Third Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Research Conference

This conference hosted by the World Bank, George Washington University (Institute for International Economic Policy), the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management, the NYU Urbanization Project, and The Growth Dialogue brings together academics and development practitioners to present and discuss the challenges of sustainable urbanization in developing countries.

Addressing environmental change in urban areas is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century, particularly given that the world is now more than half urban, and Africa and Asia are experiencing unprecedented rates of urban population growth. Cities themselves are a major contributor to this challenge, as they consume an enormous share of the world’s energy and emit large amounts of carbon dioxide. At the same time, they are heavily vulnerable to climate change and increasingly exposed to climate induced risks (including floods from rising sea levels and higher precipitation, destruction from stronger cyclones and storms, and periods of extreme heat and cold). The phenomenon of urbanization itself is also likely to be significantly altered by environmentally induced migration. Despite these risks, many cities have not created or implemented crucially needed policies to attenuate the causes of climate change and to effectively protect cities from its impacts.

Rémi Jedwab, Assistant Professor of Economics

Rémi Jedwab is an assistant professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Elliott School and the Department of Economics of George Washington University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the Paris School of Economics. He was also a visiting Ph.D. student at the London School of Economics for three years. Professor Jedwab’s main field of research is urban economics, though his work also has strong development economics, public economics/political economy and economic history themes. Some of the issues he has studied include urbanization and structural transformation, the economic effects of transportation infrastructure, and agricultural and economic development in Africa. His research has been published in the American Economic Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Economic Journal and the Journal of Economic Growth. Recently, Professor Jedwab research areas have included the phenomenon of urbanization without economic growth, and his research has been highlighted by The Atlantic’s CityLab and the Boston Globe.


Danny M. Leipziger, Professor of International Business, GWU and Managing Director, The Growth Dialogue

Danny Leipziger is Professor of International Business, George Washington University, Managing Director, the Growth Dialogue, and an IIEP affiliate faculty member. He is former Vice President of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network (2004–09) at the World Bank. Over the course of his 28-year career at the World Bank, he has held management positions in the East Asia Region and the Latin America and Caribbean Region as well as in the World Bank Institute. Prior to joining the Bank, Dr. Leipziger served in senior positions at the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State. He also has been a Vice Chair of the independent Commission on Growth and Development (2006-2010). He has published widely on topics of development economics and finance, industrial policy, and banking, including books on Korea, Chile, and East Asia and recent volumes Globalization and Growth (with Michael Spence) and Stuck in the Middle (with Antonio Estache) and the most recent – Ascent after Decline: Regrowing Global Economies after the Great Recession (with Otaviano Canuto).


Paul Romer, Professor of Economics, NYU Stern School of Business and Director of the Urbanization Project

Paul Romer, an economist and policy entrepreneur, is University Professor at NYU and director of the Marron Institute of Urban Management. He is also the founding director of the Urbanization Project at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project. The Urbanization Project conducts applied research on the many ways in which policymakers in the developing world can use the rapid growth of cities to create economic opportunity and undertake systemic social reform. Before coming to NYU, Paul taught at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. While there, Paul took an entrepreneurial detour to start Aplia, an education technology company dedicated to increasing student effort and classroom engagement. Paul serves on the board of trustees for the Carnegie Endowment for the Advancement of Teaching. He is also a member of the board of directors for Community Solutions, a national not-for-profit dedicated to strengthening communities and ending homelessness. In 2002, he received the Recktenwald Prize for his work on the role of ideas in sustaining economic growth.


Harris Selod, Senior Economist, The World Bank

Harris Selod is a Senior Economist with the Development Research Group of the World Bank. His current research focuses on urban development, including issues related to transport and land use, as well as land tenure, land markets and the political economy of the land sector in developing countries, with a specific interest in West Africa. His publications cover a variety of topics in urban and public economics including theories of squatting and residential informality, the political economy of transport infrastructure, the effects of residential segregation on schooling and unemployment, or the impact of land rights formalization and place-based policies. He has been chair of the World Bank’s Land Policy and Administration Thematic Group (2011-2013) and is currently leading a World Bank research program on transp


Keynote Speakers

Jan K. Brueckner

Professor of Economics, University of California-Irvine

Jan K. Brueckner (AB, UC Berkeley; PhD, Stanford University) was long- time faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before coming to UCI in 2005. Brueckner has published extensively in the reas of urban economics, public economics, housing finance, and the economics of the airline industry, with more than 125 journal articles to his credit. He is also author of an innovative new textbook, Lectures on Urban Economics (MIT Press, 2011). Brueckner served as editor of the Journal of Urban Economics for 16 years and is currently a member of the editorial boards of 6 journals. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, many of the major airlines, and other organizations.

Matthew Kahn

Professor, UCLA Institute of the Environment, the Department of Economics, and the Department of Public Policy

Matthew E. Kahn is a Professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment, the Department of Economics, and the Department of Public Policy. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Before joining the UCLA faculty in January 2007, he taught at Columbia and the Fletcher School at Tufts University. He has served as a Visiting Professor at Harvard and Stanford. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago. He is the author of Green Cities: Urban Growth and the Environment (Brookings Institution Press 2006) and the co-author of Heroes and Cowards: The Social Face of War (Princeton University Press 2009). His research focuses on environmental, urban, real estate and energy economics.

Chairs and Panelists

Kaushik Basu

Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, World Bank

Kaushik Basu is Senior Vice President (Development Economics) and Chief Economist of the World Bank. Prior to this, he served as Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India and is currently on leave from Cornell University where he is Professor of Economics and the C. Marks Professor of International Studies. Mr. Basu is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and received India’s Padma Bhushan award as well as the National Mahalanobis Memorial award. Mr. Basu’s contributions span development economics, welfare economics, industrial organization and game theory.

Michael Cohen

Director, Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy

Michael Cohen is an urban and development policy specialist. He worked at the World Bank from 1972 to 1999 and was responsible for much of the bank’s urban policy development during that period. Mr. Cohen has worked in 55 countries and was heavily involved in the World Bank’s work on infrastructure, environment, and sustainable development. His numerous published works include several books on urban development, Africa, and the impact of development assistance. Mr. Cohen has advised governments, NGOs, and academic institutions around the world. He was a member of the Infrastructure Panel and Urban Dynamics Panel of the US National Academy of Science. He has helped the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) prepare its Global Report on Human Settlements in 2005-2012. He is currently the director of The New School’s Observatory on Latin America.

Maureen Cropper

Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics, University of Maryland

Maureen Cropper is a Distinguished University Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland. She is also a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future and former Lead Economist in the Research Department of the World Bank. Dr. Cropper has served as chair of the EPA Science Advisory Board’s Environmental Economics Advisory Committee, and as past president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. Maureen is currently serving as co-Director of the National Academy of Sciences study on Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her research interests include valuing environmental amenities and the tradeoffs implicit in environmental regulations, including energy regulations. Her current research focuses on energy efficiency in India and the impact of climate change on migration. Maureen received her Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University in 1973.

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

Director of Research, Development Economics, World Bank

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is the Director of Research in the World Bank. After joining the Bank in 1989 as a Young Economist, she has held different positions, including Director of Development Policy, Chief Economist of Financial and Private Sector Development Network, and Senior Research Manager, doing research and advising on financial sector and private sector development issues. She is the lead author of World Bank Policy Research Report 2007, Finance for All? Policies and Pitfalls in Expanding Access. She has also created the World Bank’s Global Financial Development Report and directed the issues on Rethinking the Role of the State in Finance (2013), and Financial Inclusion (2014).

Marianne Fay

Chief Economist, Sustainable Development Vice-Presidency, World Bank Group

Marianne Fay is the Chief Economist of the Climate Change Cross Cutting Solutions Area of the World Bank. She co-directed the World Development Report 2010 on Development and Climate Change and led the World Bank report on Inclusive Green growth: the Pathway to Sustainable Development. She has held positions in different regions of the World Bank (Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa) working on infrastructure, urbanization and climate change. Prior to her current position, she served as the Chief Economist of the former Sustainable Development Network of the World Bank. She is the author of a number of articles and books on these topics. Marianne Fay holds a PhD in Economics from Columbia University.

Stephen Hammer

Manager, Climate Change Group, the World Bank

Stephen Hammer joined the World Bank’s Urban Development and Resilience Unit as a Lead Urban Specialist in February 2013, leading the team’s work on cities and climate change issues. He has more than 25 years of government, consulting, and academic experience on energy, environmental, solid waste, and climate change topics. Prior to joining the Bank he was on the faculty at MIT, where he taught a range of courses on energy policy and planning. He previously founded the Urban Energy Program at Columbia University, where he focused on the policy, market, and regulatory environment of urban energy systems; how climate change will affect urban and regional energy systems; and the modeling of energy demand in cities. He also co-founded and served as co-Director of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), a global network of researchers examining climate change from an urban perspective, and he co-edited the UCCRN’s 2011 volume Climate Change and Cities, published by Cambridge University Press. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the academic journals Urban Climate and Local Environment. Dr. Hammer holds degrees from the London School of Economics, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the University of California at Davis.

Stephen C. Smith

Professor of Economics and International Affairs, George Washington University and Director, Institute for International Economic Policy

Stephen C. Smith is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at George Washington University. Smith received his PhD in economics from Cornell University and has been a Fulbright Research Scholar and a Jean Monnet Research Fellow. Smith is also an IZA Research Fellow. He serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. From 2009-2012, Smith served as Director of the Institute for International Economic Policy, where he helped create its four signature initiatives: climate adaptation in developing countries; extreme poverty; global economic governance; and the “G2 at GW” series. Smith has done on-site research and program work in several regions of the developing world including Bangladesh, China, Ecuador, India, Uganda, and Former Yugoslavia. Smith has also conducted extensive research on the economics of employee participation, including works councils, ESOPs, and labor cooperatives in developed and developing countries.

Sameh Wahba

Practice Manager, Urban, Rural and Social Development, World Bank

Sameh Wahba is Sector Manager, Urban Development and Resilience Unit, World Bank, where he is responsible for the Bank’s urban policy, strategy, and analytics at the global level. Prior to this position, Wahba was the Brazil Sector Leader of the Sustainable Development Department at the World Bank’s Latin America and the Caribbean Region, where he was responsible for coordinating the bank’s investment program and policy advisory/analytical services in Brazil in the areas of urban development, infrastructure, disaster risk management, and social development, as well as coordinating the bank’s portfolio in several states including Sao Paulo. Since joining the World Bank in 2004, he has worked on urban development, housing, and infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East and North Africa Regions. While at the World Bank, he has managed numerous investment and technical assistance activities related to housing, land and urban upgrading policy, infrastructure, local economic development, municipal/urban development issues, and disaster risk management in several countries. Prior to joining the bank, he worked at the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) in Rotterdam and at the Harvard Center for Urban Development Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Shahid Yusuf

Chief Economist of the Growth Dialogue

Shahid Yusuf is Chief Economist of the Growth Dialogue. Dr. Yusuf has written extensively on development issues, with a special focus on East Asia and has also published widely in various academic journals. He has authored or edited 24 books on industrial and urban development, innovation systems and tertiary education. His five most recent books are: Development Economics through the Decades (2009); Tiger Economies under Threat (co-authored with Kaoru Nabeshima, 2009); Two Dragonheads: Contrasting development paths for Beijing and Shanghai (co-authored with Kaoru Nabeshima 2010); Changing the Industrial Geography in Asia: The Impact of China and India (co-authored with Kaoru Nabeshima 2010); and China Urbanizes (co-edited with Tony Saich, 2008). Dr. Yusuf holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, and a BA in Economics from Cambridge University. He joined the World Bank in 1974 as a Young Professional and while at the Bank spent more than 35 years tackling issues confronting developing countries. During his tenure at the World Bank, Dr. Yusuf was the team leader for the World Bank-Japan project on East Asia’s Future Economy from 2000-2009. He was the Director of the World Development Report 1999/2000, Entering the 21st Century. Prior to that, he was Economic Adviser to the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist (1997-98), Lead Economist for the East Africa Department (1995-97) and Lead Economist for the China and Mongolia Department (1989-1993). Dr. Yusuf lives in Washington DC and consults with the World Bank and with other organizations.


Antonio Bento

Professor of Economics, University of Southern California

Antonio M. Bento is a professor at the Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Department of Economics of the University of Southern California. He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and a research fellow of the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. Currently, he serves as the Director of the Graduate Programs in Public Policy at the Sol Price School.

Gilles Duranton

Professor of Real Estate, Wharton School

Gilles Duranton is professor of real estate and holds the Dean’s Chair in Real Estate. He joined the Wharton School in 2012 after holding academic positions at the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics. A graduate from HEC Paris and Sorbonne University, he obtained his PhD in economics jointly from the London School of Economics and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales in Paris. His research focuses on urban and transportation issues. His empirical work is concerned with urban growth and the estimation of the costs and benefits of cities and clusters. He is also interested in the effects of transportation infrastructure on urban development and the evaluation of local policies. He also conducts theoretical research to gain insight about the distribution of city sizes, the skill composition, and sectoral patterns of activities in cities.

Stéphane Hallegatte

Senior Economist, Climage Change Group, The World Bank

Stéphane Hallegatte is senior economist with the World Bank, in the office of the chief economist of the Climate Change Group. His work includes green growth and climate change mitigation strategies, urban economics, and climate change adaptation and disaster risk management. He is lead author of the IPCC for its fifth assessment report. He also co-led the World Bank report “Inclusive Green Growth” in 2012, and published dozen of articles and several books, including “Natural disasters and climate change – an economic perspective” in 2014. Stephane Hallegatte holds an engineering degree from the Ecole Polytechnique and a PhD in economics from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.


Shlomo Angel

Senior Research Scholar, NYU Stern Urbanization Project

Shlomo (Solly) Angel is an Adjunct Professor at NYU and senior research scholar at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project, where he leads the Urban Expansion initiative. Angel is an expert on urban development policy, having advised the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). He currently focuses on documenting and planning for urban expansion in the developing world. Angel earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a doctorate in city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley.

Alain Bertaud

Adjunct Professor, Marron Institute

Alain Bertaud is an Adjunct Professor at the Marron Institute and a senior research scholar at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project. At the moment, he is writing a book about urban planning that is tentatively titled Order Without Design. Bertaud previously held the position of principal urban planner at the World Bank. After retiring from the Bank in 1999, he worked as an independent consultant. Prior to joining the World Bank he worked as a resident urban planner in a number of cities around the world: Bangkok, San Salvador (El Salvador), Port au Prince (Haiti), Sana’a (Yemen), New York, Paris, Tlemcen (Algeria), and Chandigarh (India).

Paul E. Carrillo

Associate Professor of Economics and International Affairs, George Washington University

Paul E. Carrillo is an Associate Professor of Economics and International Affairs at George Washington University. His research interests are in applied microeconomics including applications in urban economics and development economics. His research has been published and/or is forthcoming in leading academic such as Review of Economics and Statistics, International Economic Review, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, and Journal of Housing Economics. He currently serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of Regional Science. Paul received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Virginia in 2006.

Klaus Desmet

Altshuler Professor of Cities, Regions and Globalization, Southern Methodist University

Klaus Desmet is the Altshuler Professor of Cities, Regions and Globalization at Southern Methodist University and a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research. He holds an MSc in business and engineering from the Université catholique de Louvain and a PhD in economics from Stanford University. His research focuses on regional economics, international trade, economic growth and diversity. His work has appeared in journals such as the American Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Theory and the Journal of Development Economics.

Walker Hanlon

Assistant Professor at UCLA

Walker Hanlon is an Assistant Professor at UCLA, a Faculty Research Fellow at the NBER, and a Research Associate at the California Center for Population Research. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2012. He is currently pursuing two main lines of research. The first seeks to better understanding the forces driving innovation and economic growth over the long term using novel historical data sources. Much of his work in this area takes advantage of the economic shock to the British economy causes by the U.S. Civil War. Using this event, he explores how the sudden shortage in cotton caused by the U.S. Civil War on innovation in the British cotton textile industry, and whether the temporary recession in cotton textile cities had a long-term impact on the trajectory of city growth. His second line of research looks at the long-run impact of pollution on urban economies, with a particular focus on industrial pollution linked to coal use in the cities of 19th century Britain. In this line of research, he investigates both the health effects of pollution, as well as the impact of pollution on long-run city growth and population sorting.

Shareen Joshi

Assistant Professor of International Development, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service

Shareen Joshi is Assistant Professor of International Development at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Non-Residential Research Fellow in Quantitative Research at ICRW. She has a PhD in Economics from Yale University and an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Economics from Reed College in Portland Oregon. Her research focuses on examining the impact of poverty-alleviation policies on the well-being of families. Much of her work has a strong focus on issues of gender and long-term investments in human capital. Recent work has explored the relationship between pollution and child mortality in India, the impact of India’s Janani Suraksha Yojana (Safe Motherhood) program on health-care provision in India, the impact of women’s self-help groups on women’s collective action and the long term consequences of a family planning programs in Bangladesh.

Guy Michaels

Associate Professor, London School of Economics

Guy Michaels is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a research associate at Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the LSE. He is also a research affiliate at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), an affiliate at the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and an external research associate at the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies (OxCarre). He also serves as a member of the editorial board of the Review of Economic Studies. His research interests include labor economics, economic development, and economic geography. His research focuses on urbanization, labor market inequality and resource-rich economies. He has received a B.Sc. in Mathematics, magna cum laude, from Tel-Aviv University in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006.

Adam Storeygard

Assistant Professor of Economics, Tufts University

Adam Storeygard joined Tufts after receiving his PhD from Brown University in 2012. His research interests are in development and urban economics, and particularly in urbanization, transportation, and the economic geography of sub-Saharan Africa. Before graduate school he worked at Columbia University developing and analyzing spatial datasets related to health and development. Professor Storeygard’s work has appeared in journals including the American Economic Review, Nature, and the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. His prior degrees are an A.B. in Physics from Harvard University and an M. Phil. in Environment and Development from Cambridge University.


08:30-9:00 AM Coffee and Registration

Opening Session

09:00-9:10 AM Welcoming Remarks: Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Director of Research, Development Economics, World Bank, and Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Director, Urban, Rural and Social Development, World Bank

9:10-9:50 AM Keynote Address 1Land-Use Regulation in India and China, Jan Brueckner, Professor of Economics, UC-Irvine

9:50-10:30 AM Keynote Address 2LDC Urban Climate Change Adaptation: Challenges and Opportunities, Matthew Kahn, Professor of Economics, UCLA

10:30-10:40 AM Closing Remarks: Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President & Chief Economist, World Bank

10:40-10:55 AM Coffee Break

Session One

Chair: Stephen Hammer, Manager, Climate Change Group, World Bank

DiscussantAntonio Bento (University of Southern California)

10:55-11:20 AM Managing Sustainable Urban Expansion: From Global Monitoring to Stakes in the Ground: Shlomo Angel (NYU Urbanization Project)

11:20-11:45 AM The Long-Term Economic Effect of High Temperatures: Evidence from Earnings Data in Ecuador: Paul Carrillo (GWU), joint with Ram Fishman (GWU) and Jason Russ (GWU)

11:45-12:10 PM Has India Improved Energy Efficiency?: Ejaz Ghani (World Bank), joint with Arti Grover (World Bank) and William Kerr (Harvard)

12:10-12:35 PM The Geography of Development: Evaluating Migration Restrictions and Coastal Flooding: Klaus Desmet (SMU), joint with David Krisztian Nagy (Princeton) and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg (Princeton)

12:35-12:50 PM Discussant and Q&A

12:50-1:30 PM Lunch

Session Two

Chair: Sameh Wahba, Practice Manager, Urban, Rural and Social Development (World Bank)

Discussant: Gilles Duranton (Wharton Business School)

1:30-1:55 PM Urbanization and Economic Development: Paul Romer (NYU Urbanization Project)

1:55-2:20 PM The Heterogeneous Effects of Transportation Infrastructure: Evidence from Sub-Sahara Africa: Adam Storeygard (Tufts), joint with Remi Jedwab (GWU)

2:20-2:45 PM Urban Spatial Structures and Urban Sustainability: Alain Bertaud (NYU Urbanization Project)

2:45-3:00 PM Discussant and Q&A

3:00-3:15 PM Coffee Break

Session Three

Chair: Michael Toman, Manager, Environment and Energy Team, Development Research Group, World Bank

DiscussantSomik Lall, Lead Urban Economist, Urban, Rural and Social Development, World Bank

3:15-3:40 PM Negative Externalities of Industrialization: Evidence on Pollution and Child Health in India: Shareen Joshi (Georgetown), joint with Toan Do (World Bank) and Samuel Stolper (Harvard University)

3:40-4:05 PM Endogenous City Disamenities: Lessons from Industrial Pollution in 19th Century Britain: Walker Hanlon (UCLA), joint with Yuan Tian (UCLA)

4:05-4:30 PM Flooded Cities: Guy Michaels (LSE), joint with Adriana Kocornik-Mina (LSE), Tom McDermott (LSE) and Ferdinand Rauch (Oxford)

4:30-4:45 PM Discussant and Q&A

4:45-5:00 PM Coffee Break

Closing Plenary and Cocktail Reception

5:00-6:00 PM Sustainable Urbanization, Round Table: Marianne Fay (World Bank), Gilles Duranton (Wharton), Danny Leipziger (Growth Dialogue), Michael Cohen (Milano School of International Affairs)

6:30-8:00 PM Cocktail reception and welcome speech by Institute for International Economic Policy Director, Stephen Smith, and Shahid Yusuf of the Growth Dialogue At the George Washington University, Lindner Commons Room (6th Floor) of the Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E St. N.W. (at the intersection of E and 19th Streets, on E Street), Washington, DC

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