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The environmental impact of civil conflict: The deforestation effect of paramilitary expansion in Colombia

 

Despite a growing body of literature on how environmental degradation can fuel civil war, the reverse effect, namely that of conflict on environmental outcomes, is relatively understudied. From a theoretical point of view this effect is ambiguous, with some forces pointing to pressures for environmental degradation and some pointing in the opposite direction. Hence, the overall effect of conflict on the environment is an empirical question. We study this relationship in the case of Colombia. We combine a detailed satellite-based longitudinal dataset on forest cover across municipalities over the period 1990-2010 with a comprehensive panel of conflict-related violent actions by paramilitary militias. We first provide evidence that paramilitary activity significantly reduces the share of forest cover in a panel specification that includes municipal and time fixed effects. Then we confirm these findings by taking advantage of a quasi-experiment that provides us with an exogenous source of variation for the expansion of the paramilitary. Using the distance to the region of Urabá, the epicenter of such expansion, we instrument paramilitary activity in each cross-section for which data on forest cover is available. As a falsification exercise, we show that the instrument ceases to be relevant after the paramilitaries largely demobilized following peace negotiations with the government. Further, after the demobilization the deforestation effect of the paramilitaries disappears. We explore a number of potential mechanisms that may explain the conflict-driven deforestation, and show evidence suggesting that paramilitary violence generates large outflows of people in order to secure areas for growing illegal crops, exploit mineral resources, and engage in extensive agriculture. In turn, these activities are associated with deforestation.

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41
Fecha de publicación: 
Octubre 27, 2014
ISBN: 
1657-7191
Descripción:

Implementación de las Políticas de Desarrollo Productivo en Colombia: Una Visión desde las Regiones

 

En este documento se hace un análisis de la implementación de las Políticas de Desarrollo Productivo (PDP) del gobierno central a nivel regional en Colombia y se estudia en detalle la experiencia de un par de departamentos, uno con una experiencia económica positiva y otro con una experiencia negativa. Nuestro análisis muestra que la percepción en las regiones es que las PDP son diseñadas desde el gobierno central sin tener en cuenta sus necesidades. No obstante, las regiones pueden aprovechar estas políticas si logran una mejor organización interna de sus actores públicos y privados. Nuestro análisis identifica tensiones institucionales y políticas que complican la implementación regional de las PDP. También identifica la falta de incentivos de los departamentos para consolidar las Comisiones Regionales de Competitividad y para poner en marcha sus respectivos planes de competitividad. Algunas recomendaciones son sugeridas.

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Páginas: 
49
Fecha de publicación: 
Octubre 27, 2014
ISBN: 
1657-7191
Descripción:

The Performance of Risk Adjustment Models in Colombian Competitive Health Insurance Market

We introduce new risk groups to a standard capitation formula and evaluate risk selection incentives of insurers. The study uses a unique data set of almost 24 million affiliates to Government’s mandatory health insurance system. This data set is very rich in the sense of reporting all claims during year 2010, basic demographic variables, initial diagnostic, health services, pharmaceuticals used, etc. It compromises more than 300 million claims. We construct two diagnostic related groups: an adaptation of the 3M algorithm, and a ad hoc diagnostic related group constructed by the authors. Using standard linear capitations formulas we evaluate incentives for cream skimming using several measures. In general, results show a notable improvement in the explanatory power of health expenditures by introducing the ad hoc diagnostic related groups to the standard Colombian risk adjustment formula. With the new risk groups the R2 of the model is 13.53% as opposed to 1.45% of the current formula. Furthermore, for users in the highest expenditure quintile, expected expenditure is 71% of actual expenditure, as opposed to 27% under the current formula. This suggest there is much space for improving the current Colombian capitation formula using information that is currently available.

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Páginas: 
18
Fecha de publicación: 
Octubre 27, 2014
ISBN: 
1657-7191
Descripción:

Multiple choice exams are frequently used as an efficient and objective instrument to evaluate knowledge. Nevertheless, they are more vulnerable to answer-copying than tests based on open questions. Several statistical tests (known as indices) have been proposed to detect cheating but to the best of our knowledge they all lack a mathematical support that guarantees optimality in any sense. This work aims at filling this void by deriving the uniform most powerful (UMP) test assuming the response distribution is known. In practice we must estimate a behavioral model that yields a response distribution for each question. We calculate the empirical type-I and type-II error rates for several indices, that assume different behavioral models, using simulations based on real data from twelve nation wide multiple choice exams taken by 5th and 9th graders in Colombia. We find that the index with the highest power among those studied, subject to the restriction of preserving the type-I error, is the one that uses a nominal response model for item answering, conditions on the answers of the individual suspected of being the source of copy and calculates critical values via a normal approximation. This index was first studied by Wollack (1997) and later by W. Van der Linden and Sotaridona (2006) and is superior to the indices studied and developed by Wesolowsky (2000) and Frary, Tideman, and Watts (1977). Furthermore, we compare the performance of the indices on examination rooms with different levels of proctoring and find that increasing the level of proctoring can reduce copying by as much as 50% and that simple strategies such as having different students answer different portions of the test at different times canal so reduce cheating by over 50%. Finally, a Bonferroni type false discovery rate procedure is used to detect massive cheating. The application is straightforward and we believe it could be use to make entire examination rooms retake an exam under stricter surveillance conditions.

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Páginas: 
27
Fecha de publicación: 
Octubre 27, 2014
ISBN: 
1657-7191
Descripción:

Not all that Glitters Is Gold: Gold Boom, Child Labor and Schooling in Colombia

This paper estimates the impact of the boom in international gold prices on child labor and schooling in Colombia. I first set up a simple agricultural household model of child labor and commodity prices hocks which guides the empirical analysis. Then, I use individual level information from the censuses of 1985, 1993 (when prices where stable) and 2005 (when prices surged) merged with regional data on gold production capabilities. I define Gold Boom as an interaction between regional gold production capabilities and the international price of gold. I find that child labor is increasing (0.3 standard deviations) and school attendance is decreasing (0.9 standard deviations) in the measure of gold boom. Accordingly, the gold boom decreases school attainment (0.2 standard deviations). This is consistent with the model when initial child labor is low and substitution effects dominate income effects. Finally, I find that the years of education of the head of the head of the household but not her ownership of assets mitigate the collateral effects of the gold boom.

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41
Fecha de publicación: 
Octubre 27, 2014
ISBN: 
1657-7191
Descripción:

Distribución Regional de las Políticas de Desarrollo Productivo en Colombia y Brechas Regionales en Productividad y Empleo

 

Este trabajo estudia las principales Políticas de Desarrollo Productivo (PDP) ejecutadas en Colombia por el gobierno central durante las últimas décadas, la distribución regional de sus recursos y su impacto sobre las brechas regionales en productividad laboral (PL) y tasas de ocupación (TO). Se encuentra que: (1) aunque existe una alta dispersión regional en la asignación de recursos de las PDP, esta ha tendido a disminuir; (2) con algunas excepciones, la asignación de recursos de las PDP exhibe poca correlación con el crecimiento de la PL y la TO; (3) el impacto de las PDP sobre las brechas regionales en PL y TO es bajo, ya sea porque no se han asignado con criterios redistributivos o por la baja correlación entre su asignación y el crecimiento de estas variables.

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79
Fecha de publicación: 
Octubre 27, 2014
ISBN: 
1657-7191
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Este documento presenta la estructura de la primera base de datos que compila todos los resultados electorales del país desde 1958 hasta 2011. Contiene información detallada sobre las elecciones de alcaldes, gobernadores, concejales, asambleístas, cámara y senado, y presidencia. Adicionalmente, este documento presenta un listado de observaciones e instrucciones que se deben tener en cuenta para el manejo de la información.

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30
Fecha de publicación: 
Octubre 27, 2014
ISBN: 
1657-7191
Descripción:

The main objective of this paper is to provide empirical evidence on the mechanisms that shape the relationship between violent conflict and collective action. Conflict dynamics in Colombia allow us to exploit rich variation in armed group presence and individual participation in local organizations. Our identification strategy is based on the construction of contiguous-pairs of rural communities that share common socio-economic characteristics but differ in armed group presence. This allows us to control for unobservable variables that may affect local participation and conflict dynamics simultaneously. The results show that the presence of armed groups increases overall participation in local organizations, with a particularly strong effect on political organizations. Contrary to existing results, we find that stronger individual participation may arise from coercion exercised by armed groups and not from a more vibrant civil society.

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43
Fecha de publicación: 
Agosto 28, 2014
ISBN: 
1657-7191
Descripción:

Wealth and the Construction of Non-Cognitive Skills. The Case of Colombia

 

The purpose of this article is to identify to what extent there is a causal relationship between wealth and non-cognitive skills for children in Colombia. This article contributes to the existing literature of skills formation in three ways. First, methodological shortcomings of previous works are addressed. Second, variables that have been omitted in earlier studies are included in this analysis. Third, this is first article with such objective in the context of Colombia. One of the major conclusions of the literature of skills formation, in the context of a developed economy is that income has a limited impact in this process. The results of this study suggest that might not be the case in developing countries.

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38
Fecha de publicación: 
Agosto 28, 2014
ISBN: 
1657-7191
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El Panel Municipal del CEDE es una iniciativa del Centro de Estudios sobre Desarrollo Económico, por consolidar en una sola base de datos, información a nivel municipal. Este panel presenta información sobre características generales de los municipios, variables fiscales, de conflicto y violencia, del sector agrícola y tierras, y educación. El presente documento esboza de una manera amplia la motivación y los antecedentes del panel, su estructura y bondades. Finalmente, se concluye.

 

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Páginas: 
23
Fecha de publicación: 
Agosto 28, 2014
ISBN: 
1657-7191

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