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Vijayendra Rao

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank
Dr. Vijayendra Rao is a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank. He integrates his training in economics with theories and methods from anthropology, sociology and political science to study the social, cultural, and political context of extreme poverty in developing countries. Dr. Rao has published in leading journals in Economics, and Development Studies, on subjects that include the rise in dowries in India, the social and economic context of domestic violence, the economics of public celebrations, sex work in Calcutta, and how to integrate economic and social theory to develop more effective public policy. He has co-edited Culture and Public Action, and History, Historians and Development Policy, and co-authored the 2006 World Development Report on Equity and Development. One stream of his current work examines the determinants of citizen engagement in poor societies, with a goal towards understanding how best to mobilize citizens to improve public services and alleviate poverty. Another line of work studies the inter-relationship between social and economic mobility in India. Jointly with Ghazala Mansuri, he is currently completing the World Bank's Policy Research Report on Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?