Pfutze, Tobias

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Last updated September 21, 2023
Tobias Pfutze is a former senior economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Region and associate professor of economics at Florida International University. He is an applied microeconomist with an interest in social protection policies, land tenure systems, and institutional economics. He has also held academic positions at Georgetown University, American University, and Oberlin College and worked as a consultant for the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme. His research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Economic Development and Cultural Change, and World Development. He completed his undergraduate studies at Humboldt University in Berlin and Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. He holds a doctorate in economics from New York University.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
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    Do Cash Transfer Programs Protect from Poverty in the Case of Aggregate Shocks?: A Study on Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-01) Pfutze, Tobias ; Pfutze, Tobias
    Cash transfer programs are regarded as providing effective protection against poverty and household-specific negative income shocks. Little research has been done on their performance in situations of aggregate negative shocks. This paper assesses the performance of the Philippines’ Conditional Cash Transfer Program in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Using triple difference techniques, it finds that the program effectively protected households affected by the storm from falling into extreme poverty. It had the largest effect on nonfood consumption.
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    Can a Small Social Pension Promote Labor Force Participation?: Evidence from the Colombia Mayor Program
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-12) Pfutze, Tobias ; Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos ; Pfutze, Tobias
    One of the primary motivations behind the establishment of noncontributory pension programs is to allow beneficiaries to retire from the labor force. Yet, as with other unconditional cash transfer schemes, their aggregate effects may be more complex. Using panel data and instrumental variable techniques, this paper shows that the effect of one such program, Colombia Mayor, has been to raise the labor force participation of relatively younger male beneficiaries. This increase occurred precisely in the occupations with characteristics that are likely to require some up-front investment. The paper concludes that the transfer effectively loosened the liquidity constraints to remaining in these occupations. However, no such effect is found among women or older beneficiaries.
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    Learning Loss in Cambodia and the Use of EdTech during COVID-19
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-11) Bhatta, Saurav Dev ; Katwal, Saurav ; Pfutze, Tobias ; Ros, Vutha ; Wong, Yi Ning ; No, Fata ; Pfutze, Tobias
    This report estimates the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on learning and earnings in Cambodia, analyzes the country’s EdTech readiness and the extent to which EdTech access and use are correlated with learning, and discusses the policy implications of the study findings for enhancing learning and for improving system resilience through EdTech based teaching and learning. More specifically, it first analyzes the state of learning outcomes in Cambodia in the immediate post-COVID period (November 2021) using the government’s national learning assessment (NLA) data for grade six students and estimates the declines in learning outcomes experienced by students in this grade between 2016 and 2021 in Khmer and mathematics. Additionally, using a learning loss simulation model developed at the World Bank, it also estimates losses in learning adjusted years of schooling (LAYS) and future earnings of students resulting from pandemic. Second, it analyzes the relationship between the EdTech based distance learning measures implemented at the school level and learning outcomes, as well as the extent to which the country is prepared to systematically integrate and expand the use of EdTech in the education system. And third, it provides recommendations for enhancing learning recovery and learning outcomes, and for addressing gaps in policy provision and implementation to support the scaling up of EdTech for the purpose of improving system resilience.
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    The Role of Existing Social Protection Programs in Alleviating Poverty Caused by Large-Scale Negative Shocks
    (World Bank, Malaysia, 2021-09-02) Pfutze, Tobias ; Pfutze, Tobias
    The deep global recession induced by Covid-19 (coronavirus) is putting at risk the gains in poverty reduction made over the past three decades. The ability of existing social protection programs to prevent a permanent increase in poverty is thus of obvious importance. Yet, research on their performance during and after large aggregate shocks is largely missing. This Brief provides evidence by examining the performance of cash transfer programs in Indonesia and the Philippines following two recent natural disasters. One of them, Typhoon Yolanda, is an extreme weather event of the kind expected to become more common as global climate change intensifies. The results presented also contribute to the broader discussion on adaption to climate change and the need to provide adequate protection mechanisms to affected populations.
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    Urban Transport Infrastructure and Household Welfare: Evidence from Colombia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-02) Pfutze, Tobias ; Rodriguez-Castelan, Carlos ; Valderrama-Gonzalez, Daniel ; Pfutze, Tobias
    The effects of urban transport policies on household welfare are a broadly understudied topic in developing countries. This paper analyzes the distributional effects of a newly established bus rapid transit system in Barranquilla, Colombia. The paper uses pooled cross-sectional household survey data, analyzed by block, over 2008-15 and a difference-in-differences approach. The analysis shows that, in proximity to newly opened stations, poor households were replaced by households in the middle and upper socioeconomic strata. These results suggest that the designers of the system, despite the generally positive assessment of the system, may have overlooked the distributional consequences. Moreover, the paper shows that any results on outcomes that may be directly affected by the related policy will be biased due to urban displacement.
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    Fixing the Foundation: Teachers and Basic Education in East Asia and Pacific
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-09-20) Afkar, Rythia ; Béteille, Tara ; Breeding, Mary E. ; Linden, Toby ; Mason, Andrew D. ; Mattoo, Aaditya ; Pfutze, Tobias ; Sondergaard, Lars M. ; Yarrow, Noah
    Countries in middle-income East Asia and the Pacific were already experiencing serious learning deficits prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-related school disruptions have only made things worse. Learning poverty -- defined as the percentage of 10-year-olds who cannot read and understand an age-appropriate text -- is as high as 90 percent in several countries. Several large Southeast Asian countries consistently perform well below expectations on adolescent learning assessments. This report examines key factors affecting student learning in the region, with emphasis on the central role of teachers and teaching quality. It also analyzes the role education technologies, which came into widespread use during the pandemic, and examines the political economy of education reform. The report presents recommendations on how countries can strengthen teaching to improve learning and, in doing so, can enhance productivity, growth, and future development in the region.
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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.