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 - 8 of 8
Publication( 2015-03) Bogetic, Zeljko ; Onder, Harun ; Onal, Anil ; Skrok, Emilia ; Schwartz, Anita ; Winkler, HernanAging 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.
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, HernanUsing 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.
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, 2019-11-01) Winkler, Hernan ; Gonzalez, AlvaroThis 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.
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, 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, 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(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.