François Bourguignon retired as Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Development Economics in October 2007. He is succeeded by Justin Yifu Lin.
François Bourguignon's Legacy
Mr. Bourguignon is a specialist in the economics of development, public policy, economic growth, and income distribution and inequality. The 2006 World Development Report, produced under his guidance, drew attention to the important role of equity in development. Equity is now increasingly mainstreamed into the Bank’s work, and is an important part of Mr. Bourguignon’s legacy as Chief Economist.
This legacy also includes the World Bank Group’s Long-Term Strategic Exercise, which Mr. Bourguignon led in 2007, culminating in an October 2007 paper entitled "Meeting the Challenges of Global Development". The paper outlines four critical challenges that would be central to a World Bank Group strategy for global inclusiveness and sustainability: Sub- Saharan Africa, fragile states, inclusiveness among and within middle-income countries, and global public goods.
The World Bank’s Development IMpact Evaluation Initiative (DIME) was started under Mr. Bourguignon’s guidance. This initiative focuses on results assessment, and attempts to evaluate the development impact of World Bank projects across a broad range of critical themes—early childhood development, education service delivery programs, conditional cash transfers, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, among others.
Another significant contribution by Mr. Bourguignon was his commissioning of a comprehensive external evaluation (chaired by Angus Deaton of Princeton University) of World Bank research conducted between 1998 and 2005, and his efforts to ensure that such evaluation work is continued systematically in the institution.