nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2022‒10‒03
four papers chosen by

  1. Intergenerational Mobility of Economic Well-being in Latin America By Guido Neidhöfer; Matías Ciaschi; Leonardo Gasparini
  2. Race, Gender and Poverty: Evidence from Brazilian Data By Yeutseyeva, Sasha; Deguilhem, Thibaud
  3. Trust and Saving in Financial Institutions by the Poor By Sebastian Galiani; Peter Gertler; Camila Navajas Ahumada
  4. The Effect of Health Insurance on Child Nutritional Outcomes. Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design in Peru By Bernal, Noelia; Costa-Font, Joan; Ritter, Patricia

  1. By: Guido Neidhöfer (ZEW Mannheim & CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP); Matías Ciaschi (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET); Leonardo Gasparini (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET)
    Abstract: We estimate, for the first time, long-run trends in intergenerational economic mobility for a multitude of countries in Latin America going beyond parent-child correlations in educational attainment. We use several indicators of well-being, such as the socio-economic situation of individuals, job stability, homeownership and assets. Unlike estimates based on education, which mostly show increasing social mobility trends, we find that opportunities to achieve a certain level of economic well-being and climb up the social ladder are rather unequally distributed and have not changed much over time in Latin America.
    JEL: D63 I24 J62 O15
    Date: 2022–09
  2. By: Yeutseyeva, Sasha; Deguilhem, Thibaud
    Abstract: Race and gender are commonly considerated as two of the most important structural factors associated with unequal socioeconomic systems. Previous research has found that these factors are significant for explaining the income inequality in Latin America and particularly in Brazil. This study aims to address whether both determinants predict an individual’s chances of being in poverty in Brazil, using national dataset and articulating different econometric strategies. Overall, being a woman had a small positive impact on an individual’s predicted chance of poverty and only in a probability linear specification. We think that this result does not align well with previous literature because of the selection bias affecting women labor market participation. However, evidence of strong and robust racial differenciation in Brazil was present. Discussing the representativeness of the sample, this study highlights the importance of data quality as well as the relevance of using various statistical methods.
    Keywords: Brazil, poverty, race, gender, inequality
    JEL: J15 J16 N96
    Date: 2022–08–31
  3. By: Sebastian Galiani (University of Maryland/NBER); Peter Gertler (University of California, Berkeley/NBER); Camila Navajas Ahumada (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella)
    Abstract: We randomly assigned beneficiaries of a conditional cash transfer program in Peru to attend a 3 hour training session designed to build their trust in financial institutions.We find that the intervention: (a) increased trust in banks, but had no effect on financial literacy, and (b) increased savings over a ten month period. The increase insavings represents a 1.4 percentage point increase in the savings rate out of the cash transfer deposits, and a 0.4 percentage point increase in the savings rate out of household income.
    Keywords: Trust, savings and poverty
    JEL: G20 D14 I30
    Date: 2022–09
  4. By: Bernal, Noelia (Universidad de Piura); Costa-Font, Joan (London School of Economics); Ritter, Patricia (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: We study the effect of health insurance expansion on nutrition-related children's health outcomes. We exploit quasi-random variation from an insurance expansion targeted at poor households in Peru. We find that access to insurance reduces childhood obesity and exerts positive and economically significant effects on some preventive health care utilization and behaviours, such as children's regular growth checks-ups and deworming treatments, the duration of breastfeeding, and a substitution of foods rich in carbohydrates for other foods rich in proteins. In contrast, we do not find any effect on other outcomes typically related to other interventions.
    Keywords: children’s health, obesity, overweight, public health insurance, health behaviors, nutrition, breast-feeding
    JEL: J13
    Date: 2022–08

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.