Chief Economist, Africa, World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Poverty, Inequality, Economics of education, Development economics, Labor economics
Chief Economist, Africa, World Bank
Externally Hosted Work
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.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 25
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-04) Dang, Hai-Anh H. ; Dabalen, Andrew L.Absent actual panel household survey data, this paper constructs, for the first time, synthetic panel data for more than 20 countries accounting for two-thirds of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this process, the analysis employs repeated cross sections that span, on average, a six-year period for each country. The analysis suggests that all these countries as a whole have had pro-poor growth. One-third of the poor population escaped poverty during the studied period, which is larger than the proportion of the population that fell into poverty in the same period. The region also saw a 9 percent reduction in poverty and a 28 percent increase in the size of the middle class. However, chronic poverty remains high, and a considerable proportion of the population is vulnerable to falling into poverty. There is some limited evidence that most resource-rich and middle-income countries have more upward mobility than downward mobility. Post-secondary education is especially strongly associated with higher upward mobility and less downward mobility, which holds to some extent for female-headed and urban households.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-03) Dabalen, Andrew ; Wane, WalyThis paper studies the relationship between gender and corruption in the health sector. It uses data collected directly from health workers, during a recent public expenditure tracking survey in Tajikistan's health sector. Using informal payments as an indicator of corruption, women seem at first significantly less corrupt than men as consistently suggested by the literature. However, once power conferred by position is controlled for, women appear in fact equally likely to take advantage of corruption opportunities as men. Female-headed facilities also are not less likely to experience informal charging than facilities managed by men. However, women are significantly less aggressive in the amount they extract from patients. The paper provides evidence that workers are more likely to engage in informal charging the farther they fall short of their perceived fair-wage, adding weight to the fair wage-corruption hypothesis. Finally, there is some evidence that health workers who feel that health care should be provided for a fee are more likely to informally charge patients. Contrary to informal charging, moonlighting behavior displays strong gender differences. Women are significantly less likely to work outside the facility on average and across types of health workers.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-06) Croke, Kevin ; Dabalen, Andrew ; Demombybes, Gabriel ; Giugale, Marcelo ; Hoogeveen, JohannesAs 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. The experience was largely a success. High frequency panel data have been collected on a wide range of topics in a manner that is cost effective, flexible (questions can be changed over time) and rapid. And once households respond to the mobile phone interviews, they tend not to drop out: even after 33 rounds of interviews in the Tanzania survey, respondent fatigue proved not to be an issue. Attrition and non-response have been an issue in the Tanzania survey, but in ways that are related to the way this survey was originally set up and that are fixable. Data and reports from the Tanzania survey are available online and can be downloaded from: www.listeningtodar.org.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-06) Dabalen, Andrew L. ; Paul, SaumikThis 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.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2004-11) Baingana, Florence ; Dabalen, Andrew ; Menye, Essimi ; Prywes, Menahem ; Rosholm, MichaelThis 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.
Publication( 2011-01-01) Dabalen, Andrew ; Paul, SaumikUsing Life in Transition Survey data for 27 transition countries, the findings of this paper suggest that higher life satisfaction is correlated with lesser experience of unpleasant events such as labor market shock or economic distress, mostly in the recent past. Social capital such as trust, participation in civic groups, and financial stability lead to higher satisfaction, whereas lower relative position to a reference group leaves one with lower life satisfaction. The paper also finds substantial regional variation in life satisfaction between European, Balkan, and lower and middle-income Commonwealth of Independent States. Finally, after controlling for various events that took place during the interview and the nature of refusal of the respondents across countries, the authors show that reported life satisfaction is lower if the emotional state is negative during the interview.
No Thumbnail AvailablePublication( 2010) Dabalen, Andrew ; Miluka, JunaThe literature on migration has documented the benefits of sending migrants abroad, but much less attention has been paid to the adverse consequences of international migration on those left behind. In this paper, we examine the role of international migration on the accumulation of human capital in Albania. We ask whether investment in human capital of children growing up in households with international migrants is higher compared with children in households without migrants. We find that, across various model specifications, international migration has a negative effect on education in Albania, with larger negative effects for females in rural areas.
No Thumbnail AvailablePublication( 2008) Templeton, Scott R. ; Zilberman, David ; Yoo, Seung Jick ; Dabalen, Andrew L.In spite of its potential health and environmental risks and contribution to agribusiness, the use of agricultural chemicals for yard care has not been well studied. In our discrete-continuous choice model, estimated with data from a national survey, a household chooses how much money, if any, to initially spend on types of agricultural chemicals and applicators and how much time to subsequently spend on other yard work. Households in big cities or with large gardens are more likely to use organic chemicals. The probability that a household chooses a mix of do-it-yourself and hired applications of synthetic chemicals increases with income, age, and the presence of preschoolers. Among households that apply only synthetic chemicals without hired help, those with young children, with higher incomes, in big cities, and with male heads spend more on the chemicals. The time that such households spend on other yard work increases with expenditures on the chemicals. Cancellation of a pesticide registration might create an extra private cost for households with young children even though the ban might reduce external costs.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015) Dabalen, Andrew ; Narayan, Ambar ; Saavedra-Chanduvi, Jaime ; Suarez, Alejandro Hoyos ; Abras, Ana ; Tiwari, SaileshThis study explores the changing opportunities for children in Africa. While the definition of opportunities can be subjective and depend on the societal context, this report focuses on efforts to build future human capital, directly (through education and health investments) and indirectly (through complementary infrastructure such as safe water, adequate sanitation, electricity, and so on). It follows the practice of earlier studies conducted for the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region (Barros et al. 2009, 2012) where opportunities are basic goods and services that constitute investments in children. Although several opportunities are relevant at different stages of an individual s life, our focus on children s access to education, health services, safe water, and adequate nutrition is due to the well-known fact that an individual s chance of success in life is deeply influenced by access to these goods and services early in life. Children s access to these basic services improves the likelihood of a child being able to maximize his/her human potential and pursue a life of dignity.
The Effects of the Intensity, Timing, and Persistence of Personal History of Mobility on Support for Redistribution(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-03) Dabalen, Andrew ; Parinduri, Rasyad ; Paul, SaumikThis paper examines the association between the intensity, timing, and persistence of personal history of mobility on individual support for redistribution. Using both rounds of the Life in Transition Survey, the paper builds measures of downward mobility for about 57,000 individuals from 27 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The analysis finds that more intensive, recent, and persistent downward mobility increases support for redistribution more. A number of extensions and checks are done by, among others, taking into account systematic bias in perceived mobility experience, considering an alternative definition of redistributive preferences, and exploring the severity of omitted variable bias problems. Overall, the results are robust.