Dabalen, Andrew

Chief Economist, Africa, World Bank
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Poverty, Inequality, Economics of education, Development economics, Labor economics
Chief Economist, Africa, World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
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 55 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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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.
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    Pathways to Prosperity in Rural Malawi
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2017-05-31) Dabalen, Andrew ; de la Fuente, Alejandro ; Goyal, Aparajita ; Karamba, Wendy ; Nguyen, Nga Thi Viet ; Tanaka, Tomomi
    By most accounts, rural Malawi has lacked dynamism in the past decade. Growth has been mostly volatile, in large part due to unstable macroeconomic fundamentals evidenced by high inflation, fiscal deficits, and interest rates. When rapid economic growth has materialized, the gains have not always reached the poorest. Poverty remains high and the rural poor face significant challenges in consistently securing enough food. Several factors contribute to stubbornly high rural poverty. They include a low-productivity and non-diversified agriculture, macroeconomic and recurrent climatic shocks, limited non-farm opportunities and low returns to such activities, especially for the poor, and poor performance from some of the prominent safety net programs. The Report proposes complementary policy actions that offer a possible path for a more dynamic and prosperous rural economy. The key pillars of this comprise macroeconomic stability, increased productivity in agriculture, faster urbanization, better functioning safety nets, and more inclusive financial markets. Some recommendations call for a reorientation of existing programs such as the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) and the Malawi Social Action Fund Public Works Program (MASAF-PWP). Others identify promising new areas of intervention, such as the introduction of digital IDs and biometric technologies to enhance the reach of mobile banking and deepen financial inclusion. Finally, and importantly, the report recommends the scaling up of investments on girls’ secondary education to curb early child marriage and early child bearing among adolescents. This will empower women at home and work and bend the trajectory of fertility rates in rural areas in order to boost human development and reduce poverty.
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    The Short-Run Impact of Import Bans on Poverty: The Case of Nigeria (2008–2012)
    (Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank, 2018-06) Dabalen, Andrew ; Nguyen, Nga Thi Viet
    The Nigerian government uses food import prohibition as part of policies that seeks to protect existing domestic producers and reduce the country's dependence on imports. This paper argues that such policies have negative effects on net consumers of such products due to higher prices. With 70 percent of poor households' budget spent on food, and about 13 percent of the total budget devoted to products subject to import bans, poor households are vulnerable to such trade policies. Prices of some import prohibited food products are found to be higher than what they would be in the absence of such bans. The elimination of import bans is estimated to reduce national poverty rates by as much as 2.6 percentage points.
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    Vulnerability to Stunting in the West African Sahel
    (Elsevier, 2019-02) Alfani, Federica ; Dabalen, Andrew ; Fisker, Peter ; Molini, Vasco
    This paper presents a simple simulation framework for understanding and analyzing vulnerability to stunting. We utilize Demographic and Health Surveys merged with satellite data on climatic shocks. Children aged 0–5 years are grouped into three categories: consistently stunted, vulnerable, and non-vulnerable. The first group constitutes those who are stunted and will also be stunted in any hypothetical period. Non-vulnerable are those whose likelihood to be stunted is zero. The vulnerable face a probability between 0 and 1 of being stunted. The probability is calculated as the share of years in which the child would be stunted, given the village level distribution of weather shocks over the period 2000–2013. We provide estimates of vulnerability to stunting in Burkina Faso, Northern Ghana, Mali, Northern Nigeria, and Senegal by aggregating over villages, districts and countries.