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 11
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, 2017-03-07) Kelly, Tim ; Liaplina, Aleksandra ; Tan, Shawn W. ; Winkler, HernanFrom East to West, the economies of Europe and Central Asia (ECA) are not taking full advantage of the internet to foster economic growth and job creation. The residents of Central Asia and the South Caucasus pay some of the highest prices in the world for internet connections that are slow and unreliable. In contrast, Europe enjoys some of the world’s fastest and affordable internet services. However, its firms and individuals are not fully exploiting the internet to achieve higher productivity growth as well as more and better jobs. Reaping Digital Dividends investigates the barriers that are holding back the broader adoption of the internet in ECA. The report identifies the main bottlenecks and provides policy recommendations tailored to economies at varying levels of digital development. It concludes that policies to increase internet access are necessary but not sufficient. Policies to foster competition, international trade and skills supply, as well as adapting regulations to the changing business environment and labor markets, will also be necessary. In other words, Reaping Digital Dividends not only requires better connectivity, but also complementary factors that allow governments, firms and individuals to make the most out of it.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-02) Artuc, Erhan ; Christiaensen, Luc ; Winkler, HernanFollowing 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.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019) Artuc, Erhan ; Christiaensen, Luc ; Winkler, HernanFollowing 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.
Publication(Taylor and Francis, 2016-12-09) Winkler, HernanThis article provides new evidence on the impact of the internet on migration decisions. I find that an increase in internet adoption among migrant-sending countries reduces the stock of migrants from these locations. The results are robust to a number of specifications, including an instrumental variable approach that addresses the endogeneity of internet adoption. The findings suggest that the internet may weaken the importance of push factors in the decision to migrate, and that these effects outweigh declines in mobility costs.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-02) Lo Bello, Salvatore ; Sanchez Puerta, Maria Laura ; Winkler, HernanThere is a growing body of literature exploring the skill content of jobs. This paper contributes to this research by using data on the task content of occupations in developing countries, instead of U.S. data, as most existing studies do. The paper finds that indexes based on U.S. data do not provide a fair approximation of the levels, changes, and drivers of the routine cognitive and nonroutine manual skill content of jobs in developing countries. The paper also uncovers three new stylized facts. First, while developed countries tend to have jobs more intensive in nonroutine cognitive skills than developing countries, income (in growth and levels) is not associated with the skill content of jobs once the analysis accounts for other factors. Second, although adoption of information and communications technology is linked to job de-routinization, international trade is an offsetting force. Last, adoption of information and communications technology is correlated with lower employment growth in countries with a high share of occupations that are intensive in routine tasks.
How is the Internet Changing Labor Market Arrangements?: Evidence from Telecommunications Reforms in Europe(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-02) Vazquez, Emmanuel ; Winkler, HernanThis paper exploits variations in the timing of telecommunications reforms across Europe to analyze the relationship between the rise of alternative work arrangements and the emergence of the Internet. The paper evaluates whether sectors that are technologically more dependent on information and communications technologies experienced disproportionately larger changes in their employment outcomes after telecommunications reforms were introduced. The main results point to a disproportionate increase in total employment, part-time work, and home-based work among information and communications technologies–intensive sectors after the implementation of telecommunications reforms. The analysis does not find a link between the incidence of temporary employment, self-employment, second job holding, and telecommunications reforms. The main results are robust to several specifications.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-10) Rozo, Sandra ; Winkler, HernanThis paper examines the effects of large inflows of internally displaced persons (IDP), who are primarily absorbed by the informal sector, on the behavior of formal manufacturing firms in Colombia. To identify causal effects, the analysis employs annual, firm-level panel data between 1995 and 2010 and exploits that when conflict intensifies, forcefully displaced individuals tend to migrate to municipalities where people from their origin locations settled earlier. The paper finds that large inflows of IDP induce sizable, negative effects on the intensive and extensive margins of production of formal firms. These effects are stronger for firms operating in sectors that face a stronger competition from the informal economy.