nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2023‒01‒02
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Bringing Latin America into the Mainstream: The 1963 Rio de Janeiro Conference on Inflation and Growth By Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak; André Roncaglia de Carvalho
  2. Maternal Dengue and Health Outcomes of Children By Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner; Lívia Menezes
  3. Inequality and risk preference By Harry Pickard; Thomas Dohmen; Bert Van Landeghem
  4. El Impacto Segregativo de las Transferencias Monetarias Condicionadas y su Incidencia en los Aprendizajes By Emmanuel Vazquez
  5. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on care policies: experiences in Latin America By de la Cruz Pincetti, Catalina; Scuro Somma, Lucía
  6. Robots, Exports and Top Income Inequality: Evidence for the U.S. By Andrés César; Guillermo Falcone; Pablo Garriga

  1. By: Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak (AUP - The American University of Paris - The American University of Paris); André Roncaglia de Carvalho (Unifesp - Federal University of Sao Paulo)
    Abstract: In January 1963, distinguished economists from all over the world descended on Rio de Janeiro to discuss the phenomenon of chronic inflation and how it interfered with the developmental prospects of Latin America. A non-exhaustive list of participants included such notable figures as Hollis Chenery, Gottfried Haberler, Arnold Harberger, Roy Harrod, Albert Hirschman, Nicholas Kaldor, W. Arthur Lewis, and Dudley Seers, who shared conference halls for an entire week with high-profile Latin American economists like Roberto Campos, Celso Furtado, Eugenio Gudin, Felipe Pazos, Aníbal Pinto, Mario Henrique Simonsen, Osvaldo Sunkel, and Victor Urquidi. The conference has since been regarded as an early peak in the decades-long controversy between monetarists and structuralists about the causes of inflation in Latin America. While local economists had been grappling with the problem of monetary stabilization for some time, the topic entered the agenda of the economics mainstream as the Cuban Revolution turned Latin America once again into a strategic security concern. The paper shows how the sense of urgency generated by Cold War geopolitical considerations attracted the interest of the economics profession at large to the phenomenon of chronic inflation in Latin America. At the same time, it imposed the standards embraced by the mainstream onto a debate that had so far developed according to regional concerns and priorities. The resulting tension would shape the evolution of monetary and macroeconomic analysis in Latin America for decades to come.
    Keywords: inflation,economic growth,structuralism,monetarism,Cold War
    Date: 2022–11–22
  2. By: Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner (University of Surrey); Lívia Menezes (University of Birmingham)
    Abstract: We study the effect of maternal dengue infections on birth outcomes using linked administrative records from Brazil estimating maternal fixed-effect specifications. In contrast to previous studies, we find robust evidence for the negative effect of dengue infections on birth weight (BW). The effect is particularly pronounced at lower parts of the BW distribution, with an increase of 15%, 67%, and 133% for low, very low, and extremely low BW, respectively. Maternal dengue also has negative health consequences beyond birth outcomes; we document large increases in children's hospitalisations and medical expenditures for up to three years after birth.
    JEL: I15 I18 J13
    Date: 2022–12
  3. By: Harry Pickard (: Newcastle University Business School, Newcastle University, United Kingdom); Thomas Dohmen (Economics Department, University of Bonn, Germany); Bert Van Landeghem (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, S1 4DT, UK)
    Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between income inequality and risk taking. Increased income inequality is likely to enlarge the scope for upward comparisons and, in the presence of reference-dependent preferences, to increase willingness to take risks. Using a globally representative dataset on risk preference in 76 countries, we empirically document that the distribution of income in a country has a positive and significant link with the preference for risk. This relationship is remarkably precise and holds across countries and individuals, as well as alternate measures of inequality. We find evidence that individuals who are more able to understand inequality and individuals who fall behind their inherent point of reference increase their preference for risk. Two complementary instrumental variable approaches support a causal interpretation of our results.
    Keywords: Income inequality; risk preference; risk sensitivity
    JEL: D91 O15 D81 D01
    Date: 2022–12
  4. By: Emmanuel Vazquez (CEDLAS - IIE-UNLP)
    Abstract: Este trabajo estudia el efecto de los programas de transferencias monetarias condicionadas sobre la concentración de alumnos de menor nivel socioeconómico en determinados tipos de escuelas. Utilizando datos de un municipio urbano en el estado de México, el trabajo evalúa si el programa Oportunidades (ex Progresa) tuvo un impacto en el tipo de escuelas secundarias en las que se matricularon los beneficiarios. Con ese fin, aplica un diseño de regresión discontinua, comparando las características pretratamiento de las escuelas secundarias a las que asistieron los estudiantes apenas por encima y por debajo del umbral de elegibilidad del programa. El estudio encuentra que Oportunidades no indujo a los beneficiarios a asistir a escuelas secundarias con más recursos, con otra orientación o localización, sino más bien a concentrarse en escuelas retentivas, esto es, aquellas que son receptoras de alumnos repitentes, que contienen más a los estudiantes para que no abandonen y donde la aprobación de grados y asignaturas es más alta. Las consecuencias sobre los aprendizajes de esta segregación de beneficiarios y no beneficiarios entre escuelas retentivas y no retentivas que induce el programa son discutidas y analizadas, ya que el efecto promedio nulo de Oportunidades sobre los aprendizajes que se encuentra puede descomponerse en un efecto positivo (aunque no significativo) para los beneficiarios en escuelas no retentivas y un efecto fuertemente negativo de aproximadamente 1 desvío estándar entre los beneficiarios que asistieron a escuelas retentivas.
    JEL: I24 J24
    Date: 2022–12
  5. By: de la Cruz Pincetti, Catalina; Scuro Somma, Lucía
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Andrés César (CEDLAS - IIE-UNLP); Guillermo Falcone (CEDLAS - IIE-UNLP); Pablo Garriga (World Bank)
    Abstract: The last decades have witnessed a revolution in manufacturing production characterized by increasing technology adoption and a strong expansion of international trade. Simultaneously, the income distribution has exhibited both polarization and concentration among the richest. Combining datasets from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the International Federation of Robotics, and EU KLEMS, we study the causal effect of industrial automation on income inequality in the U.S. during 2010–2015. We exploit spatial and time variations in exposure to robots arising from past differences in industry specialization across U.S. metropolitan areas and the evolution of robot adoption across industries. We document a robust positive impact of robotics on income for only the top 1 percent of taxpayers, which is largest for top income fractiles. Therefore, industrial automation fuels income inequality and, particularly, top income inequality. According to our estimates, one more robot per thousand workers results in relative increments of the total taxable income accruing to fractiles P99 to P99.9, P99.9 to P99.99 and P99.99 to P100, of 2.1 percent, 3.8 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively. We also show that robotization leads to increased exports to high-income and upper-middle-income countries and that this is one of the key mechanisms behind the surge in top incomes.
    JEL: J23 J24 J31 O14 O33
    Date: 2022–12

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