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 10
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, 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) 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(World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2015-01) Alfani, Federica ; Dabalen, Andrew ; Fisker, Peter ; Molini, VascoAlthough 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.
Publication(World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2015-01) Alfani, Federica ; Dabalen, Andrew ; Fisker, Peter ; Molini, VascoThis study estimates marginal increase in malnutrition for children ages 1-3 years from exposure to an extreme shock in the West African Sahel. The study uses knowledge of a child's birth and high resolution spatial and temporal distribution of shocks, calculated from the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and satellite-based measures of rainfall and temperature to link a child to the shock experienced in-utero. The study finds that while around 20 percent of the children in the sample are stunted or underweight, more than 30 percent of the children in the sample are highly vulnerable to either form of malnutrition.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-10) Ferreira, Francisco H. G. ; Chen, Shaohua ; Dabalen, Andrew ; Dikhanov, Yuri ; Hamadeh, Nada ; Jolliffe, Dean ; Narayan, Ambar ; Prydz, Espen Beer ; Revenga, Ana ; Sangraula, Prem ; Serajuddin, Umar ; Yoshida, NobuoThe 2014 release of a new set of purchasing power parity conversion factors (PPPs) for 2011 has prompted a revision of the international poverty line. In order to preserve the integrity of the goalposts for international targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the World Bank’s twin goals, the new poverty line was chosen so as to preserve the definition and real purchasing power of the earlier $1.25 line (in 2005 PPPs) in poor countries. Using the new 2011 PPPs, the new line equals $1.90 per person per day. The higher value of the line in US dollars reflects the fact that the new PPPs yield a relatively lower purchasing power of that currency vis-à-vis those of most poor countries. Because the line was designed to preserve real purchasing power in poor countries, the revisions lead to relatively small changes in global poverty incidence: from 14.5 percent in the old method to 14.1 percent in the new method for 2011. In 2012, the new reference year for the global count, we find 12.7 percent of the world’s population, or 897 million people, are living in extreme poverty. There are changes in the regional composition of poverty, but they are also relatively small. This paper documents the detailed methodological decisions taken in the process of updating both the poverty line and the consumption and income distributions at the country level, including issues of inter-temporal and spatial price adjustments. It also describes various caveats, limitations, perils and pitfalls of the approach taken.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-04) Chuhan-Pole, Punam ; Dabalen, Andrew L. ; Kotsadam, Andreas ; Sanoh, Aly ; Tolonen, AnjaGhana 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.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2008-11) Dabalen, Andrew ; Kilic, Talip ; Wane, WalyIn 1993, in response to persistent unemployment, and rising poverty and social unrest, the government of Albania introduced an anti-poverty program, namely Ndihma Ekonomike; in 1995 it was extended to all poor households. This paper estimates the separate effects of participation in this income support program and the old-age pension program on objective and subjective measures of household poverty. The analysis uses the nationally representative Albanian Living Standards Measurement Surveys carried out in 2002 and 2005. Using propensity score matching methods, the paper finds that Ndihma Ekonomike households, particularly urban residents, have lower per capita consumption and are more likely to be discontented with their lives, financial situation, and consumption levels than their matched comparators. In contrast, households receiving pensions are not significantly different from their matched comparators in reference to the same set of outcomes. The paper finds that the negative impact of Ndihma Ekonomike participation on welfare is driven by a negative labor supply response among work-eligible individuals. This negative labor response is larger among women and urban residents. In contrast to Ndihma Ekonomike, the receipt of old-age pension income transfers does not significantly impact the labor supply of prime-age individuals living in pension households
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.