Incentives, Labor Markets, and the Challenge of Universal Social Protection in Latin America and the Caribbean

Farm laborers in Brazil

World Bank


David Robalino
Lead Economist and Leader of the Labor and Youth Team in the Human Development Anchor of the World Bank


March 15, 2013


12–1:15 p.m. PT


RAND Corporation
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA

About the Program

This seminar will focus primarily on three fundamental questions that must be faced by any effort to strengthen social protection in the region: how can programs protect the most vulnerable without promoting informality and dampening incentives to work and save? How can programs ensure that scarce public resources are used for subsidies that are transparent, fair, and effective-and not for badly targeted and regressive benefits for formal sector workers? Finally, how can programs reinforce human capital development so that the more mobile workers that the region needs are able to insure themselves through savings or risk-pooling arrangements, thus reducing vulnerability and the need for subsidies?

About the Speaker

David Robalino is the lead economist and leader of the Labor and Youth Team in the Human Development Anchor of the World Bank. He also serves as Co-Director of the Employment and Development program at IZA, the Institute for the Study of the Labor.

Since joining the World Bank, Robalino has been working on issues related to social security, labor markets and fiscal policy. He has worked in several countries in Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. David has published on issues related to macroeconomics and labor markets, social insurance and pensions, health financing, the economics of HIV/AIDS, and the economics of climate change. More recently David has been working on issues related to the design of unemployment benefits systems in middle income countries, the extension of social insurance programs to the informal sector, and the integration of social protection and education/training policies to improve labor market outcomes and productivity growth.

Prior to joining the Bank, Robalino was a researcher at the RAND Corporation where he was involved in research on health, population and labor, climate change, and the development of quantitative methods for policy analysis under conditions of uncertainty. David also served in the Presidential Committee for Social Security Reform in Ecuador. David did his graduate studies at the Sorbonne University in Paris and the Pardee RAND Graduate School (cohort '95).

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