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Experimental Evaluation of a Financial Education Program in Elementary and Middle School Grades

2023-07-18, Piza, Caio, Furtado, Isabela, Amorim, Vivian

This paper investigates whether providing financial education in elementary and middle school grades improves students' financial proficiency and actual behavior. It uses a cluster randomized control trial to evaluate a pilot program implemented in 101 Brazilian municipal schools in 2015. The findings show positive impacts on financial proficiency, mainly among middle school students, and suggestive evidence of improvements in short-term behavioral outcomes. However, the analysis indicates that the program did not impact students' school achievements in both the short and longer terms, which suggests that the program's effects were not strong enough to shift students' behavior decisions.

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Welfare Analysis of Changing Notches: Evidence from Bolsa Família

2022-07, Bergstrom, Katy, Dodds, William, Rios, Juan

This paper develops a framework to bound the welfare impacts of reforms to notches using two sufficient statistics: (1) the number of households bunching at the old notch who move toward the new notch, and (2) the number of households who “jump” down to the new notch. The bounds hold in a wide class of models, highlighting a new way to use reduced-form bunching evidence for welfare analysis without strong assumptions on the economic environment. These two statistics are estimated using a difference-in-difference strategy for a reform to the anti-poverty program Bolsa Famılia, finding that the reform’s marginal value of public funds lies between 0.90 and 1.12.

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Market Power and the Transmission of Loan Subsidies

2019-07, Ornelas, Jose Renato Haas, Pedraza, Alvaro, Ruiz-Ortega, Claudia, Silva, Thiago Christiano

This paper studies credit allocation when government loan programs are distributed by private banks. The study focuses on Brazil, where private lenders can operate in two credit markets: competitive loans with own funding and earmarked loans that rely on government funds to finance firms at below-the-market interest rates. Using rich loan-level data between 2005-2016, the paper finds that banks are disproportionately more likely to extend earmarked loans to larger firms and firms with an existing credit relationship. The paper further documents a cross-selling strategy whereby banks increase the price of free-market loans of riskier borrowers that also obtain earmarked credit. Inadvertently, the government selects winners and losers, since mostly larger businesses, those that bank with the largest private lenders, and those willing to bundle free-market and earmarked loans disproportionately access the program.

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Efficient Financial Allocation and Productivity Growth in Brazil

2018-06, Calice, Pietro, Ribeiro, Eduardo P., Byskov, Steen

This paper attempts to study the impact of Brazilian Development Bank credit on resource misallocation in Brazil, using manufacturing firm-level data from 2003-14. The paper first estimates measures of resource misallocation based on Hsieh and Klenow (2009), documenting high variation in firms' capital and output distortions. It then estimates the effect of financial frictions and access to Brazilian Development Bank loans on distortions and their dispersions. The analysis finds some preliminary evidence that the use of Brazilian Development Bank credit is not associated with a more efficient allocation of resources. The lower cost of Brazilian Development Bank loans reduces the marginal cost of capital, as it induces firms to reallocate inputs from labor to capital, and this effect is amplified for more financially dependent firms. The findings, together with extant evidence on the economic additionality of the Brazilian Development Bank, suggest that there is room for improving the allocative efficiency of the earmarked credit system in Brazil.

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Opportunities for All: Brazil Policy Notes 2022

2022-12, World Bank

This package of Public Policy Notes is directed to Brazilian policy makers and society to present the World Bank Group’s overview of key challenges facing the country at this juncture, and possible ways forward to address them. We present an agenda prioritized around four issues of core relevance to Brazil’s recovery and its future resilience. First is the goal of financing development sustainably given the immediate challenge of situating the country’s enormous growth, inclusion and climate action needs within a credible macroeconomic framework and efficient and effective fiscal policies. The second theme addressed in this note is building opportunities through productivity-led growth. With the growing reliance of Brazilians on social assistance policies, it is critical to keep sight of growth and jobs as the most important vehicles for the dignity and upward mobility of the poor. Third is increasing the capabilities and economic inclusion of the poor so that they are better able to capture the opportunities that come with growth. Thefourth theme we address in this note is meeting Brazil’s potential as a as a leader in green and climate friendly development. This document is accompanied by a package of six policy presentations and an underlying set of more detailed policy reports that can be accesses here: https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/brazil.

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Nature-Related Financial Risks in Brazil

2021-08, Calice, Pietro, Diaz Kalan, Federico, Miguel, Faruk

Biodiversity loss and associated economic costs are increasingly recognized as a source of financial risks. This paper explores how and to what extent Brazilian banks are exposed to the loss of biodiversity through their lending to non-financial corporates. The results suggest that such exposures are material. Forty-six percent of Brazilian banks’ non-financial corporate loan portfolio is concentrated in sectors highly or very highly dependent on one or more ecosystem services. Output losses associated with the collapse in ecosystem services could translate into a cumulative long-term increase in corporate nonperforming loans of 9 percentage points. Moreover, 15 percent of Brazilian banks’ corporate loan portfolio is to firms potentially operating in protected areas, which could increase to 25 percent should conservation gaps close, and 38 percent should all priority areas become protected. Finally, 7 percent of corporate loans are to firms for which environmental controversies have been recorded. While preliminary, the results have important policy implications for both Brazilian banks and Banco Central do Brasil.

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Pension Funds with Automatic Enrollment Schemes: Lessons for Emerging Economies

2019-02, Rudolph, Heinz P.

Since the introduction of the KiwiSaver scheme in New Zealand in 2006, several countries have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, voluntary funded pension systems with automatic enrollment features. Since most of the literature has focused on countries with the common law tradition, including the United Kingdom and the United States, this note analyzes cases of countries with the civil code tradition, including Turkey, Poland, the Russian Federation, Chile, Brazil, and the Province of Quebec in Canada. This sample includes mostly emerging economies, with reforms at different stages, from those that have already been completed to those that are about to start discussions in their parliaments. Although they are not a substitute for necessary parametric reforms, automatic enrollment schemes offer the possibility of improvements in future retirement income for a significant part of the labor force. This note stresses that the paternalistic approach of automatic enrollment schemes imposes a great degree of responsibility on governments and requires careful consideration of the design of the system, including the industrial organization of the pension fund industry and default investment strategies. Sufficient time and resources for preparing communication and educational campaigns has played a key role in achieving high rates of participation.

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The Long-Term Impact of High School Financial Education: Evidence from Brazil

2022-07, Bruhn, Miriam, Garber, Gabriel, Koyama, Sergio, Zia, Bilal

In 2011, the impact of a comprehensive financial education program was studied through a randomized controlled trial with 892 high schools in six Brazilian states. Using administrative data, this paper follows 16,000 students for the next nine years. The short-term findings were that the treatment students used expensive credit and were behind on payments. By contrast, in the long-term, treatment students were less likely to borrow from expensive sources and to have loans with late payments than control students. Treatment students were also more likely to own microenterprises and less likely to be formally employed than control students.

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How to Attract Non-Resident Investors to Local Currency Bonds: The Cases of Ukraine, Panama, Colombia, and Brazil

2021-05-27, Velandia, Antonio, Secunho, Leandro

Driven by abundant liquidity and searching for better returns, many foreign investors became well acquainted with bonds denominated in the local currencies of emerging market countries. As documented by the country cases in this paper, Debt Management Offices (DMOs) in these countries happily embraced access to a "new" funding source and a more diverse investor base. The note explores how countries attracted foreign investors for local currency financing. DMOs have used several avenues to sell local currency securities to non-resident investors: from issuing Credit Linked Notes, or, Global Bonds offshore; to facilitating non-resident access to the domestic local currency bond market either by building a bridge with an International Clearing Securities Depository (ICSD), or, by fully integrating them through their participation in the local CSD. Countries, including Chile, Peru and Ukraine, frequently used Credit Linked Notes (CLNs) in the initial stages of local currency domestic bond market development. Others, such as Brazil and Colombia at times and Uruguay more frequently, relied on local currency Global Bonds. These securities save non-residents from the uncertainty of the local jurisdiction and the hurdles of the local clearing and settlement for which investors are willing to accept lower yields than the ones paid by domestic government securities. Neither of these avenues bring non-resident investors directly to the domestic bond market which is desirable if the DMO wants to reap the benefits of a more liquid and transparent market and potentially lower government's borrowing costs. The participation of non-residents in the domestic bond market would require building a bridge with an ICSD, or, relying on the local CSD. The bridge has been the solution in countries where custody and settlement processes pose unsurmountable obstacles for non-residents to jump into the domestic debt market; successful experiences of this avenue include countries like Mexico, Chile and Peru. The alternate avenue is to develop a local infrastructure robust enough so that non-residents do not miss the ICSD; this has been the path chosen by Colombia and Brazil. No alternative has emerged as a superior solution and each arrangement must be assessed under the context of the particular country.

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Creating Green Bond Markets: Insights, Innovations, and Tools from Emerging Markets

2018-10, Sustainable Banking Network

This report has been developed by IFC and the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) on behalf of the Sustainable Banking Network (SBN) Green Bond Working Group. Established in 2012, SBN is a unique community of financial sector regulatory agencies and banking associations from emerging markets committed to advancing sustainable finance in line with international good practice. The Network facilitates the collective learning of members and supports them in policy development and related initiatives to create drivers for sustainable finance in their home countries. SBN now represents 35 countries and over US$43 trillion of bank assets in emerging markets. Responding to strong interest from SBN members in the global green bond trend, a Green Bond Working Group was formed in October 2017 as a Community of Practice on local green bond market development. Comprised of SBN member country representatives and observers from 21 countries and 30 organizations active or with a strong interest in creating green bond markets, the Working Group has the following broad objectives: to enhance collective knowledge and develop technical resources to support members in developing green bond markets; to support the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into all stages of green bond issuance and reporting; and to support SBN members to develop and deepen green bond markets through awareness raising, capacity building, and knowledge sharing. The activities of the Working Group have been divided into two phases: mapping of the current status and lessons learned from national, regional and global green bond guidance, standards and practices; and development of practical technical tools to support green bond market development.