World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work

Work is constantly reshaped by technological progress. New ways of production are adopted, markets expand, and societies evolve. But some changes provoke more attention than others, in part due to the vast uncertainty involved in making predictions about the future.

The 2019 World Development Report will study how the nature of work is changing as a result of advances in technology today.

While technology improves overall living standards, the process can be disruptive. A new social contract is needed to smooth the transition and guard against rising inequality. Significant investments in human capital throughout a person’s lifecycle are vital to this effort.  If workers are to stay competitive against machines they need to train or retool existing skills.

A social protection system that includes a minimum basic level of protection for workers and citizens can complement new forms of employment. Improved private sector policies to encourage startup activity and competition can help countries to compete in the digital age. Governments also need to ensure that firms pay their fair share of taxes, in part to fund this new social contract.

The 2019 World Development Report will present an analysis of these issues based upon the available evidence. And, for the first time, the World Bank is preparing that analysis in a transparent manner. The Report’s authors are sharing the draft on a weekly basis so that you can follow along as they write and rewrite, responding to new information and ideas as they reach the team.

This is a unique collaborative experiment by the World Bank. Please join in the conversation — to find out more, download the report here.

Read the WDR 2019 Working Draft. Updated materials will be uploaded every Friday at 5pm (EST).

  • Simeon Djankov

    Simeon Djankov

    Simeon Djankov, director of the WDR 2019, was deputy prime minister and minister of finance of Bulgaria from 2009 to 2013. Prior to his cabinet appointment, Djankov was chief economist of the finance and private sector vice presidency of the World Bank. In his 15 years at the Bank, he worked on regional trade agreements in North Africa, enterprise restructuring and privatization in transition economies, corporate governance in East Asia, and regulatory reforms around the world. He is the founder of the World Bank's Doing Business project. He is author of Inside the Euro Crisis: An Eyewitness Account (2014) and principal author of the World Development Report 2002. He is also coeditor of The Great Rebirth: Lessons from the Victory of Capitalism over Communism (2014) and Europe’s Growth Challenge (2017). Djankov was previously director of the Financial Markets Group at the London School of Economics, rector of the New Economic School in Russia and a visiting lecturer at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He was chairman of the Board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2012–13. He obtained his doctorate in economics in 1997 from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
  • Federica Saliola

    Federica Saliola

    Federica is Co-Director of the World Development Report 2019 and a Lead Economist at the World Bank. Prior to this position, she was a Manager in the Development Economics Global Indicators Group. In that role, she was responsible for developing global programs that measure the business-enabling environment across a number of thematic areas, including agriculture, skills, Information and Communication technology (ICT) and public procurement. Under her intellectual leadership, eight World Bank global reports have been published during the past four years, including Enabling the Business of Agriculture and Procuring Infrastructure PPPs. She has published in peer-reviewed journals, including studies on enterprise productivity, global value chains, internationalization and competition. She has also contributed to a number of World Bank reports, including the Environment for Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa Region; Golden Growth: Restoring the Luster of the European Economic Model; the Jobs Study - Assessing Private Sector Contributions to Job Creation and Poverty Reduction; and the Turkey Investment Climate Assessment: from Crisis to Private Sector Led Growth. She holds a PhD in Economics and a Laurea in Political Science from the University of Rome, la Sapienza.
  • Rong Chen

    Rong Chen

    Principal Author
    Rong Chen is an Economist on the 2019 World Development Report team. She primarily works on financial and private sector development issues since she joined the World Bank Group in 2012. She led the finance team of the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project, measuring regulatory environment related to agricultural finance and financial inclusion in more than 60 countries (2014-2017). She also worked in the Doing Business project, co-authored the Doing Business 2013 and 2014 reports, and led the data analysis for the Doing Business in g7+ (fragile and conflict affected countries) report. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she worked as an investment consultant for a US Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and as a research fellow at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Geneva, Switzerland. Rong holds a Master of Public Administration degree with concentration on Economic Policy and Sustainable Finance from Cornell University and a Bachelor's degree on Liberal Arts from Renmin University of China.
  • Davida Connon

    Davida Connon

    Principal Author
    Davida Connon is a Private Sector Development Specialist with the 2019 World Development Report team. Since joining the World Bank Group (WBG) in 2014, she has worked primarily on matters relating to international trade and market access, particularly in the agricultural sector. With the WBG Enabling the Business of Agriculture project, she led an assessment of regulations impacting agricultural trade in over 60 countries. She was also involved in an assessment of market structures and regulatory and institutional frameworks in the Southern Caucasus countries, to explore opportunities for private sector development. Davida is an International Trade Attorney (2009) by training. Prior to joining the WBG, Davida worked at a prominent global law firm in both Geneva and Washington, DC, as well as the World Trade Organization and the European Commission. She completed her Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) at the University of Glasgow and her Masters (LL.M.) at Harvard University.
  • Ana Cusolito

    Ana P. Cusolito

    Principal Author
    Ana P. Cusolito is a Senior Economist at the FCI GP. She conducts analytical work on firm-level productivity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. She also provides technical support to lending operations, mainly through the design, implementation, and impact evaluation of entrepreneurial programs. Beyond FCI, Ana is currently co-leading work on productivity with EFI Chief Economist. Before working at the Bank, she worked for the Government of Argentina and at the Trade Department and Central American Department of the Inter-American Development Bank as a Trade Economist and Country Economist, respectively. Ana has several years of teaching experience both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra and has published articles in the Journal of Development, Journal of Development Effectiveness, IZA Journal of Labor and Development, and Journal of Banking and Financial Economics.
  • Ugo Gentilini

    Ugo Gentilini

    Principal Author
    Ugo Gentilini is a Senior Economist with the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank Group. Over the past 15 years, he worked extensively on the analytics and practice of social protection, including in relation to urbanization, economic crises, labor markets, subsidy reforms, fragility and displacement, resilience and disaster risk management, food security and nutrition, and human development. He researched and worked on a wide range of social assistance and activation interventions – e.g., wage subsidies, public works, food subsidies, cash transfers, universal basic income, negative income tax, guaranteed minimum income, and voucher programs – including in contexts as diverse as Greece, Romania, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and Sudan. Ugo holds a PhD in economics and has a monthly column, ‘What’s new in social protection’, on the Bank’s LTD blog.
  • Asif Islam

    Asif Islam

    Principal Author
    Asif Islam is an economist on the 2019 World Development Report team. His research focuses on private sector development. He has published in peer-reviewed journals on several dimensions of the private sector including entrepreneurship, technology, crime, informality, and gender. He has also published on fiscal policy, environment, and agriculture. Before joining the team, he was with the World Bank Enterprise Analysis unit in the Development Economics Indicators Group where he oversaw firm-level data collection. He also co-authored several reports including What's Holding Back the Private Sector in MENA? Lessons from the Enterprise Survey, Sweden's Business Climate: A Microeconomic Assessment Report, and Uncharted Waters: The New Economics of Water Scarcity and Variability. He holds a PhD in Applied Economics from the University of Maryland-College Park, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Computer Science from Macalester College.
  • Shwetlena Sabarwal

    Shwetlena Sabarwal

    Principal Author
    Shwetlena Sabarwal is a Senior Economist in the Education Global Practice of the World Bank. She works in the areas of Education Economics and Labor Markets. In education, her research is on teacher and student effort, results-based financing, and private schools. In labor markets, her work has focused on entrepreneurship, public works, and the role of networks. Shwetlena has led World Bank’s education engagement in Tanzania, Bangladesh, and Nepal. She has also led multiple education impact evaluations in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania. She holds a PhD in Applied Economics from University of Minnesota in 2008.
  • Indhira Santos

    Indhira Santos

    Principal Author
    Indhira Santos is a Senior Economist at the World Bank, where she works on labor markets, skills and social protection. She was a core team member of the 2016 World Development Report “Digital Dividends”. She is current working in the Africa Region, and has also worked in the Europe and Central Asia and South Asia Regions, after joining the Bank as a Young Professional in 2009. Prior to joining the World Bank, she was a Research Fellow at Bruegel, a European policy think tank in Brussels, between 2007 and 2009. She has also worked for the Economic Research Center of the PUCMM University and the Ministry of Finance (Dominican Republic). She was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard University, where she obtained her PhD in Public Policy and a Masters in Public Administration in International Development.
  • Consuelo Jurado Tan

    Consuelo Jurado Tan

    Program Assistant
    Consuelo Tan is Program Assistant for the WDR 2019. She directly supports the Co-Directors of the WDR 2019 and provides logistical support to the entire team. She was formerly an Executive Assistant at the IFC, supporting the office of the EVP and Managing Director from 1999-2005. She has also worked as a Program Analyst for the IFC’s Access to Finance unit.
  • Yucheng Zheng

    Yucheng Zheng

    Principal Author
    Yucheng Zheng is an Operations Analyst at Global Indicators Group of Development Economics. Prior to joining the World Development Report 2019 team, she worked for the Enabling the Business of Agriculture project of the World Bank, developing global datasets and reports on road transport and agricultural trade. Previously, she had professional experience with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in New York, and an investment management company in Beijing. She holds an MPA degree in Finance and Economic Policy from Cornell University, and a bachelor's degree in Economics and Korean Studies from Peking University.

    The World Bank Group is engaging extensively with civil society, foundations, youth and women’s groups, business groups and other multilateral organizations in the preparation of the 2019 WDR. This page will be updated periodically with further details of  past and future consultations.

    March 9 — Meetings in Vienna with the Chamber of Labor and the Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs

    April 27 — Meetings in Brussels with the European Commission (DG Empl and EPSC)

    May 7–8 — Meetings in Berlin. International Policy Workshop "Addressing the Changing Nature of Work" organized by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

    May 24 — Meeting in Geneva with International Labour Organization

    May 25 — Meeting in Geneva with United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, International Telecommunication Union, and World Trade Organization

    May 27 — Meeting in London with International Trade Union Confederation

    May 31 — Meeting in Geneva with Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs

    June 4 — Meeting in New Delhi. Workshop at the Ministry of Finance.

    Have a question, input, or an idea? Send us an e-mail!

    World Development Report 2019