2017: Building or Rebuilding Cities for Growth

This conference is hosted by the Institute for International Economic Policy, the World Bank, and the International Growth Centre Cities Program, bringing together academics and practitioners to discuss the sustainable urbanization of developing countries.

One of the great challenge of 21st century cities in developing countries is that they must fulfill the requirements of connectivity in production for businesses and address the negative externalities for consumers of density with extremely limited financial resources and public capacity. This raises the following questions: What national policies strengthen and weaken developing world cities, and what infrastructure investments deliver the largest growth benefits? In particular, the aim of this conference will be to reflect upon how cities in developing countries should focus their efforts on improving their land and housing sector (see Session 1: Land), their transportation networks (see Session 2: Transportation) or their sanitation infrastructure (see Session 3: Public Services). In other words, how can we build, or rebuild, cities in the future in order to promote economic growth and reduce poverty?

Friday, September 8, 2017

8:30 a.m - 5:30 p.m.

Cocktail Reception at 6:00 p.m.

Preston Auditorium

The World Bank

1818 H Street NW

Washington, D.C., 20433

Rémi Jedwab

Assistant Professor of Economics
Rémi Jedwab is an assistant professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Elliott School and the Department of Economics of George Washington University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the Paris School of Economics. He was also a visiting Ph.D. student at the London School of Economics for three years. Professor Jedwab's main field of research is urban economics, though his work also has strong development economics, public economics/political economy and economic history themes. Some of the issues he has studied include urbanization and structural transformation, the economic effects of transportation infrastructure, and agricultural and economic development in Africa. His research has been published in the American Economic Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Economic Journal and the Journal of Economic Growth. Recently, Professor Jedwab research areas have included the phenomenon of urbanization without economic growth, and his research has been highlighted by The Atlantic's CityLab and the Boston Globe.

Edward Glaeser

Professor of International Business, GWU and Managing Director, The Growth Dialogue
Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1992. He regularly teaches microeconomics theory, and occasionally urban and public economics. He has served as Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. He has published dozens of papers on cities economic growth, law, and economics. In particular, his work has focused on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1992.

Harris Selod

Senior Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank
Harris Selod is a Senior Economist with the Development Research Group of the World Bank in Washington, DC. His current research focuses on urban development, including issues related to transport and land use, as well as land tenure, land markets and the political economy of the land sector in developing countries, with a specific interest in West Africa.

Over the past years, he has held various positions within the World Bank, including as an invited Visiting Scholar, as a land policy expert seconded by the government of France, and as staff, and was the chair of the World Bank's Land Policy and Administration thematic group (2011-2013). Prior to joining the World Bank in 2007, he was a researcher at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research and an Associate Professor at the Paris School of Economics (where he taught microeconomic theory and urban studies). He also taught economics at various other institutions in France, including the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Economique (ENSAE).


    Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, World Bank

    Dr. Paul Romer took office as the World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President in October, 2016. Romer is on leave from his position as University Professor at New York University. His initial interest in technological progress led to research on topics ranging from an abstract analysis of how the economics of ideas differs from the economics of objects to practical suggestions about how to improve science and technology policy. More recently, his research on catch-up growth in low- and middle-income countries has emphasized the importance of government policies that encourage orderly urban expansion. Before NYU, Romer taught at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and while there, also started Aplia, an education technology company dedicated to increasing student effort. Romer has also variously taught economics at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, and the University of Rochester.


    Professor of Economics, George Washington University, and International Institute for Economic Policy

    Maggie Xiaoyang Chen is the Director of the Institute for International Economic Policy and Professor of Economics and International Affairs at George Washington University. Professor Chen's areas of research expertise include foreign direct investment, international trade, and regional trade agreements and her work has been published extensively in academic journals. She has worked as an economist in the research department of the World Bank, a consultant for various divisions of the World Bank and the International Finance Cooperation, and a trade policy advisor at the U.S. congressional Budget Office leading policy analyses on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. She has also held visiting professor positions in various universities including Boston College and University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China and is a co-editor of the Economic Inquiry. Professor Chen received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her B.A. in Economics from Beijing Normal University.

    Chief Economist, Middle East and North Africa

    Shanta Devarajan is the Chief Economist of the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Region. Since joining the World Bank in 1991, he has been a Principal Economist and Research Manager for Public Economics in the Development Research Group, and the Chief Economist of the Human Development Network, the South Asia Region and Africa Region. He was the director of the World Development Report 2004, Making Services Work for Poor People. Before 1991, he was on the faculty of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The author or co-author of over 100 publications, Mr. Devarajan’s research covers public economics, trade policy, natural resources and the environment, and general equilibrium modeling of developing countries. Born in Sri Lanka, Mr. Devarajan received his B.A. in mathematics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Jennifer Semakula Musisi
    Executive Director, Kampala Capital City Authority

    Jennifer Semakula-Musisi is the first Executive Director of the Kampala Capital City Authority that was established to administer Uganda’s Capital City-Kampala on behalf of the Central Government. Over the past six Years, Jennifer has headed the transformation of the City and initiated a number of activities that have enhanced efficiency in services delivery and paved way for the current steady Transformation of Kampala. The achievements over the period have become an admiration and a benchmark for many upcoming municipalities and Cities in East Africa and beyond. Jennifer is a lawyer by profession. She served as the Commissioner Legal Services and Board Affairs in Uganda Revenue Authority; and; she is an entrepreneur with several successful private businesses in Uganda.

    Michael Toman
    Research Manager, Environment and Energy Research Program, Development Research Group, The World Bank
    Michael Toman (Mike) is Lead Economist on Climate Change in the Development Research Group and Manager of the Energy and Environment Team. His current research interests include alternative energy resources, policies for responding to risks of climate change catastrophes, timing of investments for greenhouse gas reduction, and mechanisms for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions through reduced deforestation. During his career Mike has done extensive research on climate change economics and policy, energy markets and policy, environmental policy instruments, and approaches to achieving sustainable development. Prior to joining the World Bank in fall 2008, he held senior analytical and management positions at RAND Corporation, Inter-American Development Bank, and Resources for the Future. His teaching experience includes adjunct positions at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the School of the Environment, University of California at Santa Barbara. Mike has a B.A. from Indiana University, a M.Sc. in applied mathematics from Brown University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Rochester.


    Professor of Real Estate, Wharton School

    Gilles Duranton is professor of real estate and holds the Dean’s Chair in Real Estate. He joined the Wharton School in 2012 after holding academic positions at the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics. A graduate from HEC Paris and Sorbonne University, he obtained his PhD in economics jointly from the London School of Economics and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales in Paris. His research focuses on urban and transportation issues. His empirical work is concerned with urban growth and the estimation of the costs and benefits of cities and clusters. He is also interested in the effects of transportation infrastructure on urban development and the evaluation of local policies. He also conducts theoretical research to gain insight about the distribution of city sizes, the skill composition, and sectoral patterns of activities in cities.

    Somik Lall
    Lead Economist, The World Bank

    Somik V. Lall is a Lead Economist for Urban Development at the World Bank's Urban Development and Resilience Unit in the Sustainable Development Network. He is the lead author of a World Bank report on urbanization "Planning, Connecting, and Financing Cities Now: Priorities for City Leaders." He was a core team member of the 2009 World Development Report "Reshaping Economic Geography", and recently Senior Economic Counsellor to the Indian Prime Minister's National Transport Development Policy Committee. Somik currently leads a World Bank program on the Urbanization Reviews, which provides diagnostic tools and a policy framework for policymakers to manage rapid urbanization and city development. His research interests span urban and spatial economics, infrastructure development, and public finance. He has over 40 publications featuring in peer reviewed journals, edited volumes, and working papers. Somik holds a bachelors degree in engineering, masters in city planning, and doctorate in economics and public policy.

    Daniel da Mata

    Daniel Da Mata is a Tenured Researcher at the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea). He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Cambridge. Since joining Ipea in 2004, he has held several positions at the institute, including Head of Urban Studies and Head of Quantitative Research Division. His research on Urban, Public and Development Economics has been published in peer reviewed journals and book chapters. He has recently won the BMZ/GIZ Public Policy Award and the European Regional Science Association EPAINOS Award.

    Matthew Turner
    Professor of Economics, Brown University

    Matthew Turner is a Professor of Economics at Brown University. He regularly teaches courses in urban and environmental economics, and occasionally, microeconomic theory. He is broadly interested in environmental and urban policy and his recent research focuses on the economics of land use and transportation. Professor Turner holds a Ph. D. in economics from Brown University and is a Co-Editor of the Journal of Urban Economics. His research appears in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economic Studies and Econometrica, and is regularly featured in the popular press.

    Anthony Venables
    Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies
    Tony Venables CBE is Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford where he also directs the Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies and a programme of research on urbanisation in developing economies. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Econometric Society. Former positions include Chief Economist at the UK Department for International Development, professor at the London School of Economics, research manager of the trade research group in the World Bank, and advisor to the UK Treasury. He has published extensively in the areas of international trade, spatial economics, and natural resources, including work on trade and imperfect competition, economic integration, multinational firms, and economic geography.


    Alain Bertaud
    Adjunct Professor, Marron Institute
    Alain Bertaud is an Adjunct Professor at the Marron Institute and a senior research scholar at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project. At the moment, he is writing a book about urban planning that is tentatively titled Order Without Design. Bertaud previously held the position of principal urban planner at the World Bank. After retiring from the Bank in 1999, he worked as an independent consultant. Prior to joining the World Bank he worked as a resident urban planner in a number of cities around the world: Bangkok, San Salvador (El Salvador), Port au Prince (Haiti), Sana’a (Yemen), New York, Paris, Tlemcen (Algeria), and Chandigarh (India).

    Robert Buckley
    Affiliated Scholar, Urban Institute

    Bob Buckley is an Affiliated Scholar at the Urban Institute. He was Managing Director at the Rockefeller Foundation, Advisor at the World Bank, and Senior Fellow at the New School. He has written widely on urbanization and development in both the popular press and academic journals, and has helped prepare projects in a variety of places.

08:30-9:00 a.m. Coffee and Registration

Opening Session: Urban Governance
9:00-10:45 a.m.

Welcoming Remarks
Shantayanan Devarajan, Chief Economist, Middle Easte and North Africa region, The World Bank

William Maloney, Chief Economist, Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions, The World Bank

Edward Glaeser, Professor of Economics, Harvard and IGC
Jennifer Musisi, Executive Director, Kampala Capital City Authority, Uganda
Paul Romer, Chief Economist and Vice-President, The World Bank

10:45-11:00 a.m. Coffee Break

Session One: Land
11:00-12:30 p.m.

Mini Keynote: Land in the Urban Development Agenda
Harris Selod, Development Research Group, The World Bank

Paper 1.1 Building the City: Sunk capital, sequencing, and institutional frictions
Anthony Venables (University of Oxford), joint with Vernon Henderson (LSE) and Tanner Regan (LSE)

Paper 1.2 On the Determinants of Slum Formation
Daniel da Mata (IPEA), joint with Tiago Cavalcanti, University of Cambridge) and Marcelo Santos (IIER)

Anna Wellenstein, Director, Urban, Rural and Social Development, The World Bank

Alain Bertaud, NYU Urbanization Project

12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch

Keynote Address: Cities, Growth, and Planning
Paul Romer, Chief Economist and Vice-President, The World Bank
1:30-2:15 p.m.

Shantayanan Devarajan, Chief Economist, MENA region, The World Bank

Session Two: Transportation
2:15-3:45 p.m.

Mini Keynote: Transport Infrastructure in the Urban Development Agenda
Somik Lall, The World Bank

Paper 2.1 Congestion in Bogota
Gilles Duranton (Wharton Business School)

Paper 2.2 Subways and Urban Air Pollution
Matthew Turner (Brown University)

Mini Keynote: Urban Sanitation in the Urban Development Agenda
Rémi Jedwab (George Washington University)

Marianne Fay, Chief Economist, Sustainable Development Vice-Presidency, The World Bank

Leah Brooks, George Washington University

3:45-4:00 p.m. Coffee Break

Session Three: Public Services
4:00-5:30 p.m.

Mini keynote: Urban Sanitation in the Urban Development Agenda
Rémi Jedwab (George Washington University)

Paper 3.1 TBD

Paper 3.2 TBD

Michael Toman, Research Manager, Energy and Environment, Development Research Group, The World Bank

Robert Buckley

Cocktail Reception
6:00-7:30 p.m.

Welcome Speech
Maggie Chen, Director, Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University

At George Washington University, Lindner Commons Room (6th Floor) of the Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E St. N.W. (at the intersection of E and 19th Streets, on E Street), Washington, DC