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Argentina; Macroeconomic Crisis and Household Vulnerability

  • Gabriela Inchauste
  • Ana Corbacho
  • Mercedes Garcia-Escribano

Using urban household surveys, we constructed a panel dataset to study the effects of the Argentine macroeconomic crisis of 1999-2002 with the aim of (1) identifying the most vulnerable households, (2) investigating whether employment in the public sector and government spending served to decrease vulnerability, and (3) understanding the mechanisms used by households to smooth the effects of the crisis. Households whose heads were male, less educated, and employed in the construction sector were more vulnerable to the crisis, experiencing larger-than-average declines in income and higher dispersion. Households whose heads were employed in the public sector were more protected from the crisis, although higher public spending did not serve to decrease their vulnerability. A significant source of vulnerability was linked to changes in employment status, and we studied the determinants of the probability of being unemployed and of becoming unemployed. Last, we found that households were unable to perfectly smooth income shocks. Given these results, there is room for broadening social safety nets, particularly in the form of public works programs.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 03/89.

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Length: 38
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/89
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  1. Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Is more targeting consistent with less spending?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2079, The World Bank.
  2. Martin Uribe, 1996. "The Tequila effect: theory and evidence from Argentina," International Finance Discussion Papers 552, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Oscar Altimir, 2001. "Long-term trends of poverty in Latin American countries," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 28(1 Year 20), pages 115-155, June.
  4. Stephanie Eble & Petya Koeva, 2002. "What Determines Individual Preferences over Reform? Microeconomic Evidence from Russia," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(Special i), pages 87-110.
  5. Ricardo J. Caballero, 2000. "Structural Volatility in Argentina: A Policy Report," Research Department Publications 4213, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  6. E. Jenkner & Arye L. Hillman, 2002. "User Payments for Basic Education in Low-Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 02/182, International Monetary Fund.
  7. World Bank, 2001. "Household Risk, Self-Insurance and Coping Strategies in Urban Argentina," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15467, The World Bank.
  8. Nada Choueiri & Graciela Laura Kaminsky, 1999. "Has the Nature of Crises Changed? A L1812Quarter Century of Currency Crises in Argentina," IMF Working Papers 99/152, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Elizabeth Frankenberg & Duncan Thomas & Kathleen Beegle, 1999. "The Real Costs of Indonesian Economic Crisis: Preliminary Findings from the Indonesia Family Life Surveys," Working Papers 99-04, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  10. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Income gains to the poor from workfare - estimates for Argentina's TRABAJAR Program," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2149, The World Bank.
  11. Ana Corbacho & Gerd Schwartz, 2002. "Mexico; Experiences with Pro-Poor Expenditure Policies," IMF Working Papers 02/12, International Monetary Fund.
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