nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2023‒07‒17
eight papers chosen by

  1. Trade Shocks and Social Mobility: The Intergenerational Effect of Import Competition in Brazil By Andrés César; Matías Ciaschi; Guillermo Falcone; Guido Neidhöfer
  2. Educational Mobility Across Three Generations in Latin American Countries By Pablo Celhay; Sebastian Gallegos
  3. The Economics of the Public Option: Evidence from Local Pharmaceutical Markets By Juan Pablo Atal; Jose Ignacio Cuesta; Felipe Gonzalez; Cristobal Otero
  4. Wealth inequality in Latin America By Carranza, Rafael; De Rosa, Mauricio; Flores, Ignacio
  5. Militarisation of COVID-19 responses and autocratisation: A comparative study of eight countries in Asia-Pacific and Latin America By Croissant, Aurel; Kühn, David; Macias-Weller, Ariam; Pion-Berlin, David
  6. Promoviendo el empleo y la empleabilidad durante el COVID-19: evaluación de cuatro experiencias en América Latina By Alcázar, Lorena; Jaramillo, Miguel; Távara, Fernando
  7. The Political Consequences of Vaccines: Quasi-experimental Evidence from Eligibility Rules By ; Felipe Gonzalez
  8. Political Turnover Negatively Affects the Quality of Public Services: A Replication By Gallegos, Sebastian

  1. By: Andrés César (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET); Matías Ciaschi (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET); Guillermo Falcone (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET); Guido Neidhöfer (ZEW Mannheim)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether the impact of trade shocks on employment and wages persists across generations. Using survey data with retrospective information on parental employment and instrumental variables, we study the effect of increased Chinese import competition in Brazilian industries on individuals with differently exposed fathers. Results show that several years after the shock, children of more exposed fathers have lower education and earnings, lower chances of formal jobs, and are more likely to rely on social assistance. These effects are substantially stronger for children from disadvantaged background, indicating that the shock had a negative impact on intergenerational mobility.
    JEL: I24 J62 F14 F16 J23
    Date: 2023–07
  2. By: Pablo Celhay; Sebastian Gallegos (Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez)
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on educational mobility across three generations in six Latin American countries (LAC). Combining survey information with national census data we build a data set with 50, 000 triads of grandparents-parent-children born between 1890 and 1990. We estimate a five mobility measures, to show that (i) the empirical multi-generational persistence is high in LAC; (ii) it is much larger than what Becker & Tomes (1986) theoretical model predicts, with a bias that is twice as large for LAC compared to developed countries; (iii) Clark’s theory (2014) of high and sticky persistence provides a better approximation for describing mobility across multiple generations in developing countries. We also uncover that while relative measures suggest stagnant mobility across generations, there are significant improvements according to non-linear measures suggested by Asher, Novosad & Rafkin (2022). This result is especially relevant for developing countries such as LAC, where historical educational expansions have especially benefited the lower end of the schooling distribution.
    Keywords: developing countries, Latin America, intergenerational mobility, educational policy, multiple generations, compulsory schooling
    JEL: J62 J12 N36 P36 I24 I28
    Date: 2023–06
  3. By: Juan Pablo Atal (University of Pennsylvania); Jose Ignacio Cuesta (Stanford University and NBER); Felipe Gonzalez (Queen Mary University of London); Cristobal Otero (University of California Berkeley)
    Abstract: We study the effects of competition by state-owned firms, leveraging the decentralized entry of public pharmacies to local markets in Chile. Public pharmacies sell the same drugs at a third of private pharmacy prices, because of stronger upstream bargaining and market power in the private sector, but are of lower quality. Public pharmacies induced market segmentation and price increases in the private sector, which benefited the switchers to the public option but harmed the stayers. The countrywide entry of public pharmacies would reduce yearly consumer drug expenditure by 1.6 percent.
    JEL: D72 H4 L3
    Date: 2023–06–21
  4. By: Carranza, Rafael; De Rosa, Mauricio; Flores, Ignacio
    Abstract: How wealth has accumulated in the region and how is it distributed across households? Despite being widely recognized for its extreme income inequality, reliable data on wealth is scarce, partial and oftentimes contradictory, making it difficult to answer these basic questions. In this study, we estimate aggregates based on macroeconomic data, and inequality based on recently available surveys. We contrast our results with the literature, with a handful of state-of-the-art estimates from administrative sources, and with more available but extrapolated estimates from Credit Suisse and Considering all the evidence, we distinguish reliable facts from what can only be conjectured or speculated. We find that aggregate wealth increased over two decades in four countries, now ranging close to 3.5 the national income for market value estimates and 5-6 times at book values. We also find that wealth inequality is amongst the highest in the world were it can be measured. Given data limitations, one can only speculate about aggregates in opaque countries and about inequality trends in any country in the region. Although recent research in the developed world has focused in combining data sources to better understand wealth, the region lags behind and urgently requires more and better public information.
    Keywords: wealth distribution; wealth-to-income ratios; household surveys; national accounts; Latin America
    JEL: D31 E01 E22
    Date: 2023–05–01
  5. By: Croissant, Aurel; Kühn, David; Macias-Weller, Ariam; Pion-Berlin, David
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between the militarisation of COVID-19 state responses and autocratisation in eight Asian and Latin American countries. Using a conceptual framework of COVID-19-related military missions and operations, our findings for each country over the first two pandemic years show that although military engagements in the COVID-19 response profiles considerably varied, all governments deployed their military, especially in the provision of health services, logistics, and the production of COVID19 goods. Meanwhile, soldiers were generally less involved in health bureaucracy and public security. Based on two rounds of an expert survey, we then evaluated whether military pandemic deployments negatively affected democratic standards. This was the case where soldiers routinely conducted public-security operations autonomous of effective civilian oversight. Our study concludes that the pandemic did not induce autocratisation; rather, it exacerbated pre-existing conditions and problems in the democratic governance of the security sector. This "acceleration effect" was visible in democracies and autocracies experiencing autocratisation already prior to the pandemic.
    Keywords: COVID-19, civil-military relations, militarisation, democratic backsliding, disaster response
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Alcázar, Lorena (Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE)); Jaramillo, Miguel (Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE)); Távara, Fernando
    Abstract: El presente documento realiza un balance de cuatro evaluaciones de intervenciones de dinamización laboral en respuesta al impacto de la pandemia en el empleo. Estas evaluaciones, que se realizaron en el marco del proyecto Building Back Better, analizaron (i) un programa de capacitación virtual para fortalecer emprendimientos con enfoque de género en la Argentina, (ii) un programa de subsidio del empleo juvenil en el Ecuador, (iii) un programa de intermediación laboral en Colombia y (iv) una capacitación de habilidades digitales y blandas para mejorar la empleabilidad, implementado como parte del programa de empleo temporal en el Perú.
    Keywords: Empleo, Empleabilidad, COVID-19, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Perú, Employment, Employability, Peru
    JEL: E24
    Date: 2023
  7. By: (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Instituto de Economıa); Felipe Gonzalez (Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.)
    Abstract: Vaccines are responsible for large increases in human welfare and yet we know little about the political impacts of publicly-managed vaccination campaigns. We fill this gap by studying the case of Chile, which offers a rare combination of a high-stakes election, voluntary voting, and a vaccination process halfway implemented by election day. Crucially, the roll-out of vaccines relied on exogenous eligibility rules which we combine with a pre-analysis plan for causal identification. We find that higher vaccination rates boost political participation and empower challengers irrespective of their party affiliation. Survey evidence suggests that vaccines could have increased preferences for challengers by lowering decision-related anxiety.
    Keywords: vaccines, politics, election, challengers
    Date: 2023–06–21
  8. By: Gallegos, Sebastian
    Abstract: The politically motivated replacement in local governments is a pervasive fact in our modern democracies. Whether it has causal effects on the quality of public services, such as education, is a critical question and yet understudied. This paper uses a regression discontinuity design (RDD) for close elections to replicate Akthari, Moreira and Trucco (2022) who find negative effects on the quality of public education in Brazil (.05-.08 standard deviations of lower test scores). I first reproduce these main results, finding minor computational differences that have no effect on the conclusions. I also show that the estimates for Brazil are in general robust to different specifications following Brodeur, Cook and Heyes (2020). Finally, I implement the same RDD framework now applied to Chilean administrative records to find null effects on test scores. Taken together, these results suggest that political turnover has weakly negative effects on service quality.
    Keywords: Replication, Robustness, Political Turnover, Regression Discontinuity, Quality of Public Services
    JEL: D72 D73 H75 H76 J45 O17
    Date: 2023

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