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 - 6 of 6
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    Dominican Republic Jobs Diagnostic
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-05) Winkler, Hernan ; Montenegro, Miriam
    By 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.
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    Does Job Polarization Explain the Rise in Earnings Inequality? Evidence from Europe
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-11) Bussolo, Maurizio ; Torre, Ivan ; Winkler, Hernan ; Torre, Iván
    Earnings inequality and job polarization have increased significantly in several countries since the early 1990s. Using data from European countries covering a 20-year period, this paper provides new evidence that the decline of middle-skilled occupations and the simultaneous increase of high- and low-skilled occupations are important factors accounting for the rise of inequality, especially at the bottom of the distribution. Job polarization accounts for a large share of the increasing inequality between the 10th and the 50th percentiles, but it explains little or none of the increasing inequality between the 50th and 90th percentiles. Other important developments during this period, such as changing wage returns, higher educational attainment, and increased female labor force participation, account for a small portion of the changes in inequality.
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    The Impacts of COVID-19 on Informal Labor Markets: Evidence from Peru
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-05) Cueva, Ronald ; Del Carpio, Ximena ; Winkler, Hernan
    This 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.
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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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    The Welfare Effects of Mobile Broadband Internet: Evidence from Nigeria
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-05) Bahia, Kalvin ; Castells, Pau ; Cruz, Genaro ; Masaki, Takaaki ; Pedros, Xavier ; Pfutze, Tobias ; Rodriguez-Castelan, Carlos ; Winkler, Hernan ; Pfutze, Tobias
    This paper estimates the impacts of mobile broadband coverage on household consumption and poverty in Nigeria, the largest economy and mobile broadband market in Africa. The analysis exploits a unique dataset that integrates three waves of a nationally representative longitudinal household survey on living standards with information from Nigerian mobile operators on the deployment of mobile broadband (3G and 4G) coverage between 2010 and 2016. The estimates show that mobile broadband coverage had large and positive impacts on household consumption levels which increased over time, although at a decreasing rate. Mobile broadband coverage also reduces the proportion of households below the poverty line, driven by higher food and non-food consumption in rural households. These effects are mainly due to an increase in labor force participation and employment, particularly among women.