Person:
Olivieri, Sergio

Global Practice on Poverty, The World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Poverty and growth, Poverty measurement, Distributional impact of shocks, Labor informality, Inequality, Social Protection and Labor
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Global Practice on Poverty, The World Bank
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Last updated: June 6, 2024
Biography
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 - 10 of 36
  • Publication
    Evaluating the Accuracy of Homeowner Self-Assessed Rents in Peru
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-08) Ceriani, Lidia; Olivieri, Sergio; Ranzani, Marco
    Attributing a rental value to the dwellings of homeowners is essential in various contexts, including distributional analysis and the compilation of national accounts, consumer price indexes (CPIs), and purchasing power parity indexes. One of the methods for making the attribution is to use homeowner estimates of the market rental value they would pay (receive) for their dwellings if these were rented. This is known as homeowner self-assessed rent. However, homeowner estimates may not be accurate because of the way questions aimed at soliciting such information are phrased, the sentimental attachment of the homeowners to the properties, lack of information about rental markets, and other reasons. Yet, researchers and practitioners often neglect to ascertain the accuracy of homeowner assessments. This study argues that comparing unconditional or conditional means may be misleading if one has not ascertained whether the observable characteristics of homeowner and tenant dwellings are similar. Using Peruvian data from 2003 to 2017, the study tests the accuracy of self-assessed rental values with matching estimators. In Metropolitan Lima, homeowners typically provide accurate estimates of the rental market values of their dwellings. In rural areas, market rental values are underestimated by homeowners in more instances. The direction and magnitude of the inaccuracies in Metropolitan Lima and in rural areas are comparable and range between −25 percent and −20 percent.
  • Publication
    What Is Behind The Decline in Poverty Since 2000? Evidence from Bangladesh, Peru, and Thailand
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-10) Inchauste, Gabriela; Olivieri, Sergio; Saavedra, Jamie; Winkler, Hernan
    This paper quantifies the contributions of different factors to poverty reduction observed in Bangladesh, Peru and Thailand over the last decade. In contrast to methods that focus on aggregate summary statistics, the method adopted here generates entire counterfactual distributions to account for the contributions of demographics and income from labor and non-labor sources in explaining poverty reduction. The authors find that the most important contributor was the growth in labor income, mostly in the form of farm income in Bangladesh and Thailand and non-farm income in the case of Peru. This growth in labor incomes was driven by higher returns to individual and household endowments, pointing to increases in productivity and real wages as the driving force behind poverty declines. Lower dependency ratios also helped to reduce poverty, particularly in Bangladesh. Non-labor income contributed as well, albeit to a smaller extent, in the form of international remittances in the case of Bangladesh and through public and private transfers in Peru and Thailand. Transfers are more important in explaining the reduction in extreme compared with moderate poverty.
  • Publication
    The Poverty Impacts of Climate Change
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-03) Skoufias, Emmanuel; Olivieri, Sergio
    Over the last century, the world has seen a sustained decline in the proportion of people living in poverty. However, there is an increasing concern that climate change could slow or possibly even reverse poverty reduction progress. Given the complexities involved in analyzing climate change impacts on poverty, different approaches can be helpful; this note surveys the results of recent research on climate change impacts on poverty.
  • Publication
    Understanding Poverty Reduction in Sri Lanka: Evidence from 2002 to 2012/13
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-10) Ceriani, Lidia; Inchauste, Gabriela; Olivieri, Sergio
    This paper quantifies the contributions to poverty reduction observed in Sri Lanka between 2002 and 2012/13. The methods adopted for the analysis generate entire counterfactual distributions to account for the contributions of demographics, labor, and non-labor incomes in explaining poverty reduction. The findings show that the most important contributor to poverty reduction was growth in labor income, stemming from an increase in the returns to salaried nonfarm workers and higher returns to self-employed farm workers. Although some of this increase in earnings may point to improvements in productivity, defined as higher units of output per worker, some of it may simply reflect increases in food and commodity prices, which have increased the marginal revenue product of labor. To the extent that there have been no increases in the volumes being produced, the observed changes in poverty are vulnerable to reversals if commodity prices were to decline significantly. Finally, although private transfers (domestic and foreign) helped to reduce poverty over the period, public transfers were not as effective. In particular, the reduction in the real value of transfers of the Samurdhi program during 2002 to 2012/13 slowed down poverty reduction.
  • Publication
    Assessing Poverty and Distributional Impacts of the Global Crisis in the Philippines : A Microsimulation Approach
    (2010-04-01) Habib, Bilal; Narayan, Ambar; Olivieri, Sergio; Sanchez-Paramo, Carolina
    As the financial crisis has spread through the world, the lack of real-time data has made it difficult to track its impact in developing countries. This paper uses a micro-simulation approach to assess the poverty and distributional effects of the crisis in the Philippines. The authors find increases in both the level and the depth of aggregate poverty. Income shocks are relatively large in the middle part of the income distribution. They also find that characteristics of people who become poor because of the crisis are different from those of both chronically poor people and the general population. The findings can be useful for policy makers wishing to identify leading monitoring indicators to track the impact of macroeconomic shocks and to design policies that protect vulnerable groups.
  • Publication
    Jobs Interrupted: The Effects of COVID-19 in the LAC Labor Markets
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-05) Mejia-Mantilla, Carolina; Olivieri, Sergio; Rivadeneira, Ana; Lara Ibarra, Gabriel; Romero, Javier
    Given the importance of labor income in the region, there are several important questions about the effects of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the labor market. At the outset of the pandemic, 48 percent of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) workers stopped working and 16 percent lost their job. Yet, were job losses similar for all workers? Has the COVID-19 shock exacerbated unfavorable labor market conditions for vulnerable groups over time? What happened to those workers who remained employed throughout the early months of the pandemic? And, what lessons can be drawn from the experience? This note sheds light on these inquiries using household data from the LAC high-frequency phone surveys (HFPS) which were collected between May and August of 2020 from 13 countries in the region.
  • Publication
    Distributional Effects of Competition: A Simulation Approach
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-05) Araar, Abdelkrim; Rodriguez-Castelan, Carlos; Malasquez, Eduardo A.; Olivieri, Sergio; Vishwanath, Tara
    Understanding the economic and social effects of the recent global trends of rising market concentration and market power has become a policy priority, particularly in developing countries where markets are often more concentrated. In this context, since the poor are typically the most affected by lack of competition, new analytical tools to assess the distributional effects of variations in market concentration in a rapid and cost-efficient manner are required. To fill this knowledge gap, this paper introduces a simple simulation method, the Welfare and Competition tool (WELCOM), to estimate with minimum data requirements the direct distributional effects of market concentration through the price channel. Using this simple yet novel tool, this paper also illustrates the simulated distributional effects of reducing concentration in two markets in Mexico that are known for their high level of concentration: mobile telecommunications and corn products. The results show that increasing competition from four to 12 firms in the mobile telecommunications industry and reducing the market share of the oligopoly in corn products from 31.2 percent to 7.8 percent would achieve a combined reduction of 0.8 percentage points in the poverty headcount as well as a decline of 0.32 points in the Gini coefficient.
  • Publication
    What is Behind the Decline in Poverty Since 2000? Evidence from Bangladesh, Peru and Thailand
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-09) Inchauste, Gabriela; Olivieri, Sergio; Saavedra, Jaime; Winkler, Hernan
    This paper quantifies the contributions of different factors to poverty reduction observed in Bangladesh, Peru and Thailand over the last decade. In contrast to methods that focus on aggregate summary statistics, the method adopted here generates entire counterfactual distributions to account for the contributions of demographics and income from labor and non-labor sources in explaining poverty reduction. The authors find that the most important contributor was the growth in labor income, mostly in the form of farm income in Bangladesh and Thailand and non-farm income in the case of Peru. This growth in labor incomes was driven by higher returns to individual and household endowments, pointing to increases in productivity and real wages as the driving force behind poverty declines. Lower dependency ratios also helped to reduce poverty, particularly in Bangladesh. Non-labor income contributed as well, albeit to a smaller extent, in the form of international remittances in the case of Bangladesh and through public and private transfers in Peru and Thailand. Transfers are more important in explaining the reduction in extreme compared with moderate poverty.
  • Publication
    Assessing Ex Ante the Poverty and Distributional Impact of the Global Crisis in a Developing Country : A Micro-simulation Approach with Application to Bangladesh
    (2010-03-01) Habib, Bilal; Narayan, Ambar; Olivieri, Sergio; Sanchez-Paramo, Carolina
    Measuring the poverty and distributional impact of the global crisis for developing countries is not easy, given the multiple channels of impact and the limited availability of real-time data. Commonly-used approaches are of limited use in addressing questions like who are being affected by the crisis and by how much, and who are vulnerable to falling into poverty if the crisis deepens? This paper develops a simple micro-simulation method, modifying models from existing economic literature, to measure the poverty and distributional impact of macroeconomic shocks by linking macro projections with pre-crisis household data. The approach is then applied to Bangladesh to assess the potential impact of the slowdown on poverty and income distribution across different groups and regions. A validation exercise using past data from Bangladesh finds that the model generates projections that compare well with actual estimates from household data. The results can inform the design of crisis monitoring tools and policies in Bangladesh, and also illustrate the kind of analysis that is possible in other developing countries with similar data availability.
  • Publication
    The Distributive Impact of Taxes and Expenditures in Colombia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-03) Jairo, Nunez; Olivieri, Sergio; Parra, Julieth; Pico, Julieth
    Colombia has reduced extreme poverty in the past 16 years by almost half, moderate poverty by 22 percentage points, and made more than four million Colombians jump the threshold of multidimensional poverty. However, it remains one of the most unequal countries in the region, after Brazil and Panama. Fiscal policy is one of the instruments that allow governments to speed up the decline in inequality levels and reduce poverty. This study presents an exhaustive and comprehensive analysis of the distributional impacts of taxes and expenditures in Colombia in 2017. It makes a methodological comparison with the Commitment to Equity, which was previously implemented, and includes multiple improvements in the methodology. The results suggest that the combined effect of taxes and social spending in Colombia contributes to poverty reduction between 0.3 and 2.6 percentage points for US$5.5 and US$3.2 per day per person respectively, while inequality is reduced by almost one Gini point. Taxes and direct transfers, as well as indirect transfers, are progressive and pro-poor, while indirect taxes are regressive and contribute to an increase in inequality. Finally, transfers in-kind for education and health services are progressive and contribute to the reduction of inequality.