América Latina y el Caribe

Area code (UN M.49)
419
Date of publication
Junio 2012
Geographical focus

Despite significant changes in poverty
overall in Latin America, the proportion of indigenous
peoples living in poverty did not change much from the early
1990s to the present. While earlier work focused on human
development, much less has been done on the distribution and
returns to income-generating assets and the effect these
have on income generation strategies. The authors show that
low income and low assets are mutually reinforcing. For
instance, low education levels translate into low income,
resulting in poor health and reduced schooling for future
generations. Social networks affect the economic
opportunities of individuals through two important
channels-information and norms. However, the analysis shows
that the networks available to indigenous peoples do not
facilitate employment in nontraditional sectors.

Date of publication
Junio 2012
Geographical focus

The authors explore how Latin American
livestock farmers adapt to climate by switching species.
They develop a multinomial choice model of farmer's
choice of livestock species. Estimating the models across
over 1,200 livestock farmers in seven countries, they find
that both temperature and precipitation affect the species
Latin American farmers choose. The authors then use this
model to predict how future climate scenarios would affect
species choice. Global warming will cause farmers to switch
to beef cattle at the expense of dairy cattle.

Date of publication
Junio 2012
Geographical focus

Indigenous peoples make up less than 5
percent of the world's population, yet comprise 15
percent of the world's poor. The indigenous population
of Latin America is estimated at 28 million. Despite
significant changes in poverty overall, the proportion of
indigenous peoples in the region living in poverty - at
almost 80 percent - did not change much from the early 1990s
to the early 2000s. Economic Opportunities for Indigenous
Peoples in Latin America moves beyond earlier work which
focused primarily on human development, and looks at the
distribution and returns to income generating assets -
physical and human capital, public assets and social capital
- and the affect these have on income generation strategies.
Low income and low assets are mutually reinforcing. Low
education levels translate into low income, resulting in
poor health and reduced schooling of future generations. Low
assets not only reduce the ability to generate income, they
also hinder the capacity to insure against shocks, thus
increasing vulnerability. This is especially true when
coupled with missing credit and insurance markets. There are
significant complementarities across assets, which imply
that the returns to one asset depend on access to another.
These synergies between assets accumulate the disadvantages
of the asset-poor in terms of returns to income-generating
activities. They also dictate policies that facilitate
access not only to one key productive asset, such as land,
but also to complementary assets, such as training and
infrastructure, which affect the returns to land.

Date of publication
Abril 2016
Geographical focus

This study reports the results of “action research” to identify and prioritize stakeholder driven,
locally relevant response options to climate change. These response options comprise the basis of
local action plans developed to address agricultural adaptations to climate change in three
diverse agroecoystems: the Yaqui Valley in northwestern Mexico, the Mantaro Valley in central
Peru, and the western littoral regional of Uruguay. The study has three primary objectives. The
first is to develop and apply a pilot methodology for assessing agricultural vulnerability to
climate change and for formulating response strategies to inform private and public sector
decisions in the Latin America region. The second objective is to formulate recommendations
for investments in each of the selected agro-ecosystems in a range of areas including agricultural
technology adaptation, infrastructure investments, public and private sectoral support activities,
and institutional and policy changes. The final objective is to disseminate the study results in the
Latin America region to help increase understanding of the impacts of climate change and
alternative adaptation response strategies.

Date of publication
Agosto 2012
Geographical focus

Housing is one of the most important
sectors of the economy -- in developing countries as in
richer ones -- with large positive externalities in terms of
economic growth, public health and societal stability. It is
the primary form of asset accumulation for the poor -- often
representing more than 50 percent of the assets of
households. However, housing systems in developing countries
are dominated by badly designed, poorly targeted, and
inefficient government subsidies, market failures in land
markets, overwhelming informality, a predominance of
powerful vested interests and a growing slum population.
This paper addresses the following headings: the housing
sector in Latin American countries (LAC); the World Bank
Group housing strategy in LAC; and the challenges ahead.

Date of publication
Junio 2012
Geographical focus

This study estimates the vulnerability
of Latin American agriculture to climate change using a
Ricardian analysis of both land values and net revenues.
Examining a sample of over 2,500 farms in seven countries,
the results indicate both land value and net revenue are
sensitive to climate. Both small farms and large farms have
a hill-shaped relationship with temperature. Estimating
separate regressions for dryland and irrigated farms reveals
that dryland farms are more sensitive to temperature but
irrigated farms are more sensitive to precipitation.
Examining the effects from future climate change scenarios
reveals that severe scenarios could reduce farm earnings by
as much as 62 percent by 2100, whereas more moderate
scenarios could reduce earnings by about 15 percent. Small
and large farms are equally sensitive to global warming.
Land value and net revenue analyses produce quite similar results.

Date of publication
Febrero 2013
Geographical focus

This report, Building Response
Strategies to Climate Change in Agricultural Systems in
Latin America, reports the results of action research to
identify and prioritize stakeholder driven, locally relevant
response options to climate change in Latin American
agriculture. The study has three primary objectives. The
first is to develop and apply a pilot methodology for
assessing agricultural vulnerability to climate change and
for formulating adaptation response strategies to inform
private and public sector decisions in the Latin America
region. The study is principally concerned with adaptation
responses to climate change, rather than mitigation. The
second objective is to formulate recommendations for
investments in each of the selected agro-ecosystems in a
range of areas including agricultural technology adaptation,
infrastructure investments, public and private sector
support activities, and institutional and policy changes.
The final objective is to disseminate the study results in
the Latin America region and other parts of the world to
help increase understanding of the impacts of climate change
and alternative adaptation response strategies. This
methodology can be used by the Bank to support client
countries in defining response strategies, designing related
investment projects, and formulating policy changes.

Date of publication
Marzo 2012
Geographical focus

This study analyzes the complicated and
dynamic nature of welfare differences across space. The
objectives are two-fold. First, the study seeks to provide a
methodological framework useful for investigating the
determinants of the observed differences in the standards of
living between two regions at a given point in time. Second,
it aims to provide empirical evidence on regional welfare
differences to inform the policy debate surrounding regional
inequalities within countries. Chapter two sets the stage by
presenting the poverty profiles within and between regions
in each of the eight countries in study. Chapter three
reviews the methodology, based on the Oaxaca-Blinder (1973)
decomposition method used to asses the relative size of the
concentration and geography effect in welfare differences
across regions/areas. Chapter four reports the findings from
various comparisons conducted between urban and rural areas
within regions, and urban vs. urban (or rural vs. rural)
areas between regions. Chapter five focuses on the role of
internal migration within Latin America (LAC) countries.
Chapter six summarizes the available empirical evidence
regarding the poverty and welfare impacts of the two most
distinct types interventions associated with the
concentration and the geography views: conditional cash
transfers; and territorial development strategies. Chapter
seven summarizes findings and discusses some of their main
policy implications.

Date of publication
Marzo 2012
Geographical focus

This paper documents the trends in
infrastructure in major Latin American economies over the
last quarter century. Drawing from an expanded and updated
data set, the paper sheds light on the region's
infrastructure performance along four major dimensions.
First, the paper documents the trends in the quantity of
Latin America's infrastructure assets, using a
comparative cross-regional perspective. Second, the paper
presents a battery of indicators of the quality of
infrastructure services, taking the same comparative
perspective. Third, the paper reviews Latin America's
performance in terms of the universality of access to
infrastructure services. Lastly, the paper offers a detailed
account of the trends in infrastructure investment in Latin
America's six major economies since 1980, disaggregated
by both sector of origin (public and private) and
destination (power, transport and telecommunications).

Date of publication
Marzo 2012
Geographical focus

Based on analysis of recent data on the
evolution of global temperatures, snow and ice covers, and
sea level rise, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) has recently declared that "warming of
the climate system is unequivocal." Global surface
temperatures, in particular, have increased during the past
50 years at twice the speed observed during the first half
of the 20th century. The IPCC has also concluded that with
95 percent certainty the main drivers of the observed
changes in the global climate have been anthropogenic
increases in greenhouse gases (GHG). While the greenhouse
effect is a natural process without which the planet would
probably be too cold to support life, most of the increase
in the overall concentration of GHGs observed since the
industrial revolution has been the result of human
activities, namely the burning of fossil fuels, changes in
land use (conversion of forests into agricultural land), and
agriculture (the use of nitrogen fertilizers and live stock
related methane emissions).

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