nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2023‒08‒21
four papers chosen by

  1. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment: Findings from national labour surveys in five Latin American countries By Martha Alter Chen; Joann Vanek
  2. Extended School Day and Teenage Fertility in Dominican Republic By Santiago Garganta; María Florencia Pinto; Joaquín Zentner
  3. Minimum wage policy and inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean By Gindling, T.H.; Ronconi, Lucas
  4. Globalization and Inequality in Latin America By Rafael Dix-Carneiro; Brian K. Kovak

  1. By: Martha Alter Chen; Joann Vanek
    Abstract: This paper provides a comparative summary of recent national statistics from five Latin American countries on employment losses and gains during the peak COVID-19 years compared with pre-pandemic levels. As part of its work on the impact of the pandemic on informal workers, the Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) network commissioned analyses of recent national labour force data in Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, and Peru; and undertook a separate analysis of South African data on employment losses and gains during COVID-19 (see WIDER WP 2022/40 ).
    Keywords: Informal work, Employment, COVID-19, formal sector, Informal sector, Informal economy
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Santiago Garganta (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET); María Florencia Pinto (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP); Joaquín Zentner (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the potential impact of extended school days in reducing teenage fertility. We study the Jornada Escolar Extendida program, which doubled the school-day length from 4 to 8 hours in the Dominican Republic, and exploit the geographic and time variation induced by its gradual implementation. We find evidence that a higher exposure to JEE in the municipality, measured as the percentage of secondary students covered by the program, reduces the incidence of teenage pregnancies, and that the effect is stronger after the program has reached at least half of secondary students in the municipality. The estimates are robust to various specifications and alternative checks. These results suggest that extended school-day policies can have spillover effects regarding teenagers’ fertility choices.
    JEL: O1 I31 I24
    Date: 2023–08
  3. By: Gindling, T.H.; Ronconi, Lucas
    Abstract: In this chapter we review the literature and inform policy debates about the effects of minimum wages (MW) on income inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Earnings are the primary source of income among families, especially in the lower part of the earnings and household income distribution. It is reasonable, therefore, to expect increases in the minimum wage to have a significant impact on earnings and income inequality.
    JEL: N0 J1 R14 J01
    Date: 2023–07–01
  4. By: Rafael Dix-Carneiro; Brian K. Kovak
    Abstract: We survey the recent literature studying the effects of globalization on inequality in Latin America. Our focus is on research emerging from the late 2000s onward, with an emphasis on empirical work considering new mechanisms, studying new dimensions of inequality, and developing new methodologies to capture the many facets of globalization's relationship to inequality. After summarizing both design-based and quantitative work in this area, we propose directions for future work. Our overarching recommendation is that researchers develop unifying frameworks to help synthesize the results of individual studies that focus on distinct aspects of globalization's relationship to inequality.
    JEL: F14 F62 F66 J0 O10
    Date: 2023–07

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.