Other Poverty Study

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  • Publication
    Monitoring Social and Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on Refugees in Uganda: Results from the High-Frequency Phone Survey - Second Round
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-03-26) World Bank
    The High-Frequency Phone Survey for refugees in Uganda (URHFPS) tracks the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on refugees. The World Bank (WB) in collaboration with the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched and conducted the URHFPS. The URHFPS tracks the impacts of the pandemic on a monthly basis for a period of three months. Data collection for the first round of the URHFPS took place between October 22- November 25, 2020. Data collection for the second round of the URHFPS took place between December 5-24, 2020. This brief discusses results from the second round of the URHFPS. Where possible and appropriate, results are compared across the two rounds. Detailed results from the first round are available in Atamanov et al. (2021).
  • Publication
    Using Remittance Transaction Data for Timely Estimation of the Foreign Worker Population in Malaysia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06-06) Ahmad, Zainab Ali; Simler, Kenneth; Yi, Soonhwa
    Malaysia has been grappling with understanding how many foreign workers reside in the country and thus faces challenges in formulating evidence-based foreign worker policies. This paper investigates how to use micro-level remittance transaction data collected from money transfer service providers to estimate the number of foreign workers. Most foreign workers remit a large portion of their earnings to support family members back home. They are low-income earners, are sensitive to remittance costs, and thus opt for money transfer service providers to remit money rather than regular banks, where transfer services are more expensive. Therefore, the remittance data provide a useful source to conduct the investigation. Existing estimates range from two to five million foreign workers; our results narrow that range considerably, estimating a total of 2.99 million to 3.16 million foreign workers in Malaysia as of 2017–18. State and nationality distributions of foreign workers in our estimates are consistent with the Ministry of Home Affairs data, lending support to the validity of our estimates. Nevertheless, authors note that the Bank Negara Malaysia remittance data could potentially underestimate the number of workers in states with low access to money service providers, as well as nationalities that have access to alternative money transfer mechanisms such as commercial banking and informal transfer channels.
  • Publication
    Who is Keeping Score? Estimating the Number of Foreign Workers in Malaysia
    (World Bank, Malaysia, 2020-04) World Bank
    Malaysia has experienced a rise in foreign labor inflows in response to steady economic expansion and demographic changes. The foreign workforce has been hovering around 15 percent of the total labor force in recent years according to Labour Force Surveys by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM). Foreign labor is concentrated in low-skilled occupations, and in Malaysia the term “foreign worker” specifically implies a foreigner doing low-skilled work. These foreign workers come from neighboring countries, predominantly Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines. This report is one of the first attempts, to team’s knowledge, to estimate the number of irregular foreign workers in Malaysia. Its contributions to this field are the following: first, it develops a conceptual framework that lays out potential entry points of irregular foreign workers. Second, it identifies alternative administrative data sources that could help estimate the magnitude of irregular foreign workers at each entry point. Third, it identifies methods that can be employed to measure irregular foreign workers with the current data availability and outlines what can be carried out further in the future using Immigration Department’s microdata. This report estimates the total number of foreign workers in Malaysiaranged from 2.96 million to 3.26 million in 2017. Among these, the number of irregular foreign workers is estimated to be 1.23 million – 1.46 million.
  • Publication
    An Opportunity for All: Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees and Peru's Development
    (World Bank, Lima, 2019-11-24) World Bank
    Faced with the Venezuelan exodus of unprecedented magnitude in recent Latin American and Caribbean history, the main objective of this study is to determine the social, economic and sectoral implications that this phenomenon is having on Peru, in order to inform the public policy agenda with a view to development. The study presents an analysis which characterizes the different dimensions of the Venezuelan migration to Peru: from the trajectory to the country, the institutional reception and response framework, opportunities and challenges for social integration, gender dynamics, and the Venezuelan population’s access to services and insertion into the labor market. The analysis also provides recommendations that seek to contribute to the strengthening of a humane and orderly migration management, and to capitalize on the potential of an adequate integration of the migrant and refugee population in Peru.
  • Publication
    Informing the Refugee Policy Response in Uganda: Results from the Uganda Refugee and Host Communities 2018 Household Survey
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-09-27) World Bank
    The recent refugee influx is testing Uganda’s approach to managing refugees. Ensuring the success of Uganda’s refugee response is crucial. This report analyzes the living conditions, wellbeing and socio-economic profile of refugees and host communities in Uganda in order to inform this policy response.
  • Publication
    Mauritius Addressing Inequality through More Equitable Labor Markets
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-03-26) World Bank Group
    Mauritius is often cited as one of the few African success stories, and with good reason. In the aftermath of independence (1968), this small island nation in the Indian Ocean seemed to be bound for economic failure because of its high poverty rate and numerous vulnerabilities, including high population growth, ethnic tensions, substantial unemployment, and an economy greatly dependent on the production of sugar for international markets. However, Mauritius was successful in diversifying the economy and accomplishing an unprecedented structural transformation.The Inclusiveness of Growth and Shared Prosperity report (World Bank 2015a) turned the spotlight on the expanding gap of inequality in household incomes that occurred between 2007 and 2012 and on the negative impact on poverty. The report estimates that the incidence of absolute poverty between 2007 and 2012 would have declined twice as quickly had growth been shared more widely and inequality not worsened. Building on these earlier findings, this study investigates the driving forces behind the growing income inequality and identifies policy levers that could mitigate and, in the long run, possibly reverse the upward trend.This study takes a comprehensive approach to the determinants of inequality by including the role of the choices of households and individuals, markets, and institutions. The report is structured as follows. Chapter one sets the stage by presenting stylized facts on the trends in household income inequality between 2001 and 2015, comparing these trends with trends in consumption inequality, and identifying the main culprit behind the rapidly rising inequality in household incomes, that is, household labor income. Chapter two supplies a set of descriptive trends of the two groups of factors, namely, household demographics and labor market forces, that contribute to changes in household laborincome and follows up with a decomposition exercise on changes in household labor income between 2001 and 2015.Because the analysis indicates that an unequal increase in female labor force participation and rising inequality in individual earnings are among the main contributors to the expanding inequality in household labor income, Chapter three takes a deep dive into the issue of gender inequality in the labor market. The chapter illustrates the gender gap in labor market participation, describes the differences in the activities of working women in the labor market relative to men, and concludes with a detailed analysis of gender gaps in wages separately in the public and private sectors. Chapter four resumes the main analysis of the drivers of increasing inequality in individual earnings. The chapter first presents stylized facts about overall inequality in wages and then separates out changes in inequality between and within groups defined by demographic characteristics. The chapter distinguishes the role of changes in prices (or wages) and the role of changes in the composition of the workforce in rising earnings inequality. The second part of the chapter is devoted to the analysis of the role of the main potential drivers of expanding earnings inequality. The possible candidates include the interaction of changes in labor supply and labor demand, giving rise to skills shortages or surpluses, and changes in labor market institutions, namely, remuneration orders (ROs). The chapter concludes with an analysis of an additional source of skills mismatches among the employed population, namely, education mismatches, and advances potential explanations for the coexistence of a substantial skills shortage, over education, particularly among youth, and a large share of highly educated youth among the unemployed.
  • Publication
    Armenia : Implications of the Global Economic Crisis for Poverty
    (World Bank, 2009-09-01) World Bank
    The global economic crisis seriously threatens the economic growth and poverty reduction that Armenia achieved in recent years. The most recent data indicate that the economy is now shrinking, with prospects worsening in 2009 and 2010 when the full impact of the crisis is expected to unfold. These developments are a setback for Armenia after a decade of nearly double-digit growth and substantial poverty reduction. Depending on the depth of the crisis in Armenia, in its main trading partners, and in its migrant workers' host countries, and depending on the effectiveness of policy responses, the crisis could have a protracted negative effect on Armenians' living standards. The economic downturn, coming on the heels of the food and fuel price increases last year, will have particularly difficult consequences for the poor and vulnerable who have limited coping means to deal with these successive shocks. The note identifies the main channels of transmission to households of the current global economic crisis and estimates its potential impact on poverty in Armenia. Given uncertainties regarding the scale of the crisis and how households are likely to cope, the note is intended to provide indicative estimates of the poverty impact of the crisis, rather than precise estimates. These estimates are made by simulating the effects of the anticipated slowdown on household consumption using data from the 2007 Integrated Living Conditions Survey (ILCS). The key messages that come out of the analysis are that the crisis will have potentially serious implications for poverty and that this calls for significant responses by the Government of Armenia and its development partners. The government is taking a number of steps to provide protection to the poor, including the protection of public spending on social protection and other pro-poor programs and to improve the targeting efficiency of the programs. These measures should help lessen the impact of the crisis on the poor and the vulnerable.
  • Publication
    Bangladesh - State of the Economy and Near to Medium-Term Challenges
    (Washington, DC, 2009-02) World Bank
    The Awami league, voted to power by Bangladesh's electorate in last December's national elections, has laid out a vision that promises to take Bangladesh to a middle-income status by 2021. According to this vision 'poverty will be drastically reduced; where our citizens will be able to meet every basic need and where development will be fast track, with ever increasing rates of growth.' How can the new government deliver on its economic promises? What issues does it need to tackle in the immediate near-run as well as medium- to long-run to take the country forward on the growth enhancing and poverty reducing path? What steps are needed to deal with the likely impact of the still unfolding global economic crisis? This note provides a broad overview of the current state of the Bangladesh economy, the immediate challenges it faces from the ongoing global crisis and the medium-term policy priorities for accelerating growth and reducing poverty.