Olivieri, Sergio

Global Practice on Poverty, The World Bank
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Poverty and growth, Poverty measurement, Distributional impact of shocks, Labor informality, Inequality, Social Protection and Labor
Global Practice on Poverty, The World Bank
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Last updated: April 5, 2024
Sergio Olivieri is an economist in the Poverty Reduction and Equity department of the World Bank, based in Washington, DC.  His main research areas are ex-ante analysis of the distributional impact of macroeconomic shocks, understanding the main channels through which economic growth affects poverty reduction, income distribution and multidimensional poverty. Olivieri has published articles about labor informality, polarization, mobility and inequality issues, most of them focused on Latin-American countries. He has also contributed to research reports on inequality, poverty, social cohesion and macroeconomic shocks. Before joining the Bank, Olivieri worked as a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nation Development Program and the European Commission. He has taught courses on micro-simulation and micro-decomposition techniques for public servants and staff in international organizations around the world. He has also worked as an assistant professor of labor economics in the Department of Economics of Universidad National de La Plata in Buenos Aires, and as a researcher in the university's Center of Distributional, Labor and Social Studies.
Citations 5 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Estimating the Welfare Costs of Reforming the Iraq Public Distribution System: A Mixed Demand Approach
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-06) Ramadan, Racha; Krishnan, Nandini; Olivieri, Sergio
    The Iraqi Public Distribution System is the largest universal, in-kind subsidy system in the world. In 2012, the Public Distribution System transfers accounted for as much as 30 percent of incomes of the poorest 10 percent of the Iraqi population and provided 70 percent of the calories of the poorest 40 percent. In effect, the Public Distribution System remains the only safety net program that covers all the poor and vulnerable in the country. Yet, it is a very inefficient and expensive means to deliver transfers to the poor and creates distortions in the economy as well as an unsustainable fiscal burden. The fiscal crisis since mid-2014 has put reform of the Public Distribution System back on the agenda. This paper employs a mixed demand approach to analyze the consumption patterns of Iraqi households and quantify the welfare impact of a potential reform of the Public Distribution System in urban areas. The results show that household consumption of Public Distribution System items is relatively inelastic to changes in price. Consumption is more inelastic for the poorest quintiles and, for much of the population, these goods are not inferior, but rather normal goods. Cross-sectional comparisons suggest that with improvements in welfare levels, and with well-functioning markets, some segments of the population are substituting away from the Public Distribution System and increasing their consumption of market substitutes. The removal of all subsidies will require compensating poor households by 74.4 percent of their expenditures compared with nearly 40 percent for the richest households in urban areas.
  • Publication
    Losing the Gains of the Past: The Welfare and Distributional Impacts of the Twin Crises in Iraq 2014
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-02) Krishnan, Nandini; Olivieri, Sergio
    Iraq was plunged into two simultaneous crises in the second half of 2014, one driven by a sharp decline in oil prices, the other, by the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The severity and recurrent nature of these crises demand a fast understanding and quantification of their welfare impact, which is critical for policy makers. This paper employs an innovative extension of the micro-simulation methodology to provide an ex ante estimate and analysis of the complex and dynamic poverty and distributional impact of the twin crises. The results show an almost complete erosion of the welfare gains of the past, with poverty falling back to 2007 levels and a 20 percent increase in the number of the poor. While the incidence of poverty is higher among internally displaced persons than the rest of the population (except in the Islamic State–affected governorates, where poverty is higher), internally displaced persons make up only a small proportion of Iraq's eight million poor in 2014. The rest comprise of households who already lived below the poverty line, or those who have fallen below the poverty line in the face of the massive economic disruptions the country is facing. The welfare impact of the crises varies widely across space, with the largest increases in poverty headcount rates in Kurdistan and the Islamic State–affected governorates. Yet, the poorest regions in the 2014 crisis scenario are the same as in 2012, the currently Islamic State–affected, and the South, with poverty rates of 40 and 30 percent, respectively. Although the simulated results are not strictly comparable to ex post micro data estimates, because of survey coverage constraints, overall the results are very much in line, particularly in Kurdistan and the South.
  • Publication
    Estimating the Welfare Costs of Reforming the Iraq Public Distribution System: A Mixed Demand Approach
    (Taylor and Francis, 2019-12-06) Krishnan, Nandini; Olivieri, Sergio
    Through three decades of conflict, food rations delivered through the public distribution system (PDS) have remained the largest safety net among Iraq’s population. Reforming the PDS continues to be politically challenging, notwithstanding the system’s import dependence, economic distortions, and unsustainable fiscal burden. The oil price decline of mid-2014 and recent efforts to rebuild and recover have put PDS reform back on the agenda. The government needs to find an effective way to deliver broad benefits from a narrow economic base reliant on oil. The study described here adopts a mixed demand approach to analyzing household consumption patterns for the purpose of assessing plausible reform scenarios and estimating the direction and scale of the associated welfare costs and transfers. It finds that household consumption of PDS items is relatively inelastic to changes in price, particularly among the poor. The results suggest that any one-shot reform will have sizeable adverse welfare impacts and will need to be preceded by a well-targeted compensation mechanism. To keep welfare constant, subsidy removal in urban areas, for example, would require the poorest and richest households to be compensated for, respectively, 74 per cent and nearly 40 per cent of their PDS expenditures.
  • Publication
    Housing, Imputed Rent, and Households' Welfare
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-08) Ceriani, Lidia; Olivieri, Sergio; Ranzani, Marco
    Housing is the largest durable good consumed by households. As such, any consumption-based measure of welfare, to be comprehensive, must include the value of the flow of services households derive from their dwellings, the so-called imputed rent. However, estimating imputed rents is a daunting task, which researchers and practitioners tend to overlook. This paper is the first attempt to assess the distributional impact of including housing in the welfare aggregate; the paper tests two estimation methods and analyzes four developing countries. The distributional impact cannot be predicted a priori, and evidence suggests it is context and method specific. Although changes in poverty and inequality are always statistically significant, they are only occasionally larger than one percentage point. By contrast, shared prosperity exhibits sizable changes, which might also determine international re-rankings. Albeit the inclusion of imputed rents reshuffles the set of poor households, observed changes in the socioeconomic profiling of the poor are unlikely to affect pro-poor policy design.