Santos, Indhira

Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice
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Labor economics, Development economics
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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 - 4 of 4
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    Back to Work : Growing with Jobs in Europe and Central Asia
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-01-15) Arias, Omar S. ; Sánchez-Páramo, Carolina ; Dávalos, María E. ; Santos, Indhira ; Tiongson, Erwin R. ; Gruen, Carola ; de Andrade Falcão, Natasha ; Saiovici, Gady ; Cancho, Cesar A.
    Creating more and better jobs is arguably the most critical challenge to boosting shared prosperity in ECA. This report answers two questions: How can the countries create more jobs? Should there be specific policies to help workers access those jobs?. In answering them, the report examines the role of reforms, firms, skills, incentives and barriers to work, and labor mobility through the lens of two contextual factors: the legacy of centralized planned economies and the mounting demographic pressures associated with rapid aging in some countries and soaring numbers of youth entering the workforce in others. The main findings of the report are: i) market reforms pay off in terms of jobs and productivity, although with a lag; ii) a small fraction of superstar high-growth firms, largely young, account for most of new jobs created in the region- thus, countries, especially late reformers, need to unleash the potential of high levels of latent entrepreneurship to start-up new firms; iii) skills gaps hinder employment prospects, especially of youth and older workers, due to the inadequate response of the education and training system to changes in the demand for skills; iv) employment is hindered by high implicit taxes on work for those transitioning to work from inactivity or unemployment and barriers that affect especially women, minorities, youth and older workers; and, v) low internal labor mobility prevents labor relocation to places with greater job creation potential. The report argues that to get more people back to work by growing with jobs, countries need to regain the momentum for economic and institutional reforms that existed before the crisis in order to: (i) lay the fundamentals to create jobs for all workers, by pushing reforms to create the enabling environment for existing firms to grow, become more productive, or exit the market and tap on entrepreneurship potential for new firms to emerge and succeed or fail fast and cheap; and (ii) implement policies to support workers so they are prepared to take on the new jobs being created, by having the right skills, incentives and access to work, and being ready to move to places with the highest job creation potential.
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    The Skills Balancing Act in Sub-Saharan Africa: Investing in Skills for Productivity, Inclusivity, and Adaptability
    (Washington, DC: World Bank and Agence française de développement, 2019-06-10) Arias, Omar ; Evans, David K. ; Santos, Indhira
    Sub-Saharan Africa has the youngest population of any region of the world, and that growing working-age population represents a major opportunity to reduce poverty and increase shared prosperity. But the region’s workforce is the least skilled in the world, constraining economic prospects. Despite economic growth, declining poverty, and investments in skills-building, too many students in too many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are not acquiring the foundational skills they need to thrive and prosper in an increasingly competitive global economy. This report examines the balancing act that individuals and countries face in making productive investments in both a wide range of skills – cognitive, socio-emotional, and technical – and a wide range of groups – young children through working adults – so that Sub-Saharan Africa will thrive.
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    TVET Systems’ Response to COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-05-14) Hoftijzer, Margo ; Levin, Victoria ; Santos, Indhira ; Weber, Michael
    This note focuses on the role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides guidance on reducing the adverse impact of the pandemic on TVET provision and enhancing the contribution TVET can make to mitigating the health, social, and economic impact of COVID-19.
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    Can Grit Be Taught? Lessons from a Nationwide Field Experiment with Middle-School Students
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-11) Santos, Indhira ; Petroska-Beska, Violeta ; Carneiro, Pedro ; Eskreis-Winkler, Lauren ; Munoz Boudet, Ana Maria ; Berniell, Ines ; Krekel, Christian ; Arias, Omar ; Duckworth, Angela
    This paper studies whether a particular socio-emotional skill —grit (the ability to sustain effort and interest toward long-term goals)—can be cultivated and how this affects student learning. The paper implements, as a randomized controlled trial, a nationwide low-cost intervention designed to foster grit and self-regulation among sixth and seventh grade students in primary schools in North Macedonia (about 33,000 students across 350 schools). Students exposed to the intervention report improvements in self-regulation, in particular the perseverance-of-effort facet of grit, relative to students in a control condition. The impacts on students are larger when both students and teachers are exposed to the curriculum than when only students are treated. Among disadvantaged students, the study also finds positive impacts on grade point averages, with gains of up to 28 percent of a standard deviation one year post-treatment. However, the findings also point toward a potential downside: although the intervention made students more perseverant and industrious, there is some evidence that it may have reduced consistency in their interests over time.