This paper studies how in utero exposure to a large-size water harvesting program affects birth outcomes. We assess the effects of the Cisterns Program, which built about one million cisterns in Brazil's poorest and driest region to promote small-scale decentralized rainfall harvesting and storage. Our empirical strategy compares the outcomes of women exposed to cisterns in different stages of their pregnancy. The results show that access to cisterns during early pregnancy increases birth weight, particularly for more educated women. Our findings suggest that policies for adaptation and reduction of vulnerability may bring about positive effects on an important predictor of future individual outcomes.
Dealing with ill-defined causes of death in vital registration is important to estimate mortality trends in ecological studies. In Brazil, authors have opted for different approaches to deal with ill-defined causes of death. The new command charon permits to calculate mortality trends for 41 cancer types in 4 different geographical levels while allowing different types of correction for ill-defined causes of death. The program was designed to compare the impact of different distribution methods on cancer mortality and magnitude. It can be applied in different ways to investigate cancer mortality using the microdata provided by the Brazilian Ministry of Health through the Mortality Information System.
Scheduled Cesarean Section before 39 weeks of gestation are common in Brazil, they are frequently associated with respiratory and other adverse neonatal outcomes. In 2016, Brazil implemented a policy prohibiting Cesarean Section’s (CS) before the 39th week of pregnancy by mothers’ request. This research measures this Law’s effects on the Scheduled CS’s ratio and Natural Delivery (ND) ratio. A Differences-in-Differences methodology is applied using DiD and DiDiD Regressions in order to quantify the policy effects. The policy decreased Scheduled CS’s ratio up to 1.7 percentage point for births at the 37th week and 1.95 percentage point at the 38th week of gestation, equivalent to a 5% decrease in the number of Scheduled CS’s. However, the policy increased up to 1.1 percentage point the Scheduled CS ratio for births at the 39th week, equivalent to a 3.6% increase in the number of Scheduled CS. Therefore, it is concluded that the policy induced women to postpone Scheduled CS’s from the 37 and 38th weeks to the 39th gestational week.
Lasso is a popular machine learning technique used for model selection and prediction. Although lasso has been used widely for prediction, using the model selected by lasso for estimation must be done carefully. The standard errors that come from taking the model selected by lasso as the true model and then fitting a regression, are incorrect. I will talk about lasso for prediction and will show you how to avoid the perils of using lasso after model selection to fit models.
Este trabalho tem como objetivo analisar o comportamento do prêmio salarial pago ao funcionalismo público estadual brasileiro, relativamente ao setor privado. Esse diferencial é positivo e corroborado pela literatura, bem como pelas equações mincerianas aqui estimadas utilizando os microdados da PNAD anual de 2002 a 2015. Uma vez quantificados os diferenciais por ano e por UF, eles foram adotados como variável dependente em uma abordagem de painel para verificar a hipótese de um comportamento cíclico, fazendo-se uso de covariadas como a taxa de variação do PIB real, a taxa de desemprego, indicadores de finanças públicas e participação dos funcionários públicos na força de trabalho. Para a estimação do modelo de painel o estimador de Arellano-Bond mostrou-se o mais adequado, dado o comportamento auto-regressivo do prêmio salarial, tendo sido adotadas as contribuições de David Roodman (2006) através do pacote ‘xtabond2’. Os resultados mostram que o diferencial de salários apresenta dois comportamentos, um pro e outro contracíclico, o primeiro atrelado aos reajustes acima da média obtidos pelo setor público em anos de crescimento econômico, e o segundo associado à rigidez de demissões no setor público em períodos de aumento do nível de desemprego da economia.
O objetivo é avaliar o mercado de trabalho feminino nas Regiões Metropolitanas (MA) brasileiras quanto ao prêmio salarial urbano (UWP). Tal objetivo é, em si mesmo, uma contribuição relevante para a literatura que majoritariamente analisa o UWP para os homens. Agrega-se outras contribuições à análise do UWP observando-o nos diferentes grupos de trabalhadores (formais-informais e com diferentes posições no domicílio) conforme o tamanho da MA. São utilizados os dados da Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios Contínua (PNADC) revelando que o UWP das mulheres supera o dos homens (com exceção de mulheres que são chefes do domicílio) com pouca variação entre as MAs, enquanto os homens possuem menor UWP quanto maior for a MA. Existe um padrão similar de UWP entre homens e mulheres entre setores, porém o prêmio dos homens segue o padrão dos trabalhadores informais, o que não ocorre no grupo de mulheres. Regressões quantílicas mostram que o UWP tem diferente magnitude, ao longo da distribuição, e trajetória entre homens e mulheres, principalmente nas Medium e Large MAs. Assim, o UWP pode estar subestimado quando se considera apenas o grupo de homens, mas é superestimado ao não considerar a distribuição (resultado consistente independentemente do tamanho da MA).
Recent literature on economics on education shows that parent’s beliefs impact children’s educational outcomes (Cunha et al (2018), Boneva and Rauh (2018)). Teachers, on the other hand, also play a fundamental role on children education, and it is expected that their beliefs also have an impact on children development. This paper aims to understand the role of teacher’s beliefs about the importance on the non-cognitive skills on their tasks allocation, and the impact on teachers’ tasks allocation on student’s outcomes. We collected data on 168 3rd and 4th-grade teachers and about 3,500 students at 84 municipal schools in Rio de Janeiro. Following a human capital formation model that incorporates teachers’ beliefs in a simple way, we created an instrument to measure teacher's investments in their students and their beliefs on the importance of non-cognitive skills. In order to overcome endogeneity issues, we conducted a randomized control trial in which half of teachers received text messages with pieces of evidences on the importance of socioemotional skills. We are able to show that such intervention had a positive and significant effect on teacher's socioemotional belief, which lead teacher to increase their socioemotional investments in about 6%, in comparison to the teachers at the control group. In addition, treatment has a direct positive impact on students’ executive function and emotions recognition skills. This result has a clear implication for public policy, since we show that a very simple and inexpensive informational intervention can improve students' skills without the need for long training or directly interfering with school routine.
Brazilian motion pictures industry is highly dependent on governmental incentives. The main public policy instrument in the last decades was given by the fiscal deduction to the investment and sponsorship of national movies. Between 1995 and 2016, 930 movies from a total of 1,370 national movies exhibited in Brazil were financed through fiscal incentive mechanisms, where this financial promotion reached R$ 5.3 billions. Given the scarcity of resources allocated in culture (0.3% of public expenditure in 2010), it is even more relevant to evaluate the efficacy of public policy over cinema (approximately 3% of public expenditure on culture in 2010). A separate public policy analysis has indicated that the main declared objective consisted on increasing Brazilian consumption of national movies, which guided the definition of a proper empirical strategy to the impact evaluation. Then, given the novel database constructed, the instrumental variables estimation strategy revealed a low box office elasticity with respect to fiscal incentive, which was equal to 0.05. Together with the government that accepts to renounce to some of its tax revenues, the investor and the sponsor are crucial to the functioning of the fiscal incentive mechanism. Databases concerning those supporters were used to explore the exogenous variations in its incomes in order to conceive exogenous variations in the fiscal incentive provided for national movies.
In this paper, we analyze whether a representative investor, who holds a well-diversified portfolio of stocks, may benefit from investing in cryptocurrencies. Our analysis encompasses several capital markets and the four most liquid cryptos. Using country-specific stock market indices and risk free rates, our results indicate that, for most countries, cryptocurrencies fit in the tangent portfolio (maximum sharpe ratio), but not -- or very little -- in the minimum variance portfolio (MVP). Cryptocurrencies' returns are riskier, but its co-movements with global stock indices are close to zero, on average. Globally, we find that the optimal holding of cryptocurrencies is represented by Bitcoin (BTC) only and at a 4.6% share of the portfolio (when not considering short sales). Importantly, optimization exercises using rolling windows reveal that the optimal weight of cryptocurrencies on the tangent portfolio is extremely sensitive both to the period being analyzed and the premises on expected returns.
This presentation analyzes the impact of fiscal policy on income inequality for the Brazilian states over the period 2004-2014. Using the GMM system, we find robust evidence that, while increases in total expenditure, spending with social assistance and security, and expenditure on infrastructure reduce inequality, total and capital revenues and expenditures related to public debt increase inequality. Thus, the net effect of fiscal policy on inequality may not be positive mainly because the tax system is still very regressive and many of the resources are spent on debt. Therefore, the discussion of how to determine and qualify social spending levels in Brazil, which are necessary to fight poverty and reduce social and income inequalities, is directly related to the revision of the tax collection system.
This paper aims to calculate the fiscal and distributive impacts on the Brazilian National Pension Scheme (RGPS), generated from the original version of the Constitutional Amendment 6 (PEC 6/2019) (the Bolsonaro government’s pension reform). This is done with a micro-simulation model that calculates the contributions to the pension system and old age and survivors’ benefits over a 30-year period. The approval of the PEC would reduce expenses from BRL 13,42 trillion to BRL 10,59 trillion in the three decades analyzed. In the first 10 years, the net result would be BRL 952 billion. Net pension liabilities would fall from BRL 5,99 trillion to BRL 3,43 trillion, 42,74% reduction. The average replacement rate would fall from 73.99% to 67.65%. The required contribution rate would reduce significantly from 42.70% to 32.87%. The average Internal Rate of Return would fall from 2.37% to -1.00%. These results show that the reform would greatly reduce, but not eliminate, the RGPS deficit. There is a remarkable reduction in all pension indicators, particularly for Retirement by Age. The exception is the retirement by time of contribution for women.