Joana Silva

Senior Economist
Office of the Chief Economist 
Latin America and the Caribbean

The World Bank

1818 H Street NW

Washington DC 20433 USA

Mail Stop I8-808, Office: I8-169

Tel: +1-202-473-7911



Joana Silva is a Senior Economist at the Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean of the World Bank. She has expertise in labor economics, international trade, economics of education, poverty and inequality, firm productivity and policy evaluation. She has led several World Bank lending operations and has extensive experience advising governments, in particular on the design and implementation of economic reforms, social programs and monitoring and evaluation systems. Her research has been published in academic journals, including the Journal of International Economics, Economics Letters and Review of World Economics. She is author of three books Sustaining Employment and Wage Gains in Brazil: a Skills and Jobs Agenda”,  “Inclusion and Resilience: The Way Forward for Social Safety Nets in the Middle East and North Africa” and “Striving for Better Jobs: The Challenge of Informality in the Middle East and North Africa”. She is currently leading a Regional report on wage inequality in Latin America and a number of evaluations of social programs in the region. Before joining the Bank she has worked for the Globalization and Economic Policy Research Center and taught at the University of Nottingham. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Nottingham.


Exports and Job Training (with Paulo Bastos and Rafael Proenca), Review of International Economics24(4), 737-756, 2016.

Exports Destinations and Input Prices: Evidence from Portugal (with Eric Verhoogen and Paulo Bastos), NBER working paper no. 20143, May 2014. (also CEPR discussion paper no. 9985.) Appendix. (.bib) Revised and resubmitted, American Economic Review.

Informality and exclusion: evidence from matched employer-employee data for Lebanon and Syria. (with Mohamad Alloush, Carole Chartouni and Roberta Gatti), IZA Journal of Labor Policy, 2(18), 1-18, 2013.


Networks, firms, and trade. (with Paulo Bastos), Journal of International Economics, 87(2), 352-364, 2012.


The quality of a firm's exports: Where you export to matters. (with Paulo Bastos), Journal of International Economics, 82(2), 99-111, 2010. Lead article


Trade liberalisation and human capital adjustment. (with Rod Falvey and David Greenaway), Journal of International Economics, 81(2), pp. 230-239, 2010


Identifying vertically differentiated products. (with Paulo Bastos), Economics Letters, 106(1), 32-34, 2010.


Intra-Industry trade expansion and employment reallocation between sectors and occupations. (with Manuel Cabral), Review of World Economics, 142(3), 496-521, 2006.



Sustaining Employment and Wage Gains in Brazil: A Skills and Jobs Agenda (With Rita Almeida and Victoria Strokova), Directions in Development, Washington DC - The World Bank, 2015.

Inclusion and Resilience: The Way Forward for Social Safety Nets in the Middle East and North Africa (with Victoria Levin and Matteo Morgandi), MENA Development Report,  Washington DC - The World Bank, 2013. [Featured in: Financial Times; over 50 newspaper articles; Al-Jazeera (1-hour program, audience over 100 households); title search in Google returns over 150,000 results].

Striving for Better Jobs: The Challenge of Informality in the Middle East and North Africa (with Roberta Gatti, Diego-Angel-Urdinola and Andras Bodor), Directions in Development, Washinton DC - The World Bank, 2014. (Overview published in 2012)



The Inequality Story in Latin America and the Caribbean: Searching for an Explanation (with Augusto de la Torre and Julian Messina). In Luis Bertola and Jeffrey G. Williamson (eds.), Latin American Inequality in the Long Run (forthcoming).

Conditionalities, School Performance and Progression of Bolsa Famila Program Beneficiaries. (with Flavio Cireno and Rafael Proenca), Chapter 19 in Ministry of Social Development and IPEA (eds.), Programa Bolsa Familia Uma Década de Inclusão e Cidadania, IPEA, Brasilia, 2013. (One pager available here)

Human capital and adjustment to trade. (with Rod Falvey and David Greenaway) in David Greenaway, Richard Upward and Peter W. Wright (eds.), Globalisation and Labour Market Adjustment, 97-114, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

The wage and unemployment impacts of trade adjustment. (with Paulo Bastos), in David Greenaway, Richard Upward and Peter W. Wright (eds.), Globalisation and Labour Market Adjustment, 31-53, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.


Education, social safety nets, and inequality 

"Trust in government and support for redistribution" (with V. Levin and M. Morgandi), Policy Research Working Papers, WPS7675, The World Bank, 2016.

"Do conditional cash transfers improve long-term educational outcomes? A regression-discontinuity approach using Bolsa Familia program data" (with F. Cireno and R. Proenca)

Firms and workers adjustment to globalization

International competition, returns to skill and labor market adjustment. (with Rod Falvey and David Greenaway).

Labor markets

"Returns to vocational training in Brazil: Evidence from provider-employer data" (with L. Caruso and R. Gukovas)

"Earnings consequences of labor turnover: the case of Brazil" (with E. Zylberstajn).


"The Effects of Welfare Programs on Local Labor Markets: Evidence from Conditional Cash transfers" (with Joana Naritomi and Francois Gerard)

"Who wants subsidy reform? The effect of compensation package design on reform success" (with V. Levin and M. Morgandi)

"Employment creation, labor productivity, and firm dynamics: Evidence from Brazil" (with A. Maciente and R. Gukovas)


How Brazil (and Latin America) Can Preserve Job Growth (with Augusto de la Torre), Huffington Post, November 18, 2015.

Para Conter a Deterioração de Empregos e Salários (with Rita Almeida), Valor Economico (Brazil), November 18, 2015. (also available here)

O Principal Desafio do Brasil (e da America Latina): A Geração de Empregos de Qualidade (with Augusto de la Torre). Huffington Post, November 13, 2015.

Primeiro emprego: um sonho distante para milhões de jovens brasileiros (with Rita Almeida and Julia Loureiro). World Bank Blog, October 26, 2015.

MENA Adults More Tolerant of Reforming Nonfood Subsidies (with Victoria Levin, Matteo Morgandi and Cynthia English),, May 6, 2013.

MENA Residents Put Onus on Government to Help the Poor (with Victoria Levin, Matteo Morgandi and Cynthia English),, November 27, 2012.

What do large informal labor sectors mean for the region? Comment in Inter-American Dialogues-Latin America Advisor, Set 6, 2013.

The time is right for social welfare reform. Op-ed in Asharq Alawsat Newspaper, July 2013.

NOW is the time to bring MENA's poor Into the net. MENA Blog Voices and Views, World Bank, 26 November 2012.