|Nicholas H. Stern was the World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Development Economics from July 2000 to October 2003, when he joined the UK government as Second Permanent Secretary and Managing Director, Budget and Public Finances, and Head of the Government Economic Service. During his tenure at the Bank, Stern helped to shape the Bank's poverty reduction strategy through is advocacy for two ideas: empowering people and improving the investment climate. He articulated these ideas in A Strategy for Development, a collection of speeches during his first year as chief economist. These ideas also subsequently influenced two World Development Reports, Making Services Work for Poor People (WDR 2004), A Better Investment Climate for Everyone (WDR 2005).
Stern was an outspoken and effective advocate for poor people in developing countries, arguing that rich countries should increase development assistance and reform trade rules that make it harder for poor people to escape poverty. These ideas are set forth in A Case for Aid.
His criticism of rich countries' agricultural subsidies, escalating tariffs, and discriminatory non-tariff barriers contributed to the global debate on the Doha Agenda. These ideas, supported by Bank research on trade and development, were set forth in the annual Global Economic Prospects reports (GEP 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004) and other Bank studies prepared during his tenure.
From 1994 until late 1999, Mr. Stern was Chief Economist at European Bank for Reconstruction and Development where he was also Special Counselor to the President. Before 1994 his career was mostly in academic life. He was appointed to a Chair (subsequently the Sir John Hicks Chair in Economics) at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1986, and returned to the LSE as School Professor at the beginning of 2000. He was Chairman of the Suntory-Toyota Centre for Economics and Related Disciplines at the London School of Economics, from 1987 to 1993. He has taught and researched at many places including Oxford and Warwick universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, the Indian Statistical Institute in Bangalore and Delhi, and the People's University of China in Beijing.
His research and publications have focused on economic development and growth, economic theory, tax reform, public policy and the role of the state, economies in transition, and crime and criminal statistics. For more than 25 years he has been studying the economy and society of Palanpur, a village in northern India, where he lived for eight months in 1974-75. His most recent book is "Economic Development in Palanpur Over Five Decades (co-edited with Peter Lanjouw). Mr. Stern gained his BA from Cambridge and his doctorate from Oxford. He was elected to a Fellowship of the Econometric Society in 1978 (and is currently a Member of Council), to a Fellowship of the British Academy in July 1993, and to a Foreign Honorary Membership of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998. He has also served extensively as an economic advisor to businesses, governments and international institutions.