Maloney, William

Office of the Chief Economist Latin America and the Caribbean Region
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Innovation, Labor Economics, Trade, Productivity, Private Sector Development, Financial Sector, Spatial economics
Office of the Chief Economist Latin America and the Caribbean Region
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Last updated October 3, 2023
William F. Maloney is Chief Economist for the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. Mr. Maloney, a U.S. national, joined the Bank in 1998 as Senior Economist for the Latin America and Caribbean Region. He held various positions including Lead Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America, Lead Economist in the Development Economics Research Group, Chief Economist for Trade and Competitiveness and Global Lead on Innovation and Productivity. He was most recently Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) Vice Presidency. From 2011 to 2014 he was Visiting Professor at the University of the Andes and worked closely with the Colombian government on innovation and firm upgrading issues. Mr. Maloney received his PhD in Economics from the University of California Berkeley (1990), his BA from Harvard University (1981), and studied at the University of the Andes in Bogota, Colombia (1982-83). His research activities and publications have focused on issues related to international trade and finance, developing country labor markets, and innovation and growth, including several flagship publications about Latin America and the Caribbean.He has published in academic journals on issues related to international trade and finance, developing country labor markets, and innovation and growth as well as several flagship publications of the Latin American division of the Bank, including Informality: Exit and Exclusion;  Natural Resources: Neither Curse nor Destiny and Lessons from NAFTA, Does What you Export Matter: In Search of Empirical Guidance for Industrial Policy. Most recently, he published The innovation paradox: Developing Country Capabilities the Unrealized Potential of Technological Catch-Up and Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture as part of the World Bank Productivity Project.  
Citations 182 Scopus

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    Latin America and the Caribbean Economic Review, October 2023 - Wired: Digital Connectivity for Inclusion and Growth
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-10-04) Beylis, Guillermo ; Maloney, William ; Vuletin, Guillermo ; Zambrano Riveros, Jorge Andres
    Latin America and the Caribbean continues to face adverse global headwinds: high interest rates, modest G-7 growth, soft commodity prices and uncertain prospects in China will all depress growth. Well-grounded policy responses have led to largely recovering employment and income losses from the pandemic and falling rates of inflation. However, the region faces the mutually reinforcing triple challenges of low growth, limited fiscal space, and citizen dissatisfaction. Expanding digital connectivity offers a possibility to make progress on all three fronts. To maximize the social benefits of connectivity as well as to ensure that it does not exacerbate spatial, educational, gender or racial inequalities, three challenges are important to address: first, expanding coverage to the remaining unconnected areas as well as improving the quality of service; second, increasing the productive use of existing infrastructure, and; third, as with any other infrastructure "hardware," investments in "software" - such as digital and traditional skills, managerial capabilities, supportive regulatory frameworks, and deeper financial markets are critical.
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    Industrial Policy, Information, and Government Capacity
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-05) Maloney, William F. ; Nayyar, Gaurav
    Governments are resource and bandwidth constrained, and hence need to prioritize productivity-enhancing policies. To do so requires information on the nature and magnitude of market failures on the one hand, and government’s capacity to redress them successfully on the other. The paper reviews perspectives on vertical (sectoral) and horizontal (factor markets, cluster) policies with an eye to both criteria. It first argues that the case for either cannot be made on the basis of the likelihood of successful implementation: for instance, educational and picking the winner types of policies both run the risks of capture and incompetent execution. However, the profession has been able to establish more convincing market failures for horizontal policies than for vertical policies. Most of the recent approaches to identifying failures around particular goods, the paper argues, are of limited help. Hence, for a given difficulty of execution, the former are generally to be preferred. A second critical message is that improving the quality of governance in terms of collecting information, coordination ability, and defending against capture is critical to successful implementation of productivity policies and should be central on the policy agenda.