Development Economics

The Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) increases understanding of development policies and programs by providing intellectual leadership and analytical services to the Bank and the development community.

DEC is the premier research and data arm of the World Bank. 

Under the leadership of Senior Director, Shanta Devarajan, he sets the Bank's research agenda and advises Bank Management on a wide range of development policy issues. He also advises policy makers on development challenges and helps to promote development issues within the broad development community.

DEC pursues four main business lines:

Senior Director

Shanta Devarajan

Senior Director, Development Economics and Acting Chief Economist of the World Bank Group
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The World Bank
1818 H Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20433


Moving for Prosperity: Global Migration and Labor Markets

Global labor mobility can be a potent tool in the fight to end poverty, but better labor market policies in destination countries can ensure everyone shares the benefits of migration.

Many governments take steps to improve women’s economic inclusion, although legal barriers remain widespread

Governments in 65 economies took steps to improve women’s economic inclusion, enacting 87 legal reforms in the past two years, says the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and Law 2018 report.

Financial Inclusion on the Rise, But Gaps Remain, Global Findex Database Shows

Financial inclusion is on the rise globally, accelerated by mobile phones and the internet, but gains have been uneven across countries. The latest Global Findex Database 2017 report on the use of financial services also finds that men remain more likely than women to have an account.

Feature Story
State-of-the-Art Machine Learning Tools Are Giving New Life to Poverty Data

Machine learning tools are making it possible to use a handful of easy-to-collect pieces of household information to predict the poverty status of a household, allowing for poverty estimation based on simpler household survey instruments.

WDR 2019 Cover
Working Draft
World Development Report 2019 - The Changing Nature of Work

Technological progress, new trends in global trade and investment, shifting demographics, and various other forces are all impacting what constitutes work. They are also impacting how and where it takes place. Read how the WDR 2019 will explore these trends.

Worker with fork pallet truck stacker in warehouse loading furniture panels. Photo: Shutterstock/Dmitry Kalinovsky
Global Economy to Expand by 3.1 percent in 2018, Slower Growth Seen Ahead

Despite recent softening, global economic growth will remain robust at 3.1 percent in 2018 before slowing gradually over the next two years, as advanced-economy growth decelerates and the recovery in major commodity-exporting emerging market and developing economies levels off, the World Bank said.


Data Spotlight

Global Growth Accelerated in 2017, and is Expected to Edge up in 2018


Journals & Digests
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    World Bank Research Observer

    The World Bank Research Observer seeks to inform nonspecialist readers about research being undertaken within the Bank and outside the Bank in areas of economics relevant for development policy.
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    World Bank Economic Review

    The World Bank Economic Review encourages and supports innovative theoretical and empirical research in the field of development economics.
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    World Bank Research Digest

    The World Bank Research Digest is a quarterly publication that communicates the findings of research relevant for development policy in an accessible and timely way.

  • Mobile Data Apps

    For iOS and Android
  • ADePT

    Software platform for automated economic analysis
  • iSimulate

    Platform for performing macroeconomic simulations
  • PovCalNet

    Poverty Analysis Tool assess global poverty incidence figures
  • Informality Scenario Analysis

    Project the size of formal and informal labor in almost 100 countries yearly until 2030
  • CAPI

    Software for conducting complex surveys with dynamic structures using tablet devices
Regional Knowledge Hubs
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    The Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Malaysia is a regional center of excellence for research on key areas of economic development, spanning economic growth and risk management to program evaluation and the implementation of key public services.
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    The Research and Development Center in Chile advances work on internationally recognized databases—including Doing Business, Women Business and the Law, and Enterprise Surveys—and fosters research on financial sector development, among other topics.


Located within the Development Economics Vice Presidency, the Development Research Group is the World Bank's principal research department. With its cross-cutting expertise on a broad range of topics and countries, the department is one of the most influential centers of development research in the world.

Our experts are often cited by the media, the academic community, and other stake holders interested in international development. Our researchers also provide support to the World Bank's Regions and Global Practices to help ensure that the institution's policy advice is firmly grounded in current knowledge. 

The department produces the majority of the World Bank’s research and enjoys a high international profile. The work of our researchers appears in academic journals, the Policy Research Working Papers, books, blogs, and special publications such as the Policy Research Reports.

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    Policy Research Reports

    The Policy Research Report series synthesizes the findings of World Bank research on development policy for a broad audience. The reports contribute to the debate on appropriate public policies for developing economies.
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    Global Financial Development Reports

    The Global Financial Development Report series provide a unique contribution to financial sector policy debates, building on novel data, surveys, research, and wide-ranging country experience, with an emphasis on emerging markets and developing economies.
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    Books by World Bank researchers cover the full breadth of international development policy issues.
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    Working Papers

    The Policy Research Working Paper series disseminates findings of work in progress to encourage the exchange of ideas about development issues.

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    Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) evaluates the impact of select World Bank projects and those of other multilateral development banks to help transform development policy, reduce extreme poverty, and secure shared prosperity.
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    Global Findex

    The Global Findex database, the world’s most comprehensive database on financial inclusion, provides in-depth data on how individuals save, borrow, make payments, and manage risks.
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    PovcalNet is an interactive computational tool that allows users to replicate the calculations made by the World Bank's researchers in estimating the extent of absolute poverty in the world.
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    Worldwide Governance Indicators

    The Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project reports aggregate and individual governance indicators for over 200 countries and territories over the period 1996–2016 for six dimensions of governance.


Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

Director of Research
Meet the management team »


Jed Friedman

Senior Economist

Leora Klapper

Lead Economist
More researchers »

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