Rigolini, Jamele

Latin America and Caribbean
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Social Development, Sustainable Development
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Latin America and Caribbean
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Last updated July 5, 2023
Jamele Rigolini has been the World Bank Program Leader for Human Development and Poverty for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. His areas of expertise include social protection, human development, labor markets, poverty, gender and entrepreneurship/innovation policies. Prior to joining the World Bank, he was an assistant professor of economics at the University of Warwick (UK). He also worked for the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and McKinsey & Co.  At the World Bank, he worked in the East Asia and Pacific region, where he managed lending projects and advisory activities in the areas of labor markets and social protection. He also managed the World Bank’s flagship reports for Latin America and maintained close dialogue with other international organizations, as well as with Latin American academic institutions and think tanks. Jamele Rigolini holds a degree in physics from the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and a Ph.D. in economics from New York University. He has published articles in several economics journals, including the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Development Economics, Economic Letters and World Development.   
Citations 1 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    Informality Trends and Cycles
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-12) Loayza, Norman V. ; Rigolini, Jamele
    This paper studies the trends and cycles of informal employment. It first presents a theoretical model where the size of informal employment is determined by the relative costs and benefits of informality and the distribution of workers' skills. In the long run, informal employment varies with the trends in these variables, and in the short run it reacts to accommodate transient shocks and to close the gap that separates it from its trend level. The paper then uses an error-correction framework to examine empirically informality's long- and short-run relationships. For this purpose, it uses country-level data at annual frequency for a sample of industrial and developing countries, with the share of self-employment in the labor force as the proxy for informal employment. The paper finds that, in the long run, informality is larger in countries that have lower GDP per capita and impose more costs to formal firms in the form of more rigid business regulations, less valuable police and judicial services, and weaker monitoring of informality. In the short run, informal employment is found to be counter-cyclical for the majority of countries, with the degree of counter-cyclicality being lower in countries with larger informal employment and better police and judicial services. Moreover, informal employment follows a stable, trend-reverting process. These results are robust to changes in the sample and to the influence of outliers, even when only developing countries are considered in the analysis.
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    Is There Such Thing As Middle Class Values? Class Differences, Values and Political Orientations in Latin America
    ( 2011-11-01) Lopez-Calva, Luis F. ; Rigolini, Jamele ; Torche, Florencia
    Middle class values have long been perceived as drivers of social cohesion and growth. This paper investigates the relation between class (measured by position in the income distribution), values, and political orientations using comparable values surveys for six Latin American countries. The analysis finds that both a continuous measure of income and categorical measures of income-based class are robustly associated with values. Both income and class tend to display a similar association to values and political orientations as education, although differences persist in some important dimensions. Overall, there is no strong evidence of any "middle class particularism": values appear to gradually shift with income, and middle class values are between the ones of poorer and richer classes. If any, the only peculiarity of middle class values is moderation. The analysis also finds changes in values across countries to be of much larger magnitude than the ones dictated by income, education, and individual characteristics, suggesting that individual values vary primarily within bounds dictated by each society.
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    Protecting Human Capital Through Shocks and Crises: How lessons learned from the COVID-19 response across Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus can be used to build better and more resilient human development systems
    (World Bank, Washington DC, 2023-04-20) Rigolini, Jamele ; Coll-Black, Sarah ; de Hoyos, Rafael ; Nguyen, Ha Thi Hong
    Risk and uncertainty are on the rise, and countries across Europe and Central Asia (ECA) are not immune from it. The region is being hit by crises, conflicts, and continued uncertainty that are negatively affecting people’s livelihoods in the short term and prosperity in the long term. Then COVID-19 hit, inflicting massive harm on people’s wellbeing, livelihoods, and human capital. Lockdowns prevented people from working, school closures prevented students from learning, and overwhelmed hospitals had to defer important treatments. This report explores how to strengthen the resilience of health, education, and social protection systems to better protect people’s human capital from the long-term effects of recurrent shocks and crises.
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    Protecting Who?: Optimal Social Protection Responses to Shocks with Limited Information
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-06-15) Hernandez, Carlos Ospino ; Rigolini, Jamele ; Coll-Black, Sarah ; Oviedo, Ana Maria
    The literature on shock-responsive social protection focuses on operational features that improve the speed and reach of the response, but little is known about the optimal design of emergency social protection responses in terms of which programs to use, information about the people affected, and the extent of their losses. This paper studies optimal social protection responses to shocks, using microsimulations of different social assistance responses in Albania, Moldova, and North Macedonia. The paper shows that optimal design depends not only on the magnitude of the shock, but also on how the shock affects welfare rankings and on the parameters of the existing social assistance system, including the generosity of the schemes and how well they cover the poor. For given budgets, a universal transfer remains a suboptimal response. However, the extent to which existing programs should be expanded, as designed, to additional beneficiaries depends on the type of shock. When a shock tends to affect households homogeneously, increasing generosity and expanding the existing targeted social assistance program using established welfare metrics to assess eligibility is an effective response. When shocks affect households heterogeneously and bring some of them into extreme poverty, then pre-shock welfare indicators carry little information and policy makers should provide support through a new program or modified eligibility criteria, according to information on who suffered the shock. This analysis points to the importance of planning in advance for future crises and, within this, considering the optimal design of emergency social protection responses.
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    Exploring Universal Basic Income: A Guide to Navigating Concepts, Evidence, and Practices
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020) Gentilini, Ugo ; Grosh, Margaret ; Rigolini, Jamele ; Yemtsov, Ruslan ; Gentilini, Ugo ; Grosh, Margaret ; Rigolini, Jamele ; Yemtsov, Ruslan ; Bastagli, Francesca ; Lustig, Nora ; Monsalve Montiel, Emma ; Quan, Siyu ; Ter-Minassian, Teresa ; De Wispelaere, Jurgen ; Lowe, Christina ; George, Tina
    Universal basic income (UBI) is emerging as one of the most hotly debated issues in development and social protection policy. But what are the features of UBI? What is it meant to achieve? How do we know, and what don’t we know, about its performance? What does it take to implement it in practice? Drawing from global evidence, literature, and survey data, this volume provides a framework to elucidate issues and trade-offs in UBI with a view to help inform choices around its appropriateness and feasibility in different contexts. Specifically, the book examines how UBI differs from or complements other social assistance programs in terms of objectives, coverage, incidence, adequacy, incentives, effects on poverty and inequality, financing, political economy, and implementation. It also reviews past and current country experiences, surveys the full range of existing policy proposals, provides original results from micro–tax benefit simulations, and sets out a range of considerations around the analytics and practice of UBI.
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    Social Protection and Labor: A Key Enabler for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-12) Rigolini, Jamele
    This paper reviews the role of Social Protection and Labor in supporting both climate adaptation and mitigation efforts. The Climate Crisis is impacting the poor and vulnerable disproportionally, both as a consequence of climate shocks and through the distributional impacts of climate mitigation policies. The paper discusses how – even without explicit environmental objectives – Social Protection and Labor strengthens resilience against climate shocks. However, integrating crisis-sensitive elements into social protection and labor programs increases substantially their ability to respond to shocks. Social protection and labor programs also facilitate green and Just Transitions by supporting equitable policies and can ease transitions towards Green jobs. Finally, Social protection and labor programs can also directly support mitigation measures by positively affecting behaviors. While investments in climate-related Social Protection and Labor are rapidly expanding, its full potential to support adaptation, decarbonization and mitigation is still to be realized.
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    Pathways to Formalization: Going Beyond the Formality Dichotomy -- The Case of Peru
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-08) Díaz, Juan José ; Chacaltana, Juan ; Rigolini, Jamele ; Ruiz, Claudia
    Too often, academics and policy makers interpret formality as a binary choice and formalization as an irreversible process. Yet, formalization has many facets and shades on the business and labor fronts, and firms may not be able or willing to formalize all at once. This paper explores the joint process of business and labor formalization, using a unique panel data set of Peruvian micro enterprises. The paper finds that business formality does not imply labor formality, and vice versa. Further, there is significant churning in and out of different dimensions of formality within a relatively short period. Using an instrumental variable approach, the paper infers that business formalization affects labor formalization but not the other way around, and that enforcement is a key driver of formalization. Overall, the analysis shows that formalization is a gradual and reversible process, with small entrepreneurs weighing their possibilities in each pathway to business (often) or labor (less often) formalization, but rarely both at the same time.
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    Social Protection in a World of Crisis: Learning from the Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-07-05) Coll-Black, Sarah ; Von Lenthe, Cornelius ; Brodmann, Stefanie ; Shaw, William ; Sandford, Judith ; Gonzalez, Alejandro ; Rigolini, Jamele
    This paper explores the social protection response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to learn lessons on how to build the resilience of their social protection system. These countries made substantial efforts to address the most serious consequences of the pandemic, pragmatically harnessing existing programs to reach vulnerable groups, while also introducing innovations to fill gaps in the existing social protection system. Rigidities in administrative systems, complex eligibility criteria, as well as weaknesses in information systems, limited governments’ ability to quickly identify and reach those households that were most vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic with adequate support. These challenges strengthen the case for investment in crisis preparedness – most immediately by improving the functioning of social protection systems and setting out the design features and delivery systems to support a response to future covariate shocks.