CEDE

2017

Efectos Globales del Programa SER PILO PAGA en el Sistema de Educación Superior en Colombia

Lugar W-102
Conferencista Juliana Londoño-Velez – University of California en Berkeley
Coautores Catherine Rodríguez y Fabio Sánchez – CEDE-Facultad de Economía- Universidad de los Andes
Abstract La investigación a presentar examina los efectos causales del programa Ser Pilo Paga sobre el sistema de educación superior como un todo en Colombia. En adición, también analiza los efectos del programa en el acceso a educación superior y desempeño académico de los jóvenes legibles y beneficiarios del programa. Para determinar el efecto causal se utiliza la metodología de Regresión Discontinúa con base en la regla de asignación nítida -tanto por SISBEN como por el puntaje de la prueba SABER 11- que tiene el programa para establecer la elegibilidad a este. Se encuentra un efecto significativo y de gran magnitud en el acceso a educación superior tanto en el margen intensivo como extensivo. El acceso a educación superior inmediato se dobla para los jóvenes elegibles, haciendo que la brecha de acceso por estrato socioeconómico para los mejores estudiantes prácticamente desaparezca. También se observan efectos de equilibrio general importantes entre las distintas categorías de instituciones de educación superior y una reasignación de los estudiantes que acceden al sistema entre las distintas categorías de universidades. No obstante se evidencia un aumento global en el acceso a educación superior. El programa también promueve la diversidad en las universidades de alta calidad y aumenta –por la mayor competencia - el nivel académico de los estudiantes que acceden a esas instituciones.
Fecha 28/02/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

The Impact of Productivity Growth in China on the Brazilian Economy

Lugar W-101
Conferencista Andrés J. Maggi, Princeton University
Coautor Eduardo A. Haddad, University of Sao Paulo
Abstract We study the impact of China’s productivity growth on the Brazilian economy. Brazil provides a  particularly interesting case as it faced an increase in import competition in manufactures as well as a
boost in export demand for commodities. We use a quantitative spatial general equilibrium model that features economies with multiple regions and sectors, labor mobility within countries,  input-output linkages, and interregional and international trade. We find that welfare in Brazil  increased 0.03% due to the change in comparative advantage, and that the predictions of the model  for the reallocation of economic activity across regions and sectors are strongly correlated with  the observed reallocations. We use our calibrated model to assess how the welfare effect would have changed if the government had invested  in transportation infrastructure to take advantage of the new export opportunities. The model suggests  that a transportation infrastructure program similar to the government’s plan for the next decades  would have increased the welfare gain by 13%.
Fecha 27/02/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

The Rents From Trade and Coercive Institutions: Removing the Sugar Coating

Lugar W-102
Conferencista Dan Trefler, University of Toronto, NBER and “Institutions, Organizations and Growth Program’, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research,Toronto, Ontario
Coautores Christian Dippel (University of California, Los Angeles, and NBER) y Avner Greif (Stanford University and “Institutions, Organizations and Growth Program’, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Toronto, Ontario)
Abstract A sustained export price boom may not benefit workers if the resulting rents lead employers to invest in coercive activities that reduce wages. We formalize this idea in a simple model of an agricultural economy with exogenous export price fluctuations and plantation owners who mobilize the power of the state to coerce peasants. Coercion is any action that reduces the value to peasants of working in the non-plantation economy e.g., working as independent smallholders. Using unique data for 14 British West Indies sugar colonies from 1838 to 1913, a period in which sugar prices collapsed, we examine the impact of waning planter elite power on wages, incarceration rates, and peasant-biased taxes. In those colonies where the plantation system declined most, incarceration rates and peasant-biased taxes fell and, remarkably, wages rose.
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Fecha 16/02/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

When Ignorance is Bliss: Theory and Experiment on Collective Learning

Lugar W-102
Conferencista José Alberto Guerra, Universidad de los Andes
Coautor Boris Ginzburg (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
Abstract When do groups and societies choose to be uninformed? We study a committee that needs to vote on a reform which will give every member a private state-dependent payoff. The committee can vote to learn the state at no cost. We show that the committee decides not to learn the state when preferences are more fractionalized on the state-relevant dimension than on the state-irrelevant dimension. Hence, decisions on divisive issues are likely to be made in haste, and heterogeneous societies tend to seek less information. A simple laboratory experiment confirms key results.
Fecha 14/02/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

Sourcing of Expertise and the Boundaries of the Firm: The Case of Lobbyists

Lugar Por confirmar
Conferencista Miguel Espinosa, LSE
Abstract This paper proposes and tests a theory of vertical integration with knowledge workers. Outsourcing allows firms to solve hard problems at the cost of transmitting firm-specific knowledge. By hiring someone internally, firms save on these communication costs, with the downside of incurring costs of acquiring knowledge. Exploiting the increasing returns to the use of knowledge implies conducting easy and frequent activities in-house and harder and less frequent tasks in the external market. The economy saves communication costs when firms with large firm-specific knowledge conduct activities in-house. I confirm the empirical validity of this theory using data from a knowledge-intensive industry: US Federal Lobbying. First, using information at both the industry and bill levels, I validate the main theoretical predictions using client fixed-effects estimations. Second, I exploit the 2010 BP oil spill as an exogenous increase in the difficulty of the lobbying activities for the oil and gas extracting industry, and I show it led to a disproportionate increase in the use of external lobbyists for the affected industry. Lastly, I argue that the 2007 Open Government Act modified both the distribution of problems that firms faced and the technology to acquire knowledge. Estimating the underlying parameters of the integration decision, I explain how these two changes modified the integration patterns of the industry.
Fecha 10/02/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

Underemployment and the Business Cycle

Lugar W-102
Conferencista Ana Lariau, Boston College
Abstract I document key empirical properties of involuntary part-time employment in the US and provide a model that explains them. I find that involuntary part-time employment is volatile and strongly countercyclical, and show that wages of involuntary part-time workers are more flexible than those of full-time workers. To understand this evidence, I develop a tractable model featuring search and matching frictions and imperfect substitutability between full-time and part-time workers. The model successfully captures the dynamics of key labor market variables. Relatively high flexibility of part-time wages is key for matching the countercyclicality of involuntary part-time employment because reallocating workers into part-time contracts becomes more profitable during recessions. Using the model, I find that increased substitutability between full-time and part-time workers, explained by innovations in workforce management practices, makes involuntary part-time employment more sensitive to aggregate productivity shocks.
Fecha 09/02/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

Sectoral Connectivity, Volatility, and Downturns: Lessons From Cross-Country Data

Lugar Por confirmar
Conferencista Jorge Miranda-Pinto, University of Virginia
Abstract I show that the number of sectoral connections in the input-output structure -- density of connections -- matters for aggregate volatility and the size of macroeconomic downturns. In a sample of 48 economies for the period 1984-2014, I find that emerging economies with more intermediate input shares above a threshold -- dense connections-- are more volatile and experience sharper macroeconomic downturns. The opposite holds for the group of developed economies, in which denser connections are associated with lower volatility and milder macroeconomic downturns. A multi-sector model with non-unitary elasticity of substitution between labor and intermediate inputs and working capital borrowing constraints can account for these facts. The model implies that in emerging economies, where the elasticity of substitution tends to be small, the density of connections increases volatility and the likelihood of financial cascades where several sectors become constrained due a negative sectoral shock. In developed economies, where the elasticity tends to be large, the density of connections reduces volatility and the likelihood of financial cascades.
Fecha 08/02/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

Railroads and the Rural to Urban Transition: Evidence from 19th-Century Argentina

Lugar W-102
Conferencista Santiago Pérez, Stanford University
Abstract I study the effects of improvements in transport infrastructure on the economic outcomes of parents and their children. To do so, I exploit the expansion of the railroad network in 19th-century Argentina and new longitudinal data following individuals before and after this expansion took place. To deal with the endogeneity of railroad location, I construct an instrumental variable that takes advantage of the fact that districts along the route of province capitals were more likely to be connected. I find that, once their district got connected to the railroad, adults largely remained farmers or farm workers. By contrast, their children moved out of farming toward more modern and higher paying occupations. The movement out of farming occupations reflected both local changes in employment structure and increased migration out of rural areas, and it was more pronounced among children in districts where the soil was not suitable for agriculture. Consistent with the higher level of skills required for this transition out of farming occupations, children in connected districts were more likely to be literate in adulthood. These results shed light on how improvements in transportation can shape the transition from a mostly rural to a diversified economy.
Fecha 07/02/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

Regional Business Cycle Accounting and The Great Recession

Lugar Por confirmar
Conferencista Juan Ospina, University of Chicago
Abstract I extend the business cycle accounting methodology to a setting of a monetary union. I create a novel dataset on prices, wages, employment, net assets, and consumption that using both aggregate and regional data allows for the application of the methodology at three different levels of geographic aggregation: states, MSAs, and counties. Applied to the Great Recession at the state level, the business cycle accounting exercise provides two main findings. First, for 40 out of 48 states the labor wedge played a primary role in accounting for the differences between employment at the state level and employment at the aggregate level. Second, for 42 states the intertemporal wedge played a prominent role in accounting for the differences between consumption at the state level and consumption at the aggregate level. These results suggest that models using regional variation to study the business cycle of the Great Recession would need mechanisms generating fluctuations in more than one wedge to account for relative fluctuations in employment and consumption of a given region; however, in principle, such mechanisms need not be different for different regions.
Fecha 03/02/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

How International Reserves Reduce the Probability of Debt Crises

Lugar W-102
Conferencista Juan Hernández, University of Pennsylvania
Abstract This paper provides a model to explain the role of international reserves in reducing the likelihood of sovereign debt crises. The setup features a government making optimal choices of debt and reserves in an environment in which self-fulfilling rollover crises a-là Cole-Kehoe and external default a-là Eaton-Gersovitz coexist. This allows for both fundamental and market-sentiment driven debt crises. Self-fulfilling crises arise because of a lender's coordination problem when multiple equilibria are feasible. Conditional on the country's Net Foreign Asset position, additional reserves make the sovereign more willing to service its debt even when no new borrowing is possible, which enlarges the set of states in which repayment is the government's dominant strategy and this in turn reduces the set of states that admit a self-fulfilling crisis. From an ex-ante perspective, reserves reduce the probability of crises in the future and which lowers current sovereign spreads. The result depends on the existence of roll-over risk and debt not being limited to one period debt. This paper advances existing models by accounting not only for the self-insurance role of reserves against self-fulfilling crises but also for their part in reducing the probability of such events. These findings are in line with the empirical literature on vulnerability measures to sovereign debt crises that shows the connection between international reserves, the probability of debt crises and sovereign spreads. Quantitatively the model can explain 60% of Mexico's international reserves holdings, while accounting for key cyclical facts, showing the relevance of the proposed mechanism.
Fecha 31/01/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

Confidence and Information Usage: Evidence from Soil Testing in India

Lugar Por confirmar
Conferencista Jared Gars, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Coautor Patrick Ward, International Food Policy Research Institute
Abstract Does confidence influence demand for and responsiveness to information interventions? We add to an emerging literature on behavioral responses to information provision by investigating the role of confidence on willingess to pay for and responsiveness to input recommendations in the context of a soil testing intervention. To motivate our empirical analysis, we interpret confidence within the target-input model as the variance of a farmer's prior beliefs over optimal fertilizer application rates. We extend the model to consider how farmers make decisions about the purchase of and responsiveness to a signal given heterogeneity in their ability, trust, and confidence. The model predictions are tested in the context of a soil testing intervention in the state of Bihar that provided farmers with plot level fertilizer recommendations prior to planting. We elicit farmers' prior beliefs distributions over optimal fertilizer application rates using a visually aided method in the field and combine measures of dispersion with willingness to pay for soil tests and input behavior before and after receipt of soil health cards with plot level nutrient levels and recommendations. We find that farmers with less disperse priors (more confident) have a lower willingness to pay for soil testing ex-ante and lower responsiveness of fertilizer usage to the recommended application rates.
Fecha 30/01/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

Life-Cycle Patterns of Earnings Shocks

Lugar Por confirmar
Conferencista Martin Lopez-Daneri, The University of Iowa
Abstract This paper addresses the estimation of individual income dynamics. It introduces a novel methodology that detects the presence of patterns in the life cycle and the economic forces in action. I estimate a Bayesian LSTAR(1) model with a rich level of heterogeneity and find that there is a life-cycle pattern in earnings shocks: before age 29, workers experience shocks with higher variance and a positive probability of having a lower persistence than older workers. A comparison with conventional models shows the importance of modelling correctly the level of heterogeneity in the innovations. The results can be used by macroeconomists to calibrate income processes.
Fecha 27/01/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

Taxing Firms Facing Financial Frictions

Lugar W-102
Conferencista Daniel Wills, University of Pennsylvania
Coautor Gustavo Camilo, Cornerstone Research
Abstract In the U.S. business income is taxed several times at different sources, including corporate income, dividends, capital gains, and interest payments. We investigate how the different rates above affect firm investment and the allocation of capital in the economy. To do so, we construct and calibrate a model with heterogeneous firms, borrowing constraints, costly equity issuance and endogenous entry and exit. Because of the financial frictions, the taxes mentioned are not perfect substitutes and distort different margins. In our model firms enter small and grow over time to reach an optimal size. Firms are borrowing constrained and rely on retained earnings to grow. The corporate income tax reduces net worth and with retained earnings available for investment, delaying capital accumulation. Taxes on dividends, capital gains and interest income do not reduce net worth. We use the model to quantitatively analyze the steady state consequences of a reform that replaces the corporate income tax by a common tax on shareholders. We find that such reform improves the allocation of capital in the economy, increasing total factor productivity by 1.7%.
Fecha 26/01/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

Coordination as Unintended Benefit: Lab-in-the-Field Evidence from a Conditional Cash Transfer Program

Lugar W-102
Conferencista Sandra Polanía-Reyes, University College London and University of Siena
Abstract This study tests an unintended benefit of a Conditional cash transfer program in Colombia: an improvement in coordination among its beneficiaries. A sample of 714 beneficiaries participate in a minimum effort coordination game. Those enrolled in the program for over a year are not just coordinating; they are more likely to exert the highest level of effort and reach higher earnings. Collected data is sufficiently rich to establish that improvement in coordination is not due to potential confounders such as willingness to cooperate, connectivity or socio-economic characteristics. A structural choice model of the individual decision to coordinate sheds light on the role of beliefs about others' behavior and suggests the presence of a coordination device to avoid the risk dominant equilibrium: the certainty in assessing what others might do. Participants are required to interact with local program officials, community leaders and fellow beneficiaries. We argue that this social component of the CCT, changed the structure of beliefs about others' behavior and established a social norm, which allowed beneficiaries to overcome coordination failures. The findings support nascent initiatives to influence beliefs through policy interventions.
Fecha 24/01/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

Breaking from Colonial Institutions: Haiti's Idle Land, 1928-1950

Lugar W-102
Conferencista Craig Palsson, Yale University
Abstract Economists and economic historians attribute long-term underdevelopment in former colonies to either persistent, bad institutions or to initial factor endowments that predisposed the colony to inequality. This paper uses a puzzle in Haiti's economic history to show that these frameworks are incomplete. In the early 20th century, large numbers of Haitian workers migrated abroad to work on plantations, even though lots of fertile land sat idle at home. This puzzling fact reflects two land institutions developed after Haiti's independence in 1804. First, lineages had joint claims over the alienation of land; one household could exploit land, but to sell it they needed agreement from a large number of extended kin. Second, the early-nineteenth century Haitian government had distributed land and banned land ownership by foreigners, preventing the creation of large holdings and establishing a checkerboard of landholdings with multiple claimants. To assess how this checkerboard led to idle land, I use data on 5,700 plots adopted over 22 years under a government rental program. A simple model of the optimal allocation of labor (between Haiti and elsewhere) and land (between subsistence holdings and plantations) implies that the checkerboard reduces land adoption and attenuates the extent to which new plantations develop after a migration cost shock. Data from settlement patterns in Haiti and a massacre in the Dominican Republic confirm these predictions. Using the institutional histories of the Dominican Republic and Jamaica as counterfactuals drives this point home: both countries lacked Haiti's checkerboard pattern and developed plantation agriculture. Haiti's experience shows that the conditions created by colonial governments did not necessarily constrain future institutional development. Haiti's post-independence institutional innovations undermined the conditions for development.
Fecha 19/01/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

Local incentives and national tax evasion: The response of illegal mining to a tax reform in Colombia

Lugar W-204
Conferencista Santiago Saavedra, Stanford University
Coautor Mauricio Romero, University of California
Abstract National governments can only tax the economic activity they either directly observe or that is reported by municipal authorities. In this paper we investigate how illegal mining, a very common phenomenon in Colombia, changed with a tax reform that reduced the share of revenue transferred back to mining municipalities. To overcome the challenge of measuring illegal activity, we construct a novel dataset using machine learning predictions on satellite imagery features. Theoretically we expect illegal mining to increase because the amount required to bribe the local authority is smaller after the reform. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, with Peru as the control, we find that illegal mining increased by 1.41 percentage points as share of the mining area. In addition, we provide suggestive evidence that illegal mines have more harmful health effects on the surrounding population than legal mines. These results illustrate unintended effects of tax revenue redistribution.
Fecha 18/01/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

Strategic grouping and search for quality journalism, online versus offline

Lugar W-102
Conferencista Tomás Rodríguez, Stanford Universtiy
Coautor Matthew Ellman, Institute for Economic Analysis (CSIC) and BGSE
Abstract This paper investigates how supply-side factors influence the search for quality content in online and offline environments. We show that lower fixed costs of online publishing reduce the incentives to bundle content, as compared to offline journalism. In the presence of asymmetric information over journalistic quality, bundling of content by journalists who publish as a group generates positive informational externalities for users. Journalists group assortatively, better journalists having better partners. Then a consumer who discovers one quality journalist, has found several.
The online environment, by reducing the pressure to group up, can lower welfare in our baseline model. We establish conditions for this result and investigate a number of countervailing forces.
Fecha 17/01/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.

Credit Scoring Meets Agricultural Lending: Exogenous Shocks, Recovery and Access to Formal Credit

Lugar W-506
Conferencista Nicolás de Roux, Columbia University
Abstract Credit scoring has become a widespread tool to assess the creditworthiness of prospective borrowers, and has been found to increase efficiency and welfare in many settings. But this paper identifies a shortcoming in existing credit scoring systems that may lead to a market failure in agricultural lending in developing countries: Farmers' scores - and their access to credit - decline because of exogenous short-term weather shocks that do not reduce their likelihood of future repayment. I use data on the near universe of formal agricultural loans for coffee production in Colombia to show that excess rainfall shocks cause lower concurrent loan repayment, lower credit scores, and more frequent denial of subsequent loan applications. Drawing on the agronomic literature on coffee production and using survey data, I show that productivity, income and repayment behavior recover faster from these shocks than farmers' credit histories. The additional loan denials create costs for both farmers and the lender that could be avoided. The results suggest that incorporating verifiable information on individual level shocks into credit scores would increase the efficiency of credit markets.
Fecha 16/01/2017
Hora 12:30 a 1:45 pm.


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