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

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
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    Tracking Economic Activity in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis Using Nighttime Lights: The Case of Morocco
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-02) Roberts, Mark
    Over the past decade, nighttime lights have become a widely used proxy for measuring economic activity. This paper examines the potential for high frequency nighttime lights data to provide “near real-time” tracking of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in Morocco. At the national level, there exists a strong correlation between quarterly movements in Morocco’s overall nighttime light intensity and movements in its real GDP. This finding supports the use of lights data to track the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis at higher temporal frequencies and at the subnational level, for which GDP data are unavailable. Consistent with large economic impacts of the crisis, Morocco experienced a large drop in the overall intensity of its lights in March 2020, from which it has subsequently struggled to recover, following the country’s first COVID-19 case and the introduction of strict lockdown measures. At the subnational level, while all regions shared in March’s national decline in nighttime light intensity, Rabat – Salé – Kénitra, Tanger – Tetouan – Al Hoceima, and Fès – Meknès suffered much larger declines than others. Since then, the relative effects of the COVID-19 shock across regions have largely persisted. Overall, the results suggest that, at least for Morocco, changes in nighttime lights can help to detect the timing of changes in the direction of real GDP, but caution is needed in using lights data to derive precise quantitative estimates of changes in real GDP.
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    Time to ACT: Realizing Indonesia's Urban Potential
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2019-10-03) Roberts, Mark ; Gil Sander, Frederico ; Tiwari, Sailesh ; Roberts, Mark ; Gil Sander, Frederico ; Tiwari, Sailesh
    In over 70 years since its independence, Indonesia has been transformed by urbanization, and within the next quarter of a century, its transition to an urban society will be almost complete. While urbanization has produced considerable benefits for Indonesians, urbanization has the potential to deliver more prosperity, inclusiveness and livability. Time to ACT: Realizing Indonesia's Urban Potential explores the extent to which urbanization in Indonesia has delivered in terms of prosperity, inclusiveness, and livability, and the fundamental reforms that can help the country realize its urban potential. In doing so, the report introduces a new policy framework - the ACT framework - to guide policymaking. This framework emphasizes three policy principles - the need to Augment the provision and quality of infrastructure and basic services across urban and rural locations; the need to better Connect places and people with jobs and opportunities; and the need to Target lagging areas and marginalized groups through well-designed place-based policies, as well as thoughtful urban planning and design. Using this framework, the report provides policy recommendations differentiated by types of place, grounded in solid empirical evidence