Roberts, Mark

Urban, Resilience and Land Global Practice, The World Bank
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Urban economics, Urban development, Spatial economics, Regional development
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Urban, Resilience and Land Global Practice, The World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Mark Roberts is a senior urban economist with the Urban, Resilience and Land Global Practice of the World Bank, where his work currently focuses on the East Asia and Pacific region. Prior to joining the World Bank, Mark was a lecturer in spatial economics at the University of Cambridge and a fellow in economics at Murray Edwards College, a member college of the University of Cambridge. Mark has published widely in leading peer-reviewed journals on the topic of spatial economic development and is a former coeditor of the journal Spatial Economic Analysis. He is coauthor of the World Bank’s South Asia Region Flagship Report, Leveraging Urbanization in South Asia, and its Latin America and Caribbean Flagship Report, Raising the Bar for Productive Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. He has also worked on both the Europe and Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa regions, and acts as an advisor to Bank teams working on the analysis of processes of urban and spatial development. A native of the United Kingdom, Mark holds a PhD in land economy and an MA in economics from the University of Cambridge as well as an MS in economics from Warwick University.
Citations 6 Scopus

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    When the Lights Go Out: The Economic Impacts of Covid-19 on Cities Globally
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-09) Khan, Amjad Muhammad ; Park, Hogeun ; Roberts, Mark ; Wibisana, Putu Sanjiwacika
    This paper uses high-frequency nighttime time lights data to estimate the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis on economic activity during the first year of the pandemic for a global sample of 2,800 cities, covering a total population of 2.5 billion people. Activity is found to be negatively affected by both the spread of the virus and the imposition of nonpharmaceutical interventions, but the negative impacts of the spread are large compared to those of nonpharmaceutical interventions. Large differences in city trajectories are also observed. Cities in low- and middle-income countries faced a significantly larger overall loss of economic activity compared to those in high-income countries. Additionally, cities with higher population densities are found to be more resilient in the face of the global shock as compared to less dense ones, but this difference is only observed in low- and middle-income countries. Taken together, the findings suggest that the Covid-19 crisis gave rise to divergence in urban economic trajectories, both across and within countries.