Inchauste, Gabriela

Global Practice on Poverty and Equity, The World Bank
Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Fiscal incidence analysis, Poverty and social impact, Economic and social mobility, Informality, Distributional analysis, Public finance, Inequality, Development economics
External Links
Global Practice on Poverty and Equity, The World Bank
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
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 - 7 of 7
  • Thumbnail Image
    Decomposing the Recent Inequality Decline in Latin America
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-12) Azevedo, Joao Pedro ; Inchauste, Gabriela ; Sanfelice, Viviane
    Over 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.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Decomposing Distributional Changes in Pakistan
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-07) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Winkler, Hernan
    This 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.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Understanding Changes in Poverty
    (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, Hernan
    Understanding 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.
  • Thumbnail Image
    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.
  • Thumbnail Image
    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.
  • Thumbnail Image
    The Political Economy of Energy Subsidy Reform
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2017-03-07) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Victor, David G. ; Inchauste, Gabriela ; Victor, David G. ; Addo, Sheila ; Bazilian, Morgan ; Beaton, Christopher ; Gallina, Andrea ; Mansur, Yusuf ; Oguah, Sanuel ; Sánchez, Miguel Eduardo ; Serajuddin, Umar ; Wai-Poi, Matthew
    This book proposes a simple framework for understanding the political economy of subsidy reform and applies it to four in-depth country studies covering more than 30 distinct episodes of reform. Five key lessons emerge. First, energy subsidies often follow a life cycle, beginning as a way to stabilize prices and reduce exposure to price volatility for low-income consumers. However, as they grow in size and political power, they become entrenched. Second, subsidy reform strategies vary because the underlying political economy problems vary. When benefits are concentrated, satisfying or isolating) interest groups with alternative policies is an important condition for effective reform. When benefits are diffuse, it can be much harder to identify and manage the political coalition needed for reform. Third, governments vary in their administrative and political capacities to implement difficult energy subsidy reforms. Fourth, improvements in social protection systems are often critical to the success of reforms because they make it possible to target assistance to those most in need. Finally, the most interesting cases involve governments that take a strategic approach to the challenges of political economy. In these settings, fixing energy subsidies is central to the governments’ missions of retaining political power and reorganizing how the government delivers benefits to the population. These cases are examples of “reform engineering,” where governments actively seek to create the capacity to implement alternative policies, depoliticize tariffs, and build credibility around alternative policies. The most successful reforms involve active efforts by policy leaders to identify the political forces supporting energy subsidies and redirect or inoculate them.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Energy Subsidy Reform Assessment Framework: Assessing the Political Economy of Energy Subsidies to Support Policy Reform Operations
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-06-30) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Victor, David G. ; Schiffer, Eva
    This note comes in three sections. First, the information required for political economy analysis of energy subsidy reforms is presented. Second, a summary is given of the information that can usually be obtained through desk research to provide the context for subsequent interviews and another field research. Third, information that probably requires interviews and field data collection is provided. The ultimate audience of the proposed types of analysis lies with policy reformers themselves and with external development and policy institutions that are seeking to help governments adopt more sustainable reforms. However, the direct audience for this note are those commissioning political economy analysis of energy subsidies, and technocrats, researchers, and advisers to policy makers carrying out the analysis. Often, a team made up of sector experts and political economy experts will provide a greater depth of analysis. Significant attention is devoted here to the origins and operation of existing subsidies since that history conditions what is possible for the adoption and sustainability of future reforms. The main interest and audience for this note is forward-looking, people and institutions who need to understand what is politically possible and how to realign political forces around successful reform. The authors are mindful that this role is perhaps different from other more technocratic roles of agencies and institutions focused on technical analysis and thus they also devote some attention to the processes needed to obtain and manage sensitive information and political insights since mismanagement in that realm can, itself, affect the political prospects for reform and harm the standing of reform agents in the process. In contrast to desk research or analysis of existing datasets, field research on political economy will always be an intervention in the local system, which needs to be managed well to increase and not decrease the space for reform and coalition building.