New York University economics professor Paul Romer was appointed chief economist of the World Bank on Monday. The 60-year-old policy entrepreneur will succeed Kaushik Basu and take charge in September, reported Reuters.
Romer’s appointment comes at a time when the global economy is witnessing a slowdown after Britain voted to leave the European Union. Romer is known for his “endogenous growth theory” that says investment in human capital, ideas and technology are the major drivers of economic growth. This goes well with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s idea of transforming the institution into a “knowledge bank” that poor nations can tap to boost domestic growth. “We’re most excited about his deep commitment to tackling poverty and inequality and finding innovative solutions that we can take to scale,” said Jim Yong Kim.
According to Romer's theory, new ideas materialise as firms invest in physical capital or research and development, creating knowledge that spills over to the rest of the economy. He suggests that open economies, with institutions that encourage investment in physical and human capital, ought to do best, reported The Economist.
Romer completed his graduation in mathematics from the University of Chicago. He earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago after doing graduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Queens University.