nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2023‒03‒13
five papers chosen by

  1. Beyond tax-survey combination: inequality and the blurry household-firm border By Mauricio De Rosa; Joan Vilá
  2. The demand for Domestic work in Chile and Uruguay. Association with time use patterns By Verónica Amarante; Cecilia Rossel; Federico Scalese
  3. Más allá del problema de la adhesión: transferencias monetarias y sus efectos sobre el estigma. Evidencia para el programa AFAM – PE By Rodrigo Nicolau
  4. La respuesta fiscal frente al COVID-19 en Uruguay By Verónica Amarante; Federico Scalese
  5. Emergency social protection against the impacts of the pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean: evidence and lessons learned for universal, comprehensive, sustainable and resilient social protection systems By Atuesta, Bernardo; Van Hemelryck, Tamara

  1. By: Mauricio De Rosa (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Joan Vilá (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: Inequality evidence based on surveys, tax records, or their combination often result in divergent trends, fueling the distributional debate in Latin America. Beyond the relative strengths and weaknesses of these sources, tax-survey data still face two important shortcomings: they are unable to account for the entirety of household or national income, and they are affected by firm owners' decisions about the distribution of profits, changing which incomes researchers can actually observe. Based on unique data which matches social security data, household surveys, personal income tax records, and firm tax records, we assess inequality trends in Uruguay in light of these issues. We show that increasing profit-distribution behavior by firms pushes tax-survey top shares upwards, but that this trend is offset when undistributed profits are accounted for. Although top income groups benefited to a greater extent from recent economic growth, overall inequality decreased in tax-survey, household income, and national income series
    Keywords: firms, income inequality, National Accounts, Latin America, tax records
    JEL: D31 D33 E01
    Date: 2022–05
  2. By: Verónica Amarante (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Cecilia Rossel (Universidad Católica del Uruguay); Federico Scalese (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the demand for paid domestic work in Chile and Uruguay, focusing on the relationship between the outsourcing of domestic work and gender gaps in unpaid work within households. Households demanding domestic paid work are similar in Chile and Uruguay, although they are more concentrated in the upper quintile in the case of Chile. In both countries, the presence of domestic workers is associated with a reduction in the gender gap in unpaid hours of work within households. However, in Chile, this is mainly due to the reduction of women's unpaid work, while in Uruguay, it is also associated with men’s time spent in unpaid work.
    Keywords: domestic work, outsourcing, gender, Latin America, paid and unpaid work, Chile, Uruguay
    JEL: J2 J4 J7
    Date: 2022–12
  3. By: Rodrigo Nicolau (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: Cash transfers programs (CTPs) have been widely implemented over the last two decades in many Latin American and Caribbean countries as one of the main social assistance programs designed to alleviate poverty. Many studies have documented their positive effects in various standard socioeconomic outcomes, albeit empirical evidence about their potential effects on non-standard dimensions such as welfare stigma has been scarce. This paper aims to analyze the effects of CTPs on their beneficiaries’ perceived welfare stigma, using the case of the main conditional cash transfer policy in Uruguay, Asignaciones Familiares - Plan de Equidad (AFAM-PE). The identification strategy exploits the assignment rule to the program based on the score of an eligibility index using a Fuzzy RD design. The data used comes from administrative records and a follow- up panel survey. The main results show the program has positive although mild effects on its recipients’ overall shame proneness. Participation in the program increases the score of a shame proneness index (between 0.49 and 0.69 SD). Moreover, it has a positive effect on the frequency of feeling self-conscious (between 0.60 and 0.66 SD) and on the probability of feeling uncomfortable with appearing in public (between 0.31 and 0.63). These results are statistically significant at a 95% confidence interval and turn out to be robust to a series of robustness checks. Additionally, there is suggestive evidence that it slightly decreases the perceived empowerment level of individuals', although this result is not robust. Not taking into account these effects would lead to overestimate the impacts of CTPs on its beneficiaries well-being.
    Keywords: welfare stigma, conditional cash transfers, child allowances, regression discontinuity design, Uruguay
    JEL: I38 J15 Z18
    Date: 2022–04
  4. By: Verónica Amarante (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Federico Scalese (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: We analyze the social protection policy response to COVID-19 and its impact on household incomes in Uruguay during 2020 and 2021, based on static microsimulation methods. Since the onset of the crisis, the Uruguayan government implemented adjustments to social protection existing policies, as well as a new transfer and an emergency tax. The configuration of pre-crisis social protection facilitated the setting up of rapid support for vulnerable population and formal workers. The responses adopted by the Uruguayan government were the increase in the amount of the existing cash transfers, the inception of a new cash transfer program to reach informal workers, and the simplification of the requirements for the unemployment insurance benefit. On the tax side, a temporary income tax (COVID-19 Emergency Tax) for public workers (excluding health workers) and pensioners receiving an income above a certain threshold was implemented during two months in 2020 and two months in 2021. Our results indicate that the modifications in the social protection system introduced to face COVID-19 allowed for a reduction in the incidence of poverty of 1.3 and 1.6 percentual points in 2020 and 2021 respectively. The effects were bigger among households with children: if no modifications had been undertaken in social protection as a response to COVID-19, poverty would have been 1.8 or 2.4 percentual points higher for these households in 2020 and 2021 respectively. The most important instrument was the unemployment insurance in 2020 and the conditional cash transfer directed towards households with children in 2021. Taken together, the modifications to the social protection system originated in the COVID crisis prevented the Gini index from increasing in 0.6/0.7 additional percentual points.
    Keywords: COVID-19, taxes, benefits, poverty, inequality, Uruguay
    JEL: D31 E24 H24
    Date: 2022–12
  5. By: Atuesta, Bernardo; Van Hemelryck, Tamara
    Abstract: This paper addresses the emergency non-contributory social protection measures announced in Latin American and Caribbean countries in 2020 and 2021 in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The rapid reaction of the region’s governments and the innovations implemented were key to reaching a large percentage of those affected and containing the adverse effects on poverty and inequality of the measures adopted to contain the pandemic. This process yielded fundamental lessons to advance in the development of mechanisms to provide efficient emergency social protection. The aim is to contribute to discussions on possible ways to strengthen universal, comprehensive, sustainable and resilient social protection systems.
    Date: 2023–02–03

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