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 33
Sources of the Persistent Gender Wage Gap along the Unconditional Earnings Distribution : Findings from Kenya(Taylor and Francis, 2013-03-12) Agesa, Richard U. ; Agesa, Jacqueline ; Dabalen, AndrewPast studies on gender wage inequality in Africa typically attribute the gender pay gap either to gender differences in characteristics or in the return to characteristics. The authors suggest, however, that this understanding of the two sources may be far too general and possibly overlook the underlying covariates that drive the gender wage gap. Moreover, past studies focus on the gender wage gap exclusively at the conditional mean. The authors go further to evaluate the partial contribution of each wage-determining covariate to the magnitude of the gender pay gap along the unconditional earnings distribution. The authors' data are from Kenya, and their empirical technique mirrors re-centered influence function regressions. The authors' results are novel and suggest that while gender differences in characteristics and the return to characteristics widen the gender pay gap at the lower end of the wage distributions, gender differences in characteristics widen the gender wage gap at the upper end of the wage distributions. Importantly, the authors find that the underlying covariates driving gender differences in characteristics and the return to characteristics are the industry, occupation, higher education and region covariates. In the middle of the distributions, however, the authors find that gender differences in the return to characteristics, fueled by education and experience covariates, exert the strongest influence on the magnitude of the gender pay gap.
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(World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2004-12) Dabalen, Andrew ; Paternostro, Stefano ; Pierre, GaëlleIn 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.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-01) Croke, Kevin ; Dabalen, Andrew ; Demombynes, Gabriel ; Giugale, Marcelo ; Hoogeveen, JohannesAs mobile phone ownership rates have risen dramatically in Africa, there has been increased interest in using mobile telephones as a data collection platform. This note draws on two largely successful pilot projects in Tanzania and South Sudan that used mobile phones for high-frequency data collection. Data were collected on a wide range of topics and in a manner that was cost-effective, flexible, and rapid. Once households were included in the survey, they tended to stick with it: respondent fatigue has not been a major issue. While attrition and nonresponse have been challenges in the Tanzania survey, these were due to design flaws in that particular survey, challenges that can be avoided in future similar projects. Ensuring use of the data to demand better service delivery and policy decisions turned out to be as challenging as collecting the high-quality data. Experiences in Tanzania suggest that good data can be translated into public accountability, but also demonstrate that just putting data out in the public domain is not enough. This note discusses lessons learned and offers suggestions for future applications of mobile phone surveys in developing countries, such as those planned for the World Bank's "Listening to Africa" initiative.
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.
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(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.
Publication(Taylor and Francis, 2014-04-01) Hoogeveen, Johannes ; Croke, Kevin ; Dabalen, Andrew ; Demombynes, Gabriel ; Giugale, MarceloAs 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.