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 10
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, 2014-06) Enamorado, Ted ; López-Calva, Luis-Felipe ; Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos ; Winkler, HernánThe relationship between income inequality and crime has attracted the interest of many researchers, but little convincing evidence exists on the causal effect of inequality on crime in developing countries. This paper estimates this effect in a unique context: Mexico's Drug War. The analysis takes advantage of a unique data set containing inequality and crime statistics for more than 2,000 Mexican municipalities covering a period of 20 years. Using an instrumental variable for inequality that tackles problems of reverse causality and omitted variable bias, this paper finds that an increment of one point in the Gini coefficient translates into an increase of more than 10 drug-related homicides per 100,000 inhabitants between 2006 and 2010. There are no significant effects before 2005. The fact that the effect was found during Mexico's Drug War and not before is likely because the cost of crime decreased with the proliferation of gangs (facilitating access to knowledge and logistics, lowering the marginal cost of criminal behavior), which, combined with rising inequality, increased the expected net benefit from criminal acts after 2005.
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, 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(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-11) Bussolo, Maurizio ; Torre, Ivan ; Winkler, Hernan ; Torre, IvánEarnings 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.
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(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.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-05) Bahia, Kalvin ; Castells, Pau ; Cruz, Genaro ; Masaki, Takaaki ; Pedros, Xavier ; Pfutze, Tobias ; Rodriguez-Castelan, Carlos ; Winkler, Hernan ; Pfutze, TobiasThis 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.