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 - 7 of 7
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    When Job Earnings Are Behind Poverty Reduction
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-11) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Azevedo, João Pedro ; Olivieri, Sergio ; Saavedra, Jaime ; Winkler, Hernan
    Improvement in labor market conditions has been the main explanation behind many of the poverty success stories observed in the last decade, that is the primary conclusion of an analysis of changes in poverty by income source. Changes in labor earnings were the largest contributor to poverty reduction for a sample of 16 countries where poverty increased substantially. In 10 of these countries, labor income explained more than half of the change in poverty, and in another 4 countries, it accounted for more than 40 percent of the reduction in poverty. A declining dependency rate accounts for over a fifth of the reduction in poverty in 10 out of 16 countries, while transfers and other non-earned incomes account for more than a quarter of the reduction in poverty in 9 of these countries. A further decomposition of the contribution of labor income to poverty reduction in Bangladesh, Peru, and Thailand found that changes in individual characteristics (education, work experience, and region of residence) were important, but that overall, increases in real earnings among the poor matter the most.
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    Decomposing Distributional Changes in Pakistan
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-07) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Winkler, Hernan
    This paper quantifies the contributions to distributional changes observed in Pakistan over the last decade. In contrast to methods that focus on aggregate summary statistics, the method adopted in this paper generates entire counterfactual distributions to account for the contributions of demographics, labor and non-labor incomes in explaining poverty reduction. The results show that the most important contributor was the growth in income. Moreover, this growth in income seems to be driven by returns to individual and household endowments, pointing to productivity increases as the driving force behind poverty reduction. Lower dependency ratios, transfers and remittances also contributed to poverty reduction, albeit to a smaller extent. Growth in productivity, particularly between 2001-02 and 2005-06 is consistent with estimates from aggregate accounts, which points to productivity growth led by movements of labor force away from agriculture and into industry and services. If the objective is to reach similar or accelerated poverty reduction and productivity growth going forward, increased investment in rural areas will be needed.
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    Understanding Changes in Poverty
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-08-12) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Azevedo, João Pedro ; Essama-Nssah, B. ; Olivieri, Sergio ; Van Nguyen, Trang ; Saavedra-Chanduvi, Jaime ; Winkler, Hernan
    Understanding Changes in Poverty brings together different methods to decompose the contributions to poverty reduction. A simple approach quantifies the contribution of changes in demographics, employment, earnings, public transfers, and remittances to poverty reduction. A more complex approach quantifies the contributions to poverty reduction from changes in individual and household characteristics, including changes in the sectoral, occupational, and educational structure of the workforce, as well as changes in the returns to individual and household characteristics. Understanding Changes in Poverty implements these approaches and finds that labor income growth that is, growth in income per worker rather than an increase in the number of employed workers was the largest contributor to moderate poverty reduction in 21 countries experiencing substantial reductions in poverty over the past decade. Changes in demographics, public transfers, and remittances helped, but made relatively smaller contributions to poverty reduction. Further decompositions in three countries find that labor income grew mainly because of higher returns to human capital endowments, signaling increases in productivity, higher relative price of labor, or both. Understanding Changes in Poverty will be of particular relevance to development practitioners interested in better understanding distributional changes over time. The methods and tools presented in this book can also be applied to better understand changes in inequality or any other distributional change.
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    Fiscal Policy Issues in the Aging Societies
    ( 2015-03) Bogetic, Zeljko ; Onder, Harun ; Onal, Anil ; Skrok, Emilia ; Schwartz, Anita ; Winkler, Hernan
    Aging may be one of the most far-reaching processes defining the economic, fiscal, and social changes societies are likely to experience over the next 40 years. The demographic consequences of aging will have a dramatic impact on labor markets, economic growth, social structures--and government budgets. These issues have gained urgency after the second largest global recession in the past 100 years. Based on a broad comparative analysis of countries that include the EU and non-EU European and Central Asian countries, as well as several case studies and model simulations, the paper seeks to provide broad answers--tailored in part to distinct groups of countries according to their aging-fiscal profiles--to major questions facing governments budgets in aging societies: What are the fiscal-aging profiles of Western European, emerging European, and Central Asian countries? In other words, how good or bad is their fiscal situation--"initial conditions"--in view of their emerging aging-related problems? What kind of public spending pressures are likely to emerge in the coming decades, and what will be their relative importance? How do countries compare in terms of the possible impacts of aging on growth and long-term debt sustainability? What can be learned from in-depth and comparative case studies of aging, fiscal sustainability, and fiscal reform? Are there good-practice examples--countries doing things right at the right time--that may offer lessons for the others? And, perhaps most important, given the need for long-term fiscal consolidation for many countries, what kind of revenue and expenditure policy agendas are likely to emerge to mitigate the effects of aging? A key policy conclusion is that countries should aim for early rather than delayed reforms dealing with long-term aging pressures. The urgency is accentuated by the debt situations and/or adverse debt and demographic dynamics in almost all countries but also by the evolving voter preferences. As societies age and voting preferences increasingly reflect the political will of the older population, it will become more difficult to enact the necessary reforms ensuring social and fiscal sustainability.
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    Greying the Budget: Ageing and Preferences over Public Policies
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-02) de Mello, Luiz ; Schotte, Simone ; Tiongson, Erwin R. ; Winkler, Hernan
    This paper looks at how individual preferences for the allocation of government spending change along the life cycle. Using the Life in Transition Survey II for 34 countries in Europe and Central Asia, the study finds that older individuals are less likely to support a rise in government outlays on education and more likely to support increases in spending on pensions. These results are very similar across countries, and they do not change when using alternative model specifications, estimation methods, and data sources. Using repeated cross-sections, the analysis controls for cohort effects and confirms the main results. The findings are consistent with a body of literature arguing that conflict across generations over the allocation of public expenditures may intensify in ageing economies.
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    Why Are the Elderly More Averse to Immigration When They Are More Likely to Benefit? evidence across countries: Evidence across Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-02) Schotte, Simone ; Winkler, Hernan
    Using household surveys for 24 countries over a 10-year period, this paper investigates why the elderly are more averse to open immigration policies than their younger peers. The analysis finds that the negative correlation between age and pro-immigration attitudes is mostly explained by a cohort or generational change. In fact, once controlling for year of birth, the correlation between age and pro-immigration attitudes is either positive or zero in most of the countries in the sample. Under certain assumptions, the estimates suggest that aging societies will tend to become less averse to open immigration regimes over time.
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    Jordan Jobs Diagnostic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-11-01) Winkler, Hernan ; Gonzalez, Alvaro
    This report provides a detailed diagnostic of the Jordanian labor market. It finds that labor market outcomes are worsening in Jordan. It has one of the lowest levels of labor force participation in the world, and only one out of every three working-age Jordanians has a job. Low rates of firm entry and exit suggest that the process of creative destruction is limited. Most private sector firms are either small – and stay small or large and old. The share of employment in small firms -which tend to be less productive- is growing. Employment is increasingly informal, less productive. High levels of informality drive down overall levels of labor productivity and suggests that important distortions affect the allocation of resources in the economy. At the same time, a large inflow of Syrian refugees and economic migrants makes the need for job creation even more urgent.