The Latin American Journal of Economics - formerly Cuadernos de Economía - is an open-source journal published by the Economics Institute for over 47 years.
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This paper provides an overview of the real options approach to valuation mainly from the point of view of the author who has worked in this area for over 30 years. After a general introduction to the subject, numerical procedures to value real options are discussed. Recent developments in the valuation of complex American options has allowed progress in the solution of many interesting real option problems. Two applications of the real options approach are discussed in more detail: the valuation of natural resource investments and the valuation of research and development investments.
Using a panel of 16 countries during the 1961-2010 period, we find that financial development has a positive significant ef fect on economic growth in the long run for high-income countries but a negative significant ef fect for low-income countries. When studying the determinants of financial development, we find that higher financial openness and lower country risk are associated with greater financial development. The financial risk index has a positive significant ef fect on financial development, while the economic risk index has a negative significant ef fect. In addition, lower foreign debt and better socioeconomic conditions increase financial development.
The purpose of this article is to determine the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) on a country’s overall economy rather than simply the sectors receiving such investment. The strategy consisted of adopting a crowding-in/crowding-out approach to Mexico’s total capital volume in the 1993-2010 period. The substitutability of foreign and local capital implies a lower-than-expected economic dynamism. Using a dynamic panel analysis, a negative relationship was found between FDI and the general wage. Throughout the analysis, firm size stands out as a key variable in explaining the impact of FDI.
We estimate the elasticity of the long-run relationship between energy consumption and GDP for 10 countries in Latin America from 1971 to 2007. We employ Pedroni’s (1999, 2004) panel cointegration test to determine if such a long-run relationship exists. Westerlund’s (2006) cointegration test for panel data is used to estimate the slopes of the long-run relationship variables. These findings provide empirical guidance for policies to promote energy conservation and ef ficiency. Cointegration between the two variables is found to exist in both directions. This paper discusses the energy dependence of some countries and describes potential implementation of energy conservation policies in others.
This paper proposes a dynamic economic model with wealth accumulation and human capital accumulation with endogenous education. In addition to learning by education like in the Uzawa-Lucas model, we also consider Arrow’s learning by producing and Zhang’s learning by consuming (creative learning) in the human capital accumulation equation. We simulate the model to demonstrate the existence of equilibrium points and motion of the dynamic system. We also examine how ef fects of changes in the propensity to receive education, the population, the propensity to save, and the education sector’s total productivity will alter the paths of the economic dynamics.
Some approaches to measuring the middle class are based on an arbitrary definition such as income quartiles or the poverty line. Foster and Wolfson have recently developed a methodology without arbitrariness. We apply this tool and a complementary method–the relative distribution approach–to analyze the evolution of the middle class and polarization in Uruguay during the 1994-2004 and 2004-2010 periods. During the first period, characterized by increasing income inequality, the middle class declines and income polarization increases. In the second period, which includes the recovery from the 2002 downturn, we find that the middle class increases and polarization decreases.
This paper describes the effects of the 2009 global financial crisis on firms' access to financing for investment projects. The analysis uses data from the Latin American and Caribbean Enterprise Surveys 2006 and 2010, demonstrating that during the crisis, the availability of internal sources was crucial for larger and foreign-owned firms or firms that were part of a group, while state-owned firms did not enjoy any financial privileges. Firms sought greater bank and supply-chain financing, larger firms used less internal funds, foreign firms relied more on internal funds, while firms that export and import used bank credits more intensively.
We use microdata from the National Social Security Administration to document pension inequality in Argentina between 1995 and 2009 and perform decomposition techniques to analyze the relationship between pension reforms and observed inequality. We find that before 2003, pensions under SIJP rules, the incorporation of provincial benefits into the national scheme and the increase of female retirees play important roles in accounting for increased inequality, while after 2003 the increase in the share of minimum pensions and implementation of the moratorium program appear to be the most significant factors in explaining more equal distribution.
This paper analyzes the relationship between economic growth and productivity to budget share ratios of government expenditures in Bolivia since 1940. Government expenditures are classified according to their functional and economic characteristics and place of origin. The results indicate that defense expenditures, decentralized expenditures (local or regional), and expenditures in Santa Cruz Department represent the best ways for government to boost the country's growth. Expenditures on additional areas, such as education, and in other promising departments, such as Beni and Oruro, have the potential for generating significant growth and should be considered areas for possible government intervention.
It is widely argued that good governance is an important determinant of foreign direct investment (FDI). With the exception of studies of corruption, however, empirical research on the link between governance and FDI is limited, particularly in the context of Latin America. Moreover, recent studies by Bellos and Subasat (2012a and 2012b) suggest that poor governance is a source of attraction rather than a hurdle for multinational companies in selected transition countries. By employing a panel data gravity model, this article aims to verify these unusual and interesting results in the context of selected Latin American countries. Our results confirm that the FDI enhancement role of poor governance exists not only in the transition countries but also in Latin America.
This paper compares out-of-sample performance, using the Chilean GDP dataset, of a large number of autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models with some variations to identify how to achieve the smallest root mean squared forecast error with models based on information criteria--Akaike, Schwarz, and Hannan-Quinn. The analysis also addresses the role of seasonal adjustment and the Easter effect. The results show that Akaike and Schwarz are better criteria for forecasting when using actual series and Schwarz and Hannan-Quinn are better with seasonally adjusted data. Accounting for the Easter effect improves forecast accuracy for actual and seasonally adjusted data.
The recent worldwide economic conditions resulting from the financial crisis call for greater cooperation. This paper assesses the impact of trade reforms between Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and India and LAC and the EU (European Union) at 2020 using a global computable general equilibrium (CGE) model. The findings show that LAC-EU tariff reduction appears to be beneficial for both regions in the short run, though not so in the long run, while the LAC-India tariff reduction impact appears to be more beneficial for both economies in the long run. This important finding emphasizes the scope and opportunities for south-south cooperation in the long run.
Given that a significant proportion of the Chilean education system is financed with household resources, we present human capital contracts (HCC) as an option for higher education financing for students facing financial constraints, but who could use their expected future income flows as collateral. We analyze the feasibility of HCC implementation in Chile over a set of college majors. We find that HCC can partially fund any college major in Chile and finance some majors completely, under certain conditions. Among the variables analyzed, those affecting most severely the contract pricing are initial wage level after graduation and graduation rate.
We examine the behavior of output disparities of Mexican regions relative to the richest region, the Capital, during the period 1940-2009, and the dynamics of the output gap series of the U.S.-Mexico border region. Our estimations suggest that whilst other Mexican regions have been catching up with the Capital region, the Mexican border region has lagged behind its U.S. counterpart. Moreover, we find evidence that the economic liberalization reforms of the 1980s negatively affected the output gap of most regions, without reverting the catching-up process. The border region is a notable exception, where the reforms actually accelerated the catching-up process.
This article introduces a political economy model for studying the relationship between the vote-buying strategy of a party that has won the mayoralty of a municipality in the last election and its preferences as the governing party on the municipal political space, given its desire to maintain its position. The main result is that the governing party prefers to promote, given its clientelistic structure, the political agendas with which it selectively impoverishes worse-of f (WO) individuals; this will allow that equilibrium prices in vote markets will be reduced in a next election, and therefore, it will help enable the governing party to achieve its objective of maintaining governmental power through its vote-buying strategy in the exchange network.
Using panel data from the International Country Risk Guide corruption index, institutional quality and political stability indices and several state variables for developed and developing countries, this paper explores the linear quadratic empirical relationship between corruption and economic growth. Empirical literature has shown a linear relationship between corruption and economic growth but hasn’t dif ferentiated between growthenhancing and growth-reducing levels of corruption. An analysis based on the generalized method of moments estimation shows that a decrease in corruption raises the economic growth rate in an inverted U-shaped way. This result is robust with respect to alternative specifications of the econometric relationship.
This study explores the relationship between education and wages in Mexico. It contributes to our understanding of the structure of wages, helping explain individuals’ choices concerning education level. First, we estimate the age-earnings functions for each level of education. Then, taking into account some important costs of added years of study, we estimate the net present value of investment in human capital in each of four steps up the educational ladder. We estimate the internal rate of return associated with investment in each successive step considering different scenarios, two of which take into account prospective economic growth and mortality.
Peruvian monetary poverty declined by 12 percentage points in only four years. Based on the Alkire-Foster multidimensional headcount, we build a simple comparative framework to measure the tension between this result and a broader indicator of deprivation. We select six dimensions and apply this framework to Peruvian data for 2004 and 2008. The results indicate that if we rely only on monetary standards, there is an increased risk of classifying as non-poor individuals who still suffer significant deprivation. Deprivations are similar across regions and are largely related to the lack of adequate water and sanitation services. This last result reveals an opportunity to focalize public investment efforts.
We study family income inequality in Mexico from 1988 to 2010, when among married couples, the share of income contributed by females grew from 13 to 23 percent. However, the correlation of married males’ to married females’ earnings has been fairly stable at 0.28, one of the highest correlations recorded across countries. We follow Cancian and Reed’s (1999) methodology in order to determine whether married females’ income equalizes total family income distribution. We investigate several counterfactuals and conclude that increased female employment has contributed to a decline in family income inequality through higher married females’ labor participation in poor families.
This study uses a computable general equilibrium model to analyze the effects of eliminating Colombia’s parafiscal taxes, which finance social programs. In the model, these are substituted by alternative financing sources: VAT, indirect taxes or taxes on capital. The results show that elimination of parafiscal taxes produces a one percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate, as long as these are not substituted by other taxes. However, when other taxes are substituted for parafiscal taxes, there may not be any effect on the unemployment rate. This implies that eliminating parafiscal taxes does not produce the effects expected by a partial equilibrium analysis, that is, a significant reduction in the unemployment rate.
Instituto de Economía - Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas - Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
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