H. Xavier Jara holds a PhD in Economics and a Master of Advanced Studies in Economics from the University of Leuven, and a Master in Economics from the University of Louvain. He works as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex and is a member of the Centre for Microsimulation and Policy Analysis. He works in the fields of public and development economics and specializes in the study of poverty and inequality, the redistributive effect of tax-benefit policies, labour supply and well-being measurement. He has extensive experience in the use of quantitative methods and microsimulation techniques for distributional analysis in high, low and middle-income countries. His recent work concentrates on the link between informality and inequality in Latin America with a focus on the role of public policies.
2020 (with A. Tumino). “Atypical work and unemployment protection in Europe”, Journal of Common Market Studies, forthcoming.
2020 (with D. Popova). “Second earners and in-work poverty in Europe”, Journal of Social Policy, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279420000227
2020 (with A. Akay and O. Bargain). “Fair Welfare Comparison with Heterogeneous Tastes: Subjective versus Revealed Preferences”, Social Choice and Welfare, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00355-
2019 (with C. Varela). “Tax-benefit microsimulation and income redistribution in Ecuador”, International Journal of Microsimulation, 12 (1), pp. 52-82.
2017 (with O. Bargain and D. Rodriguez). “Learning from your neighbour: swapping tax-benefit systems in Latin America”, Journal of Economic Inequality, 15(4), pp.369-392.
2017 (with E. Schokkaert). “Putting measures of individual well-being to use for ex-ante policy evaluation”, Journal of Economic Inequality, 15(4), pp.421-440.
2021 (with A. Avellaneda, R. Chang, D. Collado, A. Mideros, L. Montesdeoca, D. Rodríguez, J. Torres and O. Vanegas) "Assessing the cushioning effect of tax-benefit policies in the Andean region during the COVID-19 pandemic". CeMPA Working Paper Series 8/21.
2021 (with L. Montesdeoca and I Valentinova Tasseva). The role of automatic stabilizers and emergency tax-benefit policies during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ecuador".Research Paper, WIDER Working Papers, 2021/4.
Research Project as CALAS fellow
Title: Rethinking social protection in Ecuador after COVID-19
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the gaps in social protection in Latin America. In addition to higher health risks, vulnerable populations might also suffer more from the economic effect of lockdown and social distancing policies. Economic disparities in the region are, therefore, likely to be reinforced by the COVID-19 outbreak. Ecuador is one of the countries in the region that has been the most severely hit by the pandemic and coverage of emergency policies to mitigate the impact of the crisis has been more limited.
The overall aim of this project is to investigate the role of tax-benefit policies in mitigating the short- and long-term socioeconomic effects of COVID-19 in Ecuador. The findings will provide evidence of potential reforms to strengthen social protection in the country by building fiscal capacity with a long-term perspective. The analysis will focus on two areas analysed as separate but interlinked research papers. First, we will assess the short-term socioeconomic effects of COVID-19 with a close focus on the mitigating role of unemployment insurance (seguro de desempleo) and the emergency measures implemented by the Ecuadorian government. Then, we will provide a forward-looking analysis (2020-2030) of potential tax-benefit reforms aimed at developing sustainable welfare and healthcare systems in Ecuador in the long-term.
Our empirical approach will combine macroeconomic predictions of changes in employment with detailed tax-benefit microsimulation techniques to assess the role of government policies in alleviating the effect of the crisis. The forward-looking analysis will pay particular attention to the provision of adequate social protection to vulnerable populations such as informal workers, women and ethnic minorities. The use of tax-benefit models will further allow assessing the effect of policies from other countries in the region applied to the Ecuadorian population to learn from othersˇ experiences in order to build fiscal capacity and sustainable welfare systems.