PDF superior Financial inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean: review and lessons

Financial inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean: review and lessons

Financial inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean: review and lessons

Based on these premises, it is not fully clear that all MFIs should be regulated, as most of them are quite small, informal and do not take deposits from the public. Nevertheless, it is indisputable that big, deposit-taking MFIs must be regulated as other formal banks are, although an ulterior matter is where to draw the line. This does not necessarily mean that the remaining MFIs should go utterly uncontrolled. Consumer protection considerations are still present in all cases, especially in profit-maximizing MFIs. In the same spirit, the need to have proper account of all financial activity in the country and evaluate their impact on income and welfare warrants some overall industry oversight. Hence, deciding the optimal degree of regulation requires fine-tuning discrimination across the heterogeneous spectrum of MFIs. In particular, for small MFIs, the additional reporting duties and activity restrictions may impose costly staff workload and reduced product innovation and outreach. As in LAC and other emerging countries financial regulation is focused on systemic risk arising from major formal banks, the recommended consumer protection and data collection tasks may be commissioned to a more specialized government department within or outside the banking regulatory agency. Indeed, specific regulatory guidelines should be applied on the sector, in light of the pronounced differences, vis-à-vis formal banks, in loan size, clientele profile, interest rate, contractual features, and the like.
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73 Lee mas

Financial inclusion in Latin America

Financial inclusion in Latin America

These lessons become especially relevant when designing tailored products or intervention strategies aimed at boosting financial capabilities in order to enable better decision-making. For instance, they have been useful inputs in financial education programs, which as a result considered the psychological advantages of factors such as the continuous nature of education, the use of easy-to-understand slogans, a reduced number of options for questions, the provision of tailored advice instead of passive education, and adjusting assistance to age or specific moments of the life cycle, among many others.
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14 Lee mas

The impact of IFRS on financial report quality in Latin America and the Caribbean

The impact of IFRS on financial report quality in Latin America and the Caribbean

The extended use in the implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by many nations, has led academic researchers and the regulators at a national and international level to prove the relevance of said standards for each country that implemented them, even considering the institutional differences in each of them that could condition the relevance of the same. Specifically, it is proven whether said standards improve the quality of the accounting information through the use of several expressions or proxy measures, which, in the last three decades, have been used more frequently not only to support the analyses, but also to improve the comparability of the results among the analyzed countries. Generally, the studies focus their attention on the application of the IFRS in strong economies and capital markets, such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the countries of Continental Europe, the countries with a greater number of reported studies. Even the relevance of said standards for emerging economies and regulated markets such as those in China has been evaluated. However, despite the fact that almost all Latin American and Caribbean countries have adopted IFRS as their regulatory accounting framework and their financial markets are in continuous development, there is still a lack of sufficient empirical evidence on the relevance of said standards under a multi-country analysis. For this reason, we propose verifying the quality of the financial report for the Latin American and Caribbean economies through the magnitude of discretionary accruals during the periods of IFRS implementation.
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21 Lee mas

Food security and livestock: The case of Latin America and the Caribbean

Food security and livestock: The case of Latin America and the Caribbean

flow of foods and income for households. How- ever, the role and the contribution of livestock to livelihoods in developing countries goes beyond production for the market or direct consumption. Livestock also fulfills other important functions, such as providing employment for the farmer and members of the family (Sansoucy, 1995); acting as a store of wealth (CAST, 2001) and as a type of insurance (Fafchamps and Gavian, 1997) in contexts in which financial markets are usually missing; contributing to gender equality by of- fering labor opportunities to women; recycling waste products and crop residues or those of agro-business (Steinfeld, 1998); improving the structure and fertility of the soil (de Wit et al., 1997); and reducing the load of insects and weeds (Pelant et al., 1999). The residues of livestock may also serve as an energy source for cooking and thus contribute to food security, liberating resources from fuel use. Livestock may also have cultural importance: The possession of livestock may constitute the basis for observing religious customs, such as different forms of sacrifice or the use of parts of animals in certain ceremonies (Ashdown, 1992; Horowitz, 2001). These animals may serve to establish the status of the farmer; for example, more animals may indicate higher status among peers (Birner, 1999).
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16 Lee mas

One-to-One Laptop Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean

One-to-One Laptop Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Inter-American Development BankTechnical Notes encompass a wide range of best practices, project evaluations, lessons learned, case studies, methodological notes, and other documents of a technical nature. The information and opinions presented in these publications are entirely those of the author(s), and no endorsement by the Inter-American Development Bank, its Board of Executive Directors, or the countries they represent is expressed or implied.

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Networks in action: sexual and reproductive health and rights in Latin America and the Caribbean

Networks in action: sexual and reproductive health and rights in Latin America and the Caribbean

establish dialogues on the regional, national and occasionally the international reality (Convention, ALAS, AFM, CDD Network; the capacity to produce messages to be taken up by countries, other networks, and governmental organizations and institutions (Convention, AFM). The capacity to introduce and contribute to technical debates and produce scientific knowledge and arguments (CLAE, CLACAI), produce and circulate information and generate regional consensus, carry out an analysis of trends (ALAS, Convention, RSMLAC, CLAM, LACCASO), propose discursive coordination among topics: such as HIV and human rights (LACCASO), rights and sex work (RedTraSex), access to medication and commercial agreements (AIS), abortion, rights and access to services (La Mesa, Alliance). The renewal of discourses and innovation in new topics (youth, urban and generational studies, fundamentalisms) and closer contact with new agendas. Carrying out this work has enabled us to make visible the debt owed by the networks and agencies, which is the inclusion in the SRR agenda of peasant, indigenous and Afro-descendent women and the poorest women, in order to make the agenda more inclusive, more understanding and more political. It is a question of a double movement: the SRR networks should look to the other movements while the latter should include SRR as part of their political agenda. It is a question of answering if it is a question of «removing» these women from their networks or of going to these networks to contribute to changing the established order?
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168 Lee mas

Health sector reform in Latin America and the Caribbean: the role of international organisations in formulating agendas and implementing policies

Health sector reform in Latin America and the Caribbean: the role of international organisations in formulating agendas and implementing policies

A 1987 document entitled Financing health services in developing countries: an agenda for reform, is considered a reference point for action in the health area. It is a World Bank Policy Study prepared by three experts from the bank’s Population, Nutrition and Health Department – John Akin, Nancy Birdsall (then head of the Department), and David Ferranti – based on a set of ideas already circulating in the institution since the mid-1980s. Although this document had not been approved by the Bank’s board of executive directors, it had already circulated inside the institution and been discussed with the World Health Organisation in an effort to attenuate possible conflicts of ideas and to legitimate it institutionally by toning down some of the political and ideological guidelines for the sector. This document set out clearly the main directions of the health sector reform agenda based on a diagnosis of health service problems that indicated insufficient spending on cost-effective programmes; internal inefficiency of government programmes; and inequity in universal, public health systems. The second part of the document makes suggestions for health sector reform in developing countries that focus basically on four measures: introducing co-payments for use of public health services, especially medical care; giving incentives to develop health insurance; strengthening private service provision; and decentralising. It also includes strategies to be pursued by the Bank to induce these reforms, which are: to include consideration of reforms to health service financing when advancing international loans and aid, to expand loans for these reforms, and to conduct research to sustain them. This discussion is backed by a wide-ranging bibliographical review and presents data on the countries (Mattos, 2000:227; World Bank, 1987). Hernández (2002) states that this document uses the economic concept of public and private good for all health service matters, drawing a sharp line between the responsibilities of market and State in financing health services.
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40 Lee mas

Financial development and the distribution of income in Latina America and the Caribbean

Financial development and the distribution of income in Latina America and the Caribbean

As it is well known, there are concerns of reverse causation and endogeneity in estimating equations like (1) and (2). First, the inclusion of the lagged dependent variable could bias the coefficients estimates. Also, there is the distinct possibility of reverse causation from quintile incomes to the real GDP per capita and other explanatory variables. To confront these problems, dynamic panel estimators developed by Arellano and Bond (1991) and Blundell and Bond (1998) have been used in the growth literature in recent years. These GMM systems estimators have become well known (see Greene 2008), hence we will only describe them briefly here. Internal instruments are used to address the potential endogeneity. The GMM systems estimator is a stacked estimator in differences and levels. The differences equations use lagged levels as instruments. The level equations use lagged differences as instruments. There are two specification tests for this methodology. First, the Hansen J test establishes whether the instruments used are valid (i.e., uncorrelated with the error terms). Second, the AR(2) test establishes whether there is second-order serial correlation in the errors. If both of these tests are satisfied, then one cannot reject the null that the coefficient estimates are consistent.
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20 Lee mas

Chinese Aid to Latin America and the Caribbean: Evolution and Prospects

Chinese Aid to Latin America and the Caribbean: Evolution and Prospects

In the last decades China has been able to increase its influence on global affairs and development, due to its rapid expansion of GDP and trade volumes, through several channels which include its foreign aid and strategic trade relationships, which in turn are used as a tool to further its strategic interests in developing regions such as Africa, South Asia and Latin America. While substantial research has been conducted in relation to Chinese aid to Africa, its aid to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has been given scarce consideration, despite the potential influence of Chinese financial flows over the region. In fact, upon entering the new century, the assistance provided to Latin America has sharply raised, both in terms of the number of recipient countries and in amount. From 2005 to 2012, China has provided to Latin American countries more than $87 billion USD in loans. In 2010, China’s loan commitments to Latin America of $37 billion USD were more for that year than the combined World Bank’s, Inter- American Development Bank’s and the United States Export-Import Bank’s loans (Gallagher et al., 2012). Actually, China pledged to direct a quarter trillion dollars (250 billions) to the region during the next decade (2015-2025) (Watson, 2015).
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23 Lee mas

Disability Policies, Statistics, and Strategies in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Review

Disability Policies, Statistics, and Strategies in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Review

Children and Youth. Of the six countries that reported on the percentage of persons with disabilities under the age of 18, data varied widely (7.2% in El Salvador, 19.6% in Chile, 21.4% in Costa Rica, 23.2% in Paraguay, 43.9% in Peru, and 60% in Colombia). One reason for such wide variance may be differences in underlying age structure (if a population has more people under the age of 18, then higher proportions of the population with disabilities may be under 18). Another reason may be that questionnaire responses were limited to data on the proportion of people with disabilities who were children, meaning that specific data on disability prevalence within the child population would require further research. Worldwide, it has been noted that the proportion of children with disabilities is higher in developing countries than in more developed ones (Elwan 1999). Yet, in some cases, prevalence may be lowered by a high mortality rate for those born with disabilities and/or lack of early diagnosis (Helander 1999).
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33 Lee mas

Editorial

Editorial

One of the most recurrent issues in countries’ public agenda is residential security. There are multiple causes for the phenomenon which has great impact on the cities’ population and public policies making oriented to solve the problem. Even though, some improvements have been made, still there are many problems; and in some cases are worsening, notwithstanding a lot of resources have been assigned to eradicate them. On the other hand, beyond the qualitative and quantitative phenomenon expression, there is a fear, public opinion perception and an insecurity sensation fed by the media that do like to exploit the subject as those kinds of news sells. It is also a political pressure tool: for example in The USA, it is referred as “Fear industry” meaning the society’s set of mechanisms to guarantee citizen’s security, turning itself in a great business too.
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8 Lee mas

Income distribution, institutions and conflicts: an exploratory analysis for Latin America and the Caribbean

Income distribution, institutions and conflicts: an exploratory analysis for Latin America and the Caribbean

It has long been argued that the income distribution of a country is associated to its institutional development and its degree of social cohesion and conflictivity. An economy where income is more equally distributed is probably characterised by better and more stable institutions, fewer conflicts and a stronger sense of social cohesion. However, although intuitive, the links are theoretically ambiguous and have not been well-established by the empirical literature. The difficulties are enormous: (i) there are not obvious empirical counterparts for concepts like institutions, social cohesion and conflicts; (ii) the theory stresses that causality may go in all directions, (iii) it is not clear which dimension of the income distribution (inequality, polarisation, poverty, mobility) is the most relevant, and (iv) the data at hand is insufficient to implement valid tests for causality. Despite these empirical limitations, the topic is sufficiently important to have attracted the attention of social scientists for decades. The academic community is continuously searching for new datasets and ideas that contribute to the understanding of the links between income distribution, institutions and conflicts. The issue is particularly relevant for Latin America and the Caribbean (henceforth, LAC). This region has arguably the highest levels of inequality in the world, and it is also one of the regions with weaker institutions, and higher levels of conflictivity and violence. Moreover, the evidence suggests increasing income disparities in several LAC countries over the last two decades, raising questions on the implications for the socio- political instability. 1
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66 Lee mas

Unemployment in Latin America and the Caribbean

Unemployment in Latin America and the Caribbean

Mexico. Sources: ECSO (Continuous Survey on Occupation), 1973-1984, and ENEU (National Employment Urban Survey), 1985-2004, ENOE (National Occupation and Employment Survey) 2005-2007. The ECSO data cover three cities: Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. ENEU provides unemployment rates for individual cities; we construct a weighted average for the three cities using population estimates from the 1990 census. Ages 12+. Definition: No job and searched actively during the reference week. Before 1985, the unemployed include persons waiting to start a job in 30 days; persons who expect to return to a previous job within 30 days; and unpaid family workers working less than 15 hours per week. Starting in 1985, the first two groups are counted as employed and the third is out of the labor force. Both versions of the unemployment rate are reported for 1984; the ratio of the old definition to the new one is 1.05. Therefore, we divide the data before 1985 by 1.05.
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50 Lee mas

Governance and governability of coastal shellfisheries in Latin America and the Caribbean: multi scale emerging models and effects of globalization and climate change

Governance and governability of coastal shellfisheries in Latin America and the Caribbean: multi scale emerging models and effects of globalization and climate change

Small scale shellfisheries in developing countries are most vulnerable to the perverse incentives generated by the globalization of markets, because shellfish are highly valued worldwide. Indeed, unsustainable harvests in LAC shellfisheries during the 1980s and 1990s were exacerbated by the exponential increase in demand, coming mostly from developed countries where their own wild shellfish were previously overexploited or col- lapsed [16]. At first, the opening of foreign markets increased shellfish demand and generated higher employ- ment and income for coastal communities. However, the growing demand and long-term increase in export prices (Figure 1), and easy access to stocks and open access regimes, triggered an exponential increase in fishing effort (even under diminishing catch rates), because of low operating costs. Therefore, shellfisheries were depleted much faster than the weak responses generated by regulatory agencies. Additionally, the ability of mobile agents to access unmanaged coasts, taking advantage of the open access systems and the poverty and vulnerability of communities, generated a sequential depletion pattern in LAC coastal shellfisheries in space and time [16,17] and the occurrence of the roving bandits’ phenomenon [46]: (1) depletion of formerly high-valued species caused a shift of effort onto formerly low-value species; (2) spatially expanding depletion of a single species, where traders pushed towards the selection of individual sizes below legal marketable sizes. These cascade effects caused several shellfishery collapses during the past three decades [17].
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7 Lee mas

Evaluation of Hydrogel Materials for Insulin Delivery in Closed Loop Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus

Evaluation of Hydrogel Materials for Insulin Delivery in Closed Loop Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus

Although hyperglycemia is considered as a risk factor for the progress of diabetic complications, these are also related to oxidative stress. Therefore, therapies have evolved to attack a variety of targets (metabolic and gene regulatory) by interfering with different mechanisms, in both types of diabetes. Synthetic medicines have been developed as α- glucosidase inhibitors to reduce glucose production from ingested carbohydrates, sulfonilureas and biguanides that influence the activation of glucose and insulin receptors, respectively, and aldose reductase inhibitors to prevent cataract formation and other diabetic complications. Phytochemicals aim at carbohydrate metabolic targets that participate in oxidative alteration mechanisms. The antioxidant and polyphenolic compound content of phytochemicals scavenges free radicals and, therefore, reduces TNF- α expression and oxidative stress. Phytochemicals have also shown therapeutic activity regarding carbohydrate digestion and absorption and insulin release. Transcription factors that intervene in glucose homeostasis represent a class of therapeutic targets. They are more difficult to manage because they are expressed in multiple tissues, they may regulate large number of genes and perform functions, which are not fully known [2].
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250 Lee mas

Ethics and health informatics: focus on Latin America and the Caribbean

Ethics and health informatics: focus on Latin America and the Caribbean

One of the beauties of teaching bioethics, or introducing it in the training of health professionals, is the opportunity to address larger, philosophical questions. These include the ancient problem of moral relativism, or the idea that rightness and wrongness are products of time, geographical region, religious tradition, political or national boundary, individual persons, and so on. Is informed (or valid) consent a universal value, or should we understand it as a mere local preference? Do all humans have a reasonable expectation of health privacy, or is this an indulgence of affluent societies? Are access to treatment and health care equity global duties, or is this, too, a value that changes or fluctuates with era, continent, religion or country?
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6 Lee mas

Disaster information in Latin America and the Caribbean (jan dec 1988)

Disaster information in Latin America and the Caribbean (jan dec 1988)

EARTHQUAKES VOLCANIC EVENTS HURRICANES/STORMS FLOODS/HEAVY RAINS/LAND SLIDES DROUGHTS TECHNOLOGICAL AND OTHER DISASTERS.. PAGE PAGE PAGE PAGE PAGE PAGE..[r]

15 Lee mas

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT FROM LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT FROM LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

database revealed only five firms with foreign affiliates. It is possible that Argentina’s strong outward FDI position is accounted for by investment from a larger number of smaller firms that are not reported in this database. The UNCTAD data indicate that Argentina’s outward FDI stock was roughly equally distributed among Brazil, Chile, the United States and Venezuela. Data for Uruguay are missing, but it is known that the country hosts a large amount of Argentine investment. Of the 30 largest foreign affiliates of Argentinean TNCs, 20 are in Brazil or Uruguay. Examples of the affiliates in Brazil are Arcor do Brasil (food), CCA Tecnologia em Componentes Automotivos (motor vehicles), Firenze Acabamentos em Couro (leather and leather products) and Enterpa Ambiental (recycling). Examples of affiliates based in Uruguay are Enicor (food), Establecimientos Colonia (food), Roemmer (pharmaceuticals) and Coasin Uruguaya (trade). Argentine TNCs, therefore, appear to have a much stronger dependence on Latin America than we find for Brazilian TNCs. In particular, it is noted that there is little Argentinean FDI in Europe.
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28 Lee mas

Environmental journalism in Argentina / María Teresa Mercado Sáez [and] Fermín Koop

Environmental journalism in Argentina / María Teresa Mercado Sáez [and] Fermín Koop

This chapter examines environmental news coverage in Argentine media. It begins with an overview of the current status of environmental news in both legacy media as well as alternative forms. Climate change news in particular is examined to discuss the obstacles and opportunities for Argentine environmental news moving forward. As a news specialization, environmental journalism presents various characteristics, with five essential points to consider: It is investigative journalism; it is a form of science journalism; a form of educational journalism; it is seen to fulfill a specific social responsibility; and it must be exercised with professionalism, objectivity and responsibility but without confusing this with environmental activism (Bachetta, 2002). However, despite its apparent importance for the relevance of the issues discussed, environmental issues have never been as relevant to Latin American media as crime stories or finance, although many of the economies of these countries depend on the exploitation of natural resources (Hansen, 1993). For example, in Argentina, at the dawn of the 21 st century, none of the major news organizations had sections
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19 Lee mas

Disinflating From Moderate Inflation In Latin America and The Caribbean.

Disinflating From Moderate Inflation In Latin America and The Caribbean.

The goal of this paper is to study the behavior of LAC economies during disinflations from low and moderate inflation peaks. It focusses on a set of four important macroeconomic variables: inflation, output growth, trade balance and exchange rates. The main objective is to set the stylized facts straight and point out cases where we might need new theories or further empirical work to explain particular outcomes. In this paper we do not attempt to go beyond this description of the main macroeconomic stylized facts and some preliminary speculations explaining some outcomes we find. A few of the interesting questions that arise from the stylized facts identified along the paper, are more deeply explored in a couple of companion papers (Hofstetter, 2007a and 2007b). Other relevant questions are left for future research.
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26 Lee mas

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