Senior Economist

Job #: req3067
Organization: World Bank
Sector: Private Sector Development
Grade: GG
Term Duration:  3 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: International Recruitment
Location: Washington, DC
Required Language(s): English
Preferred Language(s):  
Closing Date: 5/31/2019 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC

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Description

 

About the World Bank Group:
 
Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188-member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally. 
 
The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions and thirteen Global Practices to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.
 
The global development community is at an auspicious turning point in history. Thanks to the success of the past few decades and favorable economic growth, developing countries now have an unprecedented opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation. This is the vision of the WBG: to eradicate extreme poverty by reducing the number of people living on less than $1.90 a day to 3 percent by 2030, and promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40 percent in every country.
 
To achieve this vision, the WBG Board of Governors approved a strategy for the organization in 2013. This strategy leverages, for the first time, the combined strength of the WBG institutions and their unique ability to partner with the public and private sectors to deliver customized development solutions backed by finance, world class knowledge and convening services. The strategy has three components: (1) maximizing development impact by engaging country clients in identifying and tackling the most difficult development challenges; (2) promoting scaled-up partnerships that are strategically aligned with the goals; and (3) crowding in public and private resources, expertise and ideas.
 
The WBG’s EFI Practice Group work on private sector development promotes dynamic firms, well-functioning markets, and adequate sectoral and economy-wide policies to foster private investment, jobs and economic transformation. Most jobs are created by (private) firms which make investment and recruitment decisions on the basis of the market environment they operate in, and the challenges and opportunities they face. These can be industry-specific, location-specific, regional or global markets. 
 
Incentives of firms and market’s efficiency are in turn determined by the economic, regulatory and institutional environment at the country-level. EFI works on fostering sound microeconomic policies at the economy-wide level (business environment, factor markets, macro conditions), market-level (sectors like agribusiness, tourism or digital service), and firm-level (including SME policies and entrepreneurship).
 
THE MARKETS AND TECHNOLOGY UNIT (M&T)
 
The M&T unit focuses on supporting regional operations, advisory projects and analytics, as well as developing global knowledge and global engagements on policies, interventions and technological disruptions that affect market structures and the functioning of markets. This unit’s primary focus is two-pronged: first to develop a market efficiency lens to our industry-specific and sectors work, to embed existing approaches (value chain analysis, market demand analysis, agribusiness and tourism offerings, etc.) in a rigorous market structure approach. Second, this unit focuses on new technological disruptions to markets, particularly in the digital economy space, to better assess policy implications of these technological changes on existing sectors and markets as well as understanding policy implications of new emerging market structures (e.g. digital platforms). These two streams of work are intimately related and focus on policies, instruments and institutions that affect market efficiency in sectors, particularly—but not exclusively—newly emerging (or disrupted) sectors by the digital revolution.
 
The responsibilities of the M&T unit include:
 
Provide intellectual leadership on (i) policies that foster well-functioning, contestable and inclusive markets and designing tools to identify and address sector-specific market failures and policy distortions to promote market efficiency, diversification and deeper value chains and (ii) understanding the effects of new digital business models and disruptive technologies on key industries, focusing on their impact on market structure, potential market failures in terms of access to markets, and the related policy and regulatory implications.
 
Support client countries by delivering lending operations and technical assistance projects in the M&T areas of expertise, in collaboration with FCI and other World Bank Group’s regional units; 
 
Support client countries strengthen value chain competitiveness, improve access to markets and upgrade domestic firms’ ability to link to national or global value chains.
 
Create global knowledge on frontier topics in the field of industrial organization (e.g., private sector digital platforms, creation of contestable and efficient markets, and industrial policy) through conferences, South-South learning events, and training courses for policymakers; 
 
Support World Bank Group senior management through briefings, guidance notes, and other inputs to inform and shape WBG institutional strategy on the M&T field. 
 
Roles & Responsibility:
 
• Among other things, the senior economist/specialist will:
 
• Develop knowledge pieces to understand market distortions and policy constraints affecting value chains across sectors, with an emphasis of the effects of new business models; mainstreaming broader micro-economic analysis of market dynamics in standard country economic analysis frameworks as well as indicators and statistics on the status of markets, value chains and disruptive technologies at the economy and industry level.
 
• Produce markets, value chains and sector deep-dive assessments of key markets, with an emphasis on services sectors (e.g. tourism) with actionable recommendations that support reforms.
 
• Provide intellectual leadership on the effects of new technologies, business models and digital platforms in improved access to markets, with emphasis on tourism and services sector. 
 
• Contribute to developing knowledge tools to support markets, industry and sectors analysis for Country Private Sector Diagnostics (CPSDs)
 
• Coordinate a variety of operational tasks, e.g. technical analyses, design of technical assistance interventions, advisory services and lending operations, participation in loan negotiations, in projects with Markets and Technology components across 2 regions based on client demand. 
 
• Provide guidance and assistance in country-specific policy work 
 
• Conduct policy dialogue and cultivate strategic relationships with client governments 
 
• Develop collaborative partnerships with internal and external and partners, particularly in the transformative technology space.
 
• Play an active role as member of the Global Markets& Technology core team and ensure optimal client response, knowledge generation and dissemination of best practice on competition policies across countries and regions.
 
• Lead missions and supervises major Markets & Technology projects, interacting with clients at the policy level, organizes and manages policy development initiatives and evaluation work in collaboration with other development agencies and donors.
 
• Coordinate and produce major/complex country economic, research and policy reports.
 
• Works independently and mentors more junior staff.

Selection Criteria

 

• Educational Degree: Master’s degree in Business, Economics or Applied Economics, Law and Economics. Ph.D in Economics (a plus) or Specialization in sectoral market development and industrial organization, is a plus.
• At least eight years of relevant professional work experience. 
• Experience in conducting market and industries assessments across different markets is a plus. Exposure to industrial organization analysis, business strategies and GVC segmentation topics related to sectoral work, such as tourism, digital markets, transport and logistics, retail or other fields is a plus.  
• Understanding of the institutional and political context and exposure to market and sector policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations. Exposure to market systems methodologies is a plus. 
• Strong analytical skills; and proven ability to write professionally. 
• Professional experience in developing countries including FCV is a plus.
• Strong organizational, research, and oral presentation skills.
• Ability to work effectively under pressure in a diverse, team-oriented environment, with minimal supervision.
• Hands-on and action-oriented approach and capacity to work independently.
• Computer skills: advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Excel, Word) required and new digital solutions is a plus.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
• Additional language skill desirable (Spanish, French, Portuguese ideally).
• Enthusiasm for, and commitment to development work.
• Willing to travel.
• Experience in developing countries and exposure to markets, value chains and sector deep-dive assessments of key markets with actionable recommendations that support reforms is a plus