C21

How Productive is Rural Infrastructure? Evidence on Some Agricultural Crops in Colombia

This paper evaluates the role of rural infrastructure on the performance of some agricultural crops in Colombia. The study utilizes geo-referenced cross sectional data of four crops, coffee, rice, beans and plantains, collected for the majority of municipalities. Using genetic matching models, we find that both having access to irrigation and drainage systems and better infrastructure for marketing –rural roads and nearby retail and wholesale centers– significantly increase crop yield as well as planted and harvested areas. Results are robust to a suitable set of matching algorithms.

Banking Limits on Foreign Holdings: Disentangling the Portfolio Balance Channel

In this paper we analyze the effects of financial constraints on the exchange rate through the portfolio balance channel. Our contribution is twofold: First, we construct a tractable two-period general equilibrium model in which financial constraints inhibit capital flows. Hence, departures from the uncovered interest rate parity condition are used to explain the effects of sterilized foreign exchange intervention.

Echoes of the Crises in Spain and US in the Colombian Labor Market: A Differences-In-Differences Approach

This paper presents evidence of the effect of the recent phases of the business cycle in Spain and United States, proxied by their respective unemployment rates, on the labor market of Colombian cities with high migration tradition. These countries are the main destination for labor Colombian migrants.

Economic links, risk and stability

Counterparty risk is an important determinant of corporate credit spreads. However, there are only a few techniques available to isolate it from other factors. In this paper we describe a model of nancial networks that is suitable for the construction of proxies for counterparty risk. Using data on the U.S. supplier-customer network of public companies, we nd that, for each supplier, counterparties' leverage and jump risk are signicant determinants of corporate credit spreads. Our ndings are robust after controlling for several idiosyncratic, industry, and market factors.

The Effects of Punishment of Crime in Colombia on Deterrence, Incapacitation, and Human Capital Formation

Based on individual data on the population of those arrested in Medellín, we assess whether the change in punishment at age 18, mandated by law, has a deterrent effect on arrests. No deterrent effect was found on index, violent or property crimes, but a deterrence effect was found on non-index crimes, specifically those related to drug consumption and trafficking. This implies an elasticity of arrests with respect to punishment that varies between -1.0 and -6.7 percent.

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