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: July 12, 2023
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 11
  • 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
    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
    Updating the Poverty Estimates in Serbia in the Absence of Micro Data : A Microsimulation Approach
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Cojocaru, Alexandru; Olivieri, Sergio
    The 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
    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, 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. 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
    Is Labor Income Responsible for Poverty Reduction? A Decomposition Approach
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-04) Azevedo, Joao Pedro; Inchauste, Gabriela; Olivieri, Sergio; Saavedra, Jaime; Winkler, Hernan
    Demographics, labor income, public transfers, or remittances: Which factor contributes the most to observed reductions in poverty? Using counterfactual simulations, this paper accounts for the contribution labor income has made to the observed changes in poverty over the past decade for a set of 16 countries that have experienced substantial declines in poverty. In contrast to methods that focus on aggregate summary statistics, the analysis generates entire counterfactual distributions that allow assessing the contributions of different factors to observed distributional changes. Decompositions across all possible paths are calculated so the estimates are not subject to path-dependence. The analysis shows that for most countries in the sample, labor income is the most important contributor to changes in poverty. In ten of the countries, labor income explains more than half of the change in moderate poverty; in another four, it accounts for more than 40 percent of the reduction in poverty. Although public and private transfers were relatively more important in explaining the reduction in extreme poverty, more and better-paying jobs were the key factors behind poverty reduction over the past decade.
  • 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
    When Job Earnings Are Behind Poverty Reduction
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-11) Inchauste, Gabriela; Azevedo, João Pedro; Olivieri, Sergio; Saavedra, Jaime; Winkler, Hernan
    Improvement 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
    Rent Imputation for Welfare Measurement : A Review of Methodologies and Empirical Findings
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-11) Balcazar, Carlos Felipe; Ceriani, Lidia; Olivieri, Sergio; Ranzani, Marco
    As 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.