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The Latin American and Caribbean Research Network

Working Papers

The Research Department produces working papers financed and researched under the auspices of the Latin American Research Network. Typically, a working paper is the culmination of an institute's participation in a Network study. All working papers in this series are peer reviewed by the other participants in the study and approved by a Research Department economist.

The Emergence of New and Successful Export Activities in Brazil: Four Case Studies from the Manufacturing and the Agricultural Sector
Darze, Alexandre; Da Rocha, Angela; Kury, Beatriz; Monteiro, Joana
R-550 - English - Sep, 2008

This paper investigates the emergence of new successful export activities in Brazil through the analysis of four industry case studies: furniture, swimwear, soybeans and grapes. Extensive secondary data research was done to study industries’ historical development and to understand the elements that affect the discovery of new export-oriented activities and their diffusion in the economy. Detailed analysis was carried out to identify the role of the public sector in the discovery and diffusion process, if any. Comparison of the four experiences shows different models of diffusion and demonstrates how barriers to discovery, spillovers and institutional responses varied dramatically among the cases. The paper extracts some general conclusions concerning the role of pioneer firms, external actors and public sector institutions. Lessons learned aim to help policymakers design positive policy interventions in Latin American countries.


Quality of Life in Buenos Aires Neighborhoods: Hedonic Price Regressions and the Life Satisfaction Approach
Ham, Andres; Cruces, Guillermo; Tetaz, Martin
R-559 - English - Sep, 2008

This paper studies quality of life in urban neighborhoods in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area. First, hedonic price regressions for residential prices are augmented with neighborhood characteristics, based on a real estate database with indicators on each property’s distance to public facilities and amenities, and on a smaller survey with greater detail. Second, following recent developments in the field of happiness research, the document assesses the importance of different neighborhood characteristics on quality of life by interacting objective and subjective indicators. The results indicate a strong but not perfect correlation between real estate prices, income levels and neighborhood characteristics, suggesting scope for welfare-improving policy interventions.


Quality of Life in Montevideo
Piani, Giorgina; Gandelman, Nestor; Ferre, Zuleika
R-561 - English - Sep, 2008

This paper analyzes various dimensions of the quality of life in Montevideo. The paper finds that satisfaction with various public goods and services at the neighborhood level play a minor role in the overall reported well-being of individuals and in the satisfaction of life domains, such as leisure, social life, family, health, housing, neighborhood economic situation and work. This is in spite of significant disparities in a wide range of indicators among those living in different areas of the city. The results further suggest that differences in overall happiness and in domain satisfaction are mostly due to differences in individual outcomes like education, health, labor situation and housing quality.


Quality of life in urban neighborhoods in Metropolitan Lima, Peru
Alcazar, Lorena; Andrade, Raul
R-560 - English - Sep, 2008

This paper presents the results of the estimations of a quality of life (QoL) index focusing on three dimensions: individual factors, urban factors, and civil society. The study was mainly based on results of a survey applied in three districts of Lima: La Victoria, Los Olivos and Villa El Salvador. These districts are relatively similar in terms of income, although Villa El Salvador has a larger percentage of poor households. Two findings stand out. First, variables related to participation in civil society are statistically significant in all specifications used. Second, in La Victoria and Los Olivos, QoL is determined largely by indicators in the individual sphere, while the civil society sphere is more important in Villa El Salvador. These results are consistent with the collective action tradition of the Villa El Salvador district and with the market pattern of growth of Los Olivos.


New Export Activities in Brazil: Comparative Advantage, Policy or Self-Discovery?
Castelar Pinneiro, Armando; Bonelli, Regis
R-551 - English - Jul, 2008

This paper examines Brazil’s export discoveries in aircraft, cell phones and swine meat. All cases confirm the importance of efficiency gains and sunk costs in the expansion of exports and lead to the following conclusions: both economic policy and comparative advantage played important roles in the emergence of new export activities; economies of scale were a crucial determinant of competitiveness; and a well-known brand helped to overcome information asymmetries and facilitate entry into export markets. Exporters concentrated on design, marketing, R&D, and product assembly, making coordination with suppliers an important element in their strategies. Public policy additionally had a strong if sometimes unintended influence. While governments can foster discoveries, especially in the presence of market failures, policy alone cannot produce a successful exporter.


Results: 6 - 10 of 228

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