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Lead Economist
VIJAYENDRA RAO is a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank and combines his training in economics with an interest in anthropology and social theory. He calls his approach to research, which blends economic and ethnographic methods to study the social and cultural dimensions of poverty, "participatory econometrics". He has published papers on a wide variety of topics using this interdisciplinary approach including dowries, domestic violence, sex worker behavior, festivals, and the political economy of village democracy. More recently he has been thinking about how incorporating a "cultural lens" into development theory and practice can help address problems of persistent poverty and has co-edited a volume, Culture and Public Action, on the topic published by Stanford University Press. An important theme in this effort is to evaluate and improve the quality of community based development, and to understand the process of democratic decentralization. Dr. Rao holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, and taught at the University of Michigan and Williams College before joining the World Bank. He serves on the editorial boards of Economic Development and Cultural Change and Journal of Development Studies.

The author's works below are drawn from the World Bank's institutional archives. You can also download other documents by this author.

World Bank working papers and publications

1 .Relief from usury : impact of a community-based microcredit program in rural India
2 .Who should be at the top of bottom-up development ? a case study of the national rural livelihoods mission in Rajasthan, India
3 .Deliberative democracy in India
4 .Oral democracy and women?s oratory competency in Indian village assemblies : a qualitative analysis
5 .Recasting culture to undo gender : a sociological analysis of Jeevika in rural Bihar, India
6 .The anatomy of failure : an ethnography of a randomized trial to deepen democracy in rural India
7 .Conducting ethical economic research: complications from the field
8 .Localizing development : does participation work?
9 .Can participation be induced ? some evidence from developing countries
10 .How and why does history matter for development policy ?
11 .Revisiting between-group inequality measurement : an application to the dynamics of caste inequality in two Indian villages
12 .Using mixed methods in monitoring and evaluation : experiences from international development
13 .Dignity through discourse : poverty and the culture of deliberation in Indian village democracies
14 .Is deliberation equitable ? evidence from transcripts of village meetings in south India
15 .The political economy of village sanitation in south India : capture or poor information ?
16 .Informe sobre el desarrollo mundial 2006 : Equidad y desarrollo
17 .World development report 2006 : equity and development
18 .World development report 2006 : equity and development
19 .World development report 2006 : equity and development
20 .World development report 2006 : equity and development
21 .Governance in the gullies : democratic responsiveness and leadership in Delhi's slums
22 .Symbolic public goods and the coordination of collective action : a comparison of local development in India and Indonesia
23 .Rapport sur le developpement dans le 2006 : equite et developpement
24 .The World Bank research observer 19 (1)
25 .Community-based (and driven) development : A critical review
26 .The social impact of social funds in Jamaica - a mixed-methods analysis of participation, targeting, and collective action in community-driven development
27 .Poverty and public celebrations in rural India
28 .Sex workers and the cost of safe sex - the compensating differential for condom use in Calcutta
29 .Terror as a bargaining instrument : a case study of dowry violence in rural India

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