Kaushik Basu named World Bank chief economist

September 6th, 2012 - 12:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 6 (IANS) Kaushik Basu, who till recently served as chief economic adviser in the Indian finance ministry, has been appointed as new chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank.

Announcing Basu’s appointment Wednesday, 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.”

“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,” he added.

Basu, who begins his term at the Bank Oct 1, was on leave from his position as Professor of Economics and the C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University during his India stint.

He also served as Chairman of Cornell’s Department of Economics and Director of Cornell’s Centre for Analytic Economics and headed the Programme on Comparative Economic Development.

Basu, who 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 and his contributions to the field span 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 Economist’s 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 Basu was awarded one of India’s highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan, for “distinguished service of high order.”

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