Tapa LAJE Vol 52 No 2 ch

In our latest issue:

VOL. 52, No. 2

November, 2015

Now on




Working and Caring: The Simultaneous Decision of Labor Force Participation and Informal Elderly and Child Support Activities in Mexico
Edwin van Gameren, and Durfari Velandia Naranjo
Latin American Journal of Economics, Vol. 52, No. 2, pp. 117-148, 2015.
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We analyze factors determining women's decisions to participate in the labor market and provide elderly care and non financial support to their (grand)children. We use data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study, a survey of people aged 50 and over, applying a three-equation, reduced- form SUR model. Results suggest that care needs are the driving force behind caregiving activities. Traditional roles also appear to be relevant in the labor force participation decision: women with a closer labor market connection when they were young are more likely to work. Simulations of demographic changes illustrate potential effects for future caregiving and participation rates.

The Effectiveness of Prenatal Care in Uruguay's Low-Income Population: A Panel Data Approach
Ana Inés Balsa, and Patricia Triunfo
Latin American Journal of Economics, Vol. 52, No. 2, pp. 149-183, 2015.
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This paper studies the effectiveness of prenatal care on low-income women's birth outcomes. We analyze all births between 1995 and 2011 in Uruguay's largest public maternity ward. We use mother-specific first differences to circumvent biases due to time-invariant, unobserved heterogeneity and implement robustness checks that reduce concerns about time variant shocks and feedback effects. We find that adequate use of prenatal care, as defined by early initiation and at least 9 visits, decreases the probability of low birth weight by 6 percentage points and the probability of pre-term birth by 11 percentage points, and increases birth weight by 149 grams.

Application of a Short Memory Model With Random Level Shifts to the Volatility of Latin American Stock Market Returns
Gabriel Rodríguez, and Roxana Tramontana Tocto
Latin American Journal of Economics, Vol. 52, No. 2, pp. 185-211, 2015.
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Empirical research indicates that the volatility of stock return time series has long memory. However, it has been demonstrated that short memory processes contaminated by random level shifts can often be confused with long memory, a feature often referred to as spurious long memory. This paper represents an empirical study of the random level shift (RLS) model for the volatility of daily stock return data for five Latin American countries. This model consists of the sum of a short term memory component and a level shift component that is governed by a Bernoulli process with a shift probability. The results suggest that level shifts in the volatility of daily stock return data are infrequent but when taken into account, the long memory characteristic and GARCH effects disappear. An out-of-sample forecasting exercise is also provided.

On the Sustainability and Synchronization of Fiscal Policy in Latin America
Paul Alagidede, and George Tweneboah
Latin American Journal of Economics, Vol. 52, No. 2, pp. 213-240, 2015.
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This paper explores the sustainability of fiscal policy for a panel of Latin American countries over the period 1990–2012. We extend the literature on the causal relationship between government expenditure (GX) and revenue (GR) in the short run and long run. Our results show a significant long-run relationship between GX and GR, suggesting that fiscal policies are consistent with their intertemporal budget constraints. We establish bidirectional causality between revenue and expenditure in the long run, indicating a contribution from both GX and GR in establishing steady state equilibrium following substantial deviations. Our data also uphold the fiscal synchronization thesis.