Latin America and Caribbean

  • Gender and Racial Discrimination in Hiring: A Pseudo Audit Study for Three Selected Occupations in Metropolitan Lima

    Nopo, Robels, and Saavedra (2007)

    Original Abstract:

    In this paper, we adapt the audit studies methodology to analyze gender and racial differences in hiring for a particular segment of the market of three selected occupations in Metropolitan Lima: salespersons, secretaries and (accounting and administrative) assistants. The adapted pseudo-audit study methodology allows us to reduce the room for existence of statistical discrimination. The results suggest the existence of no significant differences in hiring rates for different gender-race groups but some systematic (and significant) differences in the aimed wages of the individuals in their job search processes.

    Intervention settings: Urban

    Intervention description: Provides classroom training and internships lasting three months. Trainees receive stipend during training period, with mothers of young children receiving double stipend. Focus on training females for traditionally male occupations.

    Methodology: Two-stage matching procedure that first selects for each treated a matched control on the basis of similarity in preprogram hourly wages

    Sample: Technicians and professionals from middle and lower classes in Lima; 80% have an above high-school education.

    Findings: Positive employment impacts for women of 6% at 12 months and 15% at 18 months. Negative impacts for men. After 18 months, beneficiary females generate 93% more labor income than their control counterparts. Decrease in measures of occupational segregation.

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  • The Impact of Mexico's Retraining Program on Employment and Wages

    Revenga, Riboud, and Tan (1994)

    Original Abstract:

    This paper analyzes the impact and effectiveness of the Mexican Labor Retraining Program for Unemployed and Displaced Workers (PROBECAT). The strategy followed is to compare the post- training labor market experiences of trainees with those of a comparison group--a matched sample of unemployed individuals who were eligible for, but did not participate in, the PROBECAT program. The results of this exercise suggest that participation in PROBECAT reduced the mean duration of unemployment for both male and female trainees, and increased the monthly earnings of males, but not offemales. Theresultsalsoindicatethatthepost-training earnings effect varied systematically by level of schooling attainment, with the largest earnings increases (of about 28 to 37 percent) found for males with 6 to 12 years of education.

    Intervention settings: Urban

    Intervention description: Short-term vocational education training.

    Methodology: Cox proportional hazards model estimated on participants and matched nonparticipants (based on propensity score).

    Sample: Youth and adults. Offered to 250,000 registered unemployed people age 20-55, selected on basis of eligibility index.

    Findings: Program trainees found jobs more quickly. Impacts mainly for trainees older than 25 with work experience. Cost effective for women over 25, but not for younger women.

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  • The Guatemala Community Day Care Program

    Ruel and Quisumbing (2006)

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Parents select one mother to be day care provider for up to 10 children, enabling other mothers to work.

    Methodology: Matching.

    Sample: Guatemala City, with poverty-based eligibility criteria. Mothers had to work to qualify for the program.

    Findings: Increased mothers' incomes (30%) and improved children's diets. Largest impacts among women with lower education.

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  • How Can Job Opportunities for Young People in Latin America be Improved?

    Gonzalez-Velosa et al (2012)

    Original Abstract:

    Job training programs for vulnerable youth are the main response of Latin American governments to address the problem of inadequate employment opportunities for young people. Despite its importance, knowledge about these programs is scarce. This study contributes to filling this gap in the literature by presenting new evidence on the effectiveness of six of these programs operating or that were implemented in Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Dominican Republic. This analysis uses the results of impact evaluations of these programs and the results of qualitative surveys of young participants and employers, and in-depth interviews to training centers, employers and policy makers. The main results confirm the limited evidence available, namely, that these programs have little impact on the probability of getting a job (although there is a high heterogeneity in these impacts), but a significant impact on job quality. From this analysis, we propose a research agenda to improve knowledge on the functioning and impact of these programs, and provide a series of recommendations to improve the design and increase the effectiveness of youth training programs.

    Intervention settings: Mixed

    Intervention description: Vocational classroom and on-the-job training and job placement.

    Methodology: RCT

    Sample: Youth and adults. Offered to men and women 16-29 years old from lower socioeconomic strata, and those meeting educational and skill requirements of participating firms.

    Findings: 7%-12% increase in employment for women only. Three to seven hours per week increase in weekly hours worked for women only. Especially successful in countries with established private vocational training industry, significant wage employment and high female mobility.

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  • Life Skills, Employability and Training for Disadvantaged Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation Design

    Ibarraran et al (2012)

    Original Abstract:

    This paper presents an impact evaluation of a revamped version of the Dominican youth training program Juventud y Empleo. The paper analyzes the impact of the program on traditional labor market outcomes and on outcomes related to youth behavior and life style, expectations about the future and socio-emotional skills. In terms of labor market outcomes, the program has a positive impact on job formality for men of about 17 percent and there is also a seven percent increase in monthly earnings among those employed. However, there are no overall impacts on employment rates. Regarding non-labor market outcomes, the program reduces teenage pregnancy by five percentage points in the treatment group (about 45 percent), which is consistent with an overall increase in youth expectations about the future. The program also has a positive impact on non-cognitive skills as measured by three different scales. Scores improve between 0.08 and 0.16 standard deviations with the program. Although recent progress noted in the literature suggests that socio-emotional skills increase employability and quality of employment, the practical significance of the impacts is unclear, as there is only weak evidence that the life skills measures used are associated to better labor market performance. This is an area of growing interest and relevance that requires further research.

    Intervention settings: Mixed

    Intervention description: Vocational classroom and on-the-job training and job placement.

    Methodology: RCT

    Sample: Youth and adults. Offered to men and women 16-29 years old from lower socioeconomic strata, and those meeting educational and skill requirements of participating firms.

    Findings: 7%-12% increase in employment for women only. Three to seven hours per week increase in weekly hours worked for women only. Especially successful in countries with established private vocational training industry, significant wage employment and high female mobility.

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  • Land Ownership and Farm Management in Ecuador: Egalitarian Family Farming Systems and Gendered Constraints

    Deere and Twyman (2012)

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: Logit models with 2010 Ecuador Household Asset Survey .

    Sample: 2,892 households (25% women-headed, 68% jointly headed, 7% male-headed).

    Findings: Joint land ownership, as opposed to individual ownership, was a positive and statistically significant predictor of household decisions about crop cultivation.

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  • Fertility Responses to Land Titling Programs: The Roles of Ownership Security and the Distribution of Household Assets

    Field (2003)

    Original Abstract:

    This paper examines the link between intra-household allocation of ownership rights and fertility using data from a nation-wide titling program in Peru. A stated objective of the program was to improve gender inequality of property ownership by including female names on land titles. I use data from the target population of urban poor to study whether improvements in ownership equality were associated with changes in household decision-making and fertility behavior. I find that women in program regions are 50% more likely to appear as owners on property documents and 30% more likely to participate in household decision-making. My estimates indicate that land titling is also associated with a significant and sharp reduction in annual births among program beneficiaries of 21% in the year prior to the survey, and a 19% reduction in birth rates two years prior to the survey among households titled early in the program. Meanwhile, annual birth rates corresponding to children two years and older exhibit no significant differences according to whether the household resides in an early program neighborhood and is eligible for participation, consistent with the hypothesis that the program is responsible for the trend. In addition to changes in female ownership, three other channels of impact are examined: the effect of titling on household labor force participation, wealth, and tenure-security related demand for children. Instrumental variables estimates provide evidence that increases in female bargaining power are at least partially responsible for the fertility decline associated with titling.

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: Difference in differences with 1997 household survey (LSMS).

    Sample: 2,750 female-headed households and 4,433 women.

    Findings: Peru's national land titling program led to a significant increase in the incidence of women's names on property documents and in women's decision-making power within the home. It also led to fertility declines.

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  • Entitled to Work: Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru

    Field (2007)

    Original Abstract:

    Between 1996 and 2003, the Peruvian government issued property titles to over 1.2 million urban households, the largest titling program targeted at urban squatters in the developing world. This paper examines the labor market effects of increases in tenure security resulting from the program. To isolate the causal role of ownership rights, I make use of differences across regions induced by the timing ofthe program and differences across target populations in level of preprogram ownership rights. My estimates suggest that titling results in a substantial increase in labor hours, a shift in labor supply away from work at home to work in the outside market, and substitution of adult for child labor.

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: Intent to treat analysis with OLS and instrumental variable regressions with 1997 and 2000 household surveys (LSMS) with panel features.

    Sample: 2,750 households (24% female-headed).

    Findings: Increasing tenure security from the issuance of property titles to urban households enabled former squatters, especially men, to work more hours in the labor market instead of staying at home to guard their property with a resulting increase in income. Although the effect was positive for women, it was substantially larger for men.

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  • Creating incentives to save among microfinance borrowers: a behavioral experiment from Guatemala

    Atkinson, de Janvry, McIntosh and Sadoulet (2010)

    Original Abstract:

    We report on an experiment in which a new set of commercial savings products, informed by the behavioral finance literature, were offered to the microfinance borrowers of Guatemala's largest public-sector bank. We find that prompting savings at the time of loan repayment leads savings deposits to double relative to the control, and framing a contribution of 10% of the loan payment causes them to double again. Loan repayment and savings accumulation appear to be complementary. Mainstreaming the most successful product tested here would allow the bank to realize savings sufficient to leverage 50% of the short-term loan portfolio.

    Intervention settings: N/A (locations unspecified).

    Intervention description: New commercial savings products, with no financial incentives or penalties, were offered to existing borrowers.

    Methodology: RCT.

    Sample: 1,375 borrowers from 20 microfinance branches of Guatemala's largest public sector bank.

    Findings: Prompting for savings at the time of loan payments doubles savings, while suggesting a savings deposit equal to 10% of the loan repayment causes savings to double again. Women are significantly more likely to take up the offer of a savings account. However, women's accumulated net savings are significantly lower overall.

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  • Improving the Design of Conditional Transfer Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Education Experiment in Colombia

    Barrera-Osorio, Bertrand, Linden and Perez-Calle (2011)

    Original Abstract:

    Using a student level randomization, we compare three education-based conditional cash transfers designs: a standard design, a design where part of the monthly transfers are postponed until children have to re-enroll in school, and a design that lowers the reward for attendance but incentivizes graduation and tertiary enrollment. The two nonstandard designs significantly increase enrollment rates at both the secondary and tertiary levels while delivering the same attendance gains as the standard design. Postponing some of the attendance transfers to the time of re-enrollment appears particularly effective for the most at-risk children.

    Intervention settings: Urban: Bogota

    Intervention description: Comparison of three education-based conditional cash transfers: standard design; postponing part of monthly transfers until students re-enroll in school; and reduced rewards for attendance with incentives to graduate and enroll in a tertiary institution.

    Methodology: RCT

    Sample: 7,569 students in 68 schools.

    Findings: Both non-standard variants increase enrollment rates at the secondary and tertiary levels without reducing attendance.

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