Global Practice on Poverty, The World Bank
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Poverty and growth, Poverty measurement, Distributional impact of shocks, Labor informality, Inequality, Social Protection and Labor
Global Practice on Poverty, The World Bank
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated July 12, 2023
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.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 37
Publication(Taylor and Francis, 2013-06-09) Skoufias, Emmanuel ; Olivieri, SergioThis article investigates (1) the extent to which the differences in the standard of living between regions in Thailand are due to differences in the returns to characteristics or differences in the characteristics themselves; and (2) whether the current allocation of fiscal expenditures by the central authorities is related to the main determinants of spatial disparities in welfare among the provinces. The analysis reveals that the lower level of welfare in the rural areas within any given region is primarily because of differences in characteristics of the population in rural vs. urban areas. Differences in returns generally account for the most part of the welfare differences between urban areas of different regions and Bangkok or rural areas of other regions compared with the rural northeast. The analysis of fiscal expenditures and their relation to welfare disparities suggests that there are many opportunities to improve the role of fiscal expenditure allocation by the central government as an instrument of addressing the needs of the provinces in terms of low returns.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-11) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Azevedo, João Pedro ; Olivieri, Sergio ; Saavedra, Jaime ; Winkler, HernanImprovement in labor market conditions has been the main explanation behind many of the poverty success stories observed in the last decade, that is the primary conclusion of an analysis of changes in poverty by income source. Changes in labor earnings were the largest contributor to poverty reduction for a sample of 16 countries where poverty increased substantially. In 10 of these countries, labor income explained more than half of the change in poverty, and in another 4 countries, it accounted for more than 40 percent of the reduction in poverty. A declining dependency rate accounts for over a fifth of the reduction in poverty in 10 out of 16 countries, while transfers and other non-earned incomes account for more than a quarter of the reduction in poverty in 9 of these countries. A further decomposition of the contribution of labor income to poverty reduction in Bangladesh, Peru, and Thailand found that changes in individual characteristics (education, work experience, and region of residence) were important, but that overall, increases in real earnings among the poor matter the most.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-09) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Olivieri, Sergio ; Saavedra, Jaime ; Winkler, HernanThis 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.
The Impact of the Financial Crisis on Poverty and Income Distribution : Insights from Simulations in Selected Countries(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-03) Habib, Bilal ; Narayan, Ambar ; Olivieri, Sergio ; Sanchez, CarolinaAs 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. The authors use a micro-simulation approach to assess the poverty and distributional effects of the crisis. In Bangladesh, Mexico, and the Philippines, the authors find increases in both the level and the depth of aggregate poverty. Income shocks are relatively large in the middle (and, in Mexico, the bottom) parts of the income distribution. The authors 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. Findings will 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(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-10) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Olivieri, Sergio ; Saavedra, Jamie ; Winkler, HernanThis 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(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Cojocaru, Alexandru ; Olivieri, SergioThe continued poverty impact of the financial crisis in Serbia is difficult to establish beyond 2010 because of the lack of survey data. This paper tackles this difficulty. It uses a micro-simulation approach that accounts for a key pathway of the financial crisis in Serbia, the labor market. The results suggest a further increase in poverty in 2011 on account of a continued deterioration of the labor market indicators and despite a recovering gross domestic product. In order to evaluate the forecast, the model is applied to generate forecasts for previous years (2009 and 2010), which are compared with realized poverty estimates. The micro-simulation model performs well in predicting poverty dynamics during 2009-10 and less so during 2008-09. The accuracy of the predictions improves when the response of the social protection system is accounted for.
Publication(World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-09-23) Olivieri, Sergio ; Radyakin, Sergiy ; Kolenikov, Stainslav ; Lokshin, Michael ; Narayan, Ambar ; Sánchez-Páramo, CarolinaSimulating Distributional Impacts of Macro-dynamics: Theory and Practical Applications is a comprehensive guide for analyzing and understanding the effects of macroeconomic shocks on income and consumption distribution, as well as using the ADePT Simulation Module. Since real-time micro data is rarely available, the Simulation Module (part of the ADePT economic analysis software) takes advantage of historical household surveys to estimate how current or proposed macro changes might impact household and individuals welfare. Using examples from different economic and social contexts, the book explains macro-micro linkages in an easy and intuitive way. After developing a sound theoretical foundation, readers are then shown how to explore their own scenarios using the Simulation Module. Step-by-step instructions illustrate data entry and show how to make adjustments using the Module’s options. Exercises present how different sections of the simulation process operate independently. This book will be a valuable reference for analysts needing to evaluate the potential impact of structural reforms and to generate projections for hypothetical scenarios. Results created by the Simulation Module will be helpful in informing governmental policymaking.
Publication(World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-08-12) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Azevedo, João Pedro ; Essama-Nssah, B. ; Olivieri, Sergio ; Van Nguyen, Trang ; Saavedra-Chanduvi, Jaime ; Winkler, HernanUnderstanding Changes in Poverty brings together different methods to decompose the contributions to poverty reduction. A simple approach quantifies the contribution of changes in demographics, employment, earnings, public transfers, and remittances to poverty reduction. A more complex approach quantifies the contributions to poverty reduction from changes in individual and household characteristics, including changes in the sectoral, occupational, and educational structure of the workforce, as well as changes in the returns to individual and household characteristics. Understanding Changes in Poverty implements these approaches and finds that labor income growth that is, growth in income per worker rather than an increase in the number of employed workers was the largest contributor to moderate poverty reduction in 21 countries experiencing substantial reductions in poverty over the past decade. Changes in demographics, public transfers, and remittances helped, but made relatively smaller contributions to poverty reduction. Further decompositions in three countries find that labor income grew mainly because of higher returns to human capital endowments, signaling increases in productivity, higher relative price of labor, or both. Understanding Changes in Poverty will be of particular relevance to development practitioners interested in better understanding distributional changes over time. The methods and tools presented in this book can also be applied to better understand changes in inequality or any other distributional change.
Publication(World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-11) Balcazar, Carlos Felipe ; Ceriani, Lidia ; Olivieri, Sergio ; Ranzani, MarcoAs well acknowledged in the literature, housing is often the dominant consumption good for most households. As such, it should be included in a comprehensive welfare aggregate to measure people's living standards accurately. However, assigning a value to the flow of the dwelling for homeowners and nonmarket tenants is problematic. Over the last decades several estimation techniques have been proposed and implemented by practitioners covering from very simple to sophisticated approaches. This paper provides an extensive review of different methods to impute rent, commonly used for welfare analysis. It also gives an overview of how this problem has been addressed by other economic domains, namely national accounts, price indices, purchasing power parities, and taxation. Finally, after setting up a theoretical framework, the paper summarizes the empirical findings about the distributional impact of including imputed rents in welfare aggregates.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-10) Ceriani, Lidia ; Inchauste, Gabriela ; Olivieri, SergioThis 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.