nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2023‒10‒02
five papers chosen by

  1. Efficiency Performance of Latin American vis-à-vis North American Countries between 1980 and 2019 By Mario Seffino; German Gonzalez
  2. Is there a 'new consensus' on inequality? By Francisco H. G. Ferreira
  3. Signaling Specific Skills and the Labor Market of College Graduates By Busso, Matias; Montaño, Sebastián; Muñoz-Morales, Juan
  4. Higher education and mortality: legacies of an authoritarian college contraction By Felipe Gonzalez; Luis R. Martinez; Pablo Munoz; Mounu Prem
  5. Exposures to climate change’s physical risks in Chile By Magdalena Cortina; Carlos Madeira

  1. By: Mario Seffino (CEA/UNCPBA); German Gonzalez (IIESS/UNS-CONICET)
    Abstract: This article compares the behavior of total factor productivity between 16 Latin American countries and the United States and Canada for the period 1980-2019 using an order-m nonparametric estimator together with the Malmqüist index. The results showed a setback in terms of productivity in Latin America when comparing a period of 40 years from end to end. Consequently, the gap between the Latin American economies and the benchmark has widened. However, a good performance in terms of technical change can be observed between 2010 and 2019 in Latin American countries.
    Date: 2023–09
  2. By: Francisco H. G. Ferreira (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Thirty years after the “Washington Consensus†, is there a new policy consensus that addresses the problem of inequality? This paper argues that there is widespread acceptance that multiple, interrelated and mutually reinforcing inequalities exist – in income, wealth, education, health, power, and recognition – and that these inequalities are generally “too high†. There has also been a significant shift towards a shared view that these inequalities matter, both intrinsically and because of their instrumental effects on economic efficiency and political institutions. There is much less consensus, perhaps surprisingly, on what the actual levels of income inequality are, and there are common misperceptions about their trends. In policy terms, there is something approaching aconsensus regarding the desirability of various “pre-distribution†policies, ranging from early childhood development to investment in better teaching. In certain quarters, there is also agreement that sharper antitrust regulation, freer labor unions, and more progressive taxation is needed in most countries. But much less is known about how to provide the poor with genuine opportunities to break the cycle of intergenerational transmission of disadvantage in a durable way.
    Keywords: inequality, redistribution, policy consensus
    JEL: D31 D63 H20
    Date: 2023–09
  3. By: Busso, Matias; Montaño, Sebastián; Muñoz-Morales, Juan
    Abstract: We use census-like data and a regression discontinuity design to study the labor market impacts of a signal provided by a government-sponsored award given to top-performing students on a nationwide college exit exam in Colombia. Students who can signal their high level of specific skills earn seven to ten percent more than identical students lacking such a signal. The signal allows workers to find jobs in more productive firms and sectors that better use their skills. The positive returns persist for up to five years. The signal favors workers from less advantaged groups who enter the market with weaker signals.
    Keywords: Signaling; skills; wage returns; college reputation; Colombia
    JEL: J20 J24 J31 J44 O15 D80
    Date: 2023–09
  4. By: Felipe Gonzalez (Queen Mary University); Luis R. Martinez (University of Chicago); Pablo Munoz (University of Chile); Mounu Prem (Einaudi Institute)
    Abstract: We provide new evidence on the causal effect of higher education on mortality. Our empirical strategy exploits the reduction in college openings introduced by the Pinochet regime after the 1973 coup in Chile, which led to a sharp downward kink in college enrollment among those cohorts reaching college age in the following years. Using administrative data from the vital statistics, we document an upward kink in the age-specific yearly mortality rate of individuals in the affected cohorts. We estimate a negative effect of college on mortality between ages 34-74, which is larger for men, but also sizable for women. Individuals in the affected cohorts experience worse labor market outcomes, are more likely to be enrolled in the public health system, and report lower consumption of health services. This suggests that economic disad-vantage and limited access to care play an important mediating role in the link between higher education and mortality.
    Date: 2023–09–18
  5. By: Magdalena Cortina; Carlos Madeira
    Abstract: We estimate real estate's exposure in Chile to five weather risks, including labor productivity loss due to heat, fires, floods, drought coastal deterioration as measured by the Chilean Climatic Risk Atlas (ARCLIM) and Climate Impact Explorer (CIE) sources. According to our joint ARCLIM-CIE indicator, we measure risk exposure for the appraisal value of all properties of 39% for Chile and 51%, 36%, 36% and 27% for the Central, North, Metropolitan and South macrozones, respectively. flooding is the greatest risk for Chile, followed by drought. We find that the CIE source underestimates the climate exposures in Chile relative to the ARCLIM measures, particularly for the flooding and drought risks.
    Date: 2023–04

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