Matias Antonio

Junior Professional Associate, The World Bank

Originally from
Santiago del Estero
Currently living in
Washington, DC
United States

My responsibilities in the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Policy area range across pretty much all macroeconomic subjects that are related to policy. One of the projects I am working on right now is macroeconomic monitoring. For this project, I produce a bi-weekly briefing on the current situation across the continents. I am also linked to the El Salvador economic team, so I go on missions to assess the economic situation and develop policy that, in our view, may be beneficial. We also identify areas where we can help them with technical support.

The typical day is relatively different according to the project. So if I am on mission in can get pretty intense as is meetings and more meetings with the government, think tanks, and sometimes with the private sector. To then get back to the hotel and process all the information. But if I am in headquarters it's much more relaxed and I can focus on the projects (conditional on the deadlines) that is of most interesting to me. The World Bank is generally quite open to new ideas and gives a lot of freedom to pursue your own interest, conditional that they can be tied to the work plan of course. Although, admittedly there is always number crunching no matter the project and as a JPA you will be responsible for it. In fact, I did not expect to receive so much responsibility so quickly.

A highlight of the job so far has been going to El Salvador on a mission and meeting the government. Not only do you learn a massive amount, but you realize how important the role of politics is for policy making in terms of timing and magnitude of the reform. I was also able to almost see and touch the economic machinery, talking with the various agents we studied in the models. How the government views things, the private sector, and also the importance of perception of the representative agent in policy making.

All of the Economics master courses are useful for this type of work. The ideas behind the models we studied provide a strong conceptual framework that helps guide policy and tells us where to look for vulnerabilities in the economy.