Francisco H. G. Ferreira

Senior Adviser, Development Research Group

Francisco H. G. Ferreira is a Senior Adviser in the World Bank’s Development Research Group, where he oversees the Bank’s research programs on poverty and inequality. He was formerly the Bank’s Chief Economist for the Africa Region, and has also served as Deputy Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, and as co-Director of the World Development Report 2006, on Equity and Development. Francisco is also a non-resident Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA, Bonn), and has published widely in the fields of poverty and inequality in developing countries. He was awarded the Haralambos Simeonides and the Adriano Romariz Duarte Prizes by the Brazilian Economic and Econometric Societies respectively, and the Kendricks Prize by the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth. Francisco serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Economic Inequality (where he was previously Editor in Chief), the Review of Income and Wealth, and the World Bank Economic Review. Francisco has taught at the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and at the Paris School of Economics. He was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Featured Research
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    Inequality as Cholesterol: Attempting to Quantify Inequality of Opportunity

    Policy Research Talk, January 2019
    Is all economic inequality bad? Is zero the optimal amount of income inequality? Or, like cholesterol, might there be better and worse forms of inequality? In this talk, World Bank Senior Adviser Francisco Ferreira will discuss the normative underpinnings and philosophical roots of the theory, provide some empirical illustrations, and then present (some of the) formal economic approaches to the measurement of inequality of opportunity for income and education.
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    Principles and Practice in Measuring Global Poverty

    Policy Research Talk, November 2015
    When a team of World Bank economists set about updating the poverty line, they had to balance the requirements of ensuring methodological rigor, using the best available data, and keeping the goalpost for eliminating extreme poverty securely fixed in place. In this talk, Francisco Ferreira, a leading member of the team, sought to bring transparency to the update by explaining in detail all of the methodological choices and data constraints the team faced in setting a new poverty line.
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    Actual and counterfactual growth incidence and delta Lorenz curves: Estimation and inference

    Francisco H.G. Ferreira, Sergio Firpo, Antonio F. Galvao
    Economists have come to rely on the growth incidence curve to describe and analyze the distributional profile of growth episodes. This paper introduces a mean-independent analogue, the delta Lorenz curve, which gives the cumulative change in income share up to each quantile. We also develop estimation and inference procedures for both functions of quantiles. The proposed methods are used to compare the growth processes in the US and Brazil during 1995–2007. Wage shares fell in the US up to the 83rd percentile, and rose in Brazil up to the 65th percentile.
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    Economic Mobility and the Rise of the Latin American Middle Class

    Francisco H.G. Ferreira, Julian Messina, Jamele Rigolini, Luis-Felipe López-Calva, Maria Ana Lugo, and Renos Vakis (2013)
    After decades of stagnation, the size of Latin America's middle class recently expanded to the point where, for the first time ever, the number of people in poverty is equal to the size of the middle class. This volume investigates the nature, determinants and possible consequences of this remarkable process of social transformation.
Tel : +1 202 473 4382



  • Inequality and Shared Prosperity
  • Poverty
  • Poverty Measurement and Analysis
  • Social Protection and Growth