Journal articles published externally

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These are journal articles by World Bank authors published externally.

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  • Publication
    Using Pseudo-panels to Measure Income Mobility in Latin America
    (2011) Cuesta, Jose; Nopo, Hugo; Pizzolitto, Georgina
    This paper presents a comparative overview of mobility patterns in 14 Latin American countries between 1992 and 2003. Using three alternative econometric techniques on constructed pseudo-panels, the paper provides a set of estimators for the traditional notion of income mobility as well as for mobility around extreme and moderate poverty lines. The estimates suggest very high levels of time-dependent unconditional immobility for the region. However, the introduction of socioeconomic and personal factors reduces the estimate of income immobility by around 30 percent. There are also large variations in country-specific income mobility (estimated to explain some additional 10 percent of inter-temporal income variation). Analyzing the determinants of changes in poverty incidence within cohorts revealed statistically significant roles for age, gender, and education of the household head, the latter subject to distinctive effects across levels of attainment and transition in and out of poverty.
  • Publication
    Fiscal Redistribution and Income Inequality in Latin America
    (2011) Goni, Edwin; Lopez, J. Humberto; Serven, Luis
    This paper documents and compares the redistributive performance of Latin American and Western European fiscal systems. Three main conclusions emerge: (i) taxes and transfers widen the difference in income inequality between the two country groups, because (ii) the redistributive impact of the fiscal system is very large in Europe and very small in Latin America; and (iii) where fiscal redistribution is significant, it is achieved mostly through transfers rather than taxes. While the priorities of pro-equity fiscal reforms vary across Latin American countries, overall the prospects for major fiscal redistribution lie mainly in raising the volume of resources available for transfers, and improving their targeting, rather than increasing the progressivity of Latin America's tax systems.
  • Publication
    Third-Country Effects of Regional Trade Agreements
    (2010) Freund, Caroline
    Does regionalism negatively impact non-members? To answer this question, we examine the effect of regional trade agreements (RTAs) on imports from non-members and the tariffs that they face. Using data from six RTAs in Latin America and Europe, we do not find evidence that implementation of the regional agreements is associated with trade diversion from third countries to regional members. Using detailed industry data on preference margins and most-favoured nation (MFN) tariffs for three trade agreements in Latin America over 12 years, we find that greater preference margins do not significantly reduce imports from third countries. We also look at the effect of preferences on external tariffs. We find evidence that preferential tariff reduction tends to precede the reduction of external MFN tariffs in a given sector, offering evidence of tariff complementarity. Overall, the results suggest that regionalism does not significantly harm non-members.
  • Publication
    Foreign Informational Lobbying Can Enhance Tourism : Evidence from the Caribbean
    (2009) Gawande, Kishore; Maloney, William; Montes-Rojas, Gabriel
    There exist legal channels for informational lobbying of US policymakers by foreign principals. Foreign governments and private sector principals frequently and intensively use this institutional channel to lobby on trade and tourism issues. This paper empirically studies whether such lobbying effectively achieves its goal of trade promotion in the context of Caribbean tourism, and suggests the potential for using foreign lobbying as a vehicle for development. Panel data are used to explore and quantify the association between foreign lobbying by Caribbean principals and US tourist arrivals to Caribbean destinations. A variety of sensitivity analyses support the finding of a strong association. The policy implications are obvious and potentially important for developing countries.
  • Publication
    Latin America and the Social Contract : Patterns of Social Spending and Taxation
    (2009) Breceda, Karla; Rigolini, Jamele; Saavedra, Jaime
    This article analyzes the incidence of social spending and taxation by income quintile for seven Latin American countries, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Absolute levels of social spending in Latin America are fairly flat across income quintiles, a pattern similar to that in the United States and differing from the more progressive pattern of spending in the United Kingdom. The structure of taxation in Latin America is also similar to that of the United States. Because of high income inequality in Latin America and the US, the rich bear of most the burden, whereas the United Kingdom taxes the middle class to a greater extent. The analysis suggests that many Latin American countries are trapped in a vicious cycle in which the rich resist the expansion of the welfare state (because they bear most of its tax burden without receiving commensurate benefits), and their opposition to its expansion in turn maintains long-term inequalities.
  • Publication
    Corruption and Concession Renegotiations : Evidence from the Water and Transport Sectors in Latin America
    (2009) Guasch, J. Luis
    Numerous renegotiations have plagued water and transport concession contracts in Latin America. Using a panel dataset of over 300 concession contracts from Latin America between 1989 and 2000, we show that country-level corruption is a significant determinant of these renegotiations and that the effect of corruption varies depending on the type of renegotiations considered. While a more corrupt environment clearly leads to more firm-led renegotiations, it significantly reduces the incidence of government-led ones. The paper then discusses and tests the likely channels through which these different effects of corruption arise, looking in particular at the interactions between country-level corruption and relevant microeconomic institutions.
  • Publication
    Multidimensionality and Renegotiation: Evidence from Transport-Sector Public-Private-Partnership Transactions in Latin America
    (2009) Estache, Antonio; Guasch, Jose-Luis; Iimi, Atsushi; Trujillo, Lourdes
    Multidimensional auctions are a natural, practical solution when governments pursue more than one objective in their public-private-partnership transactions. However, multi-criteria auctions seem difficult to implement and vulnerable to corruption and opportunistic behavior of both parties involved. Using data from road and railway concessions in Latin America, the paper examines the probability of renegotiation in connection with the selected award criteria. It shows that auctioneers tend to adopt the multidimensional format when the need for social considerations, such as alleviation of unemployment, is high. But more renegotiations would likely happen when the multidimensional format is used. Good governance, particularly regulatory quality and anti-corruption policies, can mitigate the renegotiation problem.
  • Publication
    Does Regionalism Affect Trade Liberalization toward Nonmembers?
    (2008) Estevadeordal, Antoni; Freund, Caroline; Ornelas, Emanuel
    We examine the effect of regionalism on unilateral trade liberalization using industry-level data on applied most-favored nation (MFN) tariffs and bilateral preferences for ten Latin American countries from 1990 to 2001. We find that preferential tariff reduction in a given sector leads to a reduction in the external (MFN) tariff in that sector. External liberalization is greater if preferences are granted to important suppliers. However, these "complementarity effects" of preferential liberalization on external liberalization do not arise in customs unions. Overall, our results suggest that concerns about a negative effect of preferential liberalization on external trade liberalization are unfounded.
  • Publication
    What Is the Impact of International Remittances on Poverty and Inequality in Latin America?
    (2008) Acosta, Pablo; Fajnzylber, Pablo; Lopez, Humberto
    Workers' remittances have become a major source of income for developing countries. However, little is still known about their impact on poverty and inequality. Using a large cross-country panel dataset, we find that remittances in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries have increased growth and reduced inequality and poverty. These results are robust to the use of different instruments that attempt to correct for the potential endogeneity of remittances. Household survey-based estimates for 10 LAC countries confirm that remittances have negative albeit relatively small inequality and poverty-reducing effects, even after imputations for the potential home earnings of migrants.
  • Publication
    Renegotiation of Concession Contracts in Latin America
    (2008) Guasch, J. Luis; Straub, Stephane
    High rates of contract renegotiation have raised serious questions about the viability of the concession model to attract private participation in infrastructure in developing countries. After extending in reduced form a standard regulation model, in which renegotiation occurs due to the imperfect enforcement of concession contracts, we use a unique data set of 307 concessions awarded in Latin America from 1989 to 2000, covering the sectors of transport and water, to analyze the determinants of this high incidence of renegotiations of infrastructure contracts. We look in details at the impact, on the probability of renegotiation of a concession, of regulatory institutions, institutional features, economic shocks and of the characteristics of the concession contracts themselves. We then derive some policy implications of our work.