nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2022‒04‒25
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Motherhood Penalties: the Effect of Childbirth on Women's Employment Dynamics in a Developing Country By Martina Querejeta; Marisa Bucheli
  2. Short-and Medium-term Effects of Parental Separation on Children’s Well-Being. Evidence from Uruguay By Marisa Bucheli; Andrea Vigorito
  3. Estimating the Employment and GDP Multiplier of Emergency Cash Transfers in Brazil By Ms. Joana Pereira; Mr. Frederik G Toscani; Roberto A. Perrelli; Daniel Cunha
  4. Getting Teachers Back to School: Teacher Incentives and Student Outcomes By Patricio Araya-Córdova; Dante Contreras; Jorge Rodriguez; Paulina Sepulveda

  1. By: Martina Querejeta; Marisa Bucheli (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: The economic literature has pointed to motherhood as an explanation for the persistence of labor gender gaps. The arrival of children intensifies the traditional gender roles that affect gaps in paid and unpaid work. However, the evidence is mostly for developed countries, and little is known about these dynamics in developing contexts. We estimated the impact of motherhood on women’s formal employment and wages for Uruguay, one of the Latin American countries with the highest female labor force participation rates. Through an event-study approach, we used administrative records on labor histories for the period 1996-2015 and found an important motherhood penalty: monthly wages reduce by 19% a year after childbirth, and this drop continues to increase, reaching 36% after 10 years. This is explained by a reduction in formal employment and, to a lesser extent, also a reduction in hourly wages. We also showed that low-wage women face unquestionable higher penalties.
    Keywords: gender inequality, motherhood, formal employment, event-study, Uruguay
    JEL: J13 J16 J22 J31
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: Marisa Bucheli (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República, Uruguay); Andrea Vigorito (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración, Universidad de la República, Uruguay)
    Abstract: There is limited quantitative research on the effect of parental union dissolution on children’s well-being in developing countries. Based on three waves of a longitudinal study that follows up a cohort of Uruguayan children from age 6 to 19, we study the short- and medium-term effects of parental separation on school attendance, grade repetition, completed years of schooling, socio-emotional status, time devoted to a wide set of activities, and labour force participation. We carry out a fixed effect estimation comparing children from married or cohabiting couples that remained together versus a similar group that split after 2004. We find evidence that union dissolution worsens child educational outcomes in the short and medium term. Meanwhile, at age 19, socio-emotional well-being, labour force participation and worked hours remain unchanged. Although effects by gender and timing of the divorce (childhood or adolescence) are similar in the short term, at age 19 girls’ educational outcomes are almost unaffected. We do not find robust differences related to child support payments and contact with co-resident fathers. We also explore a set of potential moderators, such as household income, maternal employment, access to durable goods and public transfers, which suggest that worsened educational outcomes are closely connected to post-separation economic hardship.
    Keywords: union dissolution; child support; education; socio-emotional well-being; Uruguay; panel data
    JEL: J12 J13 I30
    Date: 2021–07
  3. By: Ms. Joana Pereira; Mr. Frederik G Toscani; Roberto A. Perrelli; Daniel Cunha
    Abstract: We estimate the subnational employment and GDP multiplier of Brazil's 2020 federal cash transfers to vulnerable households. Using two-stage least squares regressions we estimate a formal employment multiplier and then apply an analytical transformation to recover an implied GDP multiplier in the range of 0.5-1.5. The lower bound of this range lies below most estimates in the literature, which may result from the exceptional constraints imposed by the pandemic on supply chains and consumption. Nevertheless, even using the lower end of our range implies that federal cash transfers played an important role in supporting employment and GDP.
    Keywords: Fiscal multipliers, Household cash transfers, Labor informality
    Date: 2022–03–18
  4. By: Patricio Araya-Córdova; Dante Contreras; Jorge Rodriguez; Paulina Sepulveda
    Abstract: Rewarding teachers on the basis of student performance is a growing trend in educational policy. This paper estimates the effects of a policy that ties payments with teachers’ pedagogical skills instead. We study a large-scale reform in Chile that introduced financial incentives tied to a teacher evaluation system. Using a unique administrative data set of over 500,000 student-teacher-year matches, we estimate the effect of the policy on student performance exploiting the program’s gradual roll-out through a differences-in-differences analysis. We document precise, null effects of the policy on student math and language standardized test scores. Estimating a structural model of teacher skills and student performance, we show that by making incentives more homogeneous across the distribution of teacher characteristics policymakers can improve the policy’s effects on student performance and overall welfare.
    Date: 2021–04

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