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Long-run Returns to Impact Investing in Emerging Market and Developing Economies

December 3, 2020

Kuala Lumpur Research Seminar Series

  • There is growing interest in impact investing, the idea of deploying capital to obtain both financial and social or environmental returns. Examination of every equity investment made by the International Finance Corporation, one of the largest and longest-operating impact investors, across 130 emerging market and developing economies shows that this portfolio has outperformed the S&P 500 by 15 percent. Investments in larger economies have higher returns, and returns decline as banking systems deepen and countries relax capital controls. These results are consistent with imperfect integration of international capital markets, and a core thesis of impact investing that some eligible markets do not receive sufficient investment capital.

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    Presentation Slides

  • Tristan Reed is Economist in the Research Group of the World Bank. He seeks to answer policy-relevant questions in industrial organization and trade and has used diverse methodologies including structural general equilibrium models and randomized controlled trials to illuminate how markets work in developing countries, and to understand how to improve their contribution to welfare, especially of the poor.

    Alongside research, Tristan has contributed economic analysis to infrastructure lending operations and government advisory in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Prior to joining the Bank, he worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company in their Lagos, Nigeria office, where he served clients in government and in the financial sector. Tristan is a native of California and holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and a B.A. in economics with a minor in mathematics summa cum laude from UCLA.


  • WHEN (KUALA LUMPUR TIME): Thursday, December 3, 2020: 9:00 - 10:00am
  • WHEN (ET/WASHINGTON, D.C. TIME): Wednesday, December 2, 2020: 8:00 - 9:00pm