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 the Vice President and World Bank Group Chief Economist Indermit Gill, 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:

  • Development Data (international statistics, statistical capacity building and results monitoring)
  • Development Research (research and knowledge creation)
  • Global Indicators (cross-country comparable measures on a range of policy issues)
  • Impact Evaluation (generates high-quality and operationally relevant data and research to transform development policy, help reduce extreme poverty, and secure shared prosperity)
Vice President and World Bank Group Chief Economist

Indermit Gill

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

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REPORT December 06, 2022
International Debt Report 2022 Launched

The International Debt Report (IDR), formerly International Debt Statistics (IDS), is a longstanding annual publication of the World Bank featuring external debt statistics and analysis for the 121 low- and middle-income countries that report to the World Bank Debt Reporting System (DRS).

Women, Business and the Law 2022

Legal reforms to encourage and incentivize women's work strengthen communities and economies. In 86 countries, women face some form of job restriction and 95 countries do not guarantee equal pay for equal work, according to the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law 2022 report.

Map of Middle Income Countries
World Development Report 2024: Economic Growth in Middle-Income Countries

The World Bank’s 2024 World Development Report (WDR) will explore the challenges of economic growth in middle-income countries. The report will have three parts, one each on the facts, framework, and policies. Part 1 will ask how development in middle income countries differs from development in low- and highincome countries, and whether a middle-income trap still exists. Part 2 of the report will examine the forces of creative destruction that shape enterprise, societal aspirations, and energy markets. Part 3 of the report will discuss what middle-income countries can do to join the ranks of high-income countries.

New Book
The Long Term Growth Model : Fundamentals, Extensions, and Applications (English)

This book, edited by Norman Loayza and Steven Pennings, explains the World Bank’s Long Term Growth Model (LTGM) and its applications. It also extends the basic model to analyze how public investment affects growth, the determinants of Total Factor Productivity (TFP), and the evolution of growth in resource-rich economies. It includes practical applications of the LTGM in a wide variety of contexts and countries—from fast-growing East Asian economies to countries recovering from devastating civil war.

Children await the arrival of World Bank President David Malpass and President of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina. Village of Soav
Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2022: Correcting Course

This report provides the first comprehensive analysis of the pandemic’s toll on poverty in developing countries. It identifies how governments can optimize fiscal policy to help correct course. Fiscal policies offset the impact of COVID-19 on poverty in many high-income countries, but those policies offset barely one quarter of the pandemic’s impact in low-income countries and lower-middle-income countries.

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FEATURE STORY July 22, 2022
Global Findex Database 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred financial inclusion – driving a large increase in digital payments amid the global expansion of formal financial services. This expansion created new economic opportunities, narrowing the gender gap in account ownership, and building resilience at the household level to better manage financial shocks, according to the Global Findex 2021 database.


Data Spotlight
Fiscal, monetary, and financial sector policy responses to the COVID-19 crisis, by country income group

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.

  • Mobile Data Apps

    For iOS and Android
  • ADePT

    Software platform for automated economic analysis
  • iSimulate

    Platform for performing macroeconomic simulations
  • Poverty and Inequality Platform (PIP)

    PIP helps data users find historical and current information related to key development indicators such as poverty, inequality, and shared prosperity.
  • 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
  • Long Term Growth Model

    Excel-based tool to analyze long-term growth scenarios, assess the drivers of growth and related policies, and quantify the implications of growth for poverty and inequality.



Regional Knowledge Hubs
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    The East Asia & Pacific Chief Economist Research Center 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 conducts research on financial sector development and generates knowledge to inform policymakers, practitioners, and the academic community.


The Development Data Group puts data to work for development. We deliver for World Bank Gr​oup clients and our staff by improving​ the quality, accessibility and use of development data through innovation, solid technical expertise and​ effective partnerships​​.

What We Do
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    International Debt Statistics

    Now in its forty-seventh year, International Debt Statistics supports policymakers and analysts by monitoring aggregate and country-specific trends in external debt in low- and middle-income countries. It provides a comprehensive picture of external borrowing and sources of lending by type of borrower and creditor with information on data availability and comparability.
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    Global Data Facility

    The Global Data Facility (GDF) is the new, World Bank-hosted fund supporting data and statistics priorities at the global, regional, national, and community levels. The GDF is designed to enable improvements and strengthened capacity for the collection, management, governance, analysis, sharing, use and reuse of data for transformational social and economic development
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    Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals

    The Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2020 is a web publication that guides readers through the 17 SDGs using interactive storytelling and innovative data visualizations. It showcases in-depth narratives about selected targets, methodologies, and trends and it highlights the emerging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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    World Development Indicators

    The World Development Indicators is a compilation of relevant, high-quality, and internationally comparable statistics about global development and the fight against poverty. The database contains 1,600 time series indicators for 217 economies and more than 40 country groups, with data for many indicators going back more than 50 years.
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    International Comparison Program (ICP)

    The ICP is a worldwide statistical initiative led by the World Bank under the auspices of the United Nations Statistical Commission, with the main objective of providing comparable price and volume measures of gross domestic product (GDP) and its expenditure aggregates among countries within and across regions.
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    Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS)

    The Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) is a household survey program housed within the Survey Unit of the World Bank's Development Data Group that provides technical assistance to national statistical offices (NSOs) in the design and implementation of multi-topic household surveys.
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    Survey Solutions

    Survey Solutions is free software developed in the Data group of The World Bank and is a globally trusted platform for data collection used by data collecting agencies in 145 countries
  • Big Data

    The Big Data team provides a resource for World Bank staff to incorporate big data techniques such as AI and machine learning into their operational work.
  • Databank/Data Catalog

    The DataBank/Data Catalog makes World Bank's development data easy to find, download, use, analyze, visualize and share.
  • Development Data Council

    The Development Data Council provides governance and coordination for the World Bank’s vision, priorities and activities related to development data.
  • Economic Statistics

    The Economic Statistics team provides capacity building to client countries on their Systems of National Accounts
  • Geospatial Data

    The Geospatial Data team supports the World Bank in integrating geospatial data into their operations for development impact.
  • Microdata Library

    The Microdata Library shares data collected through sample surveys of households, business establishments or other facilities.
  • Poverty and Inequality Platform (PIP)

    PIP helps data users find historical and current information related to key development indicators such as poverty, inequality, and shared prosperity
  • Statistical Performance Indicators

    The Statistical Performance Indicators (SPI) provide an open-source framework for assessing the performance of statistical systems and the efforts to improve them.

Haishan Fu

Chief Statistician of the World Bank and Director of the Development Data Group



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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.

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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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    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.
  • Poverty & Inequality Platform

    Poverty and Inequality Platform (PIP)

    The Poverty and Inequality Platform (PIP) helps data users find historical and current information related to key development indicators such as poverty, inequality, and shared prosperity. In addition, PIP can be used for following trends and monitoring progress towards development targets.
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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.


Deon Filmer

Director, Development Research Group
Meet the management team »


Steven Pennings

Senior Economist

Sandra Rozo

Senior Economist

Alvaro Pedraza

More researchers »


Located within the Development Economics Vice Presidency, the Global Indicators Group produces primary data and analysis on private sector development, with emphasis on regulations, institutions, and policies that promote job creation, economic productivity, and gender equality. The data products emphasize reliability, relevance, and comparability, within and across economies. The goal of the data, reports, and papers produced by the Global Indicators Group is to encourage and guide social and economic reforms that promote an efficient and fair business environment. The work also feeds into research produced by academia, international organizations, and think tanks, as well as policy advocacy conducted by civil society and non-governmental organizations.

Who We Are
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    Women, Business and the Law

    The Women, Business and the Law Index, composed by eight indicators structured around women’s interactions with the law as they begin, progress through and end their careers, aligns different areas of the law with the economic decisions women make at various stages of their lives. The indicators are: Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension.
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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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    Business Enabling Environment (BEE)

    The World Bank Group is formulating a new approach to assessing the business and investment climate in economies worldwide following the discontinuation of the Doing Business project. Updates on the development of the new Business Enabling Environment (BEE) project will be published on the website as they become available. In the interim, this website will act as a one-stop shop to spotlight a set of curated indicators and resources for users focused on improving the business environment.


Norman Loayza

Director, Global Indicators Group


Jorge Rodríguez Meza

Manager, Enterprise Analysis Unit, Global Indicators Group

Business Enabling Environment

Valeria Perotti

Manager, Business Enabling Environment, Global Indicators Group

Pilar Salgado-Otónel

Program Manager, Global Indicators Group

Women, Business and the Law

Tea Trumbic

Manager, Women, Business and the Law, Global Indicators Group

The World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) group generates high-quality and operationally relevant data and research to transform development policy, help reduce extreme poverty, and secure shared prosperity. It develops customized data and evidence ecosystems to produce actionable information and recommend specific policy pathways to maximize impact.

The work is based on a co-production model aimed at transferring capacity and know-how to partners to make mid-course corrections and scale up successful policy instruments to achieve policy outcomes.

These corrections increase the rate of return of underlying investments by large margins, far exceeding the costs of the research. The group conducts research in 60 countries with 200 agencies leveraging a $180M research budget against $18B in development finance. It also provides advisory services to 30 multilateral and bilateral development agencies in the world.

Finally, DIME invests in public goods to improve the quality and reproducibility of development research around the world. From DIME Wiki to toolkitstraining and summer schools, DIME is servicing the global community of researchers and, in so doing, improving the quality of global policy advice.

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    Through the use of rigorous evaluations, AADAPT aims to identify and correct the main constraints to adoption in agriculture.
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    Energy and Environment

    Are we doing enough on climate? No. From satellite data to farmer incentives, speeding up learning on what’s possible.
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    Entertainment Education

    What public campaigns cannot do, professional entertainers can. The amazing power of the narrative is changing both norms and behaviors.
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    Finance and Private Sector Development

    DIME’s work on financial and private sector development aims to address two overarching development challenges.



Arianna Legovini

Director of the Development Impact Evaluation (DIME)


Vincenzo Di Maro

Senior Economist, Governance and Institution Building Research Program Manager, Development Impact Evaluation (DIME)

Florence Kondylis

Lead Economist, Economic Transformation & Growth Research Program Manager, Development Impact Evaluation (DIME)

Aidan Coville

Lead Economist, Infrastructure and Climate Change Research Program Manager, Development Impact Evaluation (DIME)
More researchers »