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Records of the Office of the Chief Economist
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Records of the Office of the Chief Economist

  • WB IBRD/IDA DEC
  • Fondo
  • 1946 - 2003 (predominant 1972 - 1993)
  • 1946 - 2003 (predominant 1972 - 1993)

Records created by the Office of the Vice President (later Senior Vice President), Development Economics and Chief Economist (DECVP) comprise the bulk of the records in Fonds 14. Prior to the creation of DECVP in 1987, responsibility for directing economic research to provide insights into the development process rested with the persons serving as the Economic Adviser to the President in the 1960s and early 1970s, and later with the offices of the Vice President, Development Policy (VPD) and the Vice President, Economics and Research Staff (VPERS) whose records are part of this fonds. Files for both approved and rejected research projects in planning and development policy, population and human resources, industry and trade, and sector studies that were maintained in the offices of VPD, VPERS, and DECVP are included in this fonds.

This fonds also contains a small volume of records of the Bank's Economic Development Institute and records of the Bank's representatives to international organizations concerned with the development process: the Berne Union, the Paris Club, and U.N. organizations at Geneva, Switzerland. Also included are records of economist Bela Belassa who served from September 1966 to May 1991 as consultant to the Economic Advisers to the President, VPD, VPERS, and DECVP.

The following officials served during the period 1964 to 2003 in predecessor organizations or positions whose functions became part of DECVP in the 1987 Bank reorganization and as DECVP following that reorganization:

Economic Advisers

  • Irving Friedman: 1964 - 1970

  • Hollis B. Chenery: 1970 - 1972

Vice President, Development Policy (VPD)

  • Hollis B. Chenery: November 1972 - February 1982

Vice President, Economics and Research Staff (VPERS)

  • Hollis B. Chenery: February 1982 - August 1982

  • Anne Krueger: August 1982 - December 1986

  • Benjamin B. King (Acting): January 1987 - May 1987

Vice President and Chief Economist (DECVP)

  • Stanley Fischer: 1988 - 1990

  • Lawrence Summers: 1991 - 1993

  • Michael Bruno: 1993- 1996

  • Joseph E. Stiglitz: 1997 - 2000

  • Sir Nicholas H. Stern: 2000 - 2003.

Office of the Chief Economist

Records of the Office of the Vice President, Development Policy (VPD) and the Development Policy Staff

Sub-fonds consists of records created in the Development Policy Vice Presidency (VPD). Many of the records were created by the Director, Development Policy; these relate to the Development Committee; the Policy Review Committee, and commodity policy work in the department. Other records in this sub-fonds relate to specific research projects and, generally, the World Bank's research program. Also included are records related to the external General Research Advisory Panel (GRAP). Correspondence and other records of the Development Policy Staff, Departments, and Divisions are also included in this sub-fonds.

Berne Union Files Maintained by Development Finance Services, Economic Program Department

The International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers (Berne Union) was formed in 1934 with members from France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Its purpose was to foster international acceptance of sound principles of export credit insurance; to establish and maintain discipline in terms of credit for international trade; to maintain sound principles of foreign investment insurance; to encourage a favorable investment climate; and to exchange information, assistance, expertise, and advice in relation to the commercial and political risks associated with export credit and investment insurance.

The January 1965 to January 1970 files cover the period when Andr Nespoulous-Neuville served as a World Bank observer to Berne Union Extraordinary General Meetings held in January and Annual General Meetings usually held in May of the same year. Most meeting files for the period include correspondence regarding meeting arrangements, provisional and final programs and lists of participants, lists of countries to be reviewed at the meetings, press releases (press notices), minutes of the meetings provided by the Berne Union Secretary-General, and the observer's Back-to-Office reports. Some of Nespoulous-Neuville's reports and other correspondence regarding Berne Union are addressed to the President of the Bank, the Director and Associate Director of the Development Services Department, and the Director, Development Finance Services where he was on staff.

The file for the 20 - 25 May 1967 Annual General Meeting in Wiesbaden contains a copy of a statement made by Nespoulous-Neuville at the meeting on the World Bank's Staff Study of Supplier' Credits from Industrialized to Developing Countries. The file for the 16 - 20 January 1967 meeting in Meg?ve includes a copy of a January 26, 1967 letter from Nespoulous-Neuville to the Secretary-General of Berne Union informing him that the Berne Union President had agreed at the meeting to send the World Bank all documents of general interest to the Bank. Most of the files dated after this letter usually include statistical data and other Berne Union documents not previously distributed to the Bank. The file for the London meeting, June 4-9, 1968 is the first to include a letter of invitation to the observer to participate in country review discussions at the meetings.

Nespoulous-Neuville left Development Finances Services before the May 1970 Annual General Meeting and was succeeded as a Bank observer at that meeting by Ugo Sachetti, the Director, Development Finance Services, which became the International Finance Division in the January 15, 1971 Bank reorganization. Sachetti served as observer through the May 1971 Annual General Meeting held in Washington, DC. Among topics discussed at that meeting were the responses to a questionnaire regarding the availability of export credit insurance to Ghana. Some responses are part of the file for that meeting.

Correspondence and Files Created for Research Projects in Support of Operations (Operations Policy Files)

The series consists of correspondence of Departments and of other organizational units of the Development Policy Staff (DPS), Central Projects Staff (CPS), and the Regional Offices primarily with the Vice President, Development Policy (VPD), the Director, Development Policy, and the DPS Research Adviser concerning research projects in support of operations. Most of these projects were funded through the Bank's External Research Budget beginning in 1972, but the series also includes correspondence relatingto research funded through Department resources. The remainder of the series consists of: research project files, 1972 - 1974 and sector research files, 1975 - 1977.

The research correspondence for the 1972 - 1974 period includes: research proposals forwarded by DPS, CPS, and Regional Office departments to the Research Committee; reports of reviews of research proposals by Research Committee review panels; memos concerning funding estimates for approved research projects; lists of projects requiring funding submitted by the Departments; research project status reports; correspondence of VPD, Bank Departments, and Regional Offices with outside consultants conducting research for approved projects; Terms of Reference (TOR); Back - to - Office Reports (BTOs) for missions associated with research projects; and research proposals from outside researchers and multi-national organizations and responses to these proposals. Also with the 1972 - 1974 correspondence is a copy of the pamphlet World Bank Research Program - Policies and Procedures.

Found with the 1972 - 1974 correspondence are reports prepared in 1973 at the request of Ernest Stern, (Director, Development Policy), which provided information for the first comprehensive report on the Bank's external research program in 1973. Among these reports is a 28 September 1973 status report prepared by the Director, Policy Planning and Program Review Department, DPS of 58 policy papers underway and planned for FY 1974 - FY 1975 and policy papers added, completed, and dropped. A November 30, 1973 update of this report is also in the files. Also among the 1972 - 1974 correspondence are copies of letters and other correspondence concerning the Task Force on Education and Development (ECIEL) and other research issues coming out of the conference on social research held at Bellagio, Italy in February 1974 and co-sponsored by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, the Bank, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID). Filed at the end of the correspondence for 1972 - 1974 are project files relating to various topics including anthropology, export promotion and preference, growth potential of iron ore from developing countries, and urban transport and the automobile.

The research correspondence for 1975 - 1977, while similar in content to the earlier 1972 - 1974 correspondence, includes for the first time copies of mostly administrative correspondence of the Secretary to the Research Committee, Orville F. Grimes, Jr., including copies of Research Committee review panel announcements and minutes of Research Committee meetings. The 1975 - 1977 correspondence also includes Grimes' memos to supervisors of external research projects requesting input for the Abstracts of Current Studies booklet issued annually; copies of revisions of procedures for preparation and submissions of research proposals and informal guidelines for panel review of proposals issued by the Research Adviser; a copy of a bibliography on foreign aid prepared in VPD and furnished to the Executive Directors (EDS) on 19 March 1976 covering publications dated from 1968 to 1975; drafts of sections of the Annual Report on Research forwarded for comment by VPD; correspondence concerning the formation in 1977 of the Research Advisory Panel on Income Distribution and Employment (RAPIDE), including an informal history of the origins of the Research Committee prepared by Grimes (10 October 1972); and a report prepared at VPD's request by the Chief Economist, Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office, concerning prospective research in country analysis and identification of areas justifying increased external funding or internal staff time.

Immediately following the research correspondence, 1975 - 1977 are three folders, apparently created by Grimes, which contain copies of grey cover annual reports of the World Bank Research Program for 30 December 1975, 8 January 1975, and 13 January 1977, and an annotated draft of the annual report for 1978. A folder on cotton research precedes the 1975-1977 sector research project files which are similar in content to the earlier (1972 - 1974) research project files. The kinds of documents found in the three 1975-1977 research study files at the end of the series (Kenya Socio-Economic Impact, Private Sector Development Study, Socio-Economic Impact Study) are similar to those found in the earlier research project files.

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