Inchauste, Gabriela

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
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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 - 5 of 5
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    The Distributional Impact of Fiscal Policy in South Africa
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2015-02) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Lustig, Nora ; Maboshe, Mashekwa ; Purfield, Catriona ; Woolard, Ingrid
    This 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.
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    A Customizable Microsimulation Tool to Analyze Distributional Effects of Country Fiscal Policies
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12) Gao, Jia ; Inchauste, Gabriela
    Microsimulation 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.
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    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.
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    The Distributional Impact of Taxes and Social Spending in Croatia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-09) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Rubil, Ivica
    This paper describes the impact of fiscal policy on inequality and poverty, and examines recent policy changes and whether there is room for an increased role for fiscal policy in improving the well-being of the poor. Taxes and social spending reduced inequality in Croatia; however, once the impacts of indirect taxes are considered, the system is unable to reduce poverty, especially for families with children and retirees. Beginning in the second decile, households are net payers to the treasury, as the share of taxes paid exceeded the cash benefits received for all but the poorest 10 percent of the population. Microsimulations of recent tax changes find that inequality after taxes and transfers is expected to increase slightly in 2017, as most of the benefits of the reform were concentrated at the top of the distribution. Although the impact of lower value-added taxes on electricity and utility bills is expected to be slightly poverty reducing, this effect is small relative to the relief that is needed. A reduction in the standard value-added tax rate from 25 to 24 percent would result in a small decline in poverty and inequality. However, the impact may be much smaller, depending on how this measure would be financed.
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    The Distributional Impact of Taxes and Transfers: Evidence From Eight Developing Countries
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2017-08-24) Inchauste, Gabriela ; Lustig, Nora ; Inchauste, Gabriela ; Lustig, Nora
    The World Bank has partnered with the Commitment to Equity Institute at Tulane University to implement their diagnostic tool—the Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Assessment—designed to assess how taxation and public expenditures affect income inequality, poverty, and different economic groups. The approach relies on comprehensive fiscal incidence analysis, which measures the contribution of each individual intervention to poverty and inequality reduction as well as the combined impact of taxes and social spending. The CEQ Assessment provide an evidence base upon which alternative reform options can be analyzed. The use of a common methodology makes the results comparable across countries. This volume presents eight country studies that examine the distributional effects of individual programs and policy measures—and the net effect of each country’s mix of policies and programs. These case studies were produced in the context of Bank policy dialogue and have since been used to propose alternative reform options.