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World Bank Seminar “Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture”

December 9, 2019

Tokyo, Japan

  • Developing countries need to dramatically increase agricultural innovation and the use of technology by farmers, to eliminate poverty, meet the rising demand for food, and cope with the adverse effects of climate change, says a new World Bank report “Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture” released on September in 2019. The relative stagnation in agricultural productivity in recent decades, particularly in South Asia and Africa where the vast majority of the poor live, underscores the need for new ideas to improve rural livelihoods. Renewed investment to increase new knowledge and ensure its adoption can help harness the large potential gains to be made in agricultural productivity and, hence, income, says the new report.

    William Maloney, Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) and the lead author, will present the main finding the reports at this seminar.

    <About the World Bank Productivity Project>
    Productivity accounts for half of the differences in GDP per capita across countries. Identifying policies to stimulate it is thus critical to alleviating poverty and fulfilling the rising aspirations of global citizens. Yet, productivity growth has slowed globally over recent decades, and the lagging productivity performance in developing countries constitutes a major barrier to convergence with advanced-country levels of income. The World Bank Productivity Project seeks to bring frontier thinking on the measurement and determinants of productivity to global policy makers. Each conference and volume in the series explores a different aspect of the topic through dialogue with academics and policy makers, and through sponsored empirical work in our client countries. The Productivity Project is an initiative of the Vice Presidency for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions led by its Chief Economist, William Maloney.


    Opening Remarks

    Masato Miyazaki
    Special Representative, Japan, World Bank

    Keynote Speech

    William Maloney
    Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI), World Bank


    Aya Suzuki
    Associate Professor, University of Tokyo



    William E. Maloney
    Chief Economist, Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Group (EFI), World Bank Group

    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 as well as several flagship publications of the Latin American division of the Bank, including Informality: Exit and Exclusion. Most recently, he published The innovation paradox: Developing Country Capabilities and the Unrealized Potential of Technological Catch-Up. In addition to publications in academic journals, he coauthored Natural Resources: Neither Curse nor Destiny and Lessons from NAFTADoes 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.

    Mr. Maloney was born in Boston, MA, on August 2, 1959.


    Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture

    High-Growth Firms : Facts, Fiction, and Policy Options for Emerging Economies

    Productivity Revisited : Shifting Paradigms in Analysis and Policy

    The Innovation Paradox: Developing-Country Capabilities and the Unrealized Promise of Technological Catch-Up



  • DATE/TIME: Monday, December 9, 2019, 3:00pm-4:30pm(JST)
  • VENUE: World Bank Tokyo Office, 14th Floor, Fukoku Seimei Building, 2-2-2 Uchisaiwaicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (Please refer "ACCESS" in RELATED below) *We moved to the 14th floor.
  • LANGUAGE: English and Japanese (with simultaneous interpretation)
  • CONTACT: Koichi Omori, World Bank Tokyo TEL: 03-3597-6650