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Go, Delfin Sia

Development Prospects Group, World Bank
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Development and Growth Economics; Africa Development; Economic Modeling and Tools for Fiscal Analysis; Aid Effectiveness and Management
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Development Prospects Group, World Bank
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Last updated: July 11, 2023
Biography
Delfin Go is Lead Economist in the Development Prospects Group and oversees the economic modeling and information team, which produces forward-looking and long-term scenarios that underpin special reports such as the Global Monitoring Report and the Global Development Horizons.  Delfin was the lead author and task manager of the Global Monitoring Report 2011: Improving the Odds of Achieving the MDGs and the Global Monitoring Report 2010: The Millennium Development Goals After the Crisis. He was formerly Lead Economist in the office of the World Bank’s Africa Region Chief Economist, where he focused on macroeconomic issues, aid effectiveness and management, and conducted Country Policy and Institutional Assessments (CPIA) of African countries. He has also undertaken analytical work on debt issues, tools for fiscal analysis, and macro-micro linkages for probing the distributional consequences and the impact on growth, poverty, and other MDGs of alternative macroeconomic frameworks, external shocks, aid flows, as well as the composition of public expenditure. Previously, he served as the World Bank’s Country Economist and PREM Cluster Leader of Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia) and Zambia. Go first joined the World Bank as a Research Economist at the Development Research Group. Go holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University.  
Citations 12 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 22
  • Publication
    Trade Elasticities in Aggregate Models: Estimates for 191 Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-07-11) Devarajan, Shantayanan; Robinson, Sherman; Go, Delfin Sia
    Armington’s insight that imports and domestically produced goods were imperfect substitutes has unleashed extensive estimates of the associated trade elasticity, primarily for developed countries. This notion of product differentiation, which extends symmetrically to exports and domestic goods, has underpinned trade-focused, computable general equilibrium models of developing countries, including the aggregate, compact version, the 1–2–3 model. Noting that estimates of trade elasticities for developing countries are few, this paper remedies the situation. Using the vector error correction model as the primary method and controlling for global trends and other factors, the analysis derives the long-run elasticity estimates for 191 countries, ranging from China (population of 1.4 billion) to Tuvalu (11,200), including 45 of 48 Sub-Saharan African countries and understudied countries such as Benin, the Republic of Congo, Niger, Fiji, Haiti, Kiribati, and Tajikistan. Import and export elasticities of high-income countries average about 1.4, reflecting the greater diversity of their economies; developing countries’ elasticities average around 0.7 for imports and 0.6 for exports. Elasticities generally rise with per capita income. That the elasticity is greater than one for developed and less for developing countries implies asymmetric responses to shocks, which conforms to intuition and corroborates the analytical results from the 1–2–3 model.
  • Publication
    Traders' Dilemma: Developing Countries' Response to Trade Disputes
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-11) Lakatos, Csilla; Devarajan, Shantayanan; Robinson, Sherman; Go, Delfin S.; Thierfelder, Karen
    If trade tensions between the United States and certain trading partners escalate into a full-blown trade war, what should developing countries do? Using a global, general-equilibrium model, this paper first simulates the effects of an increase in U.S. tariffs on imports from all regions to about 30 percent (the average non-Most Favored Nation tariff currently applied to imports from Cuba and the Democratic Republic of Korea) and retaliation in kind by major trading partners—the European Union, China, Mexico, Canada, and Japan. The paper then considers four possible responses by developing countries to this trade war: (i) join the trade war; (ii) do nothing; (iii) pursue regional trade agreements (RTAs) with all regions outside the United States; and (iv) option (iii) and unilaterally liberalize tariffs on imports from the United States. The results show that joining the trade war is the worst option for developing countries (twice as bad as doing nothing), while forming RTAs with non-U.S. regions and liberalizing tariffs on U.S. imports (“turning the other cheek”) is the best. The reason is that a trade war between the United States and its major trading partners creates opportunities for developing countries to increase their exports to these markets. Liberalizing tariffs increases developing countries’ competitiveness, enabling them to capitalize on these opportunities.
  • Publication
    Assessing the Global Economic and Poverty Effects of Antimicrobial Resistance
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-06) Ahmed, Syud Amer; Baris, Enis; Go, Delfin S.; Lofgren, Hans; Osorio-Rodarte, Israel; Thierfelder, Karen
    This paper assesses the potential impact of antimicrobial resistance on global economic growth and poverty. The analysis uses a global computable general equilibrium model and a microsimulation framework that together capture impact channels related to health, mortality, labor productivity, health care financing, and production in the livestock and other sectors. The effects spread across countries via trade flows that may be affected by new trade restrictions. Relative to a world without antimicrobial resistance, the losses during 2015–50 may sum to $85 trillion in gross domestic product and $23 trillion in global trade (in present value). By 2050, the cost in global gross domestic product could range from 1.1 percent (low case) to 3.8 percent (high case). Antimicrobial resistance is expected to make it more difficult to eliminate extreme poverty. Under the high antimicrobial resistance scenario, by 2030, an additional 24.1 million people would be extremely poor, of whom 18.7 million live in low-income countries. In general, developing countries will be hurt the most, especially those with the lowest incomes.
  • Publication
    Global Inequality in a More Educated World
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-06) Ahmed, Syud Amer; Bussolo, Maurizio; Cruz, Marcio; Go, Delfin S.; Osorio-Rodarte, Israel
    In developing countries, younger and better-educated cohorts are entering the workforce. This developing world-led education wave is altering the skill composition of the global labor supply, and impacting income distribution, at the national and global levels. This paper analyzes how this education wave reshapes global inequality over the long run using a general-equilibrium macro-micro simulation framework that covers harmonized household surveys representing almost 90 percent of the world population. The findings under alternative assumptions suggest that global income inequality will likely decrease by 2030. This increasing educated labor force will contribute to the closing of the gap in average incomes between developing and high income countries. The forthcoming education wave would also minimize, mainly for developing countries, potential further increases of within-country inequality.
  • Publication
    Budget Rules and Resource Booms and Busts: A Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Analysis
    (Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank, 2017-02) Devarajan, Shantayanan; Go, Delfin S.
    This paper develops a dynamic, stochastic, general-equilibrium model to analyze and derive simple budget rules in the face of volatile public revenue from natural resources in a low-income country like Niger. The simulation results suggest three policy lessons or rules of thumb. When a resource price change is positive and temporary, the best strategy is to save the revenue windfall in a sovereign fund and use the interest income from the fund to raise citizens’ consumption over time. This strategy is preferred to investing in public capital domestically, even when private investment benefits from an enhanced public capital stock. Domestic investment raises the prices of domestic goods, leaving less money for government to transfer to households; public investment is not 100 percent effective in raising output. In the presence of a negative temporary resource price change, however, the best strategy is to cut public investment. This strategy dominates other methods, such as trimming government transfers to households, which reduces consumption directly, or borrowing, which incurs an interest premium as debt rises. In the presence of persistent (positive and negative) shocks, the best strategy is a mix of public investment and saving abroad in a balanced regime that provides a natural insurance against both types of price shocks. The combination of interest income from the sovereign fund, transfers to households, and output growth brought about by public investment provides the best protective mechanism to smooth consumption over time in response to changing resource prices.
  • Publication
    China's Slowdown and Rebalancing: Potential Growth and Poverty Impacts on Sub-Saharan Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-05) Lakatos, Csilla; Maliszewska, Maryla; Osorio-Rodarte, Israel; Go, Delfin
    This paper explores the economic impacts of two related tracks of China's expected transformation—economic slowdown and rebalancing away from investment toward consumption—and estimates the spillovers for the rest of the world, with a special focus on Sub-Saharan African countries. The paper finds that an average annual slowdown of gross domestic product in China of 1 percent over 2016–30 is expected to result in a decline of gross domestic product in Sub-Saharan Africa by 1.1 percent and globally by 0.6 percent relative to the past trends scenario by 2030. However, if China's transformation also entails substantial rebalancing, the negative income effects of the economic slowdown could be offset by the positive changes brought along by rebalancing through higher overall imports by China and positive terms of trade effects for its trading partners. If global supply responds positively to the shifts in relative prices and the new sources of consumer demand from China, a substantial rebalancing in China could have an overall favorable impact on the global economy. Economic growth could turn positive and higher on average, by 6 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa and 5.5 percent globally, as compared with the past trends scenario. Finally, rebalancing reduces the prevalence of poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa compared with the isolated negative effects of China's slowdown, which slightly increase the incidence of poverty. Overall, China's slowdown and rebalancing combined are estimated to increase gross domestic product in Sub-Saharan Africa by 4.7 percent by 2030 and reduce poverty, but the extent of this varies by country.
  • Publication
    Global Migration Revisited: Short-Term Pains, Long-Term Gains, and the Potential of South-South Migration
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-04) Ahmed, S. Amer; Go, Delfin S.; Willenbockel, Dirk
    This paper re-examines the development implications of international migration focusing on two issues: how the costs and benefits of migration change over time, and the significance of South-South migration for development. First, the analysis finds that although greater migration could push down the wages of native workers of advanced countries in the short run, these wages eventually recover. This pattern would be mostly caused by the beneficial effect of additional labor on the real returns on capital and fostering faster capital formation. Additional South-North migration could favor capital income recipients and reduces labor income in host regions in the short run. In contrast, in sending countries, capital owners could experience lower incomes while wages rise. Globally, the welfare gains of new migrants could be expected to exceed the losses of old migrants by a wide margin. The remaining natives in sending countries could enjoy a net increase in remittances as well as an increase in labor income, although income from capital might decline. Second, in a hypothetical scenario with lower South-South migration, the implied losses of remittance income could lead to substantially lower welfare in developing countries. Although the wage differentials among developing countries tend to be smaller relative to their wage differentials with high-income countries, South-South migrants make substantial contributions to remittances.
  • Publication
    Estimating Parameters and Structural Change in CGE Models Using a Bayesian Cross-Entropy Estimation Approach
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2015-01) Go, Delfin S.; Mendez Ramos, Fabian; Robinson, Sherman
    This paper uses a three-step Bayesian cross-entropy estimation approach in an environment of noisy and scarce data to estimate behavioral parameters for a computable general equilibrium model. The estimation also measures how labor-augmenting productivity and other structural parameters in the model may have shifted over time to contribute to the generation of historically observed changes in the economic arrangement. In this approach, the parameters in a computable general equilibrium model are treated as fixed but unobserved, represented as prior mean values with prior error mass functions. Estimation of the parameters involves using an information-theoretic Bayesian approach to exploit additional information in the form of new data from a series of social accounting matrices, which are assumed were measured with error. The estimation procedure is "efficient" in the sense that it uses all available information and makes no assumptions about unavailable information. As illustration, the methodology is applied to estimate the parameters of a computable general equilibrium model using alternative data sets for the Republic of Korea and Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Publication
    How Significant is Africa's Demographic Dividend for Its Future Growth and Poverty Reduction?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-12) Ahmed, S. Amer; Cruz, Marcio; Go, Delfin S.; Maliszewska, Maryla; Osorio-Rodarte, Israel
    Africa will be undergoing substantial demographic changes in the coming decades with the rising working age share of its population. The opportunity of African countries to convert these changes into demographic dividends for growth and poverty reduction will depend on several factors. The outlook will likely be good if African countries can continue the gains already made under better institutions and policies, particularly those affecting the productivity of labor, such as educational outcomes. If African countries can continue to build on the hard-won development gains, the demographic dividend could account for 11 to 15 percent of gross domestic product volume growth by 2030, while accounting for 40 to 60 million fewer poor in 2030. The gains can become much more substantial with even better educational outcomes that allow African countries to catch up to other developing countries. If the skill share of Africa's labor supply doubles because of improvements in educational attainment, from 25 to about 50 percent between 2011 and 30, then the demographic dividends can expand the regional economy additionally by 22 percent by 2030 relative to the base case and reduce poverty by an additional 51 million people.
  • Publication
    Budget Rules and Resource Booms : A Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Analysis
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-07) Devarajan, Shantayanan; Go, Delfin S.
    This paper develops a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model to analyze and derive simple budget rules in the face of volatile public revenue from natural resources in a low-income country like Niger. The simulation results suggest three policy lessons or rules of thumb. When a resource price change is positive and temporary, the best strategy is to save the revenue windfall in a sovereign fund, and use the interest income from the fund to raise citizens' consumption over time. This strategy is preferred to investing in public capital domestically, even when private investment benefits from an enhanced public capital stock. Domestic investment raises the prices of domestic goods, leaving less money for government to transfer to households; public investment is not 100 percent effective in raising output. In the presence of a negative temporary resource price change, however, the best strategy is to cut public investment. This strategy dominates other methods, such as trimming government transfers to households, which reduces consumption directly, or borrowing, which incurs an interest premium as debt rises. In the presence of persistent (positive and negative) shocks, the best strategy is a mix of public investment and saving abroad in a balanced regime that provides a natural insurance against both types of price shocks. The combination of interest income from the sovereign fund, transfers to households, and output growth brought about by public investment provides the best protective mechanism to smooth consumption over time in response to changing resource prices.