Winkler, Hernán

Poverty and Equity Global Practice of the World Bank
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Labor economics, Poverty, Inequality, Migration
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Hernan Winkler is a Senior Economist in the Poverty and Equity Global Practice. He specializes in labor economics, migration, and the sources and consequences of inequality and poverty. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Development Economics and the Journal of Human Resources. He has led several World Bank reports including Reaping Digital Dividends: Leveraging the Internet for Development in Europe and Central Asia. Before joining the World Bank, he was a Researcher at CEDLAS. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
Citations 116 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    Income Inequality and Violent Crime : Evidence from Mexico's Drug War
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-06) Enamorado, Ted ; López-Calva, Luis-Felipe ; Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos ; Winkler, Hernán
    The relationship between income inequality and crime has attracted the interest of many researchers, but little convincing evidence exists on the causal effect of inequality on crime in developing countries. This paper estimates this effect in a unique context: Mexico's Drug War. The analysis takes advantage of a unique data set containing inequality and crime statistics for more than 2,000 Mexican municipalities covering a period of 20 years. Using an instrumental variable for inequality that tackles problems of reverse causality and omitted variable bias, this paper finds that an increment of one point in the Gini coefficient translates into an increase of more than 10 drug-related homicides per 100,000 inhabitants between 2006 and 2010. There are no significant effects before 2005. The fact that the effect was found during Mexico's Drug War and not before is likely because the cost of crime decreased with the proliferation of gangs (facilitating access to knowledge and logistics, lowering the marginal cost of criminal behavior), which, combined with rising inequality, increased the expected net benefit from criminal acts after 2005.
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    Does Automation in Rich Countries Hurt Developing Ones? Evidence from the U.S. and Mexico
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-02) Artuc, Erhan ; Christiaensen, Luc ; Winkler, Hernan
    Following a couple of decades of offshoring, the fear today is of reshoring. Using administrative data on Mexican exports by municipality, sector and destination from 2004 to 2014, this paper investigates how local labor markets in Mexico that are more exposed to automation in the U.S. through trade fared in exports and employment outcomes. The results show that an increase of one robot per thousand workers in the U.S. -- about twice the increase observed between 2004-2014 -- lowers growth in exports per worker from Mexico to the U.S. by 6.7 percent. Higher exposure to U.S. automation did not affect wage employment, nor manufacturing wage employment overall. Yet, the latter is the result of two counteracting forces. Exposure to U.S. automation reduced manufacturing wage employment in areas where occupations were initially more susceptible to being automated; but exposure increased manufacturing wage employment in other areas. Finally, the analysis also finds negative impacts of exposure to local automation on local labor market outcomes.
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    Tracing the Local Impacts of Exports on Poverty and Inequality in Mexico
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10) Rodríguez-Castelán, Carlos ; Vazquez, Emmanuel ; Winkler, Hernan
    Evidence on the effect of exports on welfare at the local level is scarce. Using a unique data set of international trade and poverty maps for almost 2,000 Mexican municipalities between 2004 and 2014, the study presented in this paper provides new evidence on the impact of a significant rise in exports on poverty and inequality at the local level. The analysis implements an instrumental variable approach that combines the initial structure of exports across municipalities with global trends in exports from developing to developed countries by sector. The results show that a 10 percent increase in the ratio of exports to workers reduces income inequality measured by the Gini coefficient by 0.17 point (using a 0 to 100 scale), but no significant effects on poverty reduction or average household incomes are identified. The lack of impacts on average incomes is driven by a rise in the supply of labor at the local level because municipalities with higher export growth experienced an increase in labor force participation and attracted more net migration, particularly of unskilled workers. Therefore, while total labor incomes grew in response to an increase in exports, average labor income per worker did not change. Declining remittances also blunted the effect of growing exports on household incomes.
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    Income Inequality and Violent Crime: Evidence from Mexico’s Drug War
    (Elsevier, 2016-05) Enamorado, Ted ; López-Calva, Luis F. ; Rodríguez-Castelán, Carlos ; Winkler, Hernán
    The goal of this paper is to examine the effect of inequality on crime rates in a unique context, Mexico's drug war. The analysis exploits an original dataset containing inequality and crime statistics on more than 2000 Mexican municipalities over a 20-year period. To uncover the causal effect of inequality on crime, we use an instrumental variable for the Gini coefficient that combines the initial income distribution at the municipality level with national trends. Our estimates indicate that a one-point increment in the Gini coefficient between 2007 and 2010 translates into an increase of more that 36% in the number of drug-related homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. The fact that the effect found during the drug war is substantially greater is likely caused by the rise in rents to be extracted through crime and an expansion in the employment opportunities in the illegal sector through the proliferation of drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), accompanied by a decline in legal job opportunities and a reduction in the probability of being caught given the resource constraints faced by the law enforcement system. Combined, the latter factors made the expected benefits of criminal activity shift in a socially undesirable direction after 2007.
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    Neither by Land nor by Sea: The Rise of Electronic Remittances during COVID-19
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-05) Dinarte-Diaz, Lelys ; Jaume, David ; Medina-Cortina, Eduardo ; Winkler, Hernan
    Despite concerns that the COVID-19 economic collapse would torpedo international remittances, formal remittances to several developing countries ballooned early in the pandemic. This increase might, however, have reflected a shift from informal channels to formal ones rather than a change in actual flows. This paper employs Mexican data to explore this and finds that remittance channels did change. The rise in formal inflows was larger among municipalities that were previously more reliant on informal channels (for example, near a border crossing). Households there also experienced a disproportionate increase in bank accounts opened after lockdown measures. The paper also rules out hypotheses related to the US Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security Act and altruism.