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Dabalen, Andrew

Chief Economist, Africa, World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Poverty, Inequality, Economics of education, Development economics, Labor economics
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Chief Economist, Africa, World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Biography
Andrew Dabalen is the World Bank’s Africa Region Chief Economist since July 1, 2022. The Chief Economist is responsible for providing guidance on strategic priorities and the technical quality of economic analysis in the region, as well as for developing major regional economic studies, among other roles. He has held various positions including Senior Economist in the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia Region, Lead Economist and Practice Manager for Poverty and Equity in Africa and most recently, Practice Manager for Poverty and Equity in the South Asia Region. His research and scholarly publications focused on poverty and social impact analysis, inequality of opportunity, program evaluation, risk and vulnerability, labor markets, and conflict and welfare outcomes. He has co-authored regional reports on equality of opportunity for children in Africa, vulnerability and resilience in the Sahel, and poverty in a rising Africa. He holds a master’s degree in International Development from University of California - Davis, and a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from University of California - Berkeley.
Citations 53 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
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    Mental Health and Socio-Economic Outcomes in Burundi
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2004-11) Baingana, Florence ; Dabalen, Andrew ; Menye, Essimi ; Prywes, Menahem ; Rosholm, Michael
    This paper presents analysis of data from a survey of 5,599 respondents aged 10 years and older conducted country-wide in Burundi in 1998-99. The paper estimates statistically significant relationships between indicators of poor mental health and several social and economic outcomes. Most importantly, a worsening of mental health is associated with a decline in employment and with a decline in school enrollment of the subject's children. No relationship is found between mental health and poverty, once adjustments are made for demographic and regional influences. It argues that poor mental health diminishes people's participation in work and investment in their children's education through dysfunction resulting from psychiatric trauma and depression. Economic theory holds that investment in human capital, such as in education, will depend in part on expectations about the return on the investment.
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    The Returns to Participation in the Nonfarm Sector in Rural Rwanda
    (World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2004-12) Dabalen, Andrew ; Paternostro, Stefano ; Pierre, Gaëlle
    In this paper, we investigate the differences in outcomes (earnings and consumption) between individuals (households) who participate in the non-farm sector and those who do not. We use propensity score matching methods, where we create appropriate comparison groups of individuals and households. First we find that non-farm self-employed individuals in rural Rwanda have significantly higher earnings than farm workers and non-farm formal employees. Second, we show that the benefits to non-farm self-employment are much higher among the non-poor than among the poor. Third, we show that diversified households, those with a farm and a non-farm enterprise, are less likely to be poor. Finally, farm households who do not participate in the market have significantly lower consumption levels than households that do. However, the benefits to market participation appear to matter less for the poor than for the non-poor. We find little difference in expenditures between market participants and non-market participants, for comparable households in the bottom 40% of the expenditure distribution.
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    Estimating the Causal Effects of Conflict on Education in Côte d'Ivoire
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-06) Dabalen, Andrew L. ; Paul, Saumik
    This paper estimates the causal effects of civil war on years of education in the context of a school-going age cohort that is exposed to armed conflict in Cote d'Ivoire. Using year and department of birth to identify an individual's exposure to war, the difference-in-difference outcomes indicate that the average years of education for a school-going age cohort is .94 years fewer compared with an older cohort in war-affected regions. To minimize the potential bias in the estimated outcome, the authors use a set of victimization indicators to identify the true effect of war. The propensity score matching estimates do not alter the main findings. In addition, the outcomes of double-robust models minimize the specification errors in the model. Moreover, the paper finds the outcomes are robust across alternative matching methods, estimation by using subsamples, and other education outcome variables. Overall, the findings across different models suggest a drop in average years of education by a range of .2 to .9 fewer years.
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    Collecting High Frequency Panel Data in Africa Using Mobile Phone Interviews
    (Taylor and Francis, 2014-04-01) Hoogeveen, Johannes ; Croke, Kevin ; Dabalen, Andrew ; Demombynes, Gabriel ; Giugale, Marcelo
    As mobile phone ownership rates have risen in Africa, there is increased interest in using mobile telephony as a data collection platform. This paper draws on two pilot projects that use mobile phone interviews for data collection in Tanzania and South Sudan. In both cases, high frequency panel data have been collected on a wide range of topics in a manner that is cost effective, flexible and rapid. Attrition has been problematic in both surveys, but can be explained by the resource and organizational constraints that both surveys faced. We analyze the drivers of attrition to generate ideas for how to improve performance in future mobile phone surveys.
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    Estimating Poverty in the Absence of Consumption Data : The Case of Liberia
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-09) Dabalen, Andrew ; Graham, Errol ; Himelein, Kristen ; Mungai, Rose
    In much of the developing world, the demand for high frequency quality household data for poverty monitoring and program design far outstrips the capacity of the statistics bureau to provide such data. In these environments, all available data sources must be leveraged. Most surveys, however, do not collect the detailed consumption data necessary to construct aggregates and poverty lines to measure poverty directly. This paper benefits from a shared listing exercise for two large-scale national household surveys conducted in Liberia in 2007 to explore alternative methodologies to estimate poverty indirectly. The first is an asset-based model that is commonly used in Demographic and Health Surveys. The second is a survey-to-survey imputation that makes use of small area estimation techniques. In addition to a standard base model, separate models are estimated for urban and rural areas and an expanded model that includes climatic variables. Special attention is paid to the inclusion of cell phones, with implications for other assets whose cost and availability may be changing rapidly. The results demonstrate substantial limitations with asset-based indexes, but also leave questions as to the accuracy and stability of imputation models.
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    Can Agricultural Households Farm Their Way Out of Poverty?
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-11) Oseni, Gbemisola ; McGee, Kevin ; Dabalen, Andrew
    This paper examines the determinants of agricultural productivity and its link to poverty using nationally representative data from the Nigeria General Household Survey Panel, 2010/11. The findings indicate an elasticity of poverty reduction with respect to agricultural productivity of between 0.25 to 0.3 percent, implying that a 10 percent increase in agricultural productivity will decrease the likelihood of being poor by between 2.5 and 3 percent. To increase agricultural productivity, land, labor, fertilizer, agricultural advice, and diversification within agriculture are the most important factors. As commonly found in the literature, the results indicate the inverse-land size productivity relationship. More specifically, a 10 percent increase in harvested land size will decrease productivity by 6.6 percent, all else being equal. In a simulation exercise where land quality is assumed to be constant across small and large holdings, the results show that if farms in the top land quintile had half the median yield per hectare of farms in the lowest quintile, production of the top quintile would be 10 times higher. The higher overall values of harvests from larger land sizes are more likely because of cultivation of larger expanses of land, rather than from efficient production. It should be noted that having larger land sizes in itself is not positively correlated with a lower likelihood of being poor. This is not to say that having larger land sizes is not important for farming, but rather it indicates that increasing efficiency is the more important need that could lead to poverty reduction for agricultural households.
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    Estimating the Effects of Conflict on Education in Côte d’Ivoire
    (Taylor and Francis, 2014-12-14) Dabalen, Andrew L. ; Paul, Saumik
    This article evaluates the effect of armed conflict on years of schooling in Côte d’Ivoire. We combine differences in conflict intensity across departments and differences across age cohorts to identify an individual’s indirect exposure to conflict. The difference-in-difference outcomes indicate that the average years of education for a school-going-age cohort is 0.94 years fewer compared to an older cohort in conflict-affected regions. We further use a set of victimization indicators to identify the direct effect of conflict. Overall, the findings across different models suggest a drop in average years of education by a range of 0.2 to 0.9 fewer years. The estimated effect is larger for males and individuals between 19 and 22 years of age.
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    Can We Measure Resilience? A Proposed Method and Evidence from Countries in the Sahel
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2015-01) Alfani, Federica ; Dabalen, Andrew ; Fisker, Peter ; Molini, Vasco
    Although resilience has become a popular concept in studies of poverty and vulnerability, it has been difficult to obtain a credible measure of resilience. This difficulty is because the data required to measure resilience, which involves observing household outcomes over time after every exposure to a shock, are usually unavailable in many contexts. This paper proposes a new method for measuring household resilience using readily available cross section data. Intuitively, a household is considered resilient if there is very little difference between the pre- and post-shock welfare. By obtaining counterfactual welfare for households before and after a shock, households are classified as chronically poor, non-resilient, and resilient. This method is applied to four countries in the Sahel. It is found that Niger, Burkina Faso, and Northern Nigeria have high percentages of chronically poor: respectively, 48, 34, and 27 percent. In Senegal, only 4 percent of the population is chronically poor. The middle group, the non-resilient, accounts for about 70 percent of the households in Senegal, while in the other countries it ranges between 34 and 38 percent. Resilient households account for about 33 percent in all countries except Niger, where the share is around 18 percent.
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    The Local Socioeconomic Effects of Gold Mining: Evidence from Ghana
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-04) Chuhan-Pole, Punam ; Dabalen, Andrew L. ; Kotsadam, Andreas ; Sanoh, Aly ; Tolonen, Anja
    Ghana is experiencing its third gold rush, and this paper sheds light on the socioeconomic impacts of this rapid expansion in industrial production. The paper uses a rich data set consisting of geocoded household data combined with detailed information on gold mining activities, and conducts two types of difference-in-differences estimations that provide complementary evidence. The first is a local-level analysis that identifies an economic footprint area very close to a mine; the second is a district-level analysis that captures the fiscal channel. The results indicate that men are more likely to benefit from direct employment as miners and that women are more likely to gain from indirect employment opportunities in services, although these results are imprecisely measured. Long-established households gain access to infrastructure, such as electricity and radios. Migrants living close to mines are less likely to have access to electricity and the incidence of diarrheal diseases is higher among migrant children. Overall, however, infant mortality rates decrease significantly in mining communities.
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    Welfare and Poverty Impacts of Cocoa Price Policy Reform in Cote d'Ivoire
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-07-17) Katayama, Roy ; Dabalen, Andrew ; Nssah, Essama ; Amouzou Agbe, Guy Morel
    Cote d'Ivoire is the world’s leading cocoa producer, supplying nearly 40 percent of world cocoa production. Developments in the cocoa sector can have significant implications for poverty reduction and shared prosperity given that the sector is a source of livelihood for about one-fifth of the population, as well as an important source of export and government revenues. Cocoa pricing has always been a major focus of public policy in the country, and in 2011 the government initiated a new round of cocoa sector reforms seeking to stimulate cocoa production and to secure the livelihoods of cocoa farmers through guaranteed minimum farm-gate prices. Policymakers will certainly like to know the likely impacts of this price policy reform on household welfare and poverty. This paper uses a nonparametric approach to policy incidence analysis to estimate the first-order effects of this policy reform. To assess the pro-poorness of the reform in cocoa pricing, variations in poverty induced by the policy are compared to a benchmark case. While increasing the cocoa farm-gate price has a potential to reduce poverty among cocoa farmers, it turns out that the increase in 2015-2016 translates into a relatively small drop in overall poverty. This variation is assessed to be weakly pro-poor. It is likely that this poverty impact can be amplified by additional policy interventions designed to address the key constraints facing the rural economy such as productivity constraints stemming from factors such as lack of relevant research and development, weak extension services, poor transportation and storage infrastructure, and generally poor provision of relevant public goods. Addressing these issues require a coherent policy framework that can be effectively implemented by accountable institutions to increase the role of agriculture as an engine of inclusive growth in Cote d'Ivoire.