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Blog: Does the crisis in Venezuela signal the collapse of an entire ideology?

Published in collaboration with the Valdai Discussion Club
February 18, 2019

These days the political crisis in Venezuela has entered an extremely acute phase. In fact, dual power has been proclaimed in the country: there are opposing policies and institutions at the presidential, parliamentary and judicial levels. This crisis became a major event not only in the region, but also in world politics. The countries of the world are very clearly and revealingly split in their assessment of the current events. This controversy spilled out at the UN Security Council podium. In addition to its political (and military) outcomes, this crisis makes us recall the ideological legacy of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, called “Chavismo” after him.


Blog: Cuando las estrategias de lucha contra el crimen reflejan ignorancia en vez de información

Carlos Scartascini
February 15, 2019

En materia de criminalidad, nos dejamos influir fácilmente por información y percepciones falsas. Si un carterista nos roba la billetera o si nos enteramos de un atraco en nuestro vecindario, relativamente seguro, suponemos de inmediato que hemos sido acorralados por la delincuencia. Nos producen ansiedad los políticos que difunden estadísticas exageradas de las tasas de homicidio para demostrar su mano dura contra el crimen; el periodismo amarillista con su crónica roja; las redes sociales que alimentan el miedo.


Working Paper: Glyphosate Use in Agriculture and Birth Outcomes of Surrounding Populations

Mateus Dias, Rudi Rocha and Rodrigo R. Soares
February 14, 2019

This paper assesses the impact of glyphosate use in agriculture on  birth outcomes of human populations in surrounding areas. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. Still, despite ongoing controversy, little is known about its effects on human populations at large. Our empirical strategy relies on the fact that glyphosate is strongly complementary to the use of genetically modified seeds in soybean production. We use an instrument based on the gains in productivity from adoption of genetically modified soybeans and look at externalities across municipalities sharing the same water resources. We detect negative and statistically significant effects of glyphosate use on birth outcomes. Our results indicate externality effects of glyphosate use on populations distant from the original locations of use, but receiving water from these locations.


Blog: La desigualdad en la distribución del ingreso y la utilización de los registros tributarios: Una aplicación para el caso argentino

Juan Pablo Jiménez (División de Desarrollo Económico, CEPAL) y Darío Rossignolo (Universidad de Buenos Aires)
February 13, 2019

La evolución de la desigualdad en la distribución del ingreso en América Latina en el período 2002-2015 ha observado una importante reducción, pero con distintas velocidades y en períodos bien marcados. En primer lugar, los primeros años de la década de 2000 evidencian un significativo, inédito y robusto decrecimiento de la desigualdad, si se compara con los años 90 (López Calva y Lustig, 2010; Amarante y Jiménez, 2015). Sin embargo, estimaciones más recientes dan cuenta de una creciente desaceleración en la tendencia de reducción de la desigualdad a partir del 2008 (Gasparini, Cruces y Tornarolli, 2016; CEPAL, 2016).


Working papers: Latest Research

New entries as of February 12, 2019


Blog: Costa Rica is one of the world's happiest countries. Here's what it does differently

Josephine Moulds (Freelance journalist)
February 11, 2019

Costa Rica is getting something right. The Central American country of stunning beaches, rainforests, and biodiversity, is also known for its stable democracy and educated population. Its president, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, said at Davos 2019: “Seventy years ago, Costa Rica did away with the army. This allows for many things. Eight percent of our GDP is invested in education because we don't have to spend on the army. So our strength is human talent, human wellbeing.”


Blog: Cómo hacer “efectivas” las tasas de interés negativas

Ruchir Agarwal y Signe Krogstrup
February 8, 2019

Durante la crisis financiera mundial, muchos bancos centrales redujeron a cero las tasas de interés de política monetaria para estimular el crecimiento. Diez años más tarde, las tasas de interés permanecen en niveles bajos en la mayoría de los países. La economía mundial ha estado recuperándose, pero es inevitable que se produzcan desaceleraciones en el futuro. Históricamente, las recesiones graves han hecho necesarios recortes de las tasas de política monetaria de entre 3 y 6 puntos porcentuales. De producirse otra crisis, pocos países dispondrían de tales márgenes para responder con medidas de política monetaria.


Working Paper: Job creation in Colombia vs the U.S.: “up or out dynamics” meets “the life cycle of plants”

Marcela Eslava, John Haltiwanger and Alvaro Pinzón
February 7, 2019

There is growing consensus that a key difference between the U.S. and developing economies is that the latter exhibit slower employment growth over the life cycle of the average business. At the same time, the rapid post entry growth in the U.S. is driven by an "up or out dynamic". We track manufacturing establishments in Colombia vs. the US and find that slower average life cycle growth in Colombia is driven by a less enthusiastic contribution of extraordinary growth plants and less dynamic selection of young underperforming plants. As a consequence, the size distribution of non-micro plants exhibits more concentration in small-old plants in Colombia, both in unweighted and employment-weighted bases. These findings point to a shortage of high-growth entrepreneurship and a relatively high likelihood of long-run survival for small, likely unproductive plants, as two key elements at the heart of the development problem. An extreme concentration of resources in micro plants is the other distinguishing feature of the Colombian manufacturing sector vis a vis the US.


Blog: What's happening in Venezuela? Davos experts explain

Michael Hanley (Digital Communications)
February 6, 2019

Venezuela has been in a state of deepening economic and humanitarian crisis for several years. Last week, Venezuela's Congress declared President Nicolás Maduro illegitimate, and there were mass protests and violence across the country. On January 23, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself President, and US President Donald Trump endorsed this declaration, as did Canada and a slew of countries in Latin America. Experts met in Davos the day after these events to discuss the implications and the paths forward for the troubled country.

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