Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Latin american journal of economics]]> vol. 49 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>ESTIMATING PRIVATE RETURNS TO EDUCATION IN MEXICO</b>]]> This study explores the relationship between education and wages in Mexico. It contributes to our understanding of the structure of wages, helping explain individuals' choices concerning education level. First, we estimate the age-earnings functions for each level of education. Then, taking into account some important costs of added years of study, we estimate the net present value of investment in human capital in each of four steps up the educational ladder. We estimate the internal rate of return associated with investment in each successive step considering different scenarios, two of which take into account prospective economic growth and mortality. <![CDATA[<b>(RE)COUNTING THE POOR IN PERU</b>: <b>A MULTIDIMENSIONAL APPROACH</b>]]> Peruvian monetary poverty declined by 12 percentage points in only four years. Based on the Alkire-Foster multidimensional headcount, we build a simple comparative framework to measure the tension between this result and a broader indicator of deprivation. We select six dimensions and apply this framework to Peruvian data for 2004 and 2008. The results indicate that if we rely only on monetary standards, there is an increased risk of classifying as non-poor individuals who still suffer significant deprivation. Deprivations are similar across regions and are largely related to the lack of adequate water and sanitation services. This last result reveals an opportunity to focalize public investment efforts. <![CDATA[<b>FAMILY INCOME INEQUALITY AND THE ROLE OF MARRIED FEMALES' EARNINGS IN MEXICO</b>: <b>1988-2010</b>]]> We study family income inequality in Mexico from 1988 to 2010, when among married couples, the share of income contributed by females grew from 13 to 23 percent. However, the correlation of married males' to married females' earnings has been fairly stable at 0.28, one of the highest correlations recorded across countries. We follow Cancian and Reed's (1999) methodology in order to determine whether married females' income equalizes total family income distribution. We investigate several counterfactuals and conclude that increased female employment has contributed to a decline in family income inequality through higher married females' labor participation in poor families. <![CDATA[<b>PAYROLL TAXES AND THE LABOR MARKET</b>: <b>A COMPUTABLE GENERAL EQUILIBRIUM ANALYSIS</b>]]> This study uses a computable general equilibrium model to analyze the effects of eliminating Colombia's parafiscal taxes, which finance social programs. In the model, these are substituted by alternative financing sources: VAT, indirect taxes or taxes on capital. The results show that elimination of parafiscal taxes produces a one percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate, as long as these are not substituted by other taxes. However, when other taxes are substituted for parafiscal taxes, there may not be any effect on the unemployment rate. This implies that eliminating parafiscal taxes does not produce the effects expected by a partial equilibrium analysis, that is, a significant reduction in the unemployment rate. <![CDATA[<b>OPENNESS AND PRODUCTIVITY</b>: <b>THE ROLE OF IMPORTS, FDI AND INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS</b>]]> Previous research has shown that trade and FDI are beneficial to countries' economic development. This paper builds on the literature, and analyzes the effects on total factor productivity (TFP) through three channels of openness-imports, inward FDI and international call traffic (ICT) for a set of developing countries in Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Using data from the period of 1980 to 2000, I find that imports, FDI and international call traffic all significantly promote TFP growth in developing countries, and that human capital enhances the effects of imports on TFP.