Published on Voices

Economists Supply It on Demand

ImageThis is for anyone who ever found themselves frustrated by numbers -- myself included.
Right before college, I remember my parents asking me what degree I wanted to pursue. Vaguely, I answered “Anything without math.” Even during my post graduate studies, I consciously picked a degree with less mathematics in its curriculum. The irony is, I now work in the World Bank Group and numbers is its core language. But there is good news, not only for rookies like me, but for everyone – numbers can be fascinating, insightful and even fun.  

‘My Favorite Number,’ is a YouTube series that shows how digits can give us unique insight into global development and humanity. World Bank Group’s economists share their stories on their favorite numbers – demonstrating how their brilliance (and humor) reaffirm that numbers are vital to everyday life. The videos show us that economists are not just about numbers. They bring passion and personal perspectives to relevant issues around the world. 

The first installments were two videos featuring Rachel Kyte, Vice President and Special Envoy of Climate Change, and Kaushik Basu, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President at the World Bank [Related blog]

We are happy to present the most recent addition in the series that features World Bank’s Chief Economist for East Asia and Pacific, Bert Hofman. His favorite number is 7 -- the indicative growth target of China's 12th Five Year Plan.  Such a target would allow more balanced, sustainable growth, which is good for China and for the World.

Looking back, if my parents would ask me again what college degree I would pursue, would I say “Development Economics?” “Mathematics?” “Statistics?” Probably not. But now, at least I can say that I “see” the beauty of numbers. And I think that’s a great way to get me started.
Now, I’ve run the numbers and project at least 65 percent of you will hit play in 3…2…1…


For more videos, visit the World Bank YouTube Channel.


Pabsy Pabalan

Digital Engagement Officer and the Channel Manager of World Bank YouTube and Instagram

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