Inclusive Growth for Shared Prosperity: Ideas to Facilitate Policymaking
Inclusive Growth for Shared Prosperity: Ideas to Facilitate Policymaking
May 11-12, 2016Preston Auditorium, World Bank Washington, D.C.

There seems to be a consensus in the development community that growth assists the poor to escape poverty. The rapid income growth during 2000-2015 in economies such as China and India provide ample evidence to support this thesis. But does rising growth provide an opportunity to every segment of society to engage in the growth process and benefit from it? A growth process that does not provide opportunity to all and protect those who fall behind, cannot be sustainable in modern societies.

How could growth be managed in an inclusive way to promote shared prosperity, particularly in developing countries? How could the bottom 40 percent of the population be better prepared to participate in and benefit from rising growth in their country? What could governments do to assist them? Could there be a win-win situation whereby shared prosperity is boosted without reducing overall growth? What lessons can be learnt from experience?  

The objective of the one-and-a-half day conference is to discuss and debate these questions.  The expectation is that such sharing and learning of international experience would assist the development community to better understand what works, what does not work and why promoting shared prosperity through inclusive growth. It is also expected that the conference will shed light on areas where more research is needed to better understand and design policy and institutional reforms that enhance shared prosperity. 

Day 1: Wednesday, May 11, 2016

08:30 - 9:00

Breakfast and Registration

09:00 - 10:30

Session I: Boosting Shared Prosperity: What does it mean, why is it important and how could it be done?


This session will set the stage for the conference by placing the shared prosperity issue center-stage. It will define shared prosperity and explain the rationale behind the WBG’s choice of the chosen metric – income or consumption growth of the bottom 40% of the population in every country. It will motivate why it is important for a country to adopt policies that boost the income/consumption growth at the bottom of the distribution.  The session will also introduce the thematic areas of focus for the conference.

Following the opening remarks, three presentations will be followed by question and answers.

Opening Remarks:

Jan Walliser, Vice President, Equitable Growth, Finance & Institutions, World Bank


Jan Walliser, Vice President, Equitable Growth, Finance & Institutions, World Bank


Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, World Bank

Heenam Choi, Executive Director for South Korea, World Bank

Michael Kremer, Gates Professor of Developing Societies, Harvard University and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution

10:00 - 10:45

Coffee Break

10:45 - 12:15

Session II: Equalizing opportunities to promote inclusive growth: The role of public policy


The objective of the session is to present the findings of recent research and discuss how inclusive growth can be promoted by policies that expand and equalize opportunities, including economic opportunities,   by investing in education, health and other similar activities that build human capital and improve employability.  The discussion will be organized around three themes that relate to the role of public policy in promoting and equalizing opportunities: (i) investing in the assets of the bottom 40% to build capabilities; (ii) enabling the poor and bottom 40% to maximize the returns from these assets, particularly in the labor market; and (iii) supporting these objectives through the right mix of fiscal (tax and spending) policies.

The session will be a panel discussion format and will include three panelists (academics and policy makers).  The idea is to combine insights from research with experiences in influencing potential change on the ground. 

Chair/ Moderator:

Ana Revenga, Senior Director, Poverty Global Practice, World Bank


Santiago Levy, Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge, Inter-American Development Bank

Mateusz Szczurek, Ex-Minister of Finance, Poland

Francisco Ferreira, Senior Adviser, Development Research Group, World Bank

12:30 - 14:00

Luncheon Session:  Promoting Shared Prosperity: Lessons from South Korea


In the mid-1960s as a newly growing industrializing economy, Korea had widening urban-rural income gap and low level of exports.  In this presentation, Dr. Si Wook Lee (Professor of Economics, KDI School and Executive Director, Center of International Development, Korea Development Institute) will present South Korea’s experiences and analyze policy efforts that contributed to the country sustained and inclusive growth that promoted shared prosperity since the 1960s.  Korea was able to achieve shared growth through effective policy planning, implementing, and results-based monitoring approach.  The session will also highlight Korea’s promotion of fair society in both rural and urban areas through community driven development called the New Village (Saemaul) Movement.


Danny Leipziger, Managing Director, Growth Dialogue, George Washington University


Si Wook Lee, Professor of Economics, KDI School and Executive Director, Center of International Development, Korea Development Institute

14:15 - 15:45

Session III: Transformative Productivity Policies


Faced with modest recoveries and a slowdown in productivity growth, policymakers around the world are engaged in a fairly open re-evaluation of productivity policies. Market failures can be found in the production of particular goods, the accumulation of human capital, the development and diffusion of new technologies and in the interactions among firms. Does the lens of “shared prosperity” add a different dimension to the role of different “horizontal”, “sectoral” and “spatial” productivity policies?  For instance, do sectors that create large-scale jobs for unskilled labor deserve a special focus? Can industrial clusters deliver growth in backward regions through forward and backward linkages?  Or is it more important to focus on the diffusion of innovative technologies that can boost productivity and entrepreneurship throughout the economy? This session will draw lessons from country experiences and recent research on trade, firm productivity and entrepreneurship to assess the potential for productivity policies to be transformative for the bottom 40% of the population.


Anabel Gonzalez, Senior Director, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank


Mary Hallward-Driemeier, Senior Principal Specialist, Jobs Cross-Cutting Group, World Bank

Ann Harrison, Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania

Amit Khandelwal, Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School, Columbia University

15:45 - 16:00

Coffee Break

16:00 - 17:30

Session IV: How to make services work for the bottom 40 percent?

This session will explore how citizen engagement and local solutions can be integrated into wider public sector reforms in order to enhance service delivery for the bottom 40 percent. Improved access, easier coverage, and better quality of public service delivery in areas such as health, education, infrastructure, water and sanitation, are needed for the bottom 40 percent of the population to be able to improve their ability to generate income.

Countries around the world are striving to improve public service delivery, but no blueprint solutions are available. The WBG’s earlier focus on capacity building and on the accountability link between policymakers and service providers has not been effective in improving service delivery. To improve services, public servants and service providers must be accountable to citizens, and citizens must trust and engage with public institutions. Experience suggests that developing integrated governance solutions, involving state-centered accountability and social accountability in a coherent manner and in local contexts, could be the key to address service delivery problems.

Chair/ Moderator:

Jim A. Brumby, Director, Public Service and Performance, Governance Global Practice


Jakob Svensson, Professor of Economics, Stockholm University, Sweden

Robin Burgess, Professor of Economics, London School of Economics

Stuti Khemani, Senior Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

Day 2: Thursday, May 12, 2016

8:30 - 9:00


9:00 - 10:30

Session V: Financial Inclusion for Inclusive Growth


The objective of this session is to present micro-level empirical research results and macro-level considerations of the interaction between access and risks for stability, and to explore how access to financial services can enable low income individuals and households to move out of poverty, reduce their vulnerability to shocks, and benefit from essential services and economic opportunities.  There are a range of barriers to securing the significant potential direct and indirect benefits of financial inclusion, and also risks that can arise through expanded access to financial services.  Research and insights will be presented on factors affecting the degree to which low income individuals benefit from improved access to financial services.


Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, Senior Adviser, Finance & Markets Global Practice, World Bank


Dean Karlan, Professor of Economics, Yale University and Research fellow at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, MIT

Leora Klapper, Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank


Njuguna Ndung’u – Former Central Bank Governor of Kenya

Douglas Pearce – Practice Manager, Finance & Markets Global Practice, World Bank

Laura Rawlings - Lead Social Protection Specialist, Social Protection & Labor Global Practice, World Bank

10:30 - 11:00

Coffee Break

11:00 - 12:30

Session VI: Experience from and lessons for Regions: A Conversation with Regional Chief Economists and Senior Advisors


This concluding session will reflect on the thematic discussions of the earlier sessions and will draw on lessons from different countries and regions.  Promoting inclusive growth and share prosperity might require regional/country tailoring, as the bottom income of the population have very different characteristics and needs in different regions/countries.  While in a large number of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa countries, promoting share prosperity is closely aligned to reducing extreme poverty, in most of Latin American and Eastern European countries, the extreme poor represents a small fraction of bottom 40%.  Regions have also performed differently in promoting share prosperity.  The session will provide an opportunity to learn about policies that contributed to good performance in countries such as Brazil and Mexico, as well as draw lessons from the unsuccessful policy efforts.


Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, Senior Director, Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice


Sudhir Shetty, Chief Economist, East Asia & Pacific Region, World Bank

Martin Rama, Chief Economist, South Asia Region, World Bank

Hans Timmer, Chief Economist, Europe & Central Asia, World Bank

Francisco Ferreira, Senior Adviser, Development Research Group, World Bank

Elena Ianchovichina, Lead Economist, Office of the Chief Economist, Middle East and North Africa, World Bank

Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist Africa Region, World Bank


Lunch and Networking

  • When: May 11 and 12, 2016
  • Where: Preston Auditorium, World Bank Washington, D.C.


Can Growth Benefit All?

Inclusive growth is not just a moral imperative, it makes development sense and it’s doable, writes Felipe Jaramillo, the senior director for the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice of the World Bank.

Follow the event online via #inclusivegrowth