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

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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    Releasing Constraints to Growth or Pushing on a String? Policies and Performance of Mexican Micro-firms
    ( 2009) Fajnzylber, Pablo ; Maloney, William F. ; Montes-Rojas, Gabriel V.
    Using firm-level data from Mexico, this paper investigates the firm characteristics associated with participation in credit markets, access to training, tax payments, and membership in business associations. We find that firms which participate in these institutions exhibit significantly higher profits. Moreover, firms that borrow from formal or informal sources and those that pay taxes are significantly more likely to stay in business but firms that received credit exhibit lower rates of income growth. These results persist when firm characteristics that are arguably correlated with unobserved entrepreneurial ability are controlled for. Our findings suggest that the significant within-country differences in firm productivity observed in developing economies are due in part to market and government failures that limit the ability of micro-firms to reach their optimal sizes.
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    Foreign Informational Lobbying Can Enhance Tourism : Evidence from the Caribbean
    ( 2009) Gawande, Kishore ; Maloney, William ; Montes-Rojas, Gabriel
    There exist legal channels for informational lobbying of US policymakers by foreign principals. Foreign governments and private sector principals frequently and intensively use this institutional channel to lobby on trade and tourism issues. This paper empirically studies whether such lobbying effectively achieves its goal of trade promotion in the context of Caribbean tourism, and suggests the potential for using foreign lobbying as a vehicle for development. Panel data are used to explore and quantify the association between foreign lobbying by Caribbean principals and US tourist arrivals to Caribbean destinations. A variety of sensitivity analyses support the finding of a strong association. The policy implications are obvious and potentially important for developing countries.
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    In Search of the Missing Resource Curse
    ( 2008-10) Lederman, Daniel ; Maloney, William F.
    In "In Search of the Missing Resource Curse," Lederman and Maloney critically tackle the problem of whether the natural resource curse exists. The idea that countries rich in natural resources are "doomed" by the existence of their lucky endowment has been in the minds of economists for more than 200 years. Perhaps the most important empirical findings supporting the natural resource curse are the seminal contributions by Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew Warner, who consistently find that countries rich in natural resources tend to grow more slowly than their unendowed counterparts. Many have questioned this view, although the two most prominent critics have been Lederman and Maloney. In this paper, they argue that the channels through which the natural resource curse is most commonly thought to operate are not empirically relevant and most of them are theoretically questionable. The paper builds on earlier work to illustrate that the existing stylized fact of a curse is inconclusive at best. The authors use a better measure for resource intensity than what previous researchers have used and find no evidence of a curse. This is a thought-provoking and carefully crafted paper that convincingly argues against one of the strongest views supported by the conventional wisdom.