Dabalen, Andrew

Chief Economist, Africa, World Bank
Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Poverty, Inequality, Economics of education, Development economics, Labor economics
Chief Economist, Africa, World Bank
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
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 57 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Thumbnail Image
    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.
  • Thumbnail Image
    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.
  • Thumbnail Image
    A Global Count of the Extreme Poor in 2012: Data Issues, Methodology and Initial Results
    (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, Nobuo
    The 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.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Data Deprivation: Another Deprivation to End
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-04) Serajuddin, Umar ; Uematsu, Hiroki ; Wieser, Christina ; Yoshida, Nobuo ; Dabalen, Andrew
    The Millennium Development Goal of halving the incidence of extreme poverty from its 1990 level will be achieved in 2015, and the international development community is now moving to a new goal of “ending extreme poverty.” However, the data needed to monitor progress remain severely limited. During the 10 year period between 2002 and 2011, as many as 57 countries have zero or only one poverty estimate. This paper refers to such lack of poverty data as “data deprivation,” because the poor are often socially marginalized and voiceless, and the collection of objective and quantitative data is crucial in locating them and formulating policy to help them exit extreme deprivation. This paper studies the extent of data deprivation and proposes targets for ending data deprivation by 2030—the year by when the international community aims to end extreme poverty. According to the analysis in this paper, this target is ambitious but possible, and achieving it is necessary to be able to declare the end of extreme poverty with confidence.
  • Thumbnail Image
    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.
  • Thumbnail Image
    History of Events and Life-satisfaction in Transition Countries
    ( 2011-01-01) Dabalen, Andrew ; Paul, Saumik
    Using 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.