Banerji, Arup

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Labor Economics, Social Safety Nets, Social Protection Systems, Institutions and Governance, Economics of Aging, Public Economics, Political Economy, Fiscal Policy
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Last updated February 1, 2023
Dr. Arup Banerji is the Regional Director for the European Union countries for the World Bank Group. Until January 2016, he was the Senior Director and Head of the Social Protection and Labor Global Practice at the World Bank Group, and concurrently the Senior Director for the Jobs Group, overseeing the World Bank’s operations, strategy and knowledge work on employment and labor markets, social safety nets, and social insurance/pensions issues. He is a research fellow at the Institute for Labor Economics (IZA) in Bonn, Germany, and an invited member of three of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Councils—on Youth Unemployment, on Inclusive Growth and on India. He founded and has co-chaired the global Social Protection Inter-Agency Cooperation Board and is the founding chair of the Solutions for Youth Employment ( public-private global coalition. At the World Bank, he has worked on both country operations and research in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East – on a variety of issues relating to fiscal reforms, employment and labor markets, skills building, social protection systems, social sector reforms, poverty reduction and analysis, institutional reform, public sector reform and governance, economic growth strategies and evaluation of programs. He is the author of a wide range of books and scholarly articles in these fields, including, most recently, Working through the Crisis on global and European labor market policy responses during the 2009-2011 crises. He also oversaw the World Bank's 2013 World Development Report (annual flagship research publication), which focused on Jobs. Prior to joining the World Bank, he taught at the Center for Development Economics at Williams College, Massachusetts, USA, where he was the Director of Graduate Studies, and at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. He holds a Ph.D. and a Master's degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, USA, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Delhi, India.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    Working through the Crisis : Jobs and Policies in Developing Countries during the Great Recession
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014) Banerji, Arup ; Newhouse, David ; Paci, Pierella ; Robalino, David ; Banerji, Arup ; Newhouse, David ; Paci, Pierella ; Robalino, David
    This book looks back both at how the Great Recession affected employment outcomes in developing countries and at how governments responded. The chapters bring together a unique compilation of data and analysis from very different sources, including an inventory of policies implemented during the crisis among countries in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. The overall story is that the impacts of the crisis varied considerably. The effect depended on the size of the original shock, the channels through which it was manifested, the structure of institutions in the country -- especially labor institutions -- and the specific policy responses undertaken by countries in response to the shock. While these factors led outcomes to differ across the countries studied, a few common patterns emerged. In terms of impacts, overall adjustments involved reductions in earnings growth rather than employment growth, although the quality of employment was also affected. Youth were doubly affected, being more likely to both experience unemployment and reduced wages. Men seemed to have been more strongly affected than women. In most countries where data are available, there were no major differences between skilled and unskilled workers or those living in urban or rural areas. In terms of policy responses, this crisis was characterized by a high prevalence of active interventions in the labor market and the expansion of income protection systems, as well as countercyclical stimulus. Countercyclical stimulus measures in a number of countries, when timed well and sufficiently large to mitigate the shock, were effective in reducing adverse employment effects. Specific sectoral stimulus policies also had positive effects when well-targeted. But social protection and labor market policy responses were often ad-hoc and not in line with the types of adjustments that were taking place. As a result, these policies and programs did not necessarily reach those who needed them the most and typically were biased toward formal sector workers. In retrospect, there is a sense that developing countries were not well prepared to deal with the effects of the Great Recession, suggesting room for important reforms to social protection and labor policies moving forward.
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    Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan : A Tale of Two Transition Paths
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2000-11) Alam, Asad ; Banerji, Arup
    Uzbekistan adopted a cautious, gradual approach to market reform. Kazakhstan followed a more aggressive strategy. But while Kazakhstan may have achieved a better policy environment, its economic performance has not been better than Uzbekistan's. The authors examine the interplay between policies, institutions, and initial conditions, to examine several competing, and complementary hypotheses about why the paths the two Central Asian countries took, may have led to different economic outcomes. One possibility is that missing pieces in reform - especially deficiencies in the competitive environment - in combination with a rapidly diminishing role for the state, may have limited the gains from the policy reforms in Kazakhstan.
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    Poverty and Economic Growth in Egypt, 1995-2000
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-06) El-Laithy, Heba ; Lokshin, Michael ; Banerji, Arup
    After a decade of slow economic growth Egypt's rate of growth recovered in the late 1990s, averaging more than five percent a year. But the effect of this growth on poverty patterns has not been systematically examined using consistent, comparable household datasets. In this paper, the authors use the rich set of unit-level data from the most recent Egyptian household surveys (1995-96 and 1999-2000) to assess changes in poverty and inequality between 1995 and 2000. Their analysis is based on household-specific poverty lines that account for the differences in regional prices, as well as differences in the consumption preferences and size and age composition of poor households. The results show that average household expenditures rose in the second half of the 1990s and the poverty rate fell from 20 percent to less than 17 percent. But, in addition to the ongoing divide in the urban-rural standard of living, a new geographical/regional divide emerged in the late 1990s. Poverty was found predominantly among less-educated individuals, particularly those working in agriculture and construction, and among seasonal and occasional workers. These groups could suffer the most from the slowing economic growth evident after 1999-2000.
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    Addressing the Employment Effects of the Financial Crisis : The Role of Wage Subsidies and Reduced Work Schedules
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-09) Robalino, David ; Banerji, Arup
    This note briefly reviews the experiences with wage subsidies and reduced work schedules in promoting employment and avoiding the depreciation of accumulated skills and knowledge due to a temporary downturn. These policies have been adopted by many high income countries as well as some middle income countries. It is to early o comment on their impact; to date, they have not been rigorously evaluated in the context of the financial crisis. And any results will also be difficult to generalize, since much depends on local conditions and the structure of the labor market. Wage subsidies and reduced work schedules show some promise as measures that can help countries to increase the employment elasticity of growth during the recovery and avoid the depreciation of skills associated with unemployment or informal work. Wage subsidies and reduced work schedules mainly benefit formal sector workers, which represent less than 50 percent of the labor force in most middle and low income countries.
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    From Red to Gray : The "Third Transition" of Aging Populations in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007) Chawla, Mukesh ; Betcherman, Gordon ; Banerji, Arup ; Bakilana, Anne M. ; Feher, Csaba ; Mertaugh, Michael ; Sanchez Puerta, Maria Laura ; Schwartz, Anita M. ; Sondergaard, Lars ; Burns, Andrew
    This report focuses on the challenges that the region's aging countries will now face in having to deal with multiple transitions. It argues that their task ahead, though uniquely daunting, is by no means impossible. Indeed, many of the potential problems can be addressed through sensible and thoughtful policies that can be enacted over the next few years. The only danger likely lies in complacency, in not being proactive in addressing the challenges. This report finds, first, that some of the concerns about aging in Eastern European and Former Soviet countries are probably misplaced. Second, the analysis in the report validates concerns about future fiscal strains in some of the region's aging countries, but finds that many of the drivers of higher future public expenditures are unrelated to aging. This report is particularly focused on the future-a future in the region that is critically dependent on actions that countries and societies take now, and over the next few years. The report sends two central messages, which are analyzed against the different patterns of aging across the region. Red light to green light: Growing older does not have to mean growing slower. Aging is not a stop sign for growth-if countries enact policies that boost productivity and labor force participation. Red ink to black ink: Waging sensible policies can ease aging's spending impact. The policies needed to manage much of the expected jump in public spending-especially the impacts on pensions and on health care-are well known. They need only to be enacted and implemented.