Rita Ramalho is a Lead Economist in the Public Institutions Data and Analytics Unit of the Governance Global Practice. The Public Institutions Unit focuses on data on government and governance patterns in developing countries to serve a wide range of users and supports a repository of key global, regional, and country analytical studies. Previously she was a Lead Economist in the World Bank Chief Economist's Office where she researched the links between sovereign debt and private sector development, in particular the importance of domestic arrears for firms. She was part of the 2022 World Development Report team on Finance for Equitable Recovery. Previously she led the Global Indicators Group which housed data products such as Enterprise Surveys, Women Business and the Law, Enabling the Business of Agriculture, as well as other indicator projects. Prior to that she was the program manager of different units in that department including Enterprise Surveys and Women, Business and the Law.
Rita Ramalho holds a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on the impact of regulation on economic variables such as growth, where she found that better business regulations can lead to more growth; the impact of regulations on female labor force participation, tax policy and entrepreneurship, labor regulations, and the size of the informal sector. She speaks Portuguese and is conversant in Spanish.