Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice
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Labor economics, Development economics
Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Indhira Santos is the Global Lead for Labor & Skills in the Social Protection & Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank. She was a primary author of the 2019 World Development Report “The Changing Nature of Work” and the 2016 World Development Report “Digital Dividends”. She has worked on the Africa, Europe and Central Asia and South Asia Regions at the World Bank since joining as a Young Professional in 2009. Prior to joining the World Bank, she was a Research Fellow at Bruegel, a European policy think tank in Brussels, between 2007 and 2009. She has also worked for the Economic Research Center of the PUCMM University and the Ministry of Finance (Dominican Republic). She was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard University, where she obtained her PhD in Public Policy and a Masters in Public Administration in International Development.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
Climate Change Policies and Employment in Eastern Europe and Central Asia(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-12) Oral, Isil ; Santos, Indhira ; Zhang, FanThis paper analyzes the differential impact of climate change policies on employment in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In particular, the paper examines (i) how vulnerable labor markets are in Eastern European and Central Asian countries to future carbon regulation, and (ii) what countries can do to mitigate some of the potential negative effects of these regulatory changes on employment. In many aspects, the nature of the shock associated with climate regulation is similar to that associated with an increase in energy prices. Constraints on carbon emissions put a price on climate-damaging activities and make hydrocarbon-based energy production and consumption more expensive. As a result, firms in energy-intensive industries may react to higher energy prices by reducing production, which in turn would lead to lower employment. In the presence of frictions in labor markets, these sector shifts will cause resources to be unemployed, at least in the short term. Using principal component analysis, the paper finds that Eastern European and Central Asian countries vary greatly in their vulnerability and adaptability of employment to carbon regulation. Since the economy takes time to adjust, policy-makers will need to ensure that the incentives are there for new firms to emerge and employ workers, and that workers have the skills to respond to that demand. Moreover, governments have a role to play in ensuring that workers that are displaced have a proper safety net that will not only help in protecting their welfare, but will also allow workers to make more efficient labor market transitions.
Employment Recovery Stalls in Europe and Central Asia(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-04) Koettl, Johannes ; Mata, Elizabeth ; Saiovici, Gady ; Santos, IndhiraEmployment recovery stalls in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) continues to recover in most ECA countries, but the recovery remains fragile. Growth prospects remain poor in a number of countries where GDP continues to decline. This slowdown in the economic recovery is also evident at the sub-regional level. Unemployment has stabilized, with an average unemployment rate of 12 percent across the ECA region. Since the start of the crisis, men have been disproportionally hit by unemployment. The recent pace of job creation has not been sufficient to absorb the large pool of unemployed, resulting in growing long-term unemployment. Despite the rise in long-term unemployment, activity rates have increased or remained constant in most countries since 2008. ECA labor markets adjusted to the crisis not only through higher unemployment, but also through fewer work hours. Given the already low levels of employment in the region and a bleak demographic outlook, avoiding labor market detachment among the long-term unemployed, the inactive, and youth is the main challenge for policy makers in the near term.
Creating Jobs in South Asia’s Conflict Zones(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-06) Iyer, Lakshmi ; Santos, IndhiraThis paper describes the key challenges to job creation in conflict-affected environments in South Asia. It uses household survey data since the early 2000s for Afghanistan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka to document the characteristics of labor markets in conflict-affected areas, exploiting the spatial and time variation in armed conflict within countries. The analysis finds that, across countries, labor markets look very different in conflict-affected areas when compared with non-conflict or low-conflict areas. Employment rates are higher in large part because women participate more in the labor market, but work tends to be more vulnerable, with more self-employment and unpaid family work. The authors show that these differences often pre-date the conflict but are also exacerbated by it. They also examine the constraints on the private sector activity in such areas, using firm surveys when possible. Finally, the paper reviews the existing literature and the policy experiences of several countries to draw some policy implications for job creation efforts in the conflict-affected areas of South Asia. It particularly highlights the role of the private sector and community initiatives, in conjunction with public policies, to improve the environment for successful job creation.
Employment Recovery in Europe and Central Asia(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-06) Koettl, Johannes ; Oral, Isil ; Santos, IndhiraDespite high unemployment in most Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA) countries, people have not withdrawn from the labor market but continue to actively look for jobs. Unemployment increased significantly in ECA countries during the crisis, particularly among youth. However, young people are also the ones benefiting most from the recovery. Labor market recovery remained sluggish up to the third quarter of 2010. Many countries have seen only a slight recovery in unemployment rates, although output is recovering everywhere. Up to the third quarter of 2010, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) upturn in most ECA countries appeared to be driven by increases in productivity and hours worked; however, these are still below pre-crisis levels. This suggests that there is room in most countries for further increases in productivity and hours worked, which could delay the recovery in employment.
Protecting All: Risk Sharing for a Diverse and Diversifying World of Work(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2019-09-09) Packard, Truman ; Gentilini, Ugo ; Grosh, Margaret ; O’Keefe, Philip ; Palacios, Robert ; Robalino, David ; Santos, IndhiraThis white paper focusses on the policy interventions made to help people manage risk, uncertainty and the losses from events whose impacts are channeled primarily through the labor market. The objectives of the white paper are: to scrutinize the relevance and effects of prevailing risk-sharing policies in low- and middle-income countries; take account of how global drivers of disruption shape and diversify how people work; in light of this diversity, propose alternative risk-sharing policies, or ways to augment and improve current policies to be more relevant and responsive to peoples’ needs; and map a reasonable transition path from the current to an alternative policy approach that substantially extends protection to a greater portion of working people and their families. This white paper is a contribution to the broader, global discussion of the changing nature of work and how policy can shape its implications for the wellbeing of people. We use the term risk-sharing policies broadly in reference to the set of institutions, regulations and interventions that societies put in place to help households manage shocks to their livelihoods. These policies include formal rules and structures that regulate market interactions (worker protections and other labor market institutions) that help people pool risks (social assistance and social insurance), to save and insure affordably and effectively (mandatory and incentivized individual savings and other financial instruments) and to recover from losses in the wake of livelihood shocks (“active” reemployment measures). Effective risk-sharing policies are foundational to building equity, resilience and opportunity, the strategic objectives of the World Bank’s Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice. Given failures of factor markets and the market for risk in particular the rationale for policy intervention to augment the options that people have to manage shocks to their livelihoods is well-understood and accepted. By helping to prevent vulnerable people from falling into poverty -and people in the poorest households from falling deeper into poverty- effective risk-sharing interventions dramatically reduce poverty. Households and communities with access to effective risk-sharing instruments can better maintain and continue to invest in these vital assets, first and foremost, their human capital, and in doing so can reduce the likelihood that poverty and vulnerability will be transmitted from one generation to the next. Risk-sharing policies foster enterprise and development by ensuring that people can take appropriate risks required to grasp opportunities and secure their stake in a growing economy.
More and Better Jobs in South Asia(World Bank, 2012) Nayar, Reema ; Gottret, Pablo ; Mitra, Pradeep ; Betcherman, Gordon ; Lee, Yue Man ; Santos, Indhira ; Dahal, Mahesh ; Shrestha, MaheshworThis book is divided into seven chapters. Chapter one is an overview. Chapter two reviews South Asia's recent track record with regard to the quantity and quality of job creation. It traces the relationship of such job creation mostly to overall economic growth and attempts to answer what needs to be done to meet South Asia's employment challenge. Chapter three discusses the key features of labor markets in South Asia, including where the better jobs are, who holds them, and the implications for the employment challenge ahead. Chapter four reviews the business environment constraints affecting, in particular, those firms that have expanded employment and discusses policy options for overcoming the most binding business constraints in South Asia. Chapter five analyzes the dimensions of the education and a skill challenge in the region and discusses policy priorities for improving the quality and skills of graduates of education and training systems. Chapter six reviews the role of labor market policies and institutions in encouraging job creation and protecting workers in the formal and informal economy and discusses possible directions for labor market policies, including options to increase the access of informal sector workers to programs that help them manage labor market shocks and improve their future earnings potential. Finally, chapter seven reviews the key constraints to job creation and the policy priorities for creating more and better jobs in conflict-affected areas.