nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2022‒04‒11
five papers chosen by

  1. Research networks and publications in Economics. Evidence from a small developing country. By Verónica Amarante; Marisa Bucheli; Mariana Rodríguez Vivas
  2. The Latin American economy during the first decades of the 21st century By Luis Bertola; José Antonio Ocampo
  3. Why has economic shrinking receded in Latin America? A social capability approach By Andersson, Martin; Palacio, Andrés; von Borries, Alvaro
  4. Screening and Recruiting Talent at Teacher Colleges Using Pre-College Academic Achievement By Christopher Neilson; Sebastian Gallegos; Franco Calle; Mohit Karnani
  5. The Inequality (or the Growth) We Measure: Data Gaps and the Distribution of Incomes By Alvaredo, Facundo; De Rosa, Mauricio; Flores, Ignacio; Morgan, Marc

  1. By: Verónica Amarante (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Marisa Bucheli (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Sociales. Departamento de Economía); Mariana Rodríguez Vivas (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This article addresses the relationship between international research collaboration and the performance of researchers through the focus on a specific discipline -Economics- in a small developing country -Uruguay-. We map the collaboration between Uruguayan economists and non-local researchers and analyze the correlation between these collaborations and scholars’ achievements, as reflected by the quality of the publications included in Scopus-Elsevier. Our results confirm the positive and significant association between research collaboration and research output. Researchers from a developing country involved in international collaborations get a higher impact or quality of their research, but this result holds only when international collaborations involve researchers located in northern countries.
    Keywords: research networks, research output, bibliometrics
    JEL: A14 I23
    Date: 2021–12
  2. By: Luis Bertola (Programa de Historia Económica y Social, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); José Antonio Ocampo (Columbia University)
    Abstract: This paper looks at Latin America’s performance during the long economic cycle between 1998 and 2014 and its aftermath. The persistence of Latin America's economic vulnerability to external shocks is confirmed, as well as the difficulties in maintaining sustained growth rates associated with processes of structural change. Thus, the gap with the leading countries remains, and Latin America has not been able to emulate the successful experiences of other emerging countries. It is also confirmed that, despite the important achievements in terms of social development during the recent growth cycle, the high structural inequalities have not been broken. The expansive phase, driven by the super cycle of commodities prices, left Latin America once again facing a new phase of crisis and/or stagnation, in which previous achievements were under threat even prior to the COVID - 19 crisis, with all its negative consequences.
    Keywords: Economic cycles, Estructural change, Human development, Poverty, Inequality
    JEL: F43 L52 N16 I30
    Date: 2022–03
  3. By: Andersson, Martin (Department of Economic History, Lund University); Palacio, Andrés (Department of Economic History, Lund University); von Borries, Alvaro (Department of Human Geography, Lund University)
    Abstract: Episodes of economic shrinking have declined since the 1980s in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). This paper asks why. We propose that the reduction in the frequency and rate of shrinking reveals the dynamic transition from being natural states towards becoming open access societies. To provide empirical support to the argument, we rest on the notion of social capabilities. Hence, societies that invest in their social capabilities are more likely to reduce the frequency of shrinking and become better off in the long run. Using survival models, we test three capabilities (transformative, distributive and regulative) that, we argue, reflect an increase in the resilience to economic shrinking. The results suggest that the transformative capability has not lowered the risk of shrinking in the region. Neither has the distributive capability despite the increases in productive employment during the 2000s. In contrast, regulative capability seems to reduce the risk of shrinking. We conclude that the institutional transformations in LAC are part of the explanation of why economic shrinking has receded. Compared to previous decades, this is an essential step towards open access societies. However, the persistent dependence on a few natural resources seems to hinder progressive transformation and remains a menace to sustainable catching up of the countries in the region.
    Keywords: economic shrinking; income convergence; natural states; social capabilities
    JEL: O47 O57
    Date: 2022–02–11
  4. By: Christopher Neilson (Princeton University); Sebastian Gallegos (Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez); Franco Calle (University of Chicago); Mohit Karnani (MIT)
    Abstract: This paper studies screening and recruiting policies that restrict or incentivize entry to teacher-colleges. Using historical records of college entrance exam scores since 1967 and linking them to administrative data on the population of teachers in Chile, we first document a robust positive and concave relationship between precollege academic achievement and several short and long run measures of teacher productivity. We use an RD design to evaluate two recent policies that increased the share of high-scoring students studying to become teachers. We then show how data-driven algorithms and administrative data can enhance similar teacher screening and recruiting policies.
    Keywords: incentives, college entrance exams, administrative data
    JEL: I23 J24 C21
    Date: 2022–02
  5. By: Alvaredo, Facundo; De Rosa, Mauricio; Flores, Ignacio; Morgan, Marc
    Abstract: There is a large gap between income estimates used in inequality studies and macroeconomic statistics. This makes it hard to assess how economic growth is distributed across the population, and to what extent mainstream distributional statistics are an accurate representation of income flows. We take stock of these discrepancies by confronting estimates of the income distribution from surveys, administrative records and aggregates from the system of national accounts, thoroughly documenting them over the past two decades for ten Latin American countries. We find that surveys only account for around half of the macroeconomic income in the region. Measurement gaps account for just over half of the overall gap on average, while the rest is due to conceptual differences across data sets. Measurement gaps have been growing fast for many countries, the bulk being due to non-covered capital income. We also compare the top tails in administrative data and surveys, finding diverging averages—especially for non-wage incomes—and different shapes. We discuss the degree to which inequality levels and trends could be affected. (Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality Working Paper)
    Date: 2022–03–23

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