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 - 6 of 6
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    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, Andrew
    Past 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.
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    The Local Socioeconomic Effects of Gold Mining: Evidence from Ghana
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-04) Chuhan-Pole, Punam ; Dabalen, Andrew L. ; Kotsadam, Andreas ; Sanoh, Aly ; Tolonen, Anja
    Ghana 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.
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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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    Mining in Africa: Are Local Communities Better Off?
    (Washington, DC: World Bank and Agence Francaise de developpement, 2017-02-21) Chuhan-Pole, Punam ; Dabalen, Andrew L. ; Land, Bryan Christopher ; Lewin, Michael ; Sanoh, Aly ; Smith, Gregory ; Tolonen, Anja
    This study focuses on the local and regional impact of large-scale gold mining in Africa in the context of a mineral boom in the region since 2000. It contributes to filling a gap in the literature on the welfare effects of mineral resources, which, until now, has concentrated more on the national or macroeconomic impacts. Economists have long been intrigued by the paradox that a rich endowment of natural resources may retard economic performance, particularly in the case of mineral-exporting developing countries. Studies of this phenomenon, known as the “resource curse,” examine the economy-wide consequences of mineral exports. Africa’s resource boom has lifted growth, but has been less successful in improving people’s welfare. Yet much of the focus in academic and policy circles has been on appropriate management of the macro-fiscal and governance risks that have historically undermined development outcomes. This study focuses instead on the fortune of local communities where resources are located. It aims to better inform public policy and corporate behavior on the welfare of communities in Africa in which the extraction of resources takes place.
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    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.
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    Social Transfers, Labor Supply and Poverty Reduction : The Case of Albania
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2008-11) Dabalen, Andrew ; Kilic, Talip ; Wane, Waly
    In 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