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World Bank taps prof

| 09 September 2004

The World Bank, a development bank that focuses on reducing poverty in low- and middle-income nations, has appointed Paul J. Gertler, a professor of economics at the Haas School of Business and the School of Public Health (SPH), as chief economist in its Human Development Network, effective August 23.

“I see my role as trying to move World Bank advice and assistance to developing countries to be based more on what we know works, and in those cases in which we don’t have evidence, to rigorously develop the evidence base through evaluation,” said Gertler.

Gertler’s research has focused on the link between health, education, and poverty. He has spent recent years studying the Mexican anti-poverty program PROGRESA, a conditional cash-transfer anti-poverty program that significantly reduced childhood illness, increased the health of babies and pregnant mothers among the Mexican participants, and indicated that proper health care can help end the poverty cycle among the poor.

In addition to his faculty ap-pointment at Haas, Gertler is executive director of the business school’s Graduate Program in Health Services Management and professor of health services finance at SPH. He joined the faculty in 1996 and will be on leave during his World Bank appointment.

He previously served as a senior economist with the RAND Corp., and as an assistant professor at Harvard University and SUNY Stony Brook. He has experience in consulting and policymaking with international agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations, and World Health Organization, as well as with governments and private corporations.