What should World Bank economists do, part II?

My talk there on Thursday outlined and evaluated ten possibilities:

1. Refute the simple (and frequent) fallacies of others in the World Bank.

2. Help the Bank write better contracts — wiser about incentives – for its projects.

3. Study economic growth and Doug North and promote big picture thinking about the big questions that really matter.

4. Abandon big picture thinking — which rarely succeeds – and focus on easy-to-manage public health improvements.

5. Figure out the prevailing net bias in Bank activities and work to offset it.  Arguably this bias is that the Bank Board pushes through too many contracts too quickly.  Show up to work late.  The theory of comparative advantage suggests you focus on what others are lacking.

6. Figure out the prevailing net bias in the economics profession, and work to offset it.  Be a generalist.

7. Help the Bank make more money and let the non-economists figure out how to spend it.

8. Take whatever resouces you can, and drop them out of a helicopter onto poor countries.  Give up trying to make aid work.

9. Collect and analyze more data.

10. Take a stronger interest in the most effective anti-poverty recipe we have, namely immigration.

Your answers to this question can be found here.


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