nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2024‒01‒08
six papers chosen by

  1. Beyond traditional wage premium. An analysis of wage greenium in Latin America By Cerimelo Manuela; De la Vega Pablo; Porto Natalia
  2. The Last Hurdle? Unyielding Motherhood Effects in the Context of Declining Gender Inequality in Latin America By Pedrazzi Julian Pierino; Marchionni Mariana
  3. Indicadores de desarrollo: El rol de la descentralización fiscal y la calidad de gobierno By Ronald Miranda; Leonel Muinelo-Gallo; Martín Olivera
  4. Intergenerational mobility of economic well-being in Latin America By Ciaschi Matías; Neidhöfer Guido; Gasparini
  5. Inequality and crime in Latin America and the Caribbean: new data for an old question By Schargrodsky, Ernesto; Freira, Lucia
  6. Skills and selection into teaching: evidence from Latin America By Estrada, Ricardo; Lombardi, María

  1. By: Cerimelo Manuela; De la Vega Pablo; Porto Natalia
    Abstract: This paper estimates wage differentials between green and non-green jobs (wage greenium) in nine major Latin American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay), which account for 81% of the region’s GDP.We contribute to the recent literature highlighting a positive wage gap for those working in green jobs in developed countries and explore possible heterogeneities that may arise within countries in the same region. A positive wage gap for green jobs may be a virtuous market feature, as it means that in the future workers might be encouraged to switch to greener occupations. To do so, we define green jobs as those occupations with high greenness scores using the occupational approach as in Vona et al. (2018), Vona (2021) and Porto et al. (2022). Our results suggest that the wage greenium for the period 2012-2019 was, on average, 23% in Latin America, ranging from 15% to 30%. Moreover, this wage gap has remained relatively stable over the years.
    JEL: E24 Q50
    Date: 2023–11
  2. By: Pedrazzi Julian Pierino; Marchionni Mariana
    Abstract: We assess whether motherhood could be the last hurdle to achieving gender equality in developing countries by exploring the link between motherhood and the overall gender gap in the labor market for 14 Latin American countries over the last two decades. Using pseudo-panels built from harmonized household surveys and an event study approach around the birth of the first child, we find that the arrival of the first child leads to a sharp and persistent 35% decline in mothers’ earnings. This result is explained by a reduction in employment and a prompting shift towards occupations that favor more flexible work arrangements, including part-time and informal jobs. These effects are pervasive across countries and population groups. Furthermore, using an extended version of the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, we identify motherhood as the primary source of income inequality between men and women. Motherhood explains 44% of the remaining gender gap and has progressively gained relative importance over the last two decades while other contributing factors, such as education and its associated returns, have shown a waning impact. Moreover, we find no clear cross-country association between the motherhood-related gap and per capita GDP or gender norms, while the contribution of other factors to the gender gap in earnings diminishes with higher per capita GDP and more gender-egalitarian social norms. This suggests that gender gaps stemming from the motherhood effect exhibit greater rigidity than other drivers of gender inequality.
    JEL: D63 J13
    Date: 2023–11
  3. By: Ronald Miranda (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Leonel Muinelo-Gallo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Martín Olivera (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This article provides an empirical analysis of the impact of fiscal decentralization and quality of government on various development indicators in a sample of 61 countries over the period 1995–2019. Specifically, three development indicators are considered: human development, income inequality, and educational inequality. Based on panel data analysis, our findings confirm that both quality of government and fiscal decentralization improve human development and reduce income and educational inequalities. Additionally, we observe a positive relationship between greater public expenditure decentralization and higher levels of human development, lower income and education inequality. Finally, we note that the effect of fiscal decentralization on human development is reversed as its degree increases.
    Keywords: human development, inequality, decentralization, quality of government
    JEL: H50 H70 O15 I15 I30
    Date: 2023–08
  4. By: Ciaschi Matías; Neidhöfer Guido; Gasparini
    Abstract: We estimate long-run trends in intergenerational economic mobility for a multitude of countries in Latin America going beyond parent-child correlations in educational attainment. We use several indicators of well-being, such as the socio-economic situation of individuals, job stability, housing and assets. Unlike estimates based on education, which mostly show increasing social mobility trends, we find that opportunities to achieve a certain level of economic well-being and climb up the social ladder have not changed much over time in Latin America.
    JEL: D63 I24
    Date: 2023–11
  5. By: Schargrodsky, Ernesto; Freira, Lucia
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to revisit the relationship between inequality and crime, with a focus on the Latin America and Caribbean region. We find a significant, positive, and robust association between these variables. Moreover, inequality is the only variable showing this robust regularity. Education levels, economic activity, income per capita, and poverty show weaker and unstable relationships with crime. With due caution, the use of historical variables to instrument for inequality in crime regressions suggests that a causal interpretation of this relationship is plausible. In addition, the analysis of the distribution of crime victimization indicates that men suffer more crime than women, and that the male-to-female homicide ratio grows with inequality. By socio-economic strata, high-income groups suffer more victimization relative to poorer groups in LAC countries, but the poor suffer more homicides.
    Keywords: crime; inequality; poverty; Latin America and Caribbean
    JEL: D63 K40 O15 O54
    Date: 2023–11–08
  6. By: Estrada, Ricardo; Lombardi, María
    Abstract: This paper documents a novel stylized fact: many teachers in Latin America have low levels of cognitive skills. This fact is the result of both low levels of skills among the population and—in the case of numeracy—a gap between the average skill level of teachers and the rest of the tertiary-educated population (i.e., a teacher skills gap). To characterize the selection patterns behind this gap, we show that individuals with a teaching degree have lower average skills than individuals with other tertiary degrees, and that this gap is larger than the teacher skills gap. This difference is mainly explained by the selection into teaching of graduates from non-teaching degrees. Finally, we show evidence on one important determinant of the teacher skills gap: teacher relative wages are decreasing in skills.
    Keywords: teacher quality; teacher salaries; teacher labor markets; Latin America
    JEL: I21 J24 J45
    Date: 2023–11–01

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