September 5, 2012

Cornell Economics Professor Named World Bank Chief Economist

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A Cornell economics professor has been named the World Bank’s chief economist and senior vice president, the organization announced on Wednesday.

Prof. Kaushik Basu, economics, recently took a leave of absence from the University to serve as chief economic advisor to India’s Ministry of Finance. He previously served as chair of the economics department and director of the Center for Analytic Economics, and also headed the Program on Comparative Economic Development.

“Having worked in a Ministry of Finance, in addition to his impressive academic achievements, Kaushik is uniquely suited to help us offer evidence-based solutions and advice to client countries and provide innovative excellence in leading our development research,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement. “Kaushik brings firsthand experience from a developing country and will be a terrific asset to the institution.”

Basu will be the World Bank’s first Indian chief economist and the second from the developing world, according to The New York Times. His recent research has focused on exchange rate manipulation, inflation, recessions and stimulus and child labor, among other subjects.

Prof. Eswar Prasad, applied economics and management, told The New York Times that Basu has “a reputation as an out-of-the-box thinker and a deep understanding of policy issues and their interface with politics.” He will start at the bank on October 1.

Original Author: David Marten