Department of Economics, University of Sao Paulo
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Macroeconomics; labor economics
Department of Economics, University of Sao Paulo
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated January 31, 2023
Ana Abras researches on Labor Economics and Macroeconomics. The main topics of interest are wage inequality and instability, information and labor contracts, and worker and job flows. She worked on several World Bank projects involving research and applied policy issues, including the book Sewing Success and studies on inequality of opportunity for African and Eastern European countries. She recently joined the University of Sao Paulo continuing her work on labor issues in developing countries.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
Publication(Taylor and Francis, 2013-09-12) Cuesta, José ; Abras, AnaThis paper expands the analysis of equal opportunities by connecting traditional benefit incidence analysis of public spending with the human opportunity index, a distribution sensitive measure of access to public services. It also develops ex-ante micro-simulations to determine the cost of equalizing educational opportunities. This technique is applied to Liberia, a country devastated by civil war with serious educational enrollment gaps and policies highly dependent on international aid. Results from simulated increases in teachers’ salaries, elimination of fee and non-fee costs and targeted public educational spending on rural schools all point to very modest redistributive effects but distinctive patterns of winners and losers among Liberian children.
Inequality of Opportunities in the Labor Market : Evidence from Life in Transition Surveys in Europe and Central Asia(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-10) Abras, Ana ; Hoyos, Alejandro ; Narayan, Ambar ; Tiwari, SaileshThis paper attempts to quantify the degree of inequality of opportunity in labor market outcomes for a selection of countries in the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region. We adapt the Human Opportunity Index (HOI) methodology that has been widely used to study opportunities of children to measures of inequality in the labor market for working age adults, using data from the Life in Transition Surveys (LiTS) conducted in 2006. We decompose the observed inequalities into components that are attributable to circumstances an individual was born into (e.g., gender, parents’ education, minority status, etc) and other characteristics (education and age). We conduct additional exercises with this measure, which examine: (i) comparisons with an expenditure-based measure of inequality of opportunity; (ii) the extent to which the measures of inequality resonate with individual perceptions of life satisfaction and fairness; and (iii) how the results for ECA countries compare with similar measures in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region. Our findings show substantial inequality of opportunity (attributable to circumstances that an individual was born into) in employment status in the ECA region and a high degree of heterogeneity across countries in the circumstances that matter the most for inequality. The correlations between measures and perceptions of inequality among citizens across ECA countries suggest that inequality between groups, including measures of inequality of opportunity, matter more than overall measures of inequality for citizen perceptions of "fairness". The results are robust to different definitions of jobs as opportunities.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015) Dabalen, Andrew ; Narayan, Ambar ; Saavedra-Chanduvi, Jaime ; Suarez, Alejandro Hoyos ; Abras, Ana ; Tiwari, SaileshThis study explores the changing opportunities for children in Africa. While the definition of opportunities can be subjective and depend on the societal context, this report focuses on efforts to build future human capital, directly (through education and health investments) and indirectly (through complementary infrastructure such as safe water, adequate sanitation, electricity, and so on). It follows the practice of earlier studies conducted for the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region (Barros et al. 2009, 2012) where opportunities are basic goods and services that constitute investments in children. Although several opportunities are relevant at different stages of an individual s life, our focus on children s access to education, health services, safe water, and adequate nutrition is due to the well-known fact that an individual s chance of success in life is deeply influenced by access to these goods and services early in life. Children s access to these basic services improves the likelihood of a child being able to maximize his/her human potential and pursue a life of dignity.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-04) Abras, Ana ; Cuesta, Jose ; Hoyos, Alejandro ; Narayan, AmbarThis study analyzes opportunities for children in Cote d'Ivoire, where opportunities refer to access to basic services and goods that improve the likelihood of a child maximizing his or her human potential. The principle that guides this analysis is one of equality of opportunity, which is that a child's circumstances at birth should not determine his or her access to opportunities. The analysis computes the Human Opportunity Index, which measures the extent to which access to basic services is universal and evenly distributed among children of different circumstances. Opportunities are limited in Cote d'Ivoire, despite some improvements in access to electricity and timely access to primary education. Otherwise, trends on access remain stagnant. Scale effects (variations across the board) are behind these trends, with little improvement observed from equalizing interventions. Circumstances such as region and household head characteristics affect a child's access to opportunities, while household incomes and a child's gender and ethnicity play a relatively small role in access differentials. Public spending on education opportunities is shown to be regressive and pro-rich, especially when analyzed across the distribution of circumstances rather than acroos income level.The groups of children that are particularly behind in terms of educational opportunities are those whose household heads lack primary education and reside in rural areas. Closing the enrollment gap of these children should be a priority for targeted educational interventions. However, improving opportunities may require more than a single type of intervention: opportunities with low coverage may need to be scaled up, while those with large inequalities of access may require equalizing interventions.
Publication( 2011-09-01) Abras, Ana ; Cuesta, JoseThis paper brings back the fiscal angle to the analysis of equal opportunities both by connecting traditional benefit-incidence analysis of public spending with equal opportunities and by conducting ex-ante micro-simulations on the fiscal cost of equal opportunity policies in education. Four simulations are conducted in Liberia, a country devastated by a civil war, with serious educational enrollment gaps and fiscal policies highly dependent on international aid. Results for the simulated policy scenarios (increases in teachers' salaries, elimination of both fee and non-fee costs borne by households, and targeting public spending on education to rural schools) point to very modest redistributive effects but very different patterns of winners and losers among groups of children in Liberia.