nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2021‒10‒25
six papers chosen by

  1. The changing nature of work and inequality in Brazil (2003-19): A descriptive analysis By Sergio Firpo; Alysson Portella; Flavio Riva; Giovanna Úbida
  2. Leveraging census data to study migration flows in Latin America and the Caribbean: an assessment of the available data sources By Julieta Bengochea Soria; Emanuele Del Fava; Victoria Prieto Rosas; Emilio Zagheni
  3. Automatización y Pandemia: Amenazas sobre el Empleo en América Latina By Cristian Bonavida; Irene Brambilla; Leonardo Gasparini
  4. Innovation and trade patterns in the Latin American mining sector By Enrico Alessandri
  5. A multidimensional approach to measuring economic insecurity: The case of Chile By Joaquín Prieto
  6. The Dynamics of Referral Hiring and Racial Inequality: Evidence from Brazil By Conrad Miller; Ian Schmutte

  1. By: Sergio Firpo; Alysson Portella; Flavio Riva; Giovanna Úbida
    Abstract: In this paper we use different sources of data on job task content to investigate the importance of occupations and the intensity of routine tasks embodied in them in explaining changes in employment and earnings in Brazil, in particular their relation with earnings and polarization, and inequality. We show some evidence of polarization in earnings but not with respect to employment, although the patterns resemble more that of pro-poor or pro-rich growth.
    Keywords: Brazil, Inequality, Polarization, Task content of jobs, Occupations, Earnings inequality
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Julieta Bengochea Soria (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Emanuele Del Fava (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Victoria Prieto Rosas (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Emilio Zagheni (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Although the scarcity of accurate and accessible data on international migration flows typically prevents a full understanding of migratory patterns, this might not be the case for Latin America, where high-quality census data on migrant flows is publicly available through the project International Migration in Latina America (IMILA). However, such data has mostly been used for research at the regional level because of the fragmented nature of their availability and the lack of English documentation. To tackle this issue, we consolidated data from the IMILA collection to provide a harmonized dataset with five-year flows by country of birth, sex, and age group, for 19 countries of destination and five census waves. Moreover, comparing IMILA to other two available data sources on flows to Latin America, we showed that IMILA provides a more accurate assessment of migration flows from North America and Europe, enables a better quantification of minor migration flows, and enhances the visibility of female migration.
    Keywords: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay, census data, data collection, data comparability, international migration, migration flow
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Cristian Bonavida (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP); Irene Brambilla (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP and CONICET); Leonardo Gasparini (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP and CONICET)
    Abstract: En este trabajo estudiamos el riesgo de automatización, la inviabilidad del teletrabajo y el riesgo de contagio por proximidad física en las seis economías más grandes de América Latina. Encontramos que son los trabajadores con bajo nivel educativo, informales, y de bajos salarios los más expuestos a este tipo de riesgos. La automatización y las crisis sanitarias conllevan potenciales significativos efectos desigualadores. Adicionalmente, el trabajo aporta evidencia sobre interacciones entre ambos riesgos. La pérdida de empleo en situaciones de pandemia puede ser más acelerada en ocupaciones donde el trabajo remoto es menos viable y el riesgo de automatización es mayor. We study the risk of automation, the unfeasibility of teleworking and the risk of contagion due to physical proximity in the six largest economies in Latin America. We find that workers with low education, informal, and low-wage levels are the most exposed to this type of risk. Automation and health crises may have significant unequalizing effects. In addition, this work provides evidence on interactions between the two risks. Job loss in pandemic situations may be more accelerated in occupations where remote work is less feasible and the risk of automation is higher.
    JEL: J21 J23 J24 O33
    Date: 2021–10
  4. By: Enrico Alessandri (Department of Economics, Society & Politics, Università di Urbino Carlo Bo - Green-University L.Bocconi, Milan)
    Abstract: This paper examines the trade and innovation specialization patterns in the Latin American mining sector, in terms of exports of mining products, of its exports of mining equipment, and of its production of mining technologies (i.e. innovation). Results suggest that Latin American countries are specialised in the extraction and export of mining products (i.e. minerals), and de-specialised in the production of mining equipment and of mining technology, while they heavily rely on imports of equipment and technology. We also find that the mining innovation taking place in Latin America is of relatively low quality. Considering that innovation in the mining sector is supplier-dominated, the weak technological specialisation of Latin American countries in the mining sector reflects mainly the low innovation capacity of local suppliers to mining companies, in comparison to the global average.
    Keywords: Mining innovation; Mining production; Specialization patterns; Patent quality indicators; Local METS (suppliers); Patents; Trade data; Inward FDI; Latin America
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Joaquín Prieto (International Inequalities Institute at LSE)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a strategy to measure economic insecurity in countries in the Global South. It builds a 'Multidimensional Economic Insecurity Index' (MEII) that combines four indicators of economic vulnerability that cause stress and anxiety: unexpected economic shocks, unprotected employment or non-workers in the household, over-indebtedness and asset poverty. The index offers a measure that directly relates economic uncertainty to stress and anxiety due to the lack of protection and buffers to face an unexpected economic shock. The MEII is applied to Chile using Survey of Household Finances (SHF) cross-sectional data (2007, 2011, 2014 and 2017). The results show that i) about half of the Chilean households experienced, on average, two or more economic vulnerabilities during the last decade with an intensity of 2.3 vulnerabilities, and ii) economic insecurity affects households on the entire income distribution, even in the highest income deciles groups. By identifying the groups of households most affected by economic insecurity and its trend in recent years, applying the MEII in countries such as Chile provides relevant information to monitor, evaluate and improve social safety nets besides labour market regulations.
    Keywords: Economic insecurity, Global South, multidimensional index, Survey of Households Finances, Well-being
    JEL: D63 I31
    Date: 2021–10
  6. By: Conrad Miller (University of California-Berkeley and NBER); Ian Schmutte (University of Georgia)
    Abstract: We study how referral hiring contributes to racial inequality in firm-level labor demand over the firm’s life cycle using data from Brazil. We consider a search model where referral networks are segregated, firms are more informed about the match quality of referred candidates, and some referrals are made by nonreferred employees. Consistent with the model, we find that firms are more likely to hire candidates and less likely to dismiss employees of the same race as the founder, but these differences diminish as firms’ cumulative hires increase. Referral hiring helps to explain racial differences in dismissals, seniority, and employer size.
    Keywords: referral hiring, search model, match quality, racial differences, Brazil
    JEL: D83 J15 J23 J42 J63 L25
    Date: 2021–10

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