nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2021‒08‒23
four papers chosen by

  1. Financial dollarization and de-dollarization in the new millennium By Eduardo Levy Yeyati
  2. Long Term Effects of Cash Transfer Programs in Colombia By Orazio Attanasio; Lina Cardona Sosa; Carlos Medina; Costas Meghir; Christian Manuel Posso-Suárez
  3. Two sides of the same coin or two different coins? Exploring the duality of corruption in Latin America By Ella Hugo; David A. Savage; Friedrich Schneider; Benno Torgler
  4. Macroeconomic Misery by Levels of Income in America By Martin Ravallion

  1. By: Eduardo Levy Yeyati
    Abstract: Dollarization, in its many variants, is crucial to understanding Latin American macroeconomics, as well as that of many developing countries. This paper builds a new updated dataset on dollarization, reviews its evolution in Latin America since 2000, and summarizes the lessons learned from several de-dollarizing attempts in the region, based on a three-way taxonomy: 1) attempts that focus on the macroeconomic drivers, 2) microeconomic measures that deter investors from dollarizing their financial assets and liabilities based on market incentives or regulatory limits, and 3) regulations that affect the choice of foreign currency as a means of payment or a unit of account. The study provides examples using seven cases that may be considered paradigmatic of the different dollarization varieties: Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador and Venezuela.
    Date: 2021–01–29
  2. By: Orazio Attanasio; Lina Cardona Sosa; Carlos Medina; Costas Meghir; Christian Manuel Posso-Suárez
    Abstract: Conditional Cash transfer (CCT) programs have been shown to have positive effects on a variety of outcomes including education, consumption and health visits, amongst others. We estimate the long-run impacts of the urban version of Familias en Acción, the Colombian CCT program on crime, teenage pregnancy, high school dropout and college enrollment using a Regression Discontinuity design on administrative data. ITT estimates show a reduction on arrest rates of 2.7pp for men and a reduction on teenage pregnancy of 2.3pp for women. High school dropout rates were reduced by 5.8pp and college enrollment was increased by 1.7pp for men.
    JEL: D04 I23 I28 I31 J13 K42
    Date: 2021–07
  3. By: Ella Hugo; David A. Savage; Friedrich Schneider; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: The ambiguous phenomenon of corruption has long b een the cause of great theoretical debate in economics. By using Structural Equation Modelling, with the two types of corruption as a latent variable, this paper employs causal and indicative variables specific to the Latin American region to test for rent seeking and systemic corruption in th e period between 1980-2018. The findings provide evidence for two types of corruption, one generated by greed, and the other a solution to market failures. Such results support the view that corruption encompasses a complex set of social behaviours.
    Keywords: Rent Seeking Corruption; Systemic Corruption; Shadow Economy; Latin America
    JEL: D73 K42 O17
    Date: 2021–07
  4. By: Martin Ravallion
    Abstract: Thirty years of distributional data are used to study the short-term impacts of popular macroeconomic indicators on real household incomes from the poorest to the richest Americans. The appropriate weights on unemployment versus inflation vary across the distribution. The unemployment rate matters at all levels, but especially so for the poorest. Inflation rates matter at middle incomes, though Okun’s famous Misery Index only performs well for the top income groups. GDP growth matters at all levels and proportionately more for the poorest, though only via the unemployment rate. Recessions are poverty-increasing, and skewness-decreasing, but with ambiguous effects on overall inequality.
    JEL: D31 E31 E32
    Date: 2021–07

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