Poverty and Equity Global Practice of the World Bank
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Labor economics, Poverty, Inequality, Migration
Poverty and Equity Global Practice of the World Bank
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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).
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
El Salvador Job Diagnostic: Understanding Challenges for More and Better Jobs in El Salvador - An Integrated Approach(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-10-28) Banegas, Nancy ; Winkler, HernanEl Salvador faces significant challenges in the labor market, many of which may not be obvious when looking at aggregate job figures. This report provides a detailed analysis of the Salvadoran labor market between 2000 and 2017 and identifies the main bottlenecks preventing the creation of more and better jobs. It does so in three blocks. First, it describes the main trends in economic growth, its drivers, and implications for job creation. Second, it provides an in-depth analysis of factors constraining the demand for labor. Third, it analyzes which are the skills that the private sector is demanding, and what are the factors contributing to the wide and persistent gender and youth gaps in the labor market. The report concludes with policy recommendations to create more and better jobs in El Salvador.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-10) Bussolo, Maurizio ; Capelle, Damien ; Lokshin, Michael M. ; Torre, Iván ; Winkler, HernanDuring the last quarter century, job tenure in Europe has shortened. Using data from Eurostat Labor Force Surveys of 29 countries from 1995 to 2020 and applying an age-period-cohort decomposition to analyze changes in tenure for specific birth cohorts, this paper shows that tenure has shrunk for cohorts born in more recent years. To account for compositional changes within cohorts, the analysis estimates the probability of holding jobs of different durations, conditional on individual and employment-related characteristics. The estimations demonstrate that, over time, the likelihood of having a medium- or long-term job decreased and holding a short-term job increased. The paper also finds that stricter job protection legislation appears to decrease the probability of holding a short-term job, and higher trade openness and ICT-related technological change are correlated with an increase of that probability.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-05) Hatayama, Maho ; Viollaz, Mariana ; Winkler, HernanThe spread of COVID-19 and implementation of "social distancing" policies around the world have raised the question of how many jobs can be done at home. This paper uses skills surveys from 53 countries at varying levels of economic development to estimate jobs' amenability to working from home. The paper considers jobs' characteristics and uses internet access at home as an important determinant of working from home. The findings indicate that the amenability of jobs to working from home increases with the level of economic development of the country. This is driven by jobs in poor countries being more intensive in physical/manual tasks, using less information and communications technology, and having poorer internet connectivity at home. Women, college graduates, and salaried and formal workers have jobs that are more amenable to working from home than the average worker. The opposite holds for workers in hotels and restaurants, construction, agriculture, and commerce. The paper finds that the crisis may exacerbate inequities between and within countries. It also finds that occupations explain less than half of the variability in the working-from-home indexes within countries, which highlights the importance of using individual-level data to assess jobs’ amenability to working from home.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-07) Garrote Sanchez, Daniel ; Gomez Parra, Nicolas ; Ozden, Caglar ; Rijkers, Bob ; Viollaz, Mariana ; Winkler, HernanThis paper presents new estimates of the share of jobs that can be performed from home. The analysis is based on the task content of occupations, their information and communications technology requirements, and the availability of internet access by country and income groupings. Globally, one of every five jobs can be performed from home. The ability to telework is correlated with income. In low-income countries, only one of every 26 jobs can be done from home. Failing to account for internet access yields upward biased estimates of the resilience of poor countries, lagging regions, and poor workers. Since better paid workers are more likely to be able to work from home, COVID-19 is likely to exacerbate inequality, especially in richer countries where better paid and educated workers are insulated from the shock. The overall labor market burden of COVID-19 is bound to be larger in poor countries, where only a small share of workers can work from home and social protection systems are weaker. Across the globe, young, poorly educated workers and those on temporary contracts are least likely to be able to work from home and more vulnerable to the labor market shocks from COVID-19.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-03) Viollaz, Mariana ; Winkler, HernanThis article investigates the link between digital technologies and female labor market outcomes in a country with one of the largest gender disparities. It exploits the massive roll-out of mobile broadband technology in Jordan between 2010 and 2016 to identify the effect of internet adoption on labor force participation. Using panel data at the individual level with rich information on labor market outcomes, internet use and gender-biased social norms, the article finds that internet adoption increases female labor force participation but has no effect on male labor force participation. The increase in online job search explains some -- but not all -- of the total increase in female labor force participation. Only older and skilled women experience an increase in employment in response to having internet access. The internet also reduces the prevalence of gender-biased social norms, early marriage and fertility.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-05) Winkler, Hernan ; Montenegro, MiriamBy many measures, the Dominican Republic experienced a stellar economic performance since the early 2000s. Upon closer inspection, however, progress has been slower than the aggregate indicators suggest. The fact that economic growth did not fully translate into higher job quality may help explain why the country’s poverty indicators only declined at the same average pace as other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, even though its per capita gross domestic product (GDP) grew almost twice as fast as the regional average. This Jobs Diagnostic argues that the main labor market challenge facing the Dominican Republic is how to increase the quality of jobs in a sustained manner. Meeting this challenge is important both for achieving greater poverty reduction and shared prosperity in the medium term, as well as for rendering jobs less vulnerable to the risks posed by longer-term automation and globalization trends. This report presents new findings on the main bottlenecks that are hindering the creation of better jobs in the Dominican Republic and outlines the elements of a jobs strategy that can help remove them.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-01) Bandiera, Antonella ; Dinarte, Lelys ; Rozo, Sandra V. ; Schmidt-Padilla, Carlos ; Sviatschi, María Micaela ; Winkler, HernanCan repatriation inflows impact firm behavior in origin countries? This paper examines this question in the context of repatriation inflows from the United States and Mexico to El Salvador. The paper combines a rich longitudinal data set covering all formal firms in El Salvador with individual-level data on all registered repatriations from 2010 to 2017. The empirical strategy combines variation in the municipality of birth of individuals repatriated over 1995-2002—before a significant change in deportation policies—with annual variation in aggregate inflows of repatriations to El Salvador. The findings show that repatriations have large negative effects on the average wages of formal workers. This is mainly driven by formal firms in sectors that face more intense competition from the informal sector, which deportees are more likely to join. Repatriation inflows also reduce total employment among formal firms in those sectors. Given that most deportees spend less than a month abroad, these findings suggest that the experience of being detained and deported can have strong negative effects not only on the deportees, but also on their receiving communities.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-05) Cueva, Ronald ; Del Carpio, Ximena ; Winkler, HernanThis paper provides new evidence on the impacts of the COVID-19 economic crisis on a labor market with a high prevalence of informality. The analysis uses a rich longitudinal household survey for Peru that contains a host of individual and job outcomes before and during the first months of the lockdown in 2020. The findings show that workers who had jobs in non-essential and informal sectors were significantly more likely to become unemployed. In contrast to developed countries, having a job amenable to working from home is not correlated with job loss when controlling for informal status. This is consistent with the high level of labor market segmentation observed in Peru, where high-skilled occupations are disproportionately concentrated in the formal sector, which was also better targeted by policies aimed at supporting firms and job protection during the crisis. In addition, the findings show that women were more likely to lose their jobs because female-dominated sectors are more intensive in face-to-face interactions and thereby more affected by social distancing measures. Increased childcare responsibilities also help explain the worse impacts on women in rural areas. Finally, workers who depended on public transportation before the crisis were more likely to lose their jobs during the early months of the pandemic.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10) Rodríguez-Castelán, Carlos ; Vazquez, Emmanuel ; Winkler, HernanEvidence 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.
Publication(Taylor & Francis, 2021-09-24) Viollaz, Mariana ; Winkler, HernanThis article investigates the link between digital technologies and female labor outcomes in a country with one of the lowest female labor force participation (LFP) rates. It exploits the massive roll-out of mobile broadband technology in Jordan between 2010 and 2016 to identify the effect of internet adoption on LFP, internet job search, employment, and unemployment. Using panel data at the individual level and an instrumental variable strategy, the article finds that internet adoption increases female LFP and that the effect is driven by women who were not married in 2010, who also experience declines in marriage and fertility rates in response to internet adoption. An increase in online job search explains some, but not all, of the total increase in female LFP. Only women who are older and have higher levels of education experience an increase in employment in response to gaining internet access. The internet reduces the prevalence of traditional social norms among married women, but this channel does not explain the increase in female LFP.