François Roubaud


François Roubaud, (PhD), is an economist and statistician, a senior research fellow at the French Institute of Research for Sustainable Development (IRD), a member of the DIAL research unit in Paris and former head (2000-2004). He holds a PhD in Economics and is a graduate of the Paris Graduate School of Economics, Statistics and Finance (ENSAE). In statistics, he pioneered the mixed surveys approach (household-enterprise) to measure the informal economy, in particular the 1-2-3 survey, and developed the governance modules grafted on official household surveys now used to monitor SDG16. Both are recognized as international standards and implemented in dozens of LDCs (in Africa, Latin America and Asia). In development economics, his main fields of expertise are labour market and informal economy, corruption, governance and institutions, and evaluation and political economic of development policies. In development economics, he wrote extensively on labour markets, governance, policy evaluation and political economy of reforms in LDCs. His last books: Randomized Control Trials in Development: A Critical Perspective (Oxford, 2020; co-edited with Florent Bédécarrats and Isabelle Guérin) and Puzzle and paradox: political economy of Madagascar (Cambridge, 2020; co-authored with Mireille Razafindrakoto and Jean-Michel Wachsberger). He has been posted in national institutions (Statistical Offices and Research Centers) in Mexico, Madagascar, Vietnam and currently in Brazil for long assignments.

Papers Published in World Economics:

Measuring the Non-observed Economy in Vietnam

This article takes advantage of new political demand at the government’s highest level to focus on measurement of the informal economy in Vietnam from a statistical perspective. The main challenges, concepts and definitions regarding the informal economy within the framework of the non-observed economy are reviewed. A discussion of alternative methodologies for measuring the informal sector, in general and their application to Vietnam, is presented. As the two main strategies for measuring the informal sector have been conducted in parallel since 2007, this gives a unique opportunity to compare the two approaches. Based on past experiences, some recommendations for designing an improved system are made. A review is conducted of the illustrative empirical results, both on the labour market and the national accounts, and thoughts on the challenges ahead are offered.

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