: J16 D72 D78 I18
    Date: 2021–07–13
  2. By: Christoph Albert; Paula Bustos; Jacopo Ponticelli
    Abstract: We study the effects of climate change on labor and capital reallocation across regions, sectors and firms. We use newly digitized administrative reports on extreme weather events occurred in Brazil during the last two decades and a meteorological measure of excess dryness relative to historical averages to estimate the effects of droughts in the local economy of affected areas, on the magnitude of the labor and capital flows they generate and on factor allocation in destination regions. We document two main results. In the short run, local economies insure themselves against negative weather shocks via financial integration with other regions. However, in the long run, affected regions experience capital outflows driven by a reduction in loans, consistent with a permanent decrease in investment opportunities. Second, we find that abnormal dryness affects the structure of both the local economy and the economy of areas connected via migrant networks. Directly affected areas experience a sharp reduction in population and employment, concentrated in agriculture and services. While local manufacturing absorbs some of the displaced workers, these regions experience large out-migration flows. Regions receiving climate migrants expand employment in agriculture and services, but not in manufacturing. Using social security data, we provide evidence that labor market frictions direct migrants to firms connected to migrant social networks, which are mostly outside the manufacturing sector. This has implications for the composition of economic activity and the firm size distribution in destination regions.
    JEL: J61 O1 O16 Q54
    Date: 2021–07
  3. By: Rachid Laajaj (University of Los Andes); Camilo De Los Rios (Inter American Development Bank); Ignacio Sarmiento-Barbieri (University of Los Andes); Danilo Aristizabal (University of Los Andes); Eduardo Behrentz (University of Los Andes); Raquel Bernal (University of Los Andes); Giancarlo Buitrago (Universidad Nacional de Colombia); Zulma Cucunubá (Imperial College London); Fernando de la Hoz (Universidad Nacional de Colombia); Alejandro Gaviria (University of Los Andes); Luis Jorge Hernández (University of Los Andes); Leonardo León (University of Los Andes); Diane Moyano (Secretaria de Salud de Bogotá); Elkin Osorio (Secretaria de Salud de Bogotá); Andrea Ramírez Varela (University of Los Andes); Silvia Restrepo (University of Los Andes); Rodrigo Rodriguez (Secretaria de Salud de Bogotá); Norbert Schady (Inter American Development Bank); Martha Vives (University of Los Andes); Duncan Webb (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: In many developing countries, the COVID-19 pandemic has spread much faster and wider than the number of detected cases implies. By combining data from 59,770 RT-PCR tests on mostly asymptomatic individuals with administrative data on all detected cases, we capture the spread and dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic in Bogotá from June 2020 to early March 2021. Our data provide unusually broad and detailed information on mostly asymptomatic adults in Bogotá, allowing to describe various features of the pandemic that appear to be specific to a developing country context. We find that, by the end of March 2021, slightly more than half of the population in Bogotá has been infected, despite only a small fraction of this population being detected. In July 2020, after four months of generalized quarantine that mitigated the pandemic without curving it, the initial buildup of immunity contributed to the end of the first wave. We also show that the share of the population infected by February 2021 varies widely by occupation, socio-economic stratum, and location. This, in turn, has affected the dynamics of the spread: while the first wave of infections was driven by the lowest economic strata and highly-exposed occupations, the second peak affected the population more evenly. A better understandingof the spread and dynamics of the pandemic across different groups provides valuable guidance for efficient targeting of health policy measures and restrictions.
    Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, CoVIDA, Latin America
    JEL: I14 I15 I18 O54
    Date: 2021–07
  4. By: Borraz, Fernando; Caro, Ana; Caño-Guiral, Maira; Roa, María José
    Abstract: Using data from a randomized control trial in Uruguay, we evaluate the impact of an economic and financial education program targeted to senior high-school students. The program is based on an innovative playful approach workshop about monetary policy and financial supervision. We find that the workshop has a positive and significant impact on student knowledge. Our results shed light on the importance of economic and financial education for the youth in developing countries.
    Keywords: BCUEduca,economic education,youth,treatment effects
    JEL: A21 D12 I22 J24
    Date: 2021

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