Events

5th Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Research Conference

September 7, 2018

Preston Auditorium, 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC

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Across the developing world, the growth of cities is outpacing effective policy. Low density land use results in rapidly expanding cities, raising the costs of infrastructure and service provision and limiting liveability and productivity. At the same time, limited investments in transport infrastructure such as roads limits the connectivity between individuals and opportunities that make cities engines for growth. Effective policy to address these challenges requires an understanding of the spatial organisation of cities, and how the distribution of private and public investments across a city affect economic growth.

On 7 September 2018, the 5th Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Conference will bring together academics and development practitioners to present and discuss questions relating to the spatial organisation of cities and economic growth. In particular, the conference will be focusing on effective land and transport policy in cities and the implications of urban development for national growth. This conference is hosted by the World Bank (Development Research Group), George Washington University (Institute for International Economic Policy),  the International Monetary Fund, and the International Growth Centre.

 

  • Conference Organizers

    Harris Selod, The World Bank
    Rémi Jedwab, George Washington University
    Edward Glaeser, Harvard University and International Growth Centre
    Chris Papageorgiou, International Monetary Fund

    Inquiries

    For inquiries regarding the event, please contact Elaine Wylie at ewylie@worldbank.org.

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  • Friday, September 7, 2018
    (As of September 6, 2018)

    9:00-10:45OPENING SESSION (Watch live via webstream!)

     

    WELCOMING REMARKS
    Pinelopi Goldberg
    Incoming Chief Economist and Vice President, World Bank

     

    CHAIR AND MODERATOR
    Shantayanan Devarajan
    Senior Director, Development Economics, World Bank

     PANELISTS
     Tatiana Gallego Lizon
    Division Chief, Housing and Urban Development, Inter-American Development Bank
     Edward Glaeser
    Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University, and International Growth Centre
     Aisa Kirabo Kacyira
    Deputy Director, UN-Habitat, former mayor of Kigali
     Christopher Williams
    Director, UN-Habitat New York Liaison Office

     

    AUDIENCE Q&A (if time permits)

    10:4511:00   

    Coffee break

    11:0012:30 

    SESSION 1: THE SPATIAL ORGANIZATION OF CITIES - LAND

     

    Mini Keynote: Informal land use
    Harris Selod
    Senior Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

     

    Paper 1.1 Backyarding in South Africa 
    Jan Brueckner
    Chancellor's Professor of Economics, UC-Irvine,
    joint with Claus Rabe and Harris Selod

     

    Paper 1.2 Colonial legacies: Shaping African cities
    Vernon Henderson
    School Professor of Economic Geography, London School of Economics,
    joint with Neeraj Baruah and Cong Peng

     

    CHAIR: Anna Wellenstein
    Director, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice, World Bank

     

    DISCUSSANT
    Mariaflavia Harari
    Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania

    12:301:30

    Lunch break

    1:302:15  

    KEYNOTE ADDRESS: THE GEOGRAPHY OF DEVELOPMENT (Watch live via webstream!)

    Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
    Theodore A. Wells '29 Professor of Economics, Princeton University

     

    CHAIR
    Asli Demirguc-Kunt
    Director, Development Research Group, World Bank

    2:153:45   

    SESSION 2: THE SPATIAL ORGANIZATION OF CITIES - TRANSPORT

     

    Mini Keynote: Will the Rise of Ride Sharing Cause Increased Political Support for Urban Road Pricing?
    Matthew Kahn
    Professor of Economics, Spatial Sciences and Environmental Studies, University of Southern California – Dornsife

     

    Paper 2.1 Transport and Land Use in a Developing City: Assessing road investments in Kampala, Uganda
    Julia Bird
    Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Economics, University of Oxford,
    joint with Tony Venables

     

    Paper 2.2 Who wins? Who loses? Understanding the spatially differentiated effects of belt and road within Central Asia
    Mathilde Lebrand
    Lead Economist, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice, World Bank,
    joint with Baher El Hifnawy and Somik Lall 

     

    CHAIR
    Marianne Fay
    Chief Economist, Sustainable Development Vice-Presidency, World Bank

     

    DISCUSSANT
    Leah Brooks
    Associate Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University

    3:454:00

    Coffee break

    4:005:30

    SESSION 3: URBANIZATION, GROWTH, AND DEVELOPMENT

     

    Mini Keynote: Rural-Urban Linkages and Frictions
    Douglas Gollin
    Professor of Development Economics, University of Oxford

     

    Paper 3.1 In search of a spatial equilibrium in the developing world
    Martina Kirchberger
    Assistant Professor in Economics, Trinity College Dublin,
    joint with Doug Gollin and David Lagakos

     

    Paper 3.2 Does population reflect city size? Theory and evidence from within and across rich and poor countries
    Prakash Loungani
    Advisor, Independent Evaluation Office, International Monetary Fund,
    joint with Remi Jedwab and Anthony Yezer

     

    CHAIR
    Chris Papageorgiou
    Division Chief, Development Macroeconomic Division, Research Department, International Monetary Fund

     

    DISCUSSANT
    Deniz Igan
    Deputy Division Chief, Research Department’s Macro Financial Division, International Monetary Fund

    6:007:30        

    Cocktail Reception

     

    George Washington University
    Elliott School of International Affairs
    Lindner Commons Room (6th floor)
    1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC

    Intersection of E and 19th Streets, on E Street
    5-minute walk from the World Bank

     

    WELCOMING REMARKS
    Maggie Chen
    Director of Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP) and Professor of Economics and International Affairs, George Washington University

     

     

    Last Updated: Sep 04, 2018

  • CONFERENCE ORGANIZERS

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    Harris Selod

    Senior Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

    Harris Selod is a Senior Economist with the Development Research Group of the World Bank. His current research focuses on urban development, including issues related to transport and land use, as well as land tenure, land markets and the political economy of the land sector in developing countries, with a specific interest in West Africa. His publications appear in a variety of journals such as the American Economic Journal, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Development Economics or the Journal of Urban Economics, and cover a variety of topics in urban and public economics including theories of squatting and residential informality, the political economy of transport infrastructure, the effects of residential segregation on schooling and unemployment, or the impact of land rights formalization and place-based policies. Prior to joining the World Bank in 2007, he was an associate professor at the Paris School of Economics and a researcher at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne and graduated from the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Administration Economique (ENSAE) and the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP).

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    Rémi Jedwab

    Associate Professor of Economics, George Washington University

    Rémi Jedwab is an associate professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Elliott School and the Department of Economics of George Washington University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the Paris School of Economics. He was also a visiting Ph.D. student at the London School of Economics for three years. Professor Jedwab's main field of research is urban economics, though his work also has strong development economics, economic history, trade, environmental economics and public economics themes. Some of the issues he has studied include urbanization and structural transformation, the economic effects of transportation infrastructure, and agricultural and economic development in the developing world, and Sub‐Saharan Africa in particular. His research has been published in the American Economic Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Economic Growth and the Journal of Urban Economics. Recently, Professor Jedwab’s research areas have included the phenomenon of urbanization without economic growth, and his research has been highlighted by The Atlantic's CityLab and the Boston Globe.

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    Edward Glaeser

    Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard

    Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard, where he also serves as Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. He studies the economics of cities, and has written scores of articles on urban issues, including the growth of cities, segregation, crime, and housing markets. He has been particularly interested in the role that geographic proximity can play in creating knowledge and innovation. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1992 and has been at Harvard since then.

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    Chris Papageorgiou

    Division Chief, Development Macroeconomic Division, Research Department (IMF)

    Chris Papageorgiou is the Division Chief in the Development Macroeconomics division of the IMF’s Research Department. He is also the coordinator of IMF-DFID Low-Income Country Research Program. Since joining the Fund in 2006, he has done mission work in Africa, Western Hemisphere, and Asia and Pacific, and has led IMF policy work on a variety of developing country issues. His analytical work is primarily focused on economic growth and international macroeconomics. He has published extensively, and is an associate editor of the European Economic Review and the IMF Economic Review.

    KEYNOTE SPEAKER

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    Esteban Rossi-Hansberg

    Theodore A. Wells '29 Professor of Economics Department of Economics and Woodrow Wilson School Princeton University

    Esteban Rossi-Hansberg is the Theodore A. Well '29 Professor of Economics at Princeton University, where he has been since 2005. Prior to Princeton he was an Assistant Professor at Stanford University. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 2002. His research specializes in international trade, regional and urban economics, as well as growth and organizational economics. He has published extensively in all the major journals in economics. In 2007 he received the Alfred Sloan Research Fellowship and in 2010 he received the August Lösch Prize and the Geoffrey Hewings Award. He is a fellow of the Economteric Society, a member of the NBER and CEPR and is, or has been, an associate editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the American Economic Review, the Journal of Monetary Economics and the Journal of Urban Economics, among other journals.

    PANELISTS

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    Shanta Devarajan

    Senior Director, Development Economics and Acting Chief Economist of the World Bank Group

    Previously, he was the Chief Economist of the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Region. 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, the South Asia Region and Africa Region. He was a director of the World Development Report 2004, Making Services Work for Poor People. Before 1991, he was on the faculty of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. A member of the Overseas Development Institute’s Board of Trustees, and the author or co-author of more than 100 publications, Mr. Devarajan’s research covers public economics, trade policy, natural resources and the environment, and general equilibrium modeling of developing countries.

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    Tatiana Gallego Lizon

    Division Chief for Housing and Urban Development, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Sector, Inter-American Development Bank

    Tatiana Gallego Lizon is the Division Chief for Housing and Urban Development at the Climate Change and Sustainable Development Sector of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). She previously worked at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) where she held various positions, including as Director of the Urban Development and Water Division of the Southeast Asian Department, where she pioneered agendas on urban climate change resilience, cross-border economic zones and corridor town development. She has also worked in the Private Sector and in Research. Gallego holds a PhD and a MEng in Environmental Engineering from Imperial College, London and a PGD in Policy Studies from the School of African and Oriental Studies.

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    Pinelopi Goldberg

    Elihu Professor of Economics at Yale University (Incoming Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, World Bank)

    Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg is the Elihu Professor of Economics at Yale University. She was the Editor-in-Chief of the American Economic Review from 2011 to 2016, and Coeditor in 2017 and from 2007 to 2010. She is currently Vice-President of the American Economic Association, Member of the Executive Committee of the Econometric Society, and President of the Eastern Economic Association.

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    Aisa Kirabo Kacyira

    Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General for UN-HABITAT

    Aisa Kirabo Kacyira is Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General for UN-HABITAT, providing critical leadership to promote sustainable cities and human settlements globally. She has over 15 years in senior management and strategic leadership in Government and non-governmental institutions, both national and international. Before joining UN-Habitat at the end of 2011, Dr. Kacyira was the Governor of the Eastern Province of Rwanda. Previously, she was Mayor of Kigali (2006-2011), one of the fastest urbanizing cities in the world. Under Dr. Kirabo’s leadership, Kigali won the UN-HABITAT Scroll of Honour Award in 2008 in recognition of high level of cleanliness, greenness and safety, and sustainable, affordable housing initiatives combined with pro-poor urban employment opportunities.

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    Christopher Williams

    Director, UN-Habitat New York Liaison Office

    Chris Williams is the Director of the UN-Habitat New York Liaison Office. He is a development practitioner with over twenty-five years of experience in international organizations in Africa, Asia and the Americas and with training in economics and sociology. Prior to UN-Habitat, Mr. Williams served as Executive Director of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) in Geneva for five years. He also held senior posts in global fund management, advocacy, fund raising and policy research, and worked on programmes to upgrade water, sanitation and shelter in settlements.

    CHAIRS

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    Maggie Chen

    Professor of Economics, George Washington University, and International Institute for Economic Policy

    Maggie Xiaoyang Chen is the Director of the Institute for International Economic Policy and Professor of Economics and International Affairs at George Washington University. Professor Chen's areas of research expertise include foreign direct investment, international trade, and regional trade agreements and her work has been published extensively in academic journals. She has worked as an economist in the research department of the World Bank, a consultant for various divisions of the World Bank and the International Finance Cooperation, and a trade policy advisor at the U.S. congressional Budget Office leading policy analyses on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. She has also held visiting professor positions in various universities including Boston College and University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China and is a co-editor of the Economic Inquiry. Professor Chen received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her B.A. in Economics from Beijing Normal University.

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    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

    Director of Research, Development Research Group, World Bank

    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. 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.

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    Marianne Fay

    Chief Economist, Climate Change Group, World Bank Group

    Marianne Fay is the chief economist for climate change at the World Bank. She co-directed the World Development Report 2010 on Climate Change. Ms. Fay has served in multiple regions in the World Bank, including Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa, working on infrastructure, urbanization, and more recently on climate change and green growth. Her research has explored the role of infrastructure and urbanization in development, with a particular focus on urban poverty, climate change, and green growth, on which she has authored numerous articles and books. As chief economist for sustainable development, she led the World Bank’s flagship report for the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathway to Sustainable Development.

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    Anna Wellenstein

    Director for Strategy, Operations, Land and Geospatial, in the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice

    Anna Wellenstein is Director for Strategy, Operations, Land and Geospatial in the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice of the World Bank. The group works with national and local governments and with communities to reduce urban poverty, expand access to services, and make cities more resilient and economically productive. Ms. Wellenstein was previously Practice Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Disaster Risk Management and Urban Development unit, and through her role she guided a team to support governments in the preparation and implementation of projects and for top analytics and technical assistance. From 2009 to 2012, she acted as the Washington DC based manager for the World Bank programs in India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Between 2008 and 2009, she advised the Bank’s Managing Director overseeing the portfolios for Latin America and the Caribbean, East Asia and the Pacific, and the Middle East and North Africa. Ms. Wellenstein previously oversaw the World Bank’s portfolio of infrastructure and urban projects in Mexico and Colombia. She has been active in design, financing and implementation of urban development, infrastructure and housing projects for twenty years.

    PRESENTERS

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    Julia Bird

    Post Doctoral Researcher, University of Oxford

    Julia Bird is a postdoctoral researcher in economics at the University of Oxford. Her research seeks to explore the changing patterns of urbanisation observed over recent decades, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, she is interested in the location decisions of firms and people within and across urban areas, how they interact and generate agglomeration economies, and how these spatial patterns are impacted by policies such as infrastructure investments. She previously completed a PhD at Toulouse School of Economics, France.

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    Jan Brueckner

    Professor of Economics, University of California-Irvine

    Jan K. Brueckner (AB, UC Berkeley; PhD, Stanford University) was long- time faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before coming to University of California, Irvine in 2005. Brueckner has published extensively in the reas of urban economics, public economics, housing finance, and the economics of the airline industry, with more than 125 journal articles to his credit. He is also author of an innovative new textbook, Lectures on Urban Economics (MIT Press, 2011). Brueckner served as editor of the Journal of Urban Economics for 16 years and is currently a member of the editorial boards of 6 journals. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, many of the major airlines, and other organizations.

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    Douglas Gollin

    Professor of Development Economics

    Doug Gollin’s research focusses on economic development and growth, with particular interests in agriculture and structural transformation. His work brings a general equilibrium perspective to issues such as: sectoral differences in productivity; the impacts of agricultural technologies; the role of transport costs in shaping spatial patterns of development; the importance of small firms and self-employment in poor countries; and the macroeconomic effects of disease. Doug Gollin holds an AB degree from Harvard University and an MA from Yale University. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Minnesota in 1996.

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    Vernon Henderson

    School Professor of Economic Geography, London School of Economics

    J. Vernon Henderson joined the London School of Economics in September 2013 as School Professor of Economic Geography, having previously been Eastman Professor of Political Economy at Brown University, USA. His research focuses on urbanization in developing countries, looking both within and across cities and regions. He is the co-PI of a major research project on urbanization policy in Africa, as well as globally, situated at LSE and Oxford. His current research looks at topics such as expressway development and city growth in China, the dynamics of investment in the built environment in cities, how colonial legacy affects sprawl and the spatial layout of cities, and the impact of democratization in Africa on city growth and health and education outcomes across the urban political hierarchy. His work is published in journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Studies, Science and Journal of Development Economics. He is co-editor of the Journal of Urban Economics and the Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, and serves on a number of editorial boards. He is a founder and past President of the Urban Economics Association. Over the years, he has worked with governments in Asia and Africa directly or indirectly through institutions such as the World Bank on formulating urban policies.

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    Matthew Kahn

    Professor, UCLA Institute of the Environment, the Department of Economics, and the Department of Public Policy

    Matthew E. Kahn is a Professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment, the Department of Economics, and the Department of Public Policy. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Before joining the UCLA faculty in January 2007, he taught at Columbia and the Fletcher School at Tufts University. He has served as a Visiting Professor at Harvard and Stanford. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago. He is the author of Green Cities: Urban Growth and the Environment (Brookings Institution Press 2006) and the co-author of Heroes and Cowards: The Social Face of War (Princeton University Press 2009). His research focuses on environmental, urban, real estate and energy economics.

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    Martina Kirchberger

    Assistant Professor of Economics, Trinity College Dublin

    Martina is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Trinity College Dublin and a Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford. She is a development economist with a particular interest in urbanization, infrastructure and mobility. Most of her research uses geo-referenced individual level data that she combines with environmental data. She is also working on the cost of transport infrastructure and public procurement. In part of her recent work she explores the use of big data, such as mobile phone data, to answer questions in development. Her research has been published in the Journal of Development Economics and the World Bank Economic Review. Previously, she was an Earth Institute Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Columbia University. She received her DPhil in Economics from the University of Oxford in 2014.

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    Somik Lall

    Lead Urban Economist

    Somik V. Lall is a Lead Economist for Urban Development at the World Bank's Urban Development and Resilience Unit in the Sustainable Development Network. He is the lead author of a World Bank report on urbanization "Planning, Connecting, and Financing Cities Now: Priorities for City Leaders." He was a core team member of the 2009 World Development Report "Reshaping Economic Geography", and recently Senior Economic Counsellor to the Indian Prime Minister's National Transport Development Policy Committee. Somik currently leads a World Bank program on the Urbanization Reviews, which provides diagnostic tools and a policy framework for policymakers to manage rapid urbanization and city development. His research interests span urban and spatial economics, infrastructure development, and public finance. He has over 40 publications featuring in peer reviewed journals, edited volumes, and working papers. Somik holds a bachelors degree in engineering, masters in city planning, and doctorate in economics and public policy.

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    Prakash Loungani

    Advisor, Independent Evaluation Office, International Monetary Fund

    Prakash Loungani is an advisor in the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office. He is a macroeconomist with broad interests, including in housing markets. He developed the IMF’s Global Housing Watch, a website dedicated to showcasing the institution’s work on housing markets. In 2015, he co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking on “Housing, Stability, and the Macroeconomy: International Perspectives” based on a conference organized with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He also co-organized conferences in 2014 on “Housing Markets and the Macroeconomy: Challenges for Monetary Policy and Financial Stability” with the Deutsche Bundesbank and the German Research Foundation and on “Housing Markets, Financial Stability and Growth” with the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. He is the author of “Global House Prices: Time to Worry Again?” (IMF Blog, Dec. 2016).

    DISCUSSANTS

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    Leah Brooks

    Assistant Professor, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University

    Leah Brooks is Assistant Professor in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University. After receiving her PhD from UCLA in 2005, she taught at the University of Toronto and McGill University, and worked at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Her research interest is urban political economy. Her work to date has examined Business Improvement Districts to understand the resolution of collective action problems, and the Community Development Block Grant program to analyze the political economy of grant giving at the municipal and sub-municipal levels. She has documented the existence and analyzed the impacts of municipally-imposed tax and expenditure limits, studied the premium required to assemble land, analyzed the long-term effects of streetcars on urban form, and is hard at work examining the impact of containerization on cities.

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    Mariaflavia Harari

    Assistant Professor of Real Estate at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

    Mariaflavia (Nina) Harari is an Assistant Professor of Real Estate at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, specializing in urban economics and development economics. Her research agenda is centered on urbanization in developing countries. Her current projects focus on urban structure in India and slums in Indonesia. She holds a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. and a M.Sc. in Economics and Social Sciences from Bocconi University.

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    Deniz Igan

    Deputy Division Chief, Macro Financial Division, Research Department (IMF)

    Deniz Igan is the Deputy Chief in the Research Department's Macro-Financial Division. Previously, she worked in the Western Hemisphere Department and the European Department. Her research interests include corporate finance, banking, real estate, political economy, financial crises, and financial regulation.

  • About the Venue

    The conference will be held at the World Bank's Headquarters, located at 1818 H Street, NW, Washington DC 20433, USA.

     

    World Bank Visitor's Entrance

    The North Lobby entrance to the World Bank is located on H St, NW, near the intersection of 18th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

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    Elliott School of International Affairs

    The cocktail reception will take place at the Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street at the intersection of E and 19th Streets (Lindner Common Rooms, 6th Floor) - GWU (George Washington University). The link below will show you how to get from the World Bank MC building to 1957 E Street.

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