Woolcock, Michael

Development Research Group
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Social development, Research methods, Institutions, Poverty, Community Driven Development, Governance, Conflict
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Last updated June 24, 2023
Michael Woolcock is the lead social scientist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank, where he has worked since 1998. For 14 of these years he has also taught (part-time) at Harvard Kennedy School, with periods of leave spent at the University of Cambridge (2002) and the University of Manchester (2007–09). In 2015-17 he also helped establish the World Bank’s first Knowledge and Research Hub, in Kuala Lumpur. His current research focuses on strategies for enhancing the effectiveness of policy implementation, extending work addressed in his recent book, Building State Capability: Evidence, Analysis, Action (with Matt Andrews and Lant Pritchett; Oxford University Press, 2017). Michael is a co-recipient of the American Sociological Association’s awards for best book (2012) and best article (2014) on economic development.
Citations 433 Scopus

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    Social Exclusion and Mobility in Brazil
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2008) Gacitúa Marió, Estanislao ; Woolcock, Michael
    This book examines issues related to reducing inequality in Brazil. As the volume's editors assert with authority, the current national political climate in Brazil provides an unprecedented space for discussing this topic. Among the several investigations that have looked at exclusion and social mobility in Brazil, very few have presented as much empirical evidence as the studies included in this volume. In addition to reviewing the pertinent literature, Social Exclusion and Mobility in Brazil examines the changing income dynamics among homogeneous groups over a 20-year period. The analysis points to factors-such as ethnicity, education, gender, occupation, and location-that affect the probability that a group will remain in the situation of poverty. The volume also examines Brazilians' perceptions of these circumstances and the cultural values that make coexistence possible given very high levels of inequality and low levels of mobility. It reveals that Brazilians expect the state-and only the state-to create mechanisms capable of transforming this situation. This volume presents a set of recommendations for discussion by citizens, academics, and policy makers. These topics include improving labor market equality and increasing access to assets; improving the social security system; supporting the formation of human capital, particularly among youth; reducing discrimination based on characteristics such as race and gender; and strengthening citizenship and participation.