Winkler, Deborah

Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice
Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
International economics, Global value chains, Export competitiveness, Foreign direct investment, Offshoring, Trade
External Links
Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
Last updated: March 27, 2024
Deborah Winkler is a Senior Economist in the World Bank Group’s Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice. Deborah has worked on issues of global value chains, offshoring, export competitiveness, foreign direct investment, and trade in services; their determinants; and their economic and social effects. She is particularly interested in the role that policy can play in shaping the trade-development nexus and has offered her policy analysis and advice to a variety of client countries spanning all world regions. Ms. Winkler is the author and editor of several flagship publications at the World Bank, including Making Global Value Chains Work for Development (with Daria Taglioni) and Making Foreign Direct Investment Work for Sub-Saharan Africa (with Thomas Farole). Recently, Deborah was a lead author of the Women and Trade Report: The Role of Trade in Promoting Gender Equality and a core team member of the World Development Report 2020: Trading for Development in the Age of Global Value Chains. She is a former Research Associate of the New School for Social Research and received her PhD in economics from the University of Hohenheim in Germany where she authored Outsourcing Economics (with William Milberg, CUP) and Services Offshoring and Its Impact on the Labor Market (Springer). Her articles have appeared in several journals and edited volumes.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 23
  • Publication
    Linking Export Activities to Productivity and Wage Rate Growth
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-03-26) Aguilar Luna, Luis; Winkler, Deborah
    This paper examines the relationship between trade and job quality, using productivity and wage rate data for export and non-export activities in a sample of 60 countries across all income levels and 45 sectors spanning the whole economy over 1995–2019. First, the analysis finds that workers involved in export activities are more productive and better paid than those in non-export activities. While the productivity premium for export activities is confirmed in low- and middle-income countries, there is no wage rate premium. Second, this study finds a positive relationship between exports and labor productivity at the country-sector level, which can be attributed to productivity gains within export activities as well as spillovers to non-export activities. Countries’ specialization in global value chains and sectors also matters for the relationship between exports and job quality, with manufacturing, agriculture, and business services showing stronger associations. The link between exports and the wage rate is smaller than for productivity. Finally, productivity and wage rate growth decompositions suggest that growth within rather than between activities was the driving force. Within export activities, productivity and wage increases were dominated by within-sector growth, although labor movement toward more productive sectors also matters in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Publication
    Linking Trade to Jobs, Incomes, and Activities: New Stylized Facts for Low- and Middle-Income Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-12-19) Winkler, Deborah; Aguilar Luna, Luis; Maliszewska, Maryla
    Trade expansion can create more and better jobs. This paper revisits the linkages between trade and jobs, focusing on employment, labor incomes, and job activities across a large sample of countries and sectors over 1995 to 2018. Instrumental variables regressions and new input-output measures of jobs and activities in exports highlight several patterns: Exports and especially imports of intermediate inputs are associated with more jobs and higher incomes, while final imports show weaker correlations. Manufacturing has the biggest potential for job and income creation both directly and indirectly in supplying sectors. As countries move from specialization in commodities to limited manufacturing to advanced manufacturing and services global value chains, export-employment and export-income elasticities increase. Global value chain–intensive developing countries tend to have larger shares of production activities in exports compared to resource-intensive countries. As countries get richer, nonproduction activities in exports, such as support, engineering, and managerial services, become increasingly important. Finally, the paper explores the role of policy for the export job share across countries.
  • Publication
    Leveraging Trade for More and Better Job Opportunities in Developing Countries: A Framework for Policy
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-12-19) Shepherd, Ben; Winkler, Deborah
    Trade and labor markets are intimately connected. This connection presents governments with a dual economic challenge that cannot be resolved without social compromise: maximizing aggregate gains but minimizing disaggregated costs, which can include losses to individuals and groups. This paper draws on recent research to develop a framework for thinking rigorously about these linkages. It then examines aspects of policy design and implementation that relate directly to labor market outcomes. It discusses three sets of policies that are required to help resolve the government’s dual challenge in a sustainable way: policies for people, sectors, and places. The framework includes policies to mitigate losses and facilitate movement of workers, classical trade policies, and a broad set of complementary policies that reduce trade costs. It also looks at the need for fiscal space to implement policies, and highlights the tension between tariff reductions and trade-related taxes, especially in countries where trade taxes account for a significant proportion of total government revenue.
  • Publication
    The Role of Global Value Chains for Worker Tasks and Wage Inequality
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-05-09) Lewandowski, Piotr; Madoń, Karol; Winkler, Deborah
    This paper studies the relationship between participation in global value chains, worker routine task intensity, and within-country wage inequality. It uses unique survey data from 47 countries across the development spectrum to calculate worker-level, country-specific routine task intensity and combines them with sectoral measures of backward and forward global value chains participation. Higher global value chains participation is associated with more routine-intensive work, specifically among offshorable occupations, especially in countries at lower development levels. The results by broad sectors contrast sharply: higher global value chains participation is linked to a higher routine task intensity in offshorable occupations in the industry but a lower routine task intensity in non-offshorable occupations in business services. Higher worker-level routine task intensity is strongly associated with lower wages, so global value chains participation indirectly widens the within-country wage inequality through this routine task intensity channel. At the same time, global value chains participation directly contributes to reduced wage inequality, except for the richest countries. Overall, this analysis finds that global value chains participation reduces wage inequality in most low- and middle-income countries that receive offshored jobs but widens wage inequality in high-income countries that offshore jobs.
  • Publication
    Pandemic Trade: Covid-19, Remote Work and Global Value Chains
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-01) Espitia, Alvaro; Mattoo, Aaditya; Rocha, Nadia; Ruta, Michele; Winkler, Deborah; Mattoo, Aaditya
    This paper studies the trade effects of Covid-19 using monthly disaggregated trade data for 28 countries and multiple trading partners from the beginning of the pandemic to June 2020. Regression results based on a sector-level gravity model show that the negative trade effects induced by Covid-19 shocks varied widely across sectors. Sectors more amenable to remote work contracted less throughout the pandemic. Importantly, participation in global value chains increased traders’ vulnerability to shocks suffered by trading partners, but it also reduced their vulnerability to domestic shocks.
  • Publication
    Determinants of Global Value Chain Participation: Cross-Country Evidence
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-03) Kee, Hiau Looi; Fernandes, Ana; Winkler, Deborah
    The past decades witnessed big changes in international trade with the rise of global value chains. Some countries, such as China, Poland, and Vietnam, rode the tide, while other countries, many in the Africa region, faltered. This paper studies the determinants of participation in global value chains, based on empirical evidence from a panel data set covering more than 100 countries over the past three decades. The evidence shows that factor endowments, geography, political stability, liberal trade policies, foreign direct investment inflows, and domestic industrial capacity are very important in determining participation in global value chains. These factors affect participation in global value chains more than traditional exports.
  • Publication
    Trade and Female Labor Participation: Stylized Facts Using a Global Dataset
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) Rocha, Nadia; Winkler, Deborah
    Using a cross-section of more than 29,000 manufacturing firms in 64 developing and emerging countries from the World Bank's Enterprise Surveys, this paper assesses whether trading firms have a female labor share premium relative to non-trading firms. It focuses on four types of trading firms: exporters, importers, global value chain participants, and foreign firms. The study finds a female labor share premium for all four trading types, controlling for firm output, capital intensity, total factor productivity, and fixed effects. The findings also hold after controlling for differences in relative wages between men and women and excluding traditional export sectors (apparel and electronics) from the sample. The female labor share premium is much higher for production workers compared with non-production workers, implying that women specialize in low-skill production. In line with these findings, the study finds that the female labor share premium for exporters and global value chain participants is highest in low-tech sectors. And female ownership and management expand the female labor share premium for trading firms. Finally, the results suggest that although average wage rates are lower for firms with higher female labor shares, this negative correlation is smaller for trading firms.
  • Publication
    Vietnam: Connecting Value Chains for Trade Competitiveness
    (World Bank, Hanoi, 2019-12) Pham, Duc Minh; Hollweg, Claire Honore; Mtonya, Brian; Winkler, Deborah Elisabeth; Nguyen, Thuy
    Vietnam's export-led growth strategy and global integration are among the key factors behind thecountry's remarkable achievements in growth and poverty reduction over the last two and a halfdecades. During this period, Vietnam's per capita income increased nearly fourfold and povertywas reduced from around 53 percent in 1992 to 2 percent in 2016. Vietnam has become one of themost open economies in the world with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 187.52 percent in 2018. Merchandiseexport growth averaged more than 15 percent per annum in the last ten years; nearly five times theglobal export growth. The country's export basket has improved in its technological content and hasdiversified in both its geographic destination and its product mix. There are nevertheless challenges that continue to confront Vietnam’s export performance. Many of Vietnam's manufacturing exports have low domestic value addition, where Vietnam performs primarily assembly functions. Trade costs remain high compared to the average regional level. Domestic firms' participation in key global value chains (GVCs) is limited, and instead, export performance is largely driven by the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector, accounting for more than 70 percent of total exports. Vietnam will likely be able to maintain its high export performance even if these challenges are not addressed, but there is scope for Vietnam to benefit even more from trade.
  • Publication
    Trade in Global Value Chains: An Assessment of Labor Market Implications
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-07-16) Farole, Thomas; Hollweg, Claire; Winkler, Deborah
    The paper is structured in six further sections following this introduction. Section two develops a conceptual framework, and reviews the literature on the relationship between trade integration and labor market outcomes. Section three outlines the empirical framework and data used in the analysis. Section four presents results on the relationship between overall trade integration (through exports) and labor market outcomes. Section five then focuses specifically on GVC trade, and assesses the relationship between labor market outcomes and GVC integration as a buyer and as a seller. Section six tests if select policy indicators mediate these relationships between trade integration and labor market outcomes. Finally, section seven concludes, with a summary of results and areas for future research.
  • Publication
    How Do Multinationals Report Their Economic, Social, and Environmental Impacts?: Evidence from Global Reporting Initiative Data
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-12) Winkler, Deborah
    This paper examines the role of multinational enterprises in sustainability reporting. The study assesses how multinational enterprise status correlates with a company's average disclosure rate and probability of reporting on economic, labor and social, environmental, and governance indicators. It uses a unique data set that offers company-level information on sustainability reporting from the Global Reporting Initiative, which covers 2,020 companies in 81 countries and 54 sustainability indicators. The summary statistics show that multinational enterprises and large domestic companies have higher average disclosure rates than small and medium-size enterprises. However, the econometric analysis suggests that multinational enterprise status does not matter for the average disclosure rate, but company size shows a strongly positive correlation. Differentiating by type of multinational enterprise reveals that the relationship becomes positive and significant for private companies. By contrast, the correlation between multinational enterprise status and the average disclosure rate does not vary by listing status, sector, region, or income level. Focusing on the relationship by development category also shows no significant correlation. Finally, accounting for the heterogeneity of the sustainability indicators, the study analyzes the relationship between multinational enterprise status and the probability of disclosure at the detailed indicator level, and confirms a significant correlation for 12 indicators.