Azevedo, João Pedro

Global Practice on Poverty, The World Bank
Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Inequality and Shared Prosperity, Social Protection and Labor, Education
Global Practice on Poverty, The World Bank
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
Last updated July 19, 2023
João Pedro Azevedo is a Lead Economist at the World Bank in Washington. He currently works for the Poverty and Equity Global Practice in the European and Central Asia region, focusing on Central Asia and Turkey and leading the region's Statistics Team. João Pedro also leads the Global Solution Group on Welfare Measurement and Statistical Capacity for Results from the Poverty and Equity Global Practice. João Pedro has focused much of his work on helping developing countries improve their systems for evidence-based decision making. He worked in Colombia, Brazil and the Dominican Republic for five years, and led important regional public efforts such as the Latin American & Caribbean Stats Team and the LAC Monitoring and Evaluation Network. João Pedro brings solid and varied experience in applied econometrics to the fields of poverty and inequality. Before joining the Bank, João Pedro served as the superintendent of monitoring and evaluation at the Secretary of Finance for the State of Rio de Janeiro, as well as a research fellow at the Institute of Applied Economic Research from the Brazilian Ministry of Planning. He is a former chairman of the Latin American & Caribbean Network on Inequality and Poverty and holds a PhD in Economics.
Citations 214 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Thumbnail Image
    Teenage Pregnancy and Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean : On Teenage Fertility Decisions, Poverty and Economic Achievement
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012) Azevedo, Joao Pedro ; Favara, Marta ; Haddock, Sarah E. ; Lopez-Calva, Luis F. ; Muller, Miriam ; Perova, Elizaveta
    The pregnancy project sought to expose the existence, and challenge the validity, of stereotypes about Hispanic women. The charade explored the underlying motivations of the many who responded with a wide range of reactions. The specific objectives of this regional study are: to establish a thorough description of the magnitude of the issue and its potential implications for social advancement; to advance the understanding of the risk factors, motivations and impacts at the household level-as a determinant of poverty and a cause of intra-and intergenerational poverty traps; to illuminate the coping mechanisms and their individual and social implications; to highlight the gender-related issues that have historically provoked asymmetric costs to boys and girls; and to provide elements that support specific policies on this matter. In the last decade, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have been moving in the right direction and the region has experienced important gains in gender equality of endowments (assets) and economic opportunities. In most LAC countries, girls have been achieving gender parity in primary school enrollment and even outperforming boys at the secondary and tertiary level. The present report reviews the factors associated with teenage pregnancy and early childbearing and builds a framework to explore these issues systematically, towards the design of effective policy interventions in LAC. Teen pregnancy and early childbearing remain a challenge in the region, particularly given the association of these phenomena with poverty and lack of opportunities, and the concern that it may prevent women from taking full advantage of their human development assets and opportunities. The main message of the report is that poverty and lack of opportunities are key factors associated to early childbearing.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Is the Baby to Blame? An Inquiry into the Consequences of Early Childbearing
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-05) Azevedo, Joao Pedro ; Lopez-Calva, Luis F. ; Perova, Elizaveta
    Teenage pregnancy has been a cause of concern for policy makers because it is associated with a complex and often adverse social context for women. It is seen as the cause of lower social and economic achievement for mothers and their children, and as the potential determinant of inter-generational poverty traps. However, the question of whether pregnancy -- and the subsequent rearing of a child -- is actually the trigger of poverty, higher dependence on social welfare and/ or other undesirable social and economic consequences has not been studied in developing countries with enough rigor to establish a causal relation. This paper follows a methodology previously applied in the United States, using Mexican data from the National Survey of Demographic Dynamics, to exploit information about miscarriages as an instrument to identify the long-term consequences of early child bearing. Thus, the paper takes the advantage of a natural experiment: it compares the outcomes of women who became pregnant in adolescence, and gave birth, to outcomes of women who became pregnant in adolescence and miscarried. This approach only allows for estimating the costs of adolescent childbearing for teenagers in a risk group, that is, teenagers who are likely to experience a pregnancy. The results are consistent with findings in the United States, suggesting that, contrary to popular thinking, adolescent childbearing does not hamper significantly the lifelong opportunities of the young mothers. Actually, women who gave birth during their adolescence have on average 0.34 more years of education, and are 21 percentage points more likely to be employed, compared with their counterparts who miscarried. The results also suggest, however, greater dependence on social welfare among women who gave birth during adolescence: their social assistance income is 36 percent higher, and they are more likely to participate in social programs, especially the conditional cash transfer program Oportunidades.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Poverty Reduction and Shared Prosperity in Tajikistan : A Diagnostic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-06) Azevedo, Joao Pedro ; Atamanov, Aziz ; Rajabov, Alisher
    Tajikistan was one of the fastest growing countries in the Europe and Central Asia region during the last decade. The economic growth was widely shared by the population and as a result poverty (measured by the national poverty line) declined from 73 percent in 2003 to 47 percent in 2009 accompanied by falling inequality. Consumption growth of the bottom 40 percent of the population -- a measure of shared prosperity proposed by the World Bank- was positive, pointing out that the growth was shared among the less well off. This work presents a diagnostic of shared prosperity and poverty reduction in Tajikistan during 2003-2009. The paper also focuses on quantifying the main drivers of poverty reduction, shared prosperity, and intra-generational mobility (class transitions). Some of the mechanisms of poverty reduction are explored in detail. Finally, main impediments to inter-generational mobility are discussed.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Weather Shocks and Health at Birth in Colombia
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-11) Andalon, Mabel ; Azevedo, Joao Pedro ; Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos ; Sanfelice, Viviane ; Valderrama, Daniel
    Poor health at birth has negative long-run effects on individual well-being and is also detrimental for intergenerational mobility. This paper examines whether health outcomes at birth are affected by in utero increased exposure to rainfall and temperature shocks in Colombia, one of the countries in the world with the highest incidence of extreme weather events per year. The paper uses a fixed effects design to gauge the causal effect using variation in fetal exposure to these shocks by municipality and date of birth. The analysis finds negative effects of temperature shocks on birth health outcomes and no effect of rainfall shocks. The results indicate that heat waves lead to a 0.5 percentage point reduction in the probability of being born at full term and a decline of 0.4 percentage point in the probability of newborns classified as healthy. The timing of exposure to the shock matters and it matters differently for different outcomes. These findings are critical to prioritize responses to counteract the negative effects of weather, particularly hot shocks, which are projected to become more frequent and intense with changing climate.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Kyrgyz Republic: Social Sectors at a Glance
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-08) Azevedo, Joao Pedro ; Calvo, Paula ; Nguyen, Minh ; Posadas, Josefina
    Traditional benchmarks to assess performance rely on unconditional rankings or regional averages. This paper uses a recently developed methodology based on quantile regressions and initial conditions to propose alternative benchmarks for social sectors in Kyrgyz Republic. Covering a wide set of indicators, the analysis reveals mixed results for Kyrgyz Republic. The country has made important strides in many social areas, with outstanding results in reducing child mortality and undernourishment. However, other areas are still key challenges and demand further attention and resources, as evidenced by the underachievement in maternal mortality, educational performance, and increasing informality in labor markets.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Learning Poverty in the Time of COVID-19: A Crisis within a Crisis
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12-01) Azevedo, Joao Pedro
    This brief summarizes the results of simulations estimating the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in learning poverty. Of 720 million primary school age children, 382 million are learning poor, either out of school or below the minimum proficiency level in reading. COVID-19 could boost that number by an additional 72 million to 454 million. In a post-COVID-19 scenario of no remediation and low mitigation effectiveness for the effects of school closures, simulations show learning poverty increasing from 53 percent of primary-school-age children to 63 percent.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Simulating the Potential Impacts of COVID-19 School Closures on Schooling and Learning Outcomes: A Set of Global Estimates
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) Azevedo, Joao Pedro ; Hasan, Amer ; Goldemberg, Diana ; Iqbal, Syedah Aroob ; Geven, Koen
    School closures due to COVID-19 have left more than a billion students out of school. This paper presents the results of simulations considering three, five and seven months of school closure and different levels of mitigation effectiveness resulting in optimistic, intermediate and pessimistic global scenarios. Using data on 157 countries, the analysis finds that the global level of schooling and learning will fall. COVID-19 could result in a loss of between 0.3 and 0.9 years of schooling adjusted for quality, bringing down the effective years of basic schooling that students achieve during their lifetime from 7.9 years to between 7.0 and 7.6 years. Close to 7 million students from primary up to secondary education could drop out due to the income shock of the pandemic alone. Students from the current cohort could, on average, face a reduction of $355, $872, or $1,408 in yearly earnings. In present value terms, this amounts to between $6,472 and $25,680 dollars in lost earnings over a typical student's lifetime. Exclusion and inequality will likely be exacerbated if already marginalized and vulnerable groups, like girls, ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities, are more adversely affected by the school closures. Globally, a school shutdown of 5 months could generate learning losses that have a present value of $10 trillion. By this measure, the world could stand to lose as much as 16 percent of the investments that governments make in the basic education of this cohort of students. The world could thus face a substantial setback in achieving the goal of halving the percentage of learning poor and be unable to meet the goal by 2030 unless drastic remedial action is taken.