Go, Delfin Sia
Development Prospects Group, World Bank
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Development and Growth Economics; Africa Development; Economic Modeling and Tools for Fiscal Analysis; Aid Effectiveness and Management
Development Prospects Group, World Bank
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated July 11, 2023
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.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 20
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-01) Devarajan, Shantayanan ; Go, Delfin S. ; Page, John ; Robinson, Sherman ; Thierfelder, KarenDevarajan, Go, Page, Robinson, and Thierfelder argued that if aid is about the future and recipients are able to plan consumption and investment decisions optimally over time, then the potential problem of an aid-induced appreciation of the real exchange rate (Dutch disease) does not occur. In their paper, "Aid, Growth and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics," this key result is derived without requiring extreme assumptions or additional productivity story. The economic framework is a standard neoclassical growth model, based on the familiar Salter-Swan characterization of an open economy, with full dynamic savings and investment decisions. It does require that the model is fully dynamic in both savings and investment decisions. An important assumption is that aid should be predictable for intertemporal smoothing to take place. If aid volatility forces recipients to be constrained and myopic, Dutch disease problems become an issue.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-06) Ahmed, Syud Amer ; Bussolo, Maurizio ; Cruz, Marcio ; Go, Delfin S. ; Osorio-Rodarte, IsraelIn 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(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-02) Arbache, Jorge ; Go, Delfin S. ; Page, JohnIn this paper, Arbache, Go, and Page examine the recent acceleration of growth in Africa. Unlike the past, the performance is now registered broadly across several types of countries-particularly the oil-exporting and resource-intensive countries and, in more recent years, the large- and middle-income economies, as well as coastal and low-income countries. The analysis confirms a trend break in the mid-1990s, identifying a growth acceleration that is due not only to favorable terms of trade and greater aid, but also to better policy. Indeed, the growth diagnostics show that more and more African countries have been able to avoid mistakes with better macropolicy, better governance, and fewer conflicts; as a result, the likelihood of growth decelerations has declined significantly. Nonetheless, the sustainability of that growth is fragile, because economic fundamentals, such as savings, investment, productivity, and export diversification, remain stagnant. The good news in the story is that African economies appear to have learned how to avoid the mistakes that led to the frequent growth collapses between 1975 and 1995. The bad news is that much less is known about the recipes for long-term success in development, such as developing the right institutions and the policies to raise savings and diversify exports, than about how to avoid economic bad times.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-09) Essama-Nssah, B. ; Go, Delfin S. ; Kearney, Marna ; Korman, Vijdan ; Robinson, Sherman ; Thierfelder, KarenAs crude oil prices reach new highs, there is renewed concern about how external shocks will affect growth and poverty in developing countries. This paper describes a macro-micro framework for examining the structural and distributional consequences of a significant external shock-an increase in the world price of oil-on the South African economy. The authors merge results from a highly disaggregative computable general equilibrium model and a micro-simulation analysis of earnings and occupational choice based on socio-demographic characteristics of the household. The model provides changes in employment, wages, and prices that are used in the micro-simulation. The analysis finds that a 125 percent increase in the price of crude oil and refined petroleum reduces employment and GDP by approximately 2 percent, and reduces household consumption by approximately 7 percent. The oil price shock tends to increase the disparity between rich and poor. The adverse impact of the oil price shock is felt by the poorer segment of the formal labor market in the form of declining wages and increased unemployment. Unemployment hits mostly low and medium-skilled workers in the services sector. High-skilled households, on average, gain from the oil price shock. Their income rises and their spending basket is less skewed toward food and other goods that are most affected by changes in oil prices.
No Thumbnail AvailablePublication( 2010) Go, Delfin S. ; Kearney, Marna ; Korman, Vijdan ; Robinson, Sherman ; Thierfelder, KarenWe use a general equilibrium model to analyse the employment effects and fiscal cost of a wage subsidy in South Africa. We capture the structural characteristics of the labour market with several labour categories and substitution possibilities, linking the economy-wide results to a micro-simulation model with occupational choice probabilities to investigate the poverty and distributional consequences. The employment impact depends greatly on the elasticities of substitution of factors of production, being very minimal if unskilled and skilled labour are complements in production. The impact is improved by supporting policies, but the gains remain modest if the labour market is rigid.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-11) Go, Delfin S. ; Robinson, Sherman ; Thierfelder, Karen ; Utz, RobertThis paper examines spending plans suggested by the recent literature regarding Dutch disease and examines their implications to Niger relative to its expanding mineral sector. The key to the benefits of significant mineral revenue lies with the productivity and supply responses of spending. If significant output gain is ensured, then there is little difference across the spending plans in their effects on real consumption. The overshooting of relative prices of the non-tradable sector or the shrinking share of traded sectors in gross domestic product is also ameliorated with greater supply flexibility. Growth paths of alternative spending strategies differ markedly in timing and pattern when spending does not raise productivity. As a caution against expectations that exaggerate the benefits of mineral revenue under all circumstances, the more aggressive spending plan may result in a boom-bust cycle if fiscal adjustments and debt repayments are necessary for any significant borrowing against future revenue and productivity gains are not realized. Using extractive industries revenue for transfers to households would have a greater effect on poverty reduction in the short and medium term but the long-run gains from investment in human and physical capital are likely to offset the initial lack of pro-poor bias. Different strategies differ significantly with regard to risks and required technical implementation capacity and political capacity to sustain a chosen course of action.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-12) Ahmed, S. Amer ; Cruz, Marcio ; Go, Delfin S. ; Maliszewska, Maryla ; Osorio-Rodarte, IsraelAfrica 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.
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, DirkThis 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(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-08) Go, Delfin S. ; Kearney, Marna ; Robinson, Sherman ; Thierfelder, KarenIn this paper, the authors describe South Africa's value added tax (VAT), showing that (1) the VAT is mildly regressive, and (2) it is an effective source of government revenue, compared with other tax instruments in South Africa. They evaluate the VAT in the context of other distortions in the economy by computing the marginal cost of funds-the effect of raising government revenue by increasing the VAT rates on household welfare. Then they evaluate alternative, revenue-neutral tax systems in which they reduce the VAT and raise income taxes. For the analysis, the authors use a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model with detailed specification of South Africa's tax system. Households are disaggregated into income deciles. They demonstrate that alternative tax structures can benefit low-income households without placing excess burdens on high-income households.
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. ; Lofgren, Hans ; Mendez Ramos, Fabian ; Robinson, ShermanThis 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.