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  • Author: Jorge Ignacio Del Castillo Machicado
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD)
  • Abstract: This article researches on the evolution of the business regulatory framework of Bolivia from 2006 to 2017 and its relationship with the country’s Labor productivity, Total Factor Productivity, and its Informal Economy size. To do this, it analyzes the Doing Business annual reports and standardizes each year overall score to the most recent methodology developed by the World Bank Group. Furthermore, it complements its finding with qualitative data through semi-structured interviews to key actors in the Bolivian economy. Overall, this paper finds that few steps have been taken to improve Bolivia’s Business regulatory framework from the period of 2006-2017, result in a lower rank in the Doing Business report and keeping its score constant. The lack of initiative in working towards more efficient policies, complex nature and poor adaptability of new technological practices have stagnated the improvements of business regulations along their lifecycles. As a consequence, Bolivia Total Factor Productivity, Informal Economy size and Labor productivity have shown no improvement over the last 10 years.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Labor Issues, World Bank, Regulation, Business
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Miguel Jaramillo, Hugo Nopo
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE)
  • Abstract: Latin America is currently suffering from two independent but related shocks: the impact of COVID-19 and the shock of commodity prices. Peru, we argue, is a case in which the strongest impact comes from the pandemic. Peru was the first country in Latin America to react and implement sanitary and economic measures against the coronavirus. The country has been in mandatory quarantine since Monday, March 16. This carries very important challenges for all economic actors. Global and national activity has suffered a sudden stop with direct implications for: (i) the income generating capacity of independent workers, (ii) the jobs of formal and informal and informal workers, and (iii) the survival of small, medium and large companies. In this note we consider the situation of Peruvian households in the face of the pandemic, exploring their vulnerabilities through an analysis of their main source of income generation: work. We also consider the situation of the companies that employ the workers under analysis. We present an overview of what the government’s main action have been so far and offer some recommendations.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Economic Policy, Coronavirus, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Garcia Isabella
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: In 2018/2019 the CGPE launched an annual Gender & Global Political Economy Undergraduate Essay Prize competition, open to all undergraduate students within the School of Global Studies. The winner of the 2018/2019 competition is Isabella Garcia for the essay “How do global supply chains exacerbate gender-based violence against women in the Global South?” Isabella graduated with a BA in International Relations and Development in July and will join the MA cohort in our Global Political Economy programme for 2019/2020. Given the very strong field of submissions, the award committee further decided to award a second-place prize to Yume Tamiya for the essay “Does the rise of the middle class disguise existing inequalities in Brazil?”. Yume graduated with a BA in International Development with International Education and Development. We are delighted to publish both of these excellent essays in the CGPE Working Paper series.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Women, Gender Based Violence , Global South
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America, Mexico, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Yume Tamiya
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: In 2018/2019 the CGPE launched an annual Gender & Global Political Economy Undergraduate Essay Prize competition, open to all undergraduate students within the School of Global Studies. The winner of the 2018/2019 competition is Isabella Garcia for the essay “How do global supply chains exacerbate gender-based violence against women in the Global South?” Isabella graduated with a BA in International Relations and Development in July and will join the MA cohort in our Global Political Economy programme for 2019/2020. Given the very strong field of submissions, the award committee further decided to award a second-place prize to Yume Tamiya for the essay “Does the rise of the middle class disguise existing inequalities in Brazil?”. Yume graduated with a BA in International Development with International Education and Development. We are delighted to publish both of these excellent essays in the CGPE Working Paper series.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Inequality, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Onil Banerjee, Martin Cicowiez, Renato Vargas, Mark Horridge
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: In 2014, the United Nations published the first International Standard for environmental economic statistics, known as the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA).. As more countries adopt and implement the SEEA, the availability of consistent environmental and economic information increases the need for analytical tools that can use this data to respond to policy relevant questions. In this paper, we present a workflow to develop an environmentally extended social accounting matrix, which can serve as the basic database for the development of environmentally-extended computable general equilibrium models. To illustrate, and given its comprehensive implementation of the SEEA, we apply this workflow to the Guatemalan case and the Integrated Economic-Environmental Modeling (IEEM) Platform.
  • Topic: Economics, United Nations, Basic Data, Accountability, Economic Policy, Statistics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Central America, Guatemala, Global Focus
  • Author: Leonardo Peñaloza Pacheco
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: The aim of this paper is to estimate the causal effect of the migration of Venezuelans to Colombia on the Colombian real wage, since 2016. In the second semester of 2016, the borders between Colombia and Venezuela were reopened after a year of being closed due to a political crisis between the two countries; this re-opening is exploited as an identification strategy. Using data from the Unidad Administrativa Especial de Migraci´on Colombia and the Registro Administrativo de Migrantes Venezolanos in Colombia, it is estimated that the migratory flow of Venezuelans to Colombia increased the Economically Active Population of the border areas of La Guajira and Norte de Santander by approximately 10% and 15%, since its reopening. Differences-in-differences methodology and Synthetic Control Method are implemented and the results show that the increase in labor supply in these regions that resulted from the migratory flow generated a decline in real hourly wages of approximately 6%-9% on average. This decrease in real wages appears to be greater for men as compared to women. There is also evidence of a greater drop in real wages among people with lower levels of qualification and in conditions of informal employment.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Political Economy, Labor Issues, Employment, Income Inequality
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Mariana Marchionni, María Edo, Dolores de la Mata, Lucila Berniell, Inés Berniell
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: Recent work has quantified the large negative effects of motherhood on female labor market outcomes in Europe and the US. But these results may not apply to developing countries, where labor markets work differently and informality is widespread. In less developed countries, informal jobs, which typically include microenterprises and self-employment, offer more time flexibility but poorer social protection and lower labor earnings. These characteristics affect the availability of key inputs in the technology to raise children, and therefore may affect the interplay between parenthood and labor market outcomes. Through an event-study approach we estimate short and long-run labor market impacts of children in Chile, an OECD developing country with a relatively large informal sector. We find that the birth of the first child has strong and long lasting effects on labor market outcomes of Chilean mothers, while fathers remain unaffected. Becoming a mother implies a sharp decline in mothers’ labor supply, both in the extensive and intensive margins, and in hourly wages. We also show that motherhood affects the occupational structure of employed mothers, as the share of jobs in the informal sector increases remarkably. In order to quantify what the motherhood effect would have been in the absence of an informal labor market, we build a quantitative model economy, that includes an informal sector which offers more flexible working hours at the expense of lower wages and weaker social protection, and a technology to produce child quality that combines time, material resources and the quality of social protection services. We perform a counterfactual experiment that indicates that the existence of the informal sector in Chile helps to reduce the drop in LFP after motherhood in about 35%. We conclude that mothers find in the informal sector the flexibility to cope with both family and labor responsibilities, although at the cost of resigning contributory social protection and reducing their labor market prospects.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Political Economy, Women
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Mariana Viollaz
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: This paper quantifies labor law violations and how the enforcement efforts impact on the compliance level by considering the possibility of different labor regulations being violated simultaneously. The findings for the Peruvian labor markets over the period 2004-2013 indicate that: (i) multiple violations of labor regulations are an important feature of Peruvian labor markets; (ii) young workers, workers with low level of education, indigenous workers, workers in micro firms and workers employed in the agricultural sector have higher chances of being deprived of several labor benefits simultaneously; (iii) the enforcement of labor regulations, captured through the number of labor inspections at the region level, is effective in detecting and penalizing extreme situations of multiple violations of the labor law, but the evidence also suggests that firms adjust only partially as an attempt to reduce the amount of a potential fine if discovered, and that laid off workers during the adjustment process moved to the informal sector where firms are not inspected. These findings are useful from a policy perspective indicating that there is space to improve firms’ incentives when facing an increase in the enforcement effort.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Law Enforcement, Law, Regulation, Labor Policies, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Miriam Berges, Federico Perali, Martina Menon, Lucía Echeverria
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: Are two parents and single parents allocating household resources to children in the same way? Which factors affect intra-household inequality? Do mothers re-distribute more income to children as they are more empowered? We focus on child welfare in the context of two parent and single parent families, which is relevant for policy recommendation. We model households behavior in a collective framework, which allows us to understand the rule governing the allocation process between adults and children. Using consumption data from Argentina from three consecutive expenditures surveys (1996, 2004 and 2012) we analyze intra-household behavior over three different socio-economic contexts. We estimate a collective quadratic demand system following a structural approach to identify the fraction of total household expenditure that is devoted to children and adults, exploiting the observability of assignable goods. We provide the first evidence of intra-household inequality and individual poverty levels for Argentina. Our results indicate that family structure matters in the intra-household distribution. We find a positive gender bias in expenditure when children are females for both types of families, and we document that children fare better when mothers have a higher bargaining power in the allocation process, measured by their employment status. Further, we find several features of intra-household behavior which are persistent in time.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Children, Income Inequality, Child Poverty, Family
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Jorge Tamayo, Anant Nyshadham, Carlos Medina, Gaurav Khanna
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC)
  • Abstract: Canonical models of crime emphasize economic incentives. Yet, causal evidence of sorting into criminal occupations in response to individual-level variation in incentives is limited. We link administrative socioeconomic microdata with the universe of arrests in Medellίn over a decade. We exploit exogenous variation in formal-sector employment around a socioeconomic-score cutoff, below which individuals receive benefits if not formally employed, to test whether a higher cost to formal-sector employment induces crime. Regression discontinuity estimates show this policy generated reductions in formal-sector employment and a corresponding spike in organized crime, but no effects on crimes of impulse or opportunity.
  • Topic: Crime, Economics, Political Economy, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Lucas DuPriest
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD)
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the location patterns of coworking spaces, the effects of coworking spaces on the local and urban context, and coworking spaces potential opportunities for the creation of local economic development, issues that have been neglected in a Bolivian context by the existing literature. The focus of this paper is on La Paz, Bolivia’s political capital and the city in Bolivia which host the largest number of coworking spaces. The paper addresses three main questions: (1) Where are the main locations of coworking spaces in La Paz? (2) to what extent do coworking spaces generate transformative effects on the local respectively the urban scale? (e.g. physical transformations, changes in practices, community building) (3) how do coworking spaces create potential opportunities for local economic development? Desk research demonstrated that location patterns of coworking spaces are concentrated to two main commercial areas of the city, as well as to the main infrastructural and transportation axes. Field research highlighted local and urban effects, such as local community initiatives and micro-urban transformations in both spaces and practices. Lastly, field research assessed coworking spaces role in the socio-economic ecosystem. Three main typologies have been identified: the first type of coworking spaces act as “social entrepreneurship and start-up incubators” with a supportive role and closer ties to social and urban issues, the second type of coworking spaces act as “coffee and cowork incubators” providing cafés with shared workspaces, the third type of coworking spaces act as “real estate business incubators” and are mainly a commercial product responding the demand for flexible office spaces. This paper, therefore, helps to fill the gap in the literature about the location patterns of these new working spaces and their effects at different scales both in terms of spaces and practices, as well as local economic development.
  • Topic: Economics, Work Culture, Urban, Local, Innovation, Economic Development , Social Capital
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Boris Branisa, José Peres-Cajías, Nigel Caspa
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD)
  • Abstract: Based on almost 5.000 direct observations on National Identification Cards, this paper offers the first estimation of the evolution of average heights in urban Bolivia for the decades 1880s-1920s. The analysis focuses on men aged 19-50 years registered in the city of La Paz. Despite city’s growing economic importance and modernization, average heights remained stagnant around 163 cm. This level is not so different to that found in the still disperse available evidence for rural Bolivia. Furthermore, there is evidence of inequalities throughout the period under study: those men who were indigenous, illiterate or worked in manual occupations were persistently shorter than non-indigenous, literates and non-manual workers, respectively. In coincidence with recent studies on Latin America, these findings suggest that the boost in exports and the regained dynamism of the economy that took place at the onset of the 20th century were not accompanied by improvements in biological standards of living.
  • Topic: Economics, History, Urban, Welfare, Indigenous, Modernization
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Alejandro Herrera, Mariel Bedoya, Bruno Gonzaga, Karen Espinoza
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD)
  • Abstract: In this paper we use a Multi-Cutoff Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design to evaluate spillover effects of students enrolled into Peruvian public magnet schools, Colegios de Alto Rendimiento (COAR), on educational outcomes of younger students in their schools of origin. Using administrative data from the Ministry of Education for 2016, we find that having at least one student admitted in a COAR school causes some negative spillover effects on math test scores of students from the following cohort. No evidence of statistically significant results is found for verbal and history test scores, nor for self-reported educational expectations. We discuss potential causes and reasons that may explain our results.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Peru
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program on Sustainable Development and Social Inequalities in the Andean Region (trAndeS)
  • Abstract: States face the challenge of developing institutions to govern the activities of social actors when an area under their control becomes the target of increased extractive activities. National and local public regulations safeguarding the environment, the assignment of extractive rights to individuals or companies, and handling of ensuing conflicts are developed in an institutional gray zone. This paper analyzes how informal institutions developed in early period become hybrid institutional entanglements that depend largely on configurations of power. It does so by looking at two cases in Peru: Water extraction in Ica, mostly by large companies and gold mining in Madre de Dios, mostly by small scale miners. Taken together, these cases show the institutions resulting from state governance of extractive activities depends heavily on the agency and political leverage of the state but also of other social actors.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Natural Resources, Water, Institutions, Ecology
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Felipe Antunes de Oliveira
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: Latin America is once again passing through a crisis. After initially showing promising results, the neodevelopmentalist strategy adopted in Brazil and Argentina has reached its limits. The attempt at 21st century socialism in Venezuela derailed, tearing the country apart. Finally, the neoliberal path dutifully followed by Mexico, Chile, Colombia and smaller countries perpetuated social inequalities, and is now menaced by President Trump's protectionist turn. The current Latin American crisis goes much beyond the reversion of the so-called "Pink Tide". It affects all ideological colours, raising again an old theoretical-political question that stood in the core of dependency theory: is development even possible in Latin America? The key to answer this question – a concept of development that captures non-converging transformation – was not available to Frank, Marini, Bambirra and Dos Santos, among other dependency theorists. Too easily conflating development with catching-up, they reached a dead end. Indeed, as they could see, Latin America was constantly changing, but not in the expected ways. In this paper, I suggest that the concept of uneven and combined development allows for a renewed engagement with dependency theory's core problem, by representing mixed forms of development as the norm, not the exception.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, International Development, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Colombia, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: Bettina Schorr
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program on Sustainable Development and Social Inequalities in the Andean Region (trAndeS)
  • Abstract: Since the publication of the Brundtland Report in 1987, social inequality has been a topic of concern for the international development community. In the last decade, given the rise of global inequality the subject gained even more prominence as several international organizations (UNDP, World Bank, OECD) began emphasizing the negative impact of social inequality on human well-being. The Agenda 2030, the current development strategy adopted by the United Nations in 2015, elevated “reducing inequality” to one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (Goal No. 10). This paper connects with this growing concern over the impact of social inequalities on the opportunities for sustainable development. It proposes a research agenda for the social sciences to contribute to the debate by identifying the causal mechanisms that constitute the nexus between social inequalities and sustainable development. The focus on these intermediary steps is important in order to understand in more detail the barriers that social inequalities pose for more sustainable social, economic and ecological arrangements. This is especially necessary when it comes to designing or implementing strategies (political or technological) that aim to promote sustainable development, above all in highly unequal societies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Inequality, Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainability, Ecology
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Carmen Ponce
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE)
  • Abstract: Non-farm income sources are increasingly important in the developing world, representing up to 50 percent of average rural household income. Although there is a vast literature on the determinants of rural households’ strategies for income diversification, two factors associated with long-term transformations and common to many developing countries, have not yet been integrated into the analysis: (i) the role of intraseasonal climate variability (affected by climate change), and (ii) the role of family networks located in distant areas (increasingly important given population displacement due to the internal conflict and increasing connectivity via roads and communications). Whereas an increase in climate variability entails an increase in risk and vulnerability for farm activities, family networks located in distant regions(that do not share the local climate or market shocks) may become a key asset for managing risk and fostering income opportunities (as long as they convey information and opportunities that are not available through local networks). Given the market imperfections that are common in developing rural areas—especially those related to climate risk management—explicit consideration of both factors is key to understanding rural households’ diversification strategies. The study aims to contribute to this pending agenda, investigating the role of these two factors on a household’s income diversification into non-farm activities in the Peruvian Andes, a mountain region with large intraseasonal climate variability and limited but increasing spatial connectivity, where the rural population was severely affected by the internal conflict that took place in the country during the eighties and nineties.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Economics, Rural, Industry, Ecology, Farming
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Samuel Appleton
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: The Bretton Woods conference is conventionally understood as a radical break between the laissez faire order and its ‘embedded liberal’ successor, in which finance was suppressed in the interest of trade and productive growth. The new institutions, particularly the IBRD are often considered emblematic of this. In response to this, the paper argues that the Bretton Woods order required the enlistment, not repression, of private American finance. Firstly, laissez-faire era proposals for international financial institutions provided important precedents for the Bretton Woods institutions. Second, these were predicated on the uniquely deep liquidity of American financial markets following upon Progressive-era reforms, in the legacy of which the Roosevelt administration sought to locate the New Deal. Thirdly, they found new relevance in the 1940s as the IBRD turned by necessity to American financial markets for operating capital. Negotiating the imperative of commercial creditworthiness had two important consequences. First, it entailed the structural and procedural transformation of the IBRD, and allowed management to carve out a proprietary terrain in which its agency was decisive. Second, this suggests that US agendas were mediated by the Bank’s institutional imperatives – and that finance was no more ‘embedded’ during the Bretton Woods era than its predecessor.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, World Bank, Global Markets, International Development, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Beatriz Muriel Hernández
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD)
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the importance of firm characteristics to explain earnings in urban Bolivia. Initially I propose a new simple theoretical model of segmented labor market where, in equilibrium, individual and firm variables jointly determine earnings at the worker level. The key for achieving this equilibrium is that workers have both specific preferences and heterogonous skills provided by years of schooling, which are in turn associated to certain firms. Given the household surveys information, I estimate two alternative earnings functions from this model, one for unsalaried workers, for which there is detailed firm data and one for salaried workers, in which sector, size and formality are used as firm proxies. I find not only that firm characteristics are fundamental determinants of earnings but that regressions that include only individual characteristics present highly overestimated coefficients.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Labor Issues, Urban, Microeconomics, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Nora Lustig
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper examines the redistributive impact of fiscal policy for Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and South Africa using comparable fiscal incidence analysis with data from around 2010. The largest redistributive effect is in South Africa and the smallest in Indonesia. While fiscal policy always reduces inequality, this is not the case with poverty.
  • Topic: Economics, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Africa, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Marcio Garcia
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: From 2009 until 2011, Brazil utilized capital controls to deter real exchange rate appreciation. These measures may have obstructed necessary changes in the fiscal policy stance from occurring. In Chile, which employed capital controls heavily in the 1990s and then decided not to use them again during the commodity super-boom in the 2000s, suggests that an adequate fiscal policy stance provides better results than the use of capital controls. In addition, the recent experiences of Colombia and Peru demonstrate capital controls are not always necessary. This paper makes recommendations for capital control surveillance and coordination, using the Brazilian experience as an example, and draws on experiences in other Latin American countries. When analyzing the implications for surveillance and coordination, international institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, should take into consideration that, no matter how many caveats are listed before its guidelines, capital controls mainly serve to bypass needed changes in macroeconomic policy, thereby jeopardizing economic performance.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Monetary Fund
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The growth rates witnessed in markets across Latin America in the decade to 2010 pulled millions out of poverty, led to rapid growth of the middle class and helped to demonstrate the promise of emerging markets. Since then, however, growth has slowed dramatically across the region. 2015 will mark the fifth successive year of deceleration in Latin America, which has slowed more than any other emerging market region. With concerns over the ability of emerging markets to withstand a slowdown in China and monetary policy normalisation in the US growing, risks to the growth and financing outlook for Latin America persist. However, as economic recovery starts to gather pace in the region, opportunities for investment and growth will also re-emerge. This report provides a snapshot of the current political and economic landscape in the region, and in some of Latin America’s largest economies: Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. Each article analyses key concerns and presents our view of the outlook going forward, helping you to influence decision-making and economic outcomes for your business.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Enrique Dussel Peters
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Weeks before Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with President Barack Obama in Washington, the Atlantic Council's Latin America Center launched a new report that unravels the complexities of the Latin America-China relationship. Titled China's Evolving Role in Latin America: Can it Be a Win-Win?, the report provides five recommendations to help both China and Latin America usher in a mutually beneficial post-commodity-boom relationship. The key to long-term success will be to insure that the relationship promotes—rather than delays—economic growth and social progress in the hemisphere. In the report, renowned Mexico-based China Expert Enrique Dussel Peters, an Atlantic Coucil author and Professor at the Graduate School of Economics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), calls for a ratcheting up of strategic planning and multilateral support so the relation¬ship is a win-win for all parties, including the United States. A deep dive of the state of play is provided for five countries: Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela. These countries illustrate the spectrum of ties with China, ranging from those with long and complex historical relation¬ships to those almost entirely structured around recent opportunities for economic cooperation.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America
  • Author: Juan Camilo Castillo, Daniel Mejia, Pascual Restrepo
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Using the case of the cocaine trade in Mexico as a relevant and salient example, this paper shows that scarcity leads to violence in markets without third party enforcement. We construct a model in which supply shortages increase total revenue when demand is inelastic. If property rights over revenues are not well defined because of the lack of reliable third party enforcement, the incentives to prey on others and avoid predation by exercising violence increase with scarcity, thus increasing violence. We test our model and the proposed channel using data for the cocaine trade in Mexico. We found that exogenous supply shocks originated in changes in the amount of cocaine seized in Colombia (Mexico's main cocaine supplier) create scarcity and increase drug-related violence in Mexico.
  • Topic: Crime, Economics, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Oeindrila Dube, Omar Garcia-Ponce, Kevin Thom
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We examine how commodity price shocks experienced by rural producers affect the drug trade in Mexico. Our analysis exploits exogenous movements in the Mexican maize price stemming from weather conditions in U.S. maize-growing regions, as well as export flows of other major maize producers. Using data on over 2,200 municipios spanning 1990-2010, we show that lower prices differentially increased the cultivation of both marijuana and opium poppies in municipios more climatically suited to growing maize. This increase was accompanied by differentially lower rural wages, suggesting that households planted more drug crops in response to the decreased income generating potential of maize farming.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Poverty, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Liliana Rojas-Suarez, Maria Alejandra Amado
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes Latin America's Financial Inclusion Gap, the difference between the average financial inclusion for Latin America and the corresponding average for a set of comparator countries. At the country level, we assess four types of obstacles to financial inclusion: macroeconomic weaknesses, income inequality, institutional deficiencies and financial sector inefficiencies. A key finding of this paper is that although the four types of obstacles explain the absolute level of financial inclusion, institutional deficiencies and income inequality are the most important obstacles behind the Latin America's financial inclusion gap. From our analysis at the individual level, we find that there is a Latin America-specific effect of education and income. The results suggest that the effect of attaining secondary education on the probability of being financially included is significantly higher in Latin America than in its comparators. Furthermore, the difference in the probability of being financially included between the richest and the poorest individuals is significantly higher in Latin America than in comparator countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Human Rights, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Roberto Alvarez, José De Gregorio
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Latin American performance during the global fi nancial crisis was unprecedented. Many developing and emerging countries successfully weathered the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Was it good luck? Was it good policies? In this paper we compare growth during the Asian and global fi nancial crises and fi nd that a looser monetary policy played an important role in mitigating crisis. We also fi nd that higher private credit, more fi nancial openness, less trade openness, and greater exchange rate intervention worsened economic performance. Our analysis of Latin American countries confi rms that eff ective macroeconomic management was key to good economic performance. Finally, we present evidence from a sample of 31 emerging markets that high terms of trade had a positive impact on resilience.
  • Topic: Economics, Global Recession, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This report is based on the themes and messages discussed during the Business Opportunities in Housing for the Base of the Pyramid event held in São Paulo, Brazil on 2 September 2013. The event brought together between key actors developing housing solutions for low-income communities in Brazil. More than 70 members from the United Nations Development Programme in Brazil, city government, civil society, real estate developers, private-sector companies and investors attended this invite-only event, a collaborative effort between Business Call to Action (BCtA) and Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) Brazil Chapter which enabled participating stakeholders to discuss challenges and solutions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Marília Leão, Renato S. Maluf
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Brazil has achieved promising results in the fight against hunger and poverty. This paper describes the path toward building a new governance framework for the provision of public policies that initiated a virtuous cycle for the progressive elimination of hunger and poverty. However, it is important to emphasize that the country continues to be characterized by dynamics that generate inequalities and threaten social and environmental justice.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Poverty, Food, Governance
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Jennifer Leavy, Naomi Hossain
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Who wants to farm? In an era of land grabs and environmental uncertainty, improving smallholder productivity has become a higher priority on the poverty and food security agenda in development, focusing attention on the next generation of farmers. Yet emerging evidence about the material realities and social norms and desires of young people in developing countries indicates a reasonably widespread withdrawal from work on the land as an emerging norm. While de-agrarianisation is not new, policymakers are correct to be concerned about a withdrawal from the sector: smallholder productivity growth, and agricultural transformation more broadly, depend in part on the extent to which capable, skilled young people can be retained or attracted to farming, and on policies that support that retention. So who wants to farm, and under what conditions? Where are economic, environmental and social conditions favourable to active recruitment by educated young people into farming? What policy and programmatic conditions are creating attractive opportunities in farming or agro-food industry livelihoods?
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Andrew Powell
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: There are many dimensions to the international use of a nation's currency. These include the use of a currency for trade invoicing and settlement, the use of a currency to denominate assets to be held as a store of value, for example, as central bank reserves, and the use of a currency to denominate liabilities such as loans or bonds.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Rohinton Medhora, David Malone
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The familiar world of international organizations principally devoted to development has been upended by two phenomena. First is the emergence of sustained economic success in the developing world (mostly in Asia, but increasingly also in Africa and, in a less spectacular way, Latin America) amid compelling, continuing need among the world's poor. Second, the slow-moving, serious financial and economic crisis of the industrialized world since 2008 has reordered priorities in many of their capitals toward domestic spending and away from costly international projects.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Organization, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: Elling N. Tjønneland
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: Much has been written about the role of the rising or emerging powers and their accelerating economic engagement in Africa. Much less is known about how they contribute to or impact on the African peace and security agenda. This report takes a comparative look at the roles of China, India, Brazil and South African in relation to the African Union and its African Peace and Security Architecture. Each of these four countries has a distinct commercial and corporate approach to Africa, despite a shared political commitment to South-South cooperation. However, as they extend their economic engagement they are becoming more sensitive to insecurity and volatility. The Asian and Latin American countries, which traditionally have strongly emphasised non-intervention, are gradually becoming more involved in the African security agenda. They are increasingly concerned about their image and reputation and the security of their citizens and business interests, and are becoming more prepared to act multilaterally and to work with others in facilitating security and stability. As an African power, South Africa plays a more direct role and has emerged as a major architect of the continent's evolving peace and security architecture. This report summarises elements from a broader research project on rising powers and the African peace and security agenda undertaken by CMI in cooperation with NOREF.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: David L. Goldwyn, Cory R Gill
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: It has been nearly ten years since the launch of Petrocaribe, a program designed to win the political loyalty of the Caribbean states through generous credit subsidies to help import Venezuelan crude oil and products. Recipient states have grown dependent on high-cost, high-carbon fuels for power generation and Venezuelan credit to balance their budgets.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Caribbean, Venezuela
  • Author: Carl Meacham, Robert Funk
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the first round of Chile's presidential elections on November 17, Michelle Bachelet, of the progressive New Majority (Nueva Mayoría) coalition, commanded a resounding lead. Garnering 46.7 percent of the popular vote—and putting her 20 points ahead of Alliance for Chile (Alianza por Chile) candidate Evelyn Matthei, her nearest rival—the former president is the likely victor in the runoff elections scheduled for December 15.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Douglas Farah, Robert D. Lamb, Carl Meacham
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The project that culminated in this report was conceived just over a year ago as an initiative to assess the major accomplishments in strengthening the Colombian government's efforts to bring peace and stability to its countryside.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Benjamin Leo
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The United States government has made repeated declarations over the last decade to align its assistance programs behind developing countries' priorities. By utilizing public attitude surveys for 42 African and Latin American countries, this paper examines how well the US has implemented this guiding principle. Building upon the Quality of Official Development Assistance Assessment (QuODA) approach, I identify what people cite most frequently as the 'most pressing problems' facing their nations and then measure the percentage of US assistance commitments that are directed towards addressing them. By focusing on public surveys over time, this analysis attempts to provide a more nuanced and targeted examination of whether US portfolios are addressing what people care the most about. As reference points, I compare US alignment trends with the two regional multilateral development banks (MDBs) – the African Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Overall, this analysis suggests that US assistance may be only modestly aligned with what people in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America cite as their nation's most pressing problems. By comparison, the African Development Bank – which is majority-led by regional member nations – performs significantly better than the United States. Like the United States, however, the Inter-American Development Bank demonstrates a low relative level of support for people's top concerns.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America, Latin America
  • Author: Vegard Bye
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Cuban society is undergoing deep changes, more than fifty years after the Revolution and the same number of years with a Castro government. The focus of study is mostly on economic reforms. But economic transition also has great impact - gradually manifesting itself - on the entire political system. The direction of these changes is still quite unclear. In this Working Paper, "The Politics of Cuban Transformation - what Space for Authoritarian Withdrawal?", NUPI Research Fellow Vegard Bye analyzes the choice of direction and some scenarios in the political transformation process.
  • Topic: Communism, Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Fulvio Castellacci, Hamza Kanar
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The economic reforms recently implemented in Cuba do not adequately deal with the structural issues that hamper the country's economic development. The paper presents a system dynamics model to investigate Cuba's development process, and a simulation analysis to compare different policy scenarios that may be realized in the future as economic reforms will continue. The results indicate that the most effective development policy would be to combine active public policies to enhance the R sector, on the one hand, and foster the emergence of an efficient private sector that will develop the capital infrastructure of the economy, on the other.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Nicholas Carnes, Noam Lupu
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Does it matter that working-class citizens are numerically underrepresented in political offices throughout the world? For decades, the conventional wisdom in comparative politics has been that it does not, that lawmakers from different classes think and behave roughly the same in office. In this paper, we argue that this conclusion is misguided. Past research relied on inappropriate measures of officeholders' class backgrounds, attitudes, and choices. Using data on 18 Latin American legislatures, we show that lawmakers from different classes bring different economic attitudes to the legislative process. And using data on one least-likely case, we show that pre-voting decisions like sponsoring legislation often differ dramatically along social class lines, even when political parties control higher-visibility decisions like roll-call votes. The unequal numerical or descriptive representation of social classes in the world's legislatures has important consequences for the substantive representation of different class interests.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Social Stratification, Socialism/Marxism
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Land distribution in Colombia is extremely unequal, with concentration of land ownership among the highest in the world, and second highest in Latin America after Paraguay. Inequality in access to land is closely linked to rural poverty, and is both a cause and a consequence of the internal armed conflict that has ravaged the country for more than half a century. During this period, violence and forced displacement have caused dispossession involving up to 8 million hectares – more than the area currently devoted to agriculture throughout the country.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Democratization, Economics, Reform
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Richard Snyder, Maria Angelica Bautista, Angelica Duran-Martinez, Jazmin Sierra
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: How do international inequalities in funding, institutional support and research capacity affect the production of social science knowledge? New data on the political economy of research in Latin America shows that funding for social science is organized in sharply contrasting ways across countries, with three types of capital -- foreign, domestic public, and domestic private -- playing distinct roles. This cross-national variation in the role played by each type of capital, in turn, has contrasting consequences for (1) who produces knowledge, that is, for the professional credentials and networks needed to gain access to funding for research; and (2) for the kind of knowledge produced, especially for the comparative scope and policy relevance of research. A focus on cross-national variation in how social science is funded provides a stronger understanding of knowledge production in the Global South.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Colombia, Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Richard Snyder, Kelly Bay, Cecilia Perla
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: This article explores the political economy of social science research in the Global South by analyzing new bibliometric and survey data on Peru, a lower-middle income country with weak domestic funding and institutional support for scholarship. The results of the analysis show that although research in Peru is heavily dependent on foreign funding, the multiplicity of funding institutions gives scholars a surprising degree of autonomy. Still, dependence on foreign funding produces conditions with potentially harmful consequences for the quality and impact of research. Five conditions are considered: multiple institutional affiliations, hyperproductivity, forced interdisciplinarity, parochialism, and a weak national community of scholars.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Jorge Balán
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: Higher education has undergone impressive growth and change over the last few decades in Latin America.This book selectively reviews some dimensions of this transformation, discussing policies, institutions, and programs, as well as their outcomes in terms of access, workforce training, and research. Individual chapters, commissioned from specialists from Latin America and the United States, stand as original, independent contributions focusing on key issues in higher education: changes in institutional autonomy and system governance, the contributions of higher education to advanced workforce development, policy responses to the continuing challenges of access and equity, government-sponsored study-abroad scholarships programs in several countries, trends in academic mobility and its outcomes for brain drain and gain, the changing landscape of U.S. universities' and corporations' investment in the region, and recent development of U.S. government exchange programs with Latin America.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For too long, the United States and Europe have failed to embrace Latin America as a partner in a broader transatlantic community. Modern Latin America, like the United States, springs from a common European heritage and shares the historical, political, and philosophical roots that bind the West so closely together. The region is of growing strategic importance, with its expanding markets, energy resources, and global economic reach. But while Latin America is changing rapidly, the United States and Europe have been slow to sufficiently recognize and embrace this new world, missing crucial policy and business opportunities.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Latin America
  • Author: David J. Goldwyn
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Mexico's Congress passed its final hurdle to reform the Constitution and allow for private investment in the energy industry on December 12, 2013. This significant achievement heralds the most comprehensive energy reform in the last seventy-five years of the country's history.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Brandon Fite
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iran pursues cooperation with states on the geographic and strategic periphery of the competition between the US and Iran in order to create a network of diplomatic and economic relationships or “partners” that can lessen the blow of international sanctions and generally oppose Western attempts to constrict its ambitions. These peripheral “partners” located mainly in Africa and Latin America, also serve as alternative markets for Iranian oil, provide diplomatic cover for Iran's nuclear efforts, and aid Iran's acquisition of goods proscribed by international sanctions.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Iran, Latin America
  • Author: Alexandra Starr
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Latino immigrant entrepreneurs are making important contributions to the U.S. economy. They have founded highly successful companies in the frozen food, construction, financial services, and high-tech industries. Many of these companies owe their success to cultural connections with Latin American markets abroad and U.S. Latino consumers at home—markets that are set to grow rapidly in the coming years. Small-scale Latino immigrant entrepreneurs, meanwhile, have helped revitalize city commercial strips and small-town Main Streets across the country.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Malte Gephart
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: While the current international and transnational anti‐corruption campaign (ITACC) has been successful in calling worldwide attention to the topic, several critics have argued that the term “corruption” and the concepts that underlie it are ambiguous and that corruption and anti‐corruption have various meanings. This paper empirically explores these supposedly divergent meanings by comparing the ITACC with the anti‐corruption discourse in Paraguay. In order to explore not only the tensions but also possible coalitions between the ITACC and the Paraguayan discourse, I have conducted discourse analysis and constructionist interviews. The empirical exploration shows that differences, and thus tensions, exist between both levels with respect to the causes and effects attributed to corruption, as well as with regard to the ultimate goal of the fight against corruption. However, there also is a strong discourse coalition between the ITACC and Paraguay concerning concrete countermeasures, which indicates the dominance of the international anti‐corruption approach in the Latin American country. Very different actors with divergent understandings of corruption are able to act collectively against corruption via this discourse coalition, while still interpreting these actions according to their respective political agendas.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Government, International Cooperation, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Liliana Rojas-Suarez, Carlos Montoro
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The financial systems in emerging market economies during the 2008–09 global financial crisis performed much better than in previous crisis episodes, albeit with significant differences across regions. For example, real credit growth in Asia and Latin America was less affected than in Central and Eastern Europe. This paper identifies the factors at both the country and the bank levels that contributed to the behavior of real credit growth in Latin America during the global financial crisis. The resilience of real credit during the crisis was highly related to policies, measures and reforms implemented in the pre-crisis period. In particular, we find that the best explanatory variables were those that gauged the economy's capacity to withstand an external financial shock. Key were balance sheet measures such as the economy's overall currency mismatches and external debt ratios (measuring either total debt or short-term debt). The quality of pre-crisis credit growth mattered as much as its rate of expansion. Credit expansions that preserved healthy balance sheet measures (the “quality” dimension) proved to be more sustainable. Variables signalling the capacity to set countercyclical monetary and fiscal policies during the crisis were also important determinants. Moreover, financial soundness characteristics of Latin American banks, such as capitalization, liquidity and bank efficiency, also played a role in explaining the dynamics of real credit during the crisis. We also found that foreign banks and banks which had expanded credit growth more before the crisis were also those that cut credit most. The methodology used in this paper includes the construction of indicators of resilience of real credit growth to adverse external shocks in a large number of emerging markets, not just in Latin America. As additional data become available, these indicators could be part of a set of analytical tools to assess how emerging market economies are preparing themselves to cope with the adverse effects of global financial turbulence on real credit growth.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Latin America