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Research Topics

Microeconomics


Building Institutional Capacities for Implementing PDPs: The Case of Design-Promotion Policies in Argentina
Gonzalez, Andrea; Hallak, Juan Carlos; Chudnovsky, Mariana; Tommasi, Mariano; Sidders, Mercedes
Working Papers - Spanish - Nov, 2017

Within the broad spectrum of public policies promoting productive development (PDPs), this paper focuses on “design promotion” policies, which see design as a tool for innovation, differentiation, and competitiveness. We studied the lead government agencies in charge of design-focused PDPs in the national government and in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (CABA). Some of the paper’s main findings indicate that having infrastructure and/or a budget is not always sufficient to make it possible to implement policies. Organizational flexibility appears as a key element, especially when combined with the contractual stability of individuals who are adequately versed in the subject. In addition, we find that these last two aspects flourish when there is some “isolation” from external political shocks associated with Argentina’s contextual political volatility and instability.

Related JEL Codes:
D73 - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
D78 - Positive Analysis of Policy-Making and Implementation
L52 - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods


Building Institutional Capacities of Productive Development Programs
Castro, Lucio; Szenkman, Paula
Working Papers - Spanish - Nov, 2017

Recent evidence suggests that the success or failure of productive development policies (PDPs) largely depends not so much on the particular characteristics of policies, but on the institutional capacities of public organizations charged with implementing them. This study aims to make it easier to understand institutional capacities’ role in designing and implementing PDPs, through an analysis of three case studies of productive development agencies (PDAs) in Argentina: the City of Buenos Aires’ Technology District (DT), a territorial and sectoral vertical stimulus program; the Export.Ar Foundation, the national export promotion agency; and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MINCyT), the chief public science and technology agency. We found that, beyond the institutional design of PDAs, political capacities—particularly top-level support from the political establishment—play a crucial role in the success of PDPs. We also found that the challenge for PDAs lies in building the technical and organizational capacities that enable “good” PDPs to rise above the “public entrepreneurs” that implemented them, especially against the backdrop of policy volatility, low bureaucratic professionalization, and an informal, inadequately structured public sector, as has occurred in Argentina.

Related JEL Codes:
D73 - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
D78 - Positive Analysis of Policy-Making and Implementation
L52 - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods


Crime and Durable Goods
Weinschelbaum, Federico; Jaitman, Laura; Galiani, Sebastian
Discussion Papers - English - Sep, 2017

Crime and the durability of goods are strongly connected issues. However, surprisingly, they have been studied separately. This paper explores the relationship between the production of durable goods and crime from a theoretical perspective and draws important conclusions for both topics. Crime affects the consumer and producer surplus and thus the behavior of consumers, firms, the market equilibrium, and, in turn, the social optimum. Lower durability of goods reduces the incentive to steal those goods, thus reducing crime. When crime is included in the standard framework of durable goods, the socially optimal durability level is lower. Even without considering the negative non-market externalities of crime, perfect competition does not provide the optimal durability level. When considering different stealing technologies, perfect competition either over-produces durability or produces zero (minimum) durability. The monopolist under-produces durability regardless of the stealing technology considered. If all the crime externalities are taken into account, the socially optimal durability level is reduced further and gets closer to that which prevails under monopoly. The model has a clear policy implication: the durability of goods, and the market structure for those goods, can be an effective instrument to reduce crime. In particular, making the durability of a good contingent upon that good being stolen is likely to increase welfare.

Related JEL Codes:
D40 - Market Structure and Pricing: General
D62 - Externalities
K00 - Law and Economics: General
K42 - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law


Understanding Financial Fluctuations and Their Relation to Macroeconomic Stability
Pagliacci, Carolina; Guarata, Nora
Working Papers - English - May, 2017

This paper examines how financial fluctuations and macroeconomic stability interact in the case of Venezuela, acknowledging that financial conditions deteriorating the macroeconomic environment can arise with both good and bad macroeconomic performance. An empirical methodology is provided that constructs two indexes, which are fully interpretable and are constructed with a minimum set of assumptions applied to a large number of financial time series. Structural interpretation of indexes is pursued using a structural VAR (SVAR) that associates macroeconomic stability with financial indexes. For Venezuela, a deterioration of procyclical financial conditions relates to financial margin reductions and expansions in banks’ balance sheets, which are mostly triggered by unexpected increases in net primary money creation. Such expansions tend to appear in situations of declining macroeconomic stability. Worse countercyclical financial conditions are instead associated with situations of rising bank profitability, deleveraging and increased banking instability. In this case, fragility tends to materialize in periods of ameliorated macroeconomic stability.

Related JEL Codes:
E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics: General
E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General
G10 - General Financial Markets: General


Pollution or Crime: The Effect of Driving Restrictions on Criminal Activity
López, Andrea; Malik, Arun; Carrillo, Paul
Working Papers - English - Jul, 2016

Driving restriction programs have been implemented in many cities around the world to alleviate pollution and congestion problems. Enforcement of such programs is costly and can potentially displace policing resources used for crime prevention and crime detection. Hence, driving restrictions may increase crime. To test this hypothesis, this paper exploits both temporal and spatial variation in the implementation of Quito, Ecuador’s Pico y Placa program and evaluates its effect on crime. Both difference-in-difference and spatial regression discontinuity estimates provide credible evidence that driving restrictions can increase crime rates.

Related JEL Codes:
C20 - Single Equation Models; Single Variables: General
Q52 - Pollution Control Adoption Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
R28 - Government Policy
R48 - Government Pricing; Regulatory Policies; Transportation Planning


Results: 1 - 5 of 159

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