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, DEC sets the Bank's research agenda and advises Bank Management on a wide range of development policy issues. DEC also advises policy makers on development challenges and helps to promote development issues within the broad development community.

DEC's main business lines are:

Senior Director

Shanta Devarajan

Senior Director, Development Economics
View more information »

Contacts

The World Bank
1818 H Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20433

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Highlights
The view of floating storage facility over the platform faraway. Photo Credit: Jhon Henriano/Shutterstock.com
Feature Story
Storm Clouds are Brewing for the Global Economy

Global economic growth is projected to soften from a downwardly revised 3 percent in 2018 to 2.9 percent in 2019 amid rising downside risks to the outlook, the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects says.

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REPORT
Emerging, Developing Economies to Face Challenges if Global Inflation Rises

The adverse effects of high inflation can fall disproportionately on the poor, who hold most of their assets in cash and rely heavily on wage income, welfare benefits, and pensions, says new report on Inflation in Emerging and Developing Economies: Evolution, Drivers, and Policies.

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Press Release
Oil price rises in 2019 to be modest as U.S. production constraints ease: World Bank

Growing global trade tensions are weighing on non-energy commodity prices and are leading to downward revisions to 2019 price forecasts.

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FEATURE STORY
A Lack of Mobility Undermines the Aspirations of Millions

Data from 148 economies show that intergenerational mobility is significantly lower in developing than in high-income economies, but investments in health and education early in life can create a more level playing field.

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REPORT
New Record Set as 314 Reforms Introduced to Improve Business Climate Around the World

Governments around the world set a new record in bureaucracy busting efforts for the domestic private sector, implementing 314 business reforms over the past year.

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Report
Jobs of the Future Require More Investment in People

Greater investments in people’s health and education are urgent in a rapidly evolving labor market increasingly shaped by technology, according to the World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work.


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Data Spotlight

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.

Tools
  • 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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    Malaysia

    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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    Chile

    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.

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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.


Publications
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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

    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.

DATA & IMPACT EVALUATION
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    DIME

    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

    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.

Director

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

Director of Research
Meet the management team »

Researchers

Martin Kanz

Economist

Adam Wagstaff

Research Manager
More researchers »




Contact Us

Email:
research@worldbank.org

Located with the Development Economics Vice-presidency, the Global Indicators Group produces primary data and analysis that increase transparency and accountability. All the data products have strong emphasis on benchmarking (being comparable across territories and time), are based on economic research and have clear policy and operational value. Over the years, Global Indicators Group products have inspired governments to reform their business regulations, engage with the WBG on reform advisory work and enabled peer-to-peer learning. The work also feeds into research produced by academia, international organizations, think tanks and policy advocacy conducted by Civil Society Organizations and non-governmental organizations.

While the department has originally focus on private sector development issues, its scope has expanded over time. However, this expansion needs to be true to the original goals that we collect data to: increase transparency and accountability, correct government and market failures and provide the tools for governments to improve and reach efficient but also equitable outcomes.

The Global Indicators Group produces widely cited reports and databases such as Doing Business, Subnational Doing Business, Enterprise Surveys and Women Business and the Law.


Who We Are
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    Doing Business

    Doing Business provides quantified, comparable measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies. Published annually since 2003, it measures the efficiency and strength of laws, regulations and institutions relevant to domestic small and medium-size companies throughout their life cycle.
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    Enterprise Surveys

    Enterprise Surveys provide the world's most comprehensive comparable firm-level data in emerging markets and developing economies. Data are available on 130,000+ firms in 139 countries. Data cover a broad range of business environment topics including access to finance, corruption, infrastructure, crime, competition, and performance measures.
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    Subnational Doing Business

    Subnational and Regional Doing Business reports capture differences in business regulations and their enforcement across locations in a single country or region. They provide data on the ease of doing business, rank each location, and recommend reforms to improve performance in each of the indicator areas.
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    Women, Business and the Law

    Women, Business and the Law (WBL) measures gender inequality in the law. The dataset diagnoses legal barriers limiting women’s full economic participation and encourages policymakers to reform discriminatory laws and regulations. Its fifth edition covers 189 economies and 7 topics: Accessing institutions, Using property, Getting a job, Providing incentives to work, Going to court and Protecting women from violence.
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    Enabling the Business of Agriculture

    Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) focuses on identifying and monitoring regulations and policies that affect agriculture and agribusiness markets. The project aims to inform and encourage policy decisions that support inclusive participation in agricultural value chains and foster an environment that is conducive to local and regional business in agriculture.

Senior Manager

Rita Ramalho

Senior Manager, Global Indicators Group



The Development Economics Knowledge Management unit (DECKM) plays a critical role in managing the wealth of knowledge that the World Bank generates through its operations. Like many development organizations, the World Bank generates knowledge in everything it does, across diverse activities and its operations. Strong structures and approaches to manage this knowledge are indispensable to ensure that this knowledge is used to its full potential, to prevent knowledge loss, to understand what works and avoid repeating mistakes.

Knowledge and its effective management are vital to ensure high-quality development projects, and, ultimately, to deliver development impact. The programs within DECKM align to support the key goal of managing knowledge, learning, and data effectively to facilitate World Bank operations and maximize development impact.


PROGRAMS
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    Knowledge Management (KM)

    Knowledge Management (KM) works to build a cohesive knowledge management program at the World Bank to bring value to stakeholders and positively impact the broader knowledge agenda. This program draws upon and promotes best practices for partners and clients, and helps to gather together and promote the sharing of knowledge as a global public good.
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    Text and Data Analytics

    Text and Data Analytics helps practitioners navigate and utilize the vast amounts of data and documentation inside and outside the World Bank to support their work. The team creates practical knowledge packages through research, literature reviews, and data analysis to support stakeholders. Its services ensure that useful knowledge and insights from data and text analytics add value to the work of World Bank staff.
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    South-South Experience Exchange Facility (South-South Facility)

    The South-South Experience Exchange Facility (South-South Facility) enables sharing of development experiences and knowledge among World Bank client countries by supporting knowledge exchange activities. Helping developing countries to share tacit knowledge among themselves around similar development challenges they face enables them to find solutions that work within their social and economic context.

Learning
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    Open Learning Campus

    The Open Learning Campus (OLC) works to equip World Bank staff with operational knowledge and capabilities to tackle the toughest development challenges. It helps transform knowledge from the World Bank and partners into actionable learning for clients and staff.

Data
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    Global Delivery Initiative

    The Global Delivery Initiative (GDI) works with a variety of partners to document and disseminate delivery knowhow in operations to improve project outcomes. GDI is a partnership of over 40 organizations that collaborate to bring together and share operational knowledge to improve development outcomes.
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    Geospatial Operational Support Team

    Geospatial Operational Support Team (GOST) helps World Bank task teams unlock the potential of geospatial technology (e.g., satellite imagery, GPS data) to plan, implement and monitor their projects more effectively. GOST delivers “data public goods” for the World Bank (e.g., improving procurement, building strategic partnerships, and curating geospatial data).
Director

Margot Brown

Director, Development Economics Knowledge Management
Meet the management team »