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Space and Productivity Conference

September 28-29, 2017

The World Bank, Main Complex, MC 2-800, 1818 H Street, Washington DC 20433


  • Maps of living standards reveal uneven landscapes of prosperity and deprivation across countries and regions that reflect the concentration of economic activity and productivity. Only 1.5 percent of the world’s land is home to half of its production. In Japan and France, for example, Tokyo and Paris are home to over 40 and 30 percent of their nation’s economic activity—in less than 4 and 2 percent of the country’s land.

    Attempts to redistribute the benefits from such concentration across space have had limited success. Estimates from more than 100 living-standard surveys indicate that households in the most prosperous areas of developing countries such as Brazil, Bulgaria, Ghana, Indonesia, Morocco, and Sri Lanka have an average consumption almost 75 percent higher than that of similar households in less prosperous areas. By comparison, this disparity is less than 25 percent in developed countries such as Canada, Japan, and the United States.

    Faced with these large inequalities, countries are increasingly turning to the World Bank to support spatially targeted policies and investments to spur development in lagging areas. But, these policies are often unsuccessful and at times have proven costly failures. Therefore, it is time to take stock of what we know about the potential benefits and limitations of policies such as transport corridors, special economic zones and industrial parks, as well as initiatives directed toward lagging areas or cities. 

    This conference will discuss what we know and explore the unresolved questions surrounding these topics with the goal of setting the applied research agenda for the coming years and putting Bank spatial policies on sounder conceptual and empirical footing.   



  • Organized by the Chief Economist’s Office for the World Bank’s Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Vice Presidency, and the Global Solutions Group on Territorial and Spatial Development of the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice. 

    DAY 1 - September 28th, 2017

    9:00-10:00 am    Breakfast and registration

    10:00-10:30 am    Opening Remarks (Video):

    • Jan Walliser, Vice President, Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI)
    • Ede Ijjaz-Vasquez, Senior Director, Social Urban, Rural and Resilience (SURR)

    10:30 am-12:30 pm    Session I: Place shaping Policy – Analytic Policy Framework 

        Chair: William F. Maloney, Chief Economist, Equitable Growth, Finance
        and Institutions (EFI)


    • Anthony Venables,  Professor of Economics, University of Oxford
    • Gilles Duranton, Professor of Real Estate, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School

    We will present a new framework for thinking about place-based policies. In particular, the discussion will focus on the set of conditions that need to be met for policy interventions to be effective in spurring local activity that can contribute significantly to national growth. The framework is grounded in the context in which the World Bank operates, filled with market and coordination failures, and is tailored to address interventions as diverse as industrial zones, clusters, new urban development, housing interventions and inter-city and intra-urban connectivity investments.


    • Henry Overman, Professor of Economics, London School of Economics
    • Ede Ijjaz-Vasquez, Senior Director, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience (SURR)

        Session Video

    12:30-2:00 pm    Lunch session – Keynote address

        Chair: Paul Romer, Chief Economist of the World Bank

        Keynote speaker: Dave Donaldson, Professor of Economics, MIT, recipient
        of the John Bates Clark medal, 2017

    Dave Donaldson’s keynote address will paint the picture of the geographic distribution of wealth and productivity while focusing on the specific role that transportation improvements can play in enabling countries to move towards the production of internationally tradeable goods.

        Session Video

    2:00-3:30 pm    Session II: Corridors, Connectivity, and Regional Specialization

        Chair: Asli Demirguc-Kunt, Director Development Economics Research
        Group (DEC)


    • Gordon Hanson, Pacific Economic Cooperation Chair in International Economic Relations; Director, Center on Global Transformation, UCSD
    • Matt Turner, Professor of Economics, Brown University

    We will discuss the impacts of connectivity investments on the spatial distribution of economic activity and workers. Leveraging a large body of literature and new data we will investigate the conditions under which reductions in transportation costs can lead to welfare improving outcomes and regional specialization. While doing so, special attention will be devoted to the losers of the economic geography reshuffling.


    • Baher El-Hifnawi, Global Lead Development Corridors and Regional Integration, Transport and ICT (T&I)
    • Adam Storeygard, Assistant Professor of Economics, TUFTS University

        Session Video

    3:30-4:00 pm    Coffee Break

    4:00-5:30 pm    Session III: Agglomeration, Clusters, and Productivity

        Chair: Marianne Fay, Chief Economist, Sustainable Development (SD)


    We will discuss both the benefits of agglomeration and the channels through which they manifest themselves as well as the enabling conditions that allow specific locations to become productivity centers. Of particular interest are the benefits that result from firm clustering through vertical and horizontal exchanges as well as through knowledge spillovers.


    • Gilles Duranton, Professor of Real Estate, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School
    • Somik Lall, Global Lead, Territorial Development, World Bank

        Session Video

    DAY 2-September 29th, 2017

    9:00-9:30 am    Breakfast and informal discussion

    9:30-11:00 am    Session IV: Supporting Lagging regions – Managing Economic Efficiency / Spatial Equity tradeoffs

        Chair: John Panzer, Director, Macro Economics and Fiscal Management


    We will discuss how to best support lagging regions while avoiding a tradeoff between overall efficiency and local benefits. This approach requires understanding the specificities of geographical areas and tailoring policy interventions that can overcome local handicaps without resulting in suboptimal use of scarce fiscal revenues. This topic is increasingly relevant to World Bank operations that aim to address disparities in production and living standards across space.


    • Sameh Wahba, Director, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience (SURR)
    • Michele Ruta, Lead Economist, Trade and Competitiveness (T&C)

        Session Video

    11:00-11:30 am    Coffee break & informal discussions

    11:30 am-12:30 pm   Session V: Mapping the way forward

        Chair: William Maloney, Chief Economist, Equitable Growth, Finance and
        Institutions, World Bank


    • Paul Romer, World Bank Chief Economist (TBC)
    • Marianne Fay, Chief Economist, Sustainable Development (SD), World Bank
    • Shantayanan Devarajan, Senior Director DEC, World Bank

        Session Video

    12:30-13:30 pm    Lunch and end of workshop



    Last Updated: Sep 11, 2017

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    Adam Storeygard

    Assistant Professor of Economics, TUFTS University

    Adam Storeygard joined Tufts after receiving his PhD from Brown University in 2012. His research interests are in development and urban economics, and particularly in urbanization, transportation, and the economic geography of sub-Saharan Africa. Much of his work uses geographic data, including satellite data. Professor Storeygard's work has appeared in journals including the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, Nature, and the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. His prior degrees are an A.B. in Physics from Harvard University and an M. Phil. in Environment and Development from Cambridge University.


    Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

    Professor of Economic Geography, London School of Economics

    Andrés Rodríguez-Pose is a Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics, where he was previously Head of the Department of Geography and Environment. He is the Acting President of the Regional Science Association International, where he served as Vice-President in 2014. He has also been Vice-President (2012-2013) and Secretary (2001-2005) of the European Regional Science Association. He is a regular advisor to numerous international organizations, including the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, the Cities Alliance, the OECD, the International Labour Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Development Bank of Latin America. He is an editor of Economic Geography and sits on the editorial board of 30 other scholarly journals, including many of the leading international journals in economic geography, human geography, regional science, and management. He is a former holder of a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant and the only social scientist to have been awarded the Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award.


    Anthony J. Venables

    Professor of Economics, University of Oxford

    Anthony J. Venables CBE, FBA is Professor of Economics at Oxford University where he directs a programme of research on urbanisation in developing countries and the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the Regional Science Association and the British Academy, a member of the steering group of the International Growth Centre and chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the IFO Institute. Former positions include chief economist at the UK Department for International Development and professor at the London School of Economics. He has published extensively in the areas of international trade and spatial economics, including work on trade and imperfect competition, economic integration, multinational firms, economic geography, and natural resources. Publications include The spatial economy; cities, regions and international trade, with M. Fujita and P. Krugman (MIT press, 1999), and Multinationals in the World Economy with G. Barba Navaretti (Princeton 2004).


    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

    Director of Research, Development Research Group (DEC)

    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is the Director of Research at the World Bank. After joining the Bank in 1989 as a Young Economist, she has held different positions, including Director of Development Policy, Chief Economist of Financial and Private Sector Development Network, and Senior Research Manager, doing research and advising on financial sector and private sector development issues. She is the lead author of the World Bank Policy Research Report 2007 Finance for All? Policies and Pitfalls in Expanding Access and has also created the World Bank’s Global Financial Development Report. The author of over 100 publications, she has published widely in academic journals. Her research has focused on the links between financial development and firm performance and economic development. Banking crises, financial regulation, access to financial services, and inclusion including SME finance are among her areas of research. She has been the President of International Atlantic Economic Society (2013-14) and Director of Western Economic Association (2015-18). Prior to coming to the Bank, she was an Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in economics from the Ohio State University.


    Baher El-Hifnawi

    Lead for Development Corridors and Regional Integration at the Transport and Information & Communications Technology (T&I)

    Baher El-Hifnawi is the Global Lead for Development Corridors and Regional Integration at the Transport and Information & Communications Technology (ICT) Global Practice of the World Bank Group. Baher has over 25 years of experience in economic development and transport. Since joining the Bank in 2003, he has led projects and analytical activities in roads, railways, waterways, logistics, multimodal transport, trade facilitation, public private partnerships and transport policy. At the Bank, he has worked extensively on East and Central Asia and Eastern Europe. He has represented the Bank in meetings on improving connectivity organized by ADB, ASEM, the European Commission, the IRF, UN-OHRLLS, UNECE, the World Bank among others. Before joining the Bank, Mr. El-Hifnawi held a number of positions in the private sector and academia including Co-Director of the Program on Investment Appraisal and Management at the Harvard Institute for International Development, Partner in Corporate Finance at KPMG Egypt and Senior Advisor at the Egyptian Stock Exchange. He has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Cairo University, an MPA and Ph.D in Urban Planning (Transport Economics) from Harvard University.


    Dave Donaldson

    Professor of Economics, MIT

    Dave Donaldson teaches and carries out research on topics at the intersection of International/Intranational Trade, Development Economics, Economic History and Environmental Economics. He has studied, among other topics: the welfare and other effects market integration, the impact of improvements in transportation infrastructure, how trade can mediate the effects of climate change, and how trade affects food security and famine. This work has been awarded the 2017 John Bates Clark Medal, given by the American Economic Association to the America-based economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge, as well as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and several grants from the National Science Foundation. He currently serves as a co-editor at the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, as an editorial board member at the Journal of Economic Literature, the Journal of International Economics, the Review of Economic Studies, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and as a program director (for Trade) at the International Growth Centre. He is a native of Toronto, Canada and obtained an undergraduate degree in Physics from Oxford University and a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics.


    Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez

    Senior Director for the new Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice at the World Bank Group

    Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez is the Senior Director for the new Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice at the World Bank Group. This Global Practice groups 600 professionals across the world working in a broad range of development issues, from social development and inclusion to disaster risk management, in cities, human settlements, and territories. He assumed this position on July 1, 2014, under a stronger institutional structure focused on ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity for the bottom 40 percent at the World Bank Group. Before this, he was Director for Sustainable Development of the Latin America and Caribbean Region since November 2011, covering infrastructure, climate change, environment, social and rural development. From 2007 to 2011, he was based in Beijing, where he managed the Sustainable Development Unit for China and Mongolia. Earlier in his career, he led implementation of the Bank’s environment strategy team, as well as water and sanitation projects in Central Asia, the Caucuses and the Russian Federation. Mr. Ijjasz has a Ph.D. and a M.Sc. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in civil and environmental engineering, with specialization in hydrology and water resources. He is a Colombian and Hungarian national.


    Gilles Duranton

    Professor of Real Estate, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School

    Gilles Duranton is professor of real estate and holds the Dean’s Chair in Real Estate. He joined Wharton in 2012 after holding academic positions at the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics. A graduate from HEC Paris and Sorbonne University, he obtained his PhD in economics jointly from the London School of Economics and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His research focuses on urban and transportation issues. His work is concerned with land use, housing construction, urban growth and the estimation of the costs and benefits of cities and clusters. He is also interested in measuring urban transportation, the effects of transportation infrastructure on urban development, and the evaluation of local policies. He serves as co-editor for the Journal of Urban Economics and sits on the editorial board of several other academic journals. He is a fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research and regularly works as consultant on regional and urban policy for national governments and international organisations. He was also the 2011 president of the North American Regional Science Association and currently serves as president of the Urban Economics Association. He is currently the chair of the Wharton Real Estate Department.


    Gordon Howard Hanson

    Pacific Economic Cooperation Chair in International Economic Relations; Director, Center on Global Transformation, UCSD

    Gordon Howard Hanson holds the Pacific Economic Cooperation Chair in International Economic Relations at UC San Diego, and has faculty positions in the Department of Economics and GPS, where he also is director of the Center on Global Transformation. He is the acting dean of the School and is presently a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and co-editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. He is a past co-editor of the Review of Economics and Statistics and the Journal of Development Economics. Hanson received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 and his B.A. from Occidental College in 1986. Prior to joining UC San Diego in 2001, he served on the economics faculty of the University of Michigan and the University of Texas. Hanson specializes in the economics of international trade, international migration and foreign direct investment. He has published extensively in the top academic journals of the economics discipline, is widely cited for his research by scholars from across the social sciences and is frequently quoted in major media outlets. Hanson’s current research addresses how trade with China has affected the U.S. labor market, the consequences of skilled immigration for the U.S. economy and the long-run determinants of comparative advantage.


    Henry Overman

    Professor of Economics, London School of Economics

    Henry Overman, BSc. (Bristol), MSc. (LSE), PhD. (LSE) is professor in Economic Geography in the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and since September 2013, the director of the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth. From April 2008 to September 2013 he directed the Spatial Economics Research Centre. His current research interests include the clustering of economic activity, the evolution of cities and the causes and consequences of urban sprawl. His research on clusters and urban sprawl has been published in leading economics journals (The Review of Economics Studies and The Quarterly Journal of Economics) while his work on city size distribution and the geography of UK trade has been published in leading economic geography journals (Environment and Planning and Journal of Economic Geography). He continues to publish in journals from both disciplines. He has provided policy advice to, amongst others, the European Commission, Department for International Development, Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport. He is also affiliated with the Centre for Economic Policy Research's International Trade Programme. In 2006 he was awarded the August Loesch Prize for outstanding research in the field of Regional Science, and in 2009, he won the Geoffrey J.D. Hewings Award for distinguished contributions to Regional Science research by scholars who have recently completed doctoral studies. His latest book is Urban Economics And Urban Policy: Challenging Conventional Policy Wisdom (Edward Elgar, 2014), with Paul Cheshire and Max Nathan.


    Jan Walliser

    Vice President for the World Bank’s Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions Practice Group

    Jan Walliser is the Vice President for the World Bank’s Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Practice Group. The mission of the Practice Group is to help foster markets, institutions, and economies that are stable, efficient, and equitable. The Global Practices under his responsibility are Finance & Markets, Governance, Macroeconomics & Fiscal Management, Poverty, and Trade & Competitiveness. Previously, Mr. Walliser was the Director of Strategy and Operations in the Bank’s Africa Region where he provided strategic leadership and operational guidance to staff operating there. Before joining the Bank, he was an economist at the IMF and a Principal Analyst at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. Mr. Walliser has published in a range of economic journals on intergenerational aspects of fiscal policy, tax reform, pension reform, and aid effectiveness. He received a Ph.D. in economics from Boston University and a Diplom-Volkswirt from Kiel University, Germany.


    John Panzer

    Director of the Global Practice for Macroeconomics and Fiscal Policy (MFM)

    John Panzer is Director of the Global Practice for Macroeconomics and Fiscal Policy. He is responsible for the Bank’s macroeconomic and fiscal management analytic and advisory services as well as budget support operations for East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and South Asia. In this position he oversees a substantial part of the Bank’s overall lending and advisory services. Mr. Panzer joined the Bank in 1990 and has since served in several capacities in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and at the global corporate level. These included being Manager of the Bank’s International Trade Department and, Director for Macroeconomics and Fiscal Policy for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa. A national of Chile, he is a graduate of the Catholic University of Chile and holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago.


    Marianne Fay

    Chief Economist, Sustainable Development

    MARIANNE FAY is currently the Chief Economist of the Sustainable Development Vice-Presidency at the World Bank. She previously served as the Chief Economist for Climate Change. She contributed to a number of World Development Reports, notably the World Development Report 2010 on Development and Climate Change which she co-directed, and led a number of recent World Bank reports, such as Inclusive Green growth: the Pathway to Sustainable Development and Decarbonizing Development: Three Steps to a Zero-Carbon Future. She has held positions in different regions of the World Bank (Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa), working on infrastructure, urbanization, and climate change. She is the author of a number of articles and books on these topics. Marianne Fay is a founding member of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform. Marianne Fay holds a PhD in Economics from Columbia University.


    Matthew Turner

    Professor of Economics, Brown University

    Matthew Turner joined the PSTC and Brown University in 2014. He is broadly interested in environmental and urban economics and his research focuses on the economics of land use and transportation. Turner's current projects investigate the relationship between public transit and the growth of cities, how 'smart growth' development affects individual driving behavior, how transportation infrastructure is affecting the evolution of Chinese cities, and how urban land use is evolving in the United States. Recently completed projects investigate the welfare implications of residential land use regulation, the cost of traffic congestion, the effects of infrastructure on patterns of trade, urban growth, and the total amount of driving in a city. Turner's research appears in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economic Studies, and Econometrica and is regularly featured in the popular press.


    Michele Ruta

    Lead Economist in the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice of the World Bank (T&C)

    Michele Ruta is Lead Economist in the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice of the World Bank, where he works as an economic advisor to the Senior Director and manages a number of projects, including those related to G20 activities. He had previous appointments as Senior Economist at the IMF (2013-2015), Counsellor at the WTO (2007-2013) and Marie Curie Fellow at the European University Institute (2004-2007). He holds a PhD in economics from Columbia University (2004) and an undergraduate degree from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (1998). Michele’s research interests are in international economics, and particularly on issues concerning international/regional integration. He has published in refereed journals such as the Journal of International Economics, the Journal of Public Economics, and the Journal of the European Economic Association. He was a lead author of the World Trade Report of the WTO between 2008 and 2013, and contributed to many policy reports, including the Global Economic Prospects of the World Bank, and the World Economic Outlook of the IMF. His work has been cited, among others, in the Economist, Financial Times, Guardian, Le Monde.


    Pablo Fajgelbaum

    Associate Professor of Economics, UCLA

    Pablo Fajgelbaum is an Associate Professor of Economics at UCLA. He is a trade economist. His recent research includes the distributional impact of international trade and the effects of regional policies on the spatial distribution of economic activity. He has published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economic Studies, and Journal of Political Economy.


    Paul Romer

    World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President

    Dr. Paul Romer took office as the World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President in October, 2016. Romer is on leave from his position as University Professor at New York University. His initial interest in technological progress led to research on topics ranging from an abstract analysis of how the economics of ideas differs from the economics of objects to practical suggestions about how to improve science and technology policy. More recently, his research on catch-up growth in low- and middle-income countries has emphasized the importance of government policies that encourage orderly urban expansion. Before NYU, Romer taught at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and while there, also started Aplia, an education technology company dedicated to increasing student effort. Romer has also variously taught economics at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, and the University of Rochester. In 2002, he received the Recktenwald Prize for his work on the role of ideas in sustaining economic growth. Romer holds bachelor of science in mathematics from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago after doing graduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Queens University.


    Sameh Wahba

    Director, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience (SURR)

    Sameh Wahba, an Egyptian national, is the Global Director for Urban and Territorial Development, Disaster Risk Management and Resilience at the World Bank Group’s Social, Rural, Urban and Resilience Global Practice, based in Washington D.C, where he oversees the formulation of the World Bank’s strategy and the design and delivery of all lending, technical assistance, policy advisory activities and partnerships at the global level. Connect with Sameh at Follow him on Twitter @SamehNWahba.


    Somik V. Lall

    Lead Economist for Urban Development in Africa

    Somik V. Lall is the World Bank’s Global Lead on Territorial Development Solutions and its Lead Economist for Urban Development in Africa. He has been a core team member of the World Development Report 2009: Reshaping Economic Geography, Senior Economic Counselor to the Indian Prime Minister’s National Transport Development Policy Committee, and Lead Author of the World Bank’s flagship report on urbanization “Planning, Connecting, and Financing Cities Now” as well as the recent ‘Africa’s Cities: Opening Doors to the World’. Somik heads a World Bank global research program on urbanization and spatial development and previously founded the Urbanization Reviews program. He is a recognized expert on development policy related to urban and territorial competitiveness, agglomeration and clusters, infrastructure, and impact evaluation, with over 18 years’ global experience, most notably in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.. His research and policy advisory interests focus on “place shaping policies”, around cities, clusters, and corridors and the functioning of factor and product markets, with more than 40 publications featured in peer-reviewed journals including the “Journal of Development Economics” and “Journal of Urban Economics”, edited volumes including the “Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics”, and working papers. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering, master’s in city planning, and doctorate in economics and public policy.


    Shantayanan Devarajan

    Senior Director DEC, World Bank

    Shantayanan Devarajan is the World Bank’s Senior Director for Development Economics. Since joining the World Bank in 1991, he has been a Principal Economist and Research Manager for Public Economics in the Development Research Group, and the Chief Economist of the Human Development Network, and of the South Asia, Africa, and Middle East and North Africa Regions. Before 1991, he was on the faculty of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Born in Sri Lanka, Shanta received his B.A. in mathematics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.


    William Kerr

    Professor of Economics, Harvard University

    William Kerr is a Professor at Harvard Business School. Bill is the faculty chair of the Launching New Ventures program for executive education, and he has received Harvard's Distinction in Teaching award. Bill focuses on how companies and economies explore new opportunities and generate growth. He considers the leadership and resources necessary to identify, launch and sustain dynamic and enduring organizations, and his recent work on Launching Global Ventures especially emphasized global opportunities. Bill is a recipient of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship. Bill works with companies worldwide on the development of new ventures and transformations for profitable growth. He also advises governments about investments in the innovative capacities of their nations. Bill and his family live in Lexington, MA. They enjoy outdoor sports and trail running, are active members of their local church, and maintain close ties to his wife's home country of Finland. Bill grew up in Alabama and remains a passionate college football fan.


    William F. Maloney

    Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions

    William F. Maloney is Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions in the World Bank Group. Previously he was Chief Economist for Trade and Competitiveness and Global Lead on Innovation and Productivity. Prior to the Bank, he was a Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1990-1997) and then joined, working as Lead Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America until 2009. From 2009 to 2014, he was Lead Economist in the Development Economics Research Group. From 2011 to 2014 he was Visiting Professor at the University of the Andes and worked closely with the Colombian government on innovation and firm upgrading issues. Mr. Maloney received his PhD in economics from the University of California Berkeley (1990), his BA from Harvard University (1981), and he studied at the University of the Andes in Bogota, Colombia (1982-83). He has published on issues related to international trade and finance, developing country labor markets, and innovation and growth. In addition to publications in academic journals, he coauthored Natural Resources: Neither Curse nor Destiny and Lessons from NAFTA, Does What you Export Matter: In Search of Empirical Guidance for Industrial Policy, as well as several flagship publications of the Latin American division of the Bank, most recently Informality: Exit and Exclusion.

    • William F. Maloney, Chief Economist, Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI)
    • Somik Lall, Global Lead, Territorial Development, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience (SURR)
    • Marie Charity Quiroz, Senior Program Assistant, Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI)
    • Paolo Avner, Urban Economist, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience (SURR)
    • Rebecca R. Post, Senior Communications Officer, External and Corporate Relations (ECR)
    • Kristyn Schrader-King, Senior Communications Officer, External and Corporate Relations (ECR)
    • Ricardo Alejandro Vargas Gomez, Consultant, External and Corporate Relations (ECR)
    • Andy Shuai Liu, Online Communications Associate, External and Corporate Relations (ECR)
    • Lois Goh, Consultant, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience (SURR)