Winkler, Deborah

Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice
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Fields of Specialization
International economics, Global value chains, Export competitiveness, Foreign direct investment, Offshoring, Trade
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Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice
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Last updated May 9, 2023
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.

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    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.