nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2023‒05‒08
two papers chosen by

  1. Discrimination in the Formation of Academic Networks: A Field Experiment on #EconTwitter By Nicolás Ajzenman; Bruno Ferman; Sant’Anna Pedro C.
  2. Training and learning on the job are two critical channels for human capital accumulation during work years. Several studies in developed countries have found that fixed-term contract (FTC) workers receive less training sponsored by their employers than open-ended contract (OEC) workers do. In contrast, FTC workers participate more actively in informal learning during their job spells. Using the PIAAC dataset for Peru as a case study, we test these two ideas and find no robust differences in training or learning across contract types. However, we find that informal workers – dependent employees without a contract – and the self-employed receive substantially less training of any type than formal workers. Further evidence from the Mexico points in the same direction, suggesting that this is a stylized fact for highly informal labor markets. These results expose a major structural weakness in emerging economies labor markets that can affect long-run growth and equity. By Miguel Jaramillo; Bruno Escobar

  1. By: Nicolás Ajzenman (McGill University); Bruno Ferman (São Paulo School of Economics - FGV); Sant’Anna Pedro C. (São Paulo School of Economics - FGV)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the results of an experiment designed to identify discrimination in users’ following behavior on Twitter. Specifically, we created fictitious bot accounts that resembled humans and claimed to be PhD students in economics. The accounts differed in three characteristics: gender (male or female), race (Black or White), and university affiliation (top- or lower-ranked). The bot accounts randomly followed Twitter users who form part of the #EconTwitter academic community. We measured how many follow-backs each account obtained after a given period. Twitter users from this community were 12% more likely to follow accounts of White students compared to those of Black students; 21% more likely to follow accounts of students from top-ranked, prestigious universities compared to accounts of lower-ranked institutions; and 25% more likely to follow female compared to male students. The racial gap persisted even among students from top-ranked institutions, suggesting that Twitter users racially discriminate even in the presence of a signal that could be interpreted as indicative of high academic potential. Notably, we find that Black male students from top-ranked universities receive no more follow-backs than White male students from relatively lower-ranked institutions.
    Keywords: Discrimination; Economics Profession; Gender; Race; Social Media
    JEL: J15 J16 A11 C93 I23
    Date: 2023–04
  2. By: Miguel Jaramillo (Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo); Bruno Escobar (Stanford University)
    Keywords: informality, on-the-job training, informal learning, development, dual labor markets
    Date: 2022–12

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