World Bank names Kaushik Basu Chief Economist

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has announced the appointment of Kaushik Basu as the institutions new Chief Economist and Senior Vice President.

Basu, 60, will begin his term on October 1, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement. Basu, replaces Justin Yifu Lin.

Basu, an Indian national, most recently served as Chief Economic Adviser of the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, while on leave from his position as Professor of Economics and the C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University.

He also served as Chairman of Cornell’s Department of Economics and Director of Cornell’s Center for Analytic Economics and 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 Group President Jim Yong Kim said.

“Kaushik brings first-hand experience from a developing country and will be a terrific asset to the institution,” he added.

Kaushik, holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, founded the Centre for Development Economics at the Delhi School of Economics in 1992 and is a founding member of the Madras School of Economics.

He has held visiting professorial positions at Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, the London School of Economics, and M.I.T.

Basu has published widely in fields spanning development economics, welfare economics, industrial organization, and public economics. His books include Analytical Development Economics (1997, MIT Press), Prelude to Political Economy: a Study of the Social and Political Foundations of Economics (2000, Oxford University Press), and Of People, Of Places: Sketches from an Economists Notebook (1994, Oxford University Press) and Beyond the Invisible Hand: Groundwork for a New Economics (2011, Princeton University Press and Penguin).

Basu is a fellow of the Econometric Society and has been awarded India’s National Mahalanobis Memorial Award. In May 2008 the president of India awarded Basu one of the country’s highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan, for distinguished service of high order.

He is the third Indian to hold high profile position at the World Bank.

India’s Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, joined the World Bank in 1968 as a Young Professional and held positions including Chief of the Income Distribution Division.

Kalpana Kochhar, the Chief Economist for the South Asia Region of World Bank is also an Indian.

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