Abebe Shimeles

African Development Bank, Côte d’Ivoire, and IZA, Germany

I am privileged and honored to be part of the IZA World of Labor project. It provides a unique platform for researchers to reach policymakers, media, and the public at large by distilling the key messages of innovative and original research that otherwise would have been inaccessible

IZA World of Labor role


Current position

Acting Director, Development Research Department, African Development Bank

Research interest

Labor market integration, migration issues in Africa, and impact evaluation of policy interventions

Positions/functions as a policy advisor

Consultant, Economic and Social Policy Division, UNECA (October 2005–August 2006; October 2003–December 2004); Consultant (International), Economic and Social Policy Division, UNECA (May 1998–December 2000)

Past positions

Principal Research Economist, African Development Bank (April 2009–June 2011); Senior Poverty Economist, ETC, PREM(Rwanda), World Bank (January 2008–March 2009); Research Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Sweden (June 2006–December 2007)


PhD Economics, University of Gothenburg, 2006

Selected publications

  • “The making of the middle class in Africa: Evidence from DHS data.” Journal of Development Studies 51:2 (2015): 178–193.

  • “The persistence of urban poverty in Ethiopia: A tale of two measurements.” Applied Economics Letters 18:9 (2011): 835–839 (with A. Bigstgen).

  • “Poverty transition and persistence in Ethiopia.” World Development 36:9 (2008): 1559–1584 (with A. Bigsten).

  • “Labor market integration in urban Ethiopia 1994–2004.” Economic Development and Cultural Change 61:4 (2013): 889–931 (with A. Bigsten and T. Mengistae).

  • “Can Africa reduce poverty by half in 2015?” Development Policy Review 25:2 (2007): 147–166 (with A. Bigsten).