Global Practice on Poverty and Equity, The World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Fiscal incidence analysis, Poverty and social impact, Economic and social mobility, Informality, Distributional analysis, Public finance, Inequality, Development economics
Global Practice on Poverty and Equity, The World Bank
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Last updated July 12, 2023
Gabriela Inchauste is a Lead Economist in the Poverty and Equity Global Practice of the World Bank. She currently leads work on Fiscal and Social Policies for poverty reduction and shared prosperity. Her research interests revolve around the distributional impact of fiscal policy, ex-ante analysis of the distributional impacts of policy reforms, and understanding the channels through which economic growth improves labor market opportunities for poverty reduction. Prior to joining the Bank, she worked at the International Monetary Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank where she contributed to operational and analytical activities in a number of countries covering topics such as macroeconomic forecasting, public expenditure policy, poverty and social impact analysis, fiscal and debt sustainability analysis, post-disaster needs assessments, and subsidy reform.She has published articles in academic volumes and journals on fiscal policy in low-income countries, decentralization, the distributional impacts of taxes and social spending, macroeconomic shocks and the poor, the informal sector, and the role of remittances in developing countries. A Bolivian national, she holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 16
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-08) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Militaru, EvaThe combined effect of taxes and social spending in Romania helps to reduce inequality, although less so than in other European Union countries. However, the combination of direct and indirect taxes and transfers leads to an increase in poverty, as direct cash transfers to poor households are not large enough to compensate them for the burden of indirect taxes. This is especially important for rural households and families with children. Moreover, recent reductions in the rates for personal income and value-added taxes are expected to have led to an increase in inequality, as most of the tax relief accrued to the top of the income distribution. Although these changes likely helped to reduce poverty, they were an expensive way to achieve a small decline in the poverty rate. Higher and better targeted social assistance spending could have achieved better distributional results at a much lower fiscal cost. These results call for greater use of simulation tools that could inform policy makers and the public of the fiscal costs and redistributive impacts of proposed reforms.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-04) Saavedra, Trinidad ; Contreras-Urbina, Manuel ; Inchauste, GabrielaIntimate partner violence is among the most common forms of violence against women. In Chile, one in four women who have been in a partner relationship report having experienced some type of partner violence in the past 12 months, whether psychological, physical, sexual, or economic. However, only 22 percent of female victims of intimate partner violence file a formal complaint. This study analyzes the factors that determine the likelihood that a woman will be subject to violence perpetrated by her partner or ex-partner and the factors that determine the probability of reporting the abuse. Individual factors that increase women’s risk of experiencing intimate partner violence include being young, having fewer years of education, having a disability, and having been a victim of sexual abuse in childhood. Other factors include characteristics of partners or ex-partners associated with aggressive behavior in public spaces, having been a victim of intrafamily violence in childhood, and frequent alcohol consumption. The household dynamics that prevent women from participating in economic decision-making and the widespread acceptance of inequitable gender norms also significantly increase the risk that a woman will experience intimate partner violence. The likelihood that a woman will formally report intimate partner violence is mainly determined by the frequency of the episodes, characteristics of the partners or ex-partners, economic empowerment, and whether she has support networks.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12) Gao, Jia ; Inchauste, GabrielaMicrosimulation modelling has become a powerful tool to analyze the effects of fiscal policy changes. The World Bank’s Equity Policy Lab (EPL) has developed a customizable microsimulation tool to assess the distributional effects of tax, benefits, and other fiscal reforms. This Note explains why and how countries use the microsimulation tools, using examples from Ecuador and Armenia—2 of the more than 20 countries that have developed and used the tool over the past 2 years—to demonstrate its effectiveness in engaging government officials and informing policy making.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-11-01) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Karver, Jonathan ; Kim, Yeon Soo ; Abdel Jelil, MohamedThe availability and affordability of decent housing has become an important economic and social concern in the European Union (EU), as housing price increases in metropolitan regions have often outpaced wage increases. Housing is at the heart of growing economic divides in Europe. This is because productivity growth, which comes with higher wages and better jobs, is concentrated in cities and industrial clusters. Housing is unaffordable in metropolitan centers because the construction of new homes has not kept up with demand, reducing the standard of living of low-income households, and dissuading workers from moving to the most productive regions. While policy incentives have favored homeowners since the 1970s, less attention and resources have been devoted to easing the potential barriers and market restrictions that would allow housing supply to respond to increases in demand. Across EU member states, policymakers should focus on ensuring that land use, rental and other regulations are consistent with incentives to spur residential construction. The report highlights three key recommendations for EU policymakers: earmark unused public land for housing development and speed up approval processes; invest in greenfield projects with improved transportation links from suburban areas, to ensure cities cast a wider economic net; and create public registries to improve transparency of house sale prices to help greater competition between areas.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-04) Azevedo, Joao Pedro ; Inchauste, Gabriela ; Olivieri, Sergio ; Saavedra, Jaime ; Winkler, HernanDemographics, 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(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-07) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Winkler, HernanThis paper quantifies the contributions to distributional changes observed in Pakistan over the last decade. In contrast to methods that focus on aggregate summary statistics, the method adopted in this paper generates entire counterfactual distributions to account for the contributions of demographics, labor and non-labor incomes in explaining poverty reduction. The results show that the most important contributor was the growth in income. Moreover, this growth in income seems to be driven by returns to individual and household endowments, pointing to productivity increases as the driving force behind poverty reduction. Lower dependency ratios, transfers and remittances also contributed to poverty reduction, albeit to a smaller extent. Growth in productivity, particularly between 2001-02 and 2005-06 is consistent with estimates from aggregate accounts, which points to productivity growth led by movements of labor force away from agriculture and into industry and services. If the objective is to reach similar or accelerated poverty reduction and productivity growth going forward, increased investment in rural areas will be needed.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-12) Azevedo, Joao Pedro ; Inchauste, Gabriela ; Sanfelice, VivianeOver the past decade, 12 of 14 Latin American countries have experienced a reduction in inequality. Based on a series of counterfactual simulations, the observed changes in inequality are decomposed in order to identify the main determinants of inequality. In contrast to methods that focus on aggregate summary statistics, the method adopted in this paper generates counterfactual distributions, so that the analysis can account for changes related to demographics, occupation, labor earnings and transfers, pensions, and other nonlabor income sources. The results show that for the majority of countries in the sample, the most important contributor to the observed decline in inequality has been the relatively strong growth in labor earnings at the bottom of the income distribution. In particular, most of the reduction in inequality can be attributed to an increase in earnings per hour for the bottom of the income distribution. The paper also contributes to the literature on inequality in Latin America by providing the Shapley-Shorrocks value of this decomposition.
Publication(World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2015-02) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Lustig, Nora ; Maboshe, Mashekwa ; Purfield, Catriona ; Woolard, IngridThis paper uses the 2010/11 Income and Expenditure Survey for South Africa to analyze the progressivity of the main tax and social spending programs and quantify their impact on poverty and inequality. The paper also assesses the redistributive effectiveness of fiscal interventions given the resources used. Because it applies the Commitment to Equity methodology, the results for South Africa can be compared with other middle-income countries for which the framework has also been applied. The main results are twofold. First, the burden of taxes -- namely the personal income tax, the value added tax, excises on alcohol and tobacco, and the fuel levy -- falls on the richest in South Africa and social spending results in sizable increases in the incomes of the poor. In other words, for the components examined, the tax and social spending system is overall progressive. Second, for these elements, fiscal policy in South Africa achieves appreciable reductions in income inequality and poverty. Moreover, these reductions are the largest achieved in the emerging market countries that have so far been included in the Commitment to Equity project. Although fiscal policy is equalizing and poverty-reducing, the levels of inequality and poverty that remain still rank among the highest in middle-income countries. Looking ahead, as South Africa grapples with slow economic growth, a high fiscal deficit, and a rising debt burden, addressing the twin challenges of high inequality and poverty will require not only much improved quality of public services, but also higher and more inclusive economic growth.
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.
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.