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Karla Hoff

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Co-Director, World Development Report 2015
Karla Hoff is a Co-Director of the World Development Report 2015 on Mind and Culture and a Senior Research Economist in the World Bank's Development Economics Research Group. Much of her work focuses on using the tools of economics to study social interactions. She has studied the effect on individuals’ behavior of neighborhoods, political constituencies, and ideology. She has published papers in the American Economic Review that explain how good people can form bad neighborhoods, how productivity is sensitive to social setting, and how historical legacies influence the difficulty of establishing a rule of law. She won a Citation of Excellence for one of the top 50 papers from Emerald Management Review in 2009 for her co-authored paper, “Exiting a Lawless State.” She was a member of the MacArthur Research Network on Inequality and Economic Performance, 1996–2006. She coedited The Economics of Rural Organization and Poverty Traps. In current work, she is evaluating the effect of a large-scale women’s empowerment project in India on the bias against women. Her work spans conceptual analysis and grassroots fieldwork. She has a BA in French from Wellesley College and a PhD in economics from Princeton. She taught English in the Peace Corps in the Ivory Coast.