KARLA HOFF is the Director of the World Development Report 2015 and a Senior Research Economist with the Development Research Group of the World Bank. Much of her work has focused on using the tools of economics to study social interactions. She has studied the effect of social aggregates such as neighborhoods, norms, conventions, and political constituencies on individual interests and behavior. She has published papers that explain how good people can form bad neighborhoods, how caste identity impedes performance, and how low trust can derail the emergence of the rule of law even in the case that it would make everyone better off. She won a Citation of Excellence for one of the top 50 papers from Emerald Management Review in 2009 for her co-authored paper, “Exiting a Lawless State.” She was a member of the MacArthur Research Network on Inequality and Economic Performance, 1996-2006. She coedited The Economics of Rural Organization and Poverty Traps. Her most recent work is an evaluation of the effect of a large-scale women’s empowerment project in India on attitudes towards women. Her work spans conceptual analysis and grassroots fieldwork. She has a BA in French from Wellesley College and a PhD in economics from Princeton. She taught English in the Peace Corps in the Ivory Coast.
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