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Vijayendra

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.

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