nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2021‒08‒30
six papers chosen by

  1. How Do Subnational Governments React to Shocks to Different Revenue Sources? Evidence from Hydrocarbon-Producing Provinces in Argentina By Martin Besfamille; Diego Jorrat; Osmel Manzano; Pablo Sanguinetti
  2. COVID-19 and Strategic Sectors in Brazil: A Socially-Embedded Intersectional Capabilities Approach By Haider, Khan; Szymanski-Burgos, Adam
  3. Start-ups, Gender Disparities, and the Fintech Revolution in Latin America By Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo; González-Correa, Ignacio
  4. Intra-Bloc Tariffs and Preferential Margins in Trade Agreements By Emanuel Ornelas; Patricia Tovar
  5. (Successful) Democracies Breed Their Own Support By Daron Acemoglu; Nicolás Ajzenman; Cevat Giray Aksoy; Martin Fiszbein; Carlos A. Molina
  6. Assessing Multiple Inequalities and Air Pollution Abatement Policies By Jorge A. Bonilla; Claudia Aravena; Ricardo Morales-Betancourt

  1. By: Martin Besfamille; Diego Jorrat; Osmel Manzano; Pablo Sanguinetti
    Abstract: Based on the fiscal regime that prevailed in Argentina from 1988 to 2003, we estimate the effects that changes in intergovernmental transfers and hydrocarbon royalties had on provincial public consumption and debt. From a one-peso increase in intergovernmental transfers, all provinces spent 76 centavos on public consumption and decreased their debt by 22 centavos. However, when hydrocarbon-producing provinces faced a one-peso increase in royalties, they saved 95 centavos. We provide evidence that the exhaustible nature of royalties may explain this saving reaction in hydrocarbon-producing provinces.
    Keywords: tax sharing regime, intergovernmental transfers, non-renewable resources, hydrocarbon royalties, provincial public consumption and debt, Argentina
    JEL: C30 H72 H77
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Haider, Khan; Szymanski-Burgos, Adam
    Abstract: COVID-19 impacts have exacerbated socioeconomic inequalities and the threat of hunger and absolute poverty for vulnerable populations globally. Brazil, as a large Southern engine of growth, is a complex case. In responding to the public health impacts and economic challenges of the pandemic, the case of Brazil stands out for several reasons. First, what was distinctive about Brazilian public health policy and what have been the consequences so far? Second, what circumstances and economic policy measures have led to a V-shaped recovery? Finally, what is the further prognosis for Brazil over the next few years and what are the points of leverage to ensure a sustained recovery? Our analysis highlights the salience of considering development and the economic and social shocks of pandemics from a Socially Embedded Intersectional Approach (SEICA) perspective. Using an economy-wide modelling methodology, we identify ‘strategic’ sectors in the Brazilian economy defined as sectors critical for both pulling the wider economy out of a recession and for supporting widespread income growth, particularly for those in the bottom 40% of households. Additionally, we are able to draw some conclusions that may be relevant for the case of other economies in various stages of development, particularly those with sharply uneven development patterns and large rural populations.
    Keywords: Input-output; Key Sectors; Brazil; Development; Covid-19; Latin America
    JEL: A1 O2 R15
    Date: 2021–08
  3. By: Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo; González-Correa, Ignacio
    Abstract: This chapter considers the process of entrepreneurial activity to deploy financial technologies (fintech) through mandate-specific new companies in Latin America. We deal with important historical issues such as defining the term, establishing temporal and industrial activity boundaries, positioning this particular process within other organizational forms typical of the region, the role of women and other relevant issues such as the modernization of retail payments and personal lending. A central question is whether fintech start-ups have had a 'scissor' effect in the entrepreneurial process of Latin America: at the base of the pyramid (that is, reducing frictions to support overall entrepreneurial activity, increasing financial inclusion, etc.) and near the top (by creating new business leaders). As a result, this chapter provides an initial assessment of gender disparities and barriers enabling women entrepreneurs in the fintech ecosystem.
    Keywords: fintech, gender, women, entrepreneurship, startups, Latin America
    JEL: G2 J16 M13 N26
    Date: 2021–08
  4. By: Emanuel Ornelas; Patricia Tovar
    Abstract: We study, theoretically and empirically, how countries choose intra-bloc tariffs and preferential margins when they form Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs). Our model indicates that countries should set systematically lower preferential margins when the bloc takes the form of a free trade area (where members set external trade policies independently), relative to a customs union (where members coordinate external tariffs). Moreover, in customs unions (but not necessarily in free trade areas) preferential margins should increase with the supply of partner countries and decrease with the level of preferential imports. These relationships reflect, respec-tively, the internalization of political-economy goals within the bloc and the desire to curb trade diversion. Using a sample that covers most PTAs formed by Latin American countries in the 1990s, when their popularity in the region shot up, we find empirical support for each of those predictions. These findings make clear that the type of PTA matters significantly for the bloc’s tariff structure. Our results carry out important implications for the welfare consequences and the social desirability of different types of PTAs.
    Keywords: regionalism, free trade agreements, customs unions, tariff complementarity, Latin America
    JEL: F15 F13
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Daron Acemoglu; Nicolás Ajzenman; Cevat Giray Aksoy; Martin Fiszbein; Carlos A. Molina
    Abstract: Using large-scale survey data covering more than 110 countries and exploiting within-country variation across cohorts and surveys, we show that individuals with longer exposure to democracy display stronger support for democratic institutions. We bolster these baseline findings using an instrumental-variables strategy exploiting regional democratization waves and focusing on immigrants’ exposure to democracy before migration. In all cases, the timing and nature of the effects are consistent with a causal interpretation. We also establish that democracies breed their own support only when they are successful: all of the effects we estimate work through exposure to democracies that are successful in providing economic growth, peace and political stability, and public goods.
    JEL: P16
    Date: 2021–08
  6. By: Jorge A. Bonilla; Claudia Aravena; Ricardo Morales-Betancourt
    Abstract: Addressing inequality is recognized a worldwide development objective. The literature has primarily focused on examining economic or social inequality, but rarely on environmental inequality. Since inequality is multidimensional, several facets may overlap imposing a disproportionate burden on vulnerable communities. This study investigates the magnitude of air-quality inequality in conjunction with economic and social inequalities in Bogota (Colombia). It explores where inequalities overlap and assesses alleviation measures by tackling air pollution. We develop a composite index to estimate performance in socioeconomic and air quality characteristics across the city and evaluate inequality with a variety of measures. Using an atmospheric-chemical transport model, we simulate the impact of three air pollution abatement policies: paving roads, industry fuel substitution, and diesel-vehicle renewal on fine particle concentrations, and compute their effect on inequality. Results show that allocation of air-quality across Bogota is highly unequal, exceeding economic or social inequality. Evidence indicates economic, social and air quality disparities intersect displaying southwest as the most vulnerable zone. Paving roads is the most progressive and cost-effective policy, reducing overall inequality between 19-84% with net benefits exceeding US$479 million. Our analysis also suggests that benefits of renewing diesel heavy- and light-duty vehicles do not compensate the costs.
    Keywords: inequality measures, air pollution, atmospheric chemical transport model, humanhealth, cost-benefit analysis.
    JEL: D63 Q52 Q56
    Date: 2021–08–13

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