Verme, Paolo

Global Practice on Poverty and Inequality
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Fields of Specialization
Welfare, Poverty, Inequality, Labor markets, Refugees, Middle East, North Africa, former Soviet Union
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Global Practice on Poverty and Inequality
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Paolo Verme is Lead Economist at the World Bank. A Ph.D. graduate of the London School of Economics, he was Visiting Professor at Bocconi University in Milan (2004-2009) and at the University of Turin (2003-2010) before joining the World Bank in 2010. For almost two decades, he served as senior advisor and project manager for multilateral organizations, private companies and governments in the areas of labor market, welfare and social protection policies. His research is widely published in international journals, books and reports. His most recent book is on the welfare of Syrian refugees, a joint study between the World Bank and the UNHCR.
Citations 52 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Intergenerational Impact of Population Shocks on Children's Health: Evidence from the 1993-2001 Refugee Crisis in Tanzania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) Wang Sonne, Soazic Elise ; Verme, Paolo
    This paper examines how parents' early childhood exposure to a refugee crisis impacts their children's health status. Based on Demographic and Health Survey data from Tanzania with the migration history of mothers and fathers, the analysis exploits geographical, time, and cohort variations using shock intensity and distance from refugee camps to instrument treatment. The findings show that children who were born to parents who were living closer to refugee camps during their early childhood have lower height for their age and are more likely to be stunted. The results are robust to alternative functional forms of the distance from camps, alternative specifications of the treatment and control groups, alternative cohorts of mothers, and several placebo tests.
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    Optimal Targeting Under Budget Constraints in a Humanitarian Context
    (Elsevier, 2018-01-05) Verme, Paolo ; Gigliarano, Chiara
    The paper uses Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves and related indexes to determine the optimal targeting strategy of a food voucher program for refugees. Estimations focus on the 2014 food voucher administered by the World Food Program to Syrian refugees in Jordan using data collected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The paper shows how to use ROC curves to optimize targeting using coverage rates, budgets, or poverty lines as guiding principles to increase the overall efficiency of a program. As humanitarian organizations operate under increasing budget constraints and increasing demands for efficiency, the proposed approach addresses both concerns.
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    Risk Preferences and the Decision to Flee Conflict
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-03) Ceriani, Lidia ; Verme, Paolo
    Despite the growing numbers of forcibly displaced persons worldwide, many people living under conflict choose not to flee. Individuals face two lotteries -- staying or leaving -- characterized by two distributions of potential outcomes. This paper proposes to model the choice between these two lotteries using quantile maximization as opposed to expected utility theory. The paper posits that risk-averse individuals aim at minimizing losses by choosing the lottery with the best outcome at the lower end of the distribution, whereas risk-tolerant individuals aim at maximizing gains by choosing the lottery with the best outcome at the higher end of the distribution. Using a rich set of household and conflict panel data from Nigeria, the paper finds that risk-tolerant individuals have a significant preference for staying and risk-averse individuals have a significant preference for fleeing, in line with the predictions of the quantile maximization model. These findings are contrary to findings on economic migrants, and call for separate policies toward economic and forced migrants.
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    Estimating Poverty among Refugee Populations: A Cross-Survey Imputation Exercise for Chad
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-04) Beltram, Theresa ; Dang, Hai-Anh H. ; Sarr, Ibrahima ; Verme, Paolo
    Household consumption surveys do not typically cover refugee populations, and poverty estimates for refugees are rare. This paper tests the performance of cross-survey imputation methods to estimate poverty for a sample of refugees in Chad, by combining United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees survey and administrative data. The proposed method offers poverty estimates based on administrative data that fall within a 95 percent margin of poverty estimates based on survey consumption data. This result is robust to different poverty lines, sets of regressors, and modeling assumptions of the error term. The method outperforms common targeting methods, such as proxy means tests and the targeting method currently used by humanitarian organizations in Chad.