Acting Sector Manager and Lead Economist
Omar Arias is acting sector manager and lead economist in the Human Development Economics Unit for the World Bank Europe and Central Asia region. Previously he was the sector leader of Human Development for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela; a senior economist in the Poverty and Gender Group of the Latin American region; and a research economist at the Inter-American Development Bank. He has been a co-author of various analytical studies, including recent regional reports on pensions and jobs, including "Back to Work: Growing with Jobs in Europe and Central Asia"; Latin America regional flagship reports "Informality: Exit and Exclusion" and “Poverty Reduction and Growth: Virtuous and Vicious Circles”; and analytical reports on returns to skills in Poland and Bulgaria, informality in Argentina and poverty in other Latin American countries. He has peer-reviewed publications in various topics, including returns to schooling and skills, labor markets, income mobility, growth, poverty and inequality, human capital accumulation, tax evasion, and applied econometrics. He was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he obtained his master's degree and doctorate in economics.