nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2022‒01‒17
three papers chosen by

  1. No taxation without informational foundation: On the role of legibility in tax state development By Matthias vom Hau; José Peres-Cajías; Hillel David Soifer
  2. Estimating the Social Welfare Function of Amartya Sen for Latin America By John Michael, Riveros-Gavilanes
  3. Helping Struggling Students and Benefiting All: Peer Effects in Primary Education By Samuel Berlinski; Matias Busso; Michele Giannola

  1. By: Matthias vom Hau; José Peres-Cajías; Hillel David Soifer
    Abstract: This paper combines cross-national statistical analysis and in-depth historical case studies of Argentina and Chile to explore the relationship between two crucial dimensions of state capacity. We show that information capacity contributes to the development of fiscal capacity. States require accurate information about their subject populations, territories, and economies in order to effectively mobilize revenues. In developing this argument this paper makes three broader contributions.
    Keywords: State capacity, Information, Fiscal capacity, Taxation, Statebuilding, Mixed methods, Latin America
    Date: 2021
  2. By: John Michael, Riveros-Gavilanes
    Abstract: The present article establishes a set of empirical approximations related to the theorical formulation of the social welfare function of Sen applied to the Latin-American context between 1995 & 2018, this in order to provide estimates of the welfare trends derived from its original version and the generalized version proposed by Mukhopadhaya (2003a; 2003b). The article equally contributes exploring the long-run relationships among welfare, inequality and income with the panel data methodology. The results indicated that long-run relationships exists among these variables, a higher elasticity on the welfare comes from the income distribution rather than the economic growth, in the short-run, only the economic growth was significant to explain the welfare. Finally, for the Latin American countries the ranking of welfare was done considering the predicted values of welfare at country level with the linear predictions of the econometrical model of the long-run, which matches in terms of behavior and rank in the welfare with the original approach of Sen applied to Latin America.
    Keywords: Welfare; Inequality; Growth; Income; Latin America.
    JEL: D63 E25 O54 O57
    Date: 2020–06–11
  3. By: Samuel Berlinski (Inter-American Development Bank and IZA); Matias Busso (Inter-American Development Bank); Michele Giannola (Università di Napoli Federico II, CSEF and the Institute for Fiscal Studies.)
    Abstract: We exploit the randomized evaluation of a remedying education intervention that improved the reading skills of low-performing third grade students in Colombia, to study whether providing educational support to low-achieving students affects the academic performance of their higher- achieving classmates. We find that the test scores of non-treated children in treatment schools increased by 0.108 of a standard deviation compared to similar children in control schools. We interpret the reduced-form effect on higher-achieving students as a spillover effect within treated schools. We then estimate a linear-in-means model of peer effects, finding that a one-standard-deviation increase in peers’ contemporaneous achievement increases individual test scores by 0.679 of a standard deviation. We rule out alternative explanations coming from a reduction in class size. We explore several mechanisms, including teachers’ effort, students’ misbehavior, and peer-to-peer interactions. Our findings show that policies aimed at improving the bottom of the achievement distribution have the potential to generate social-multiplier effects that benefit all.
    Keywords: peer effects; remedying education.
    JEL: D62 I21 I25 J01
    Date: 2022–01–03

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