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 199 Scopus

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    The Promise of Integration: Opportunities in a Changing Global Economy
    (World Bank, Washington DC, 2023-04-04) Maloney, William ; Riera-Crichton, Daniel ; Ianchovichina, Elena Ivanova ; Vuletin, Guillermo ; Beylis, Guillermo ; Vuletin, Guillermo
    The Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region has proved to be relatively resilient in the face of increased debt stress, stubborn inflation, and uncertainty arising from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Income and employment have largely recovered from the pandemic, poverty has receded, and markets remain guardedly optimistic about the near future. However, global uncertainty is rising, including a recent wave of bank failures in the US and Europe. Strengthening resilience, both on the health and macroeconomic fronts, will be paramount. Progress remains pending in both vaccination coverage and health system preparedness, while the institutionality of macroeconomic policy in some countries is being questioned. The evolution of the global economy is providing two new areas of opportunity for the region: the trend toward nearshoring-moving production closer to the US and European markets-and the imperative to combat climate change, which is giving the region a new comparative advantage in sun, wind, hydro, and natural capital. Taking advantage of these will require greater integration into the global economy. Yet, paradoxically, in the face of these opportunities. LAC is becoming less integrated. Trade intensity has largely stagnated, and foreign direct investment (FDI) to most countries has declined. Beyond the long-term structural reforms needed to reduce systemic risk, raise the level and quality of education, invest in infrastructure, and ensure well-functioning financial markets, this report calls to preserve the reputational gains of the past 20 years in terms of macro stability and streamlining regulation dealing with customs and transport to lower the cost of doing business in the region. Export promotion agencies and investment promotion agencies can also help as they have proven track records. A comprehensive approach to both shorter- and longer-term reforms could move LAC toward a renewed and more dynamic engagement with the global economy.