Over 100 Economists Endorse Jose Antonio Ocampo for World Bank President

Kevin P. Gallagher and Stephany Griffith-Jones

For the first time ever developing countries have officially nominated candidates to serve at the President of the World Bank. Acknowledging that the process whereby the World Bank President is chosen by the United States lacks legitimacy, the World Bank has pledged that the next President will be chosen based on the merits. With Yu Yongding from the Chinese Academy of the Social Sciences, and Liqing Zhang from the Central University of Finance and Economics in China, the two of us circulated this petition endorsing Jose Antonio Ocampo for the World Bank Presidency. After just a few days from sending out our letter, you can see that we received overwhelming support from across the world, from renown academic economists, former Central Bank governors, and the heads of international agencies. It is our view, and the view of these economists, that Jose Antonio Ocampo is the best qualified to lead and reform the World Bank. We sent this letter and petition to the Executive Directors of the World Bank and post it here on the Triple Crisis blog.

Petition in support of World Bank presidential nominee Jose Antonio Ocampo

In relation to the forthcoming election of the President of the World Bank, in which you will play an important role, we wanted to express our strongest support for Jose Antonio Ocampo and provide some personal background about him which we hope will be of interest to you.

Jose Antonio Ocampo is outstandingly well suited for the job for three reasons. Firstly, he has had a distinguished career in his own country, where he was a highly successful and professional Minister of three portfolios: Finance, Agriculture and Planning. Therefore he has a deep understanding of policy challenges in developing and emerging countries.

Secondly, he has had an impressive international career as an international civil servant at the highest level. He was Executive Secretary of ECLAC for five years, the UN Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; later he became Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs at the UN for four years. In both institutions, his intellectual leadership and commitment to development led to significant improvements in these institutions contribution to development thinking and to development policy design.

Thirdly, he is respected as one of the foremost development economists in academia.  He is a Professor at Columbia University, where he works on research about a wide range of development and macroeconomic topics. He is held in high regard in Yale University where he obtained his doctorate. He has had close associations with different top universities around the world including Oxford and Cambridge as well as various ones in developing and emerging countries.

This wide ranging experience at the highest levels of leadership within the international system, as well as within an important developing country, makes him exceptionally well suited for the position of President at the World Bank. We hope you will consider his exceptional qualities in your important decision, as it is so important to have the best person for this crucial position.

We thank you for your leadership in development and wish you continued success.


We the undersigned economists, endorse the candidacy of Jose Antonio Ocampo for President of the World Bank.  Throughout his career Dr. Ocampo has managed and reformed national ministries of finance, agriculture and planning, and regional and global UN Agencies pertaining to economic development and social affairs.  Furthermore, he is one of the most noted development economists of our time.  It is our view that based his relative merits, Dr. Ocampo is the most suitable candidate for World Bank president.

Initial Signatories:
Yu Yongding, Academician, China Academy of Social Sciences, China
Kevin Gallagher, Professor, Global Development Policy Program, Boston University, USA
Stephany Griffith-Jones, Financial Markets Program Director, Initiative for Policy Dialogue, New York, USA; Former Professorial Fellow, IDS, Sussex, UK
Liqing Zhang, Professor and Dean, School of Finance, Central University of Finance and. Economics, Beijing, China

Additional Support:

  1. Dr. Y Venugopal Reddy, Emeritus Professor, University of Hyderabad, Former Governor – Reserve Bank of India, Hyderabad, India
  2. Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Chile
  3. Andrés Bianchi, Former Governor, Central Bank, Chile; Vice President, Credit and Investment Bank, Chile
  4. Manuel Marfán, Vice President, Central Bank of Chile; Former Director, Development Economics Division, UN-ECLAC; Former Minister of Finance, Chile
  5. Jerzy Osiatyński, Former Finance Minister, Poland; Professor of Economics, Institute of Economic Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
  6. Leonardo Villar, Appointed Executive Director of FEDESARROLLO, Colombia; Formerly, Chief Economist and Corporate Vicepresident at CAF – Development Bank of Latin America; Member of the Board of Directors of the Colombian Central Bank (Banco de la República)
  7. Roberto Zahler, Former Governor, Central Bank, Chile; President, Zahler & Co., Santiago, Chile
  8. Sir Tony Atkinson, Nuffield College, Oxford, UK
  9. Guillermo Calvo, Professor, Columbia University, New York, USA
  10. Ha-Joon Chang, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge, UK
  11. Giovanni Andrea Cornia – University of Florence, Italy; Former Director, UNU/WIDER; Former Director, UNICEF-IRC Economic & Social Research Programme
  12. Roberto Frenkel, CEDES, Argentina
  13. Gerry Helleiner, University of Toronto, Canada
  14. Sir Richard Jolly, Former Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations; Professor, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK
  15. Deepak Nayyar, Professor of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Distinguished University Professor of Economics. New School for Social Research, New York; Former Vice chancellor, University of Delhi, India
  16. Lance Taylor, Arnhold Prof of International Cooperation and Development, New School for Social Research, New York, USA
  17. Frances Stewart, University of Oxford, UK
  18. John Toye, Dept of international Development, Oxford University, UK
  19. Manuel Agosin, Dean, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Chile, Chile
  20. Yilmaz Akyuz, Chief Economist, South Centre, Switzerland; Former Director and Chief Economist, UNCTAD
  21. Jose Antonio Alonso, Professor of Applied Economics, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain
  22. Elmar Altvater, Free University Berlin, Germany
  23. Isabel Alvarez, Prof., Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
  24. Enzo Fabio Arcangeli, Retired Professor of Economics. Formerly: Instituto de Economia, Unicamp, Campinas; and Università di Padova, Italy
  25. Rudi von Arnim, University of Utah, USA.
  26. Ricardo Bielschowsky, Professor, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janiero, Brazil
  27. Patrick Bolton, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
  28. Dr Stephanie Blankenburg, SOAS, Lecturer, Department of Economics, UK
  29. Robert A. Blecker, Professor and Chair, Department of Economics, American University, Washington, DC, USA
  30. Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira, Emeritus Professor, Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil
  31. Ariel Buira, Former Deputy Governor, Bank of Mexico, Mexico
  32. Jorge Buzaglo, Honorary Associate Professor in Economics, Associate Researcher, University of Stockholm, Sweden
  33. Sara Calvo, Lecturer, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  34. Fernando J. Cardim de Carvalho, Professor of Economics, Institute of Economics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  35. Ana Célia Castro, Professor, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; Coordinator Graduate Program in Public Policies, Strategies and Development; Vice-coordinator Institute of Science and Technology in Public Policies, Strategies and Development; MINDS Director (Multidisciplinary Institute for Development and Strategies);IBRACH member (Institute for Brazil and China Studies); Brazil
  36. J. Celso Cardoso Jr., IPEA, Brasil
  37. Pedro Cezar Dutra Fonseca, Professor, Economics Department, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
  38. Guglielmo Chiodi,, Professor of Economics, Sapienza Università di Roma, Department of Social Sciences, Italy
  39. Christopher Cramer, Professor of the Political Economy of Development, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, UK
  40. Roy Culpeper, University of Ottawa and Carleton University
  41. Sulamis Dain, Full Professor, Institute of Social Medicine, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  42. Jane D’Arista, Political Economy Research Institute, USA
  43. Carmen Diana Deere, Distinguished Professor of Latin American Studies and Food & Resource Economics, University of Florida, USA
  44. Robert Devlin, Communiqué International, USA
  45. Zdenek Drabek, Charles University, Czech Republic
  46. Amitava Krishna Dutt, Professor of Economics and Political Science, Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame, USA. Country of citizenship: India
  47. Gerald Epstein, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA
  48. Prof. Giuseppe Fontana, Head of Economics, Professor of Monetary Economics. LUBS – University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  49. Ricardo Ffrench-Davis, Universidad de Chile, Chile
  50. Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Professor of Economics, Sciences-Po, Paris, France; LUISS, Rome Italy
  51. Carlos Fortin, Research Associate, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK
  52. Dr. Smitha Francis, Economic Research Foundation, New Delhi, India.
  53. Professor Dr. Ulrich Fritsche, Department Socioeconomics, University Hamburg, Germany
  54. Sarah Gammage, Economist, Chile
  55. Haihong Gao, Director, Research Center for International Finance, IWEP, CASS, Beijing, China
  56. Jayati Ghosh, Professor, J Nehru University, New Delhi, India
  57. Milena Gomez, Kopp Professor, Diplomatic Academy, Colombian Foreign Ministry, Bogota, Colombia
  58. Professor Ilene Grabel; Co-Director Graduate Program in Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration, Josef Korbel School of Int’l Studies, University of Denver, USA
  59. Barbara Harriss-White, Senior Research Fellow, Area Studies, Oxford University, Emeritus Fellow , Wolfson College, Oxford, Emeritus Professor of Development Studies, Oxford University, UK
  60. Prof. Dr. Rolph van der Hoeven, Professor of Employment and Development Economics, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University (EUR), The Hague, The Netherlands
  61. Stuart Holland, Coimbra Centre for Innovative Management, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, Portugal
  62. Raphael Kaplinsky, Professor of International Development, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  63. Celia Lessa Kerstenetzky, Full professor of Economics and Political Theory, Fluminense Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  64. Jan Kregel, Senior Scholar, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, Blithewood, Annandale-on-Hudson NY, USA
  65. Lena Lavinas, Professor of Welfare Economics, Institute of Economics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  66. Dic Lo, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, U.K.; and
    School of Economics, Renmin University of China, China.
  67. Denise Lobato Gentil, Professor, Institute of Economics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  68. Francisco Luiz C. Lopreato, State University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil
  69. John Loxley, Department of Economics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
  70. Ricardo de Medeiros Carneiro, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Instituto de Economia, Campinas – SP – Brasil
  71. Peter B. Meyer, President and Chief Economist, The E.P. Systems Group, Inc., United States
  72. John Miller, Professor of Economics, Wheaton College, Norton, MA, USA
  73. Alicia Puyana Mitis, Professor, FLACSO, Mexico
  74. Mritiunjoy Mohanty, Professor, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India
  75. Beatriz Nofal, Director International Women’s Forum (IWF), Director KPMG Argentina, Professor UCA (Catholic University Argentina), Former Secretary of -Investments, Under-Secretary of -Industry and Trade and Congress, Representative of Argentina.
  76. Akbar Noman, Senior Fellow, Initiative for Policy Dialogue, New York USA
  77. Carlos Octavio Ominami Pascual, Economist; Former Parliamentary member; Former Minister of State to President Patricio Aylwin, Chile
  78. Gabriel Palma, University Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge, UK. Country of origin: Chile
  79. Emilio Ontiveros, Professor of Business Administration, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain; President, International Financial Analysts
  80. Ernesto Ottone, Professor, College d’Etudes Mondiales /Maison des Sciences Humaines, París, France; Chair, Globalization and Democracy, Diego Portales University, Chile and San Martin National University, Argentina; Advisor, Club de Madrid
  81. Dimitri Papadimitriou, President, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, Blithewood, Annandale-on-Hudson NY, USA
  82. Leda Maria Paulani, University of São Paulo, Department of Economics, Full Professor, Brazil
  83. Ignacio Perrotini, Full time Professor of Economics, UNAM, Mexico
  84. Cosimo Perrotta, Former Professor of the History of Economic Thought at the University of Salento, Italy
  85. Avinash D. Persaud, London Business School & Gresham College, UK and Barbados
  86. Pascal Petit, CNRS-CEPN University of Paris Nord, France
  87. Vladimir Popov, Interregional Advisor, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), United Nations
  88. Gabriel Porcile, Economist – ECLAC – Division of Productivity and Management, Santiago, Chile; Professor, Department of Economics, Federal University of Parana, Brazil
  89. Antonio Prado, Deputy Executive Secretary, CEPAL, Brazil
  90. Codrina Rada, Assistant Professor of Economics, The University of Utah, USA
  91. Kunibert Raffer, Department of Economics, University of Vienna, Austria
  92. Martin Rapetti, Professor of Macroeconomics, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  93. Jorn Rattso, Professor of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  94. Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research, New York, USA
  95. Colin Richardson, Adjunct Professor of Economics, Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney, Australia
  96. Jaime Ros, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Kellogg Institute of International Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
  97. Zdzisław L. Sadowski, Emer. Professor of Development Economics, University of Warsaw, Poland; Honorary President of the Polish Economic Society
  98. Roger J Sandilands, Professor of Economics, University of Strathclyde, UK
  99. Claudio Sardoni, Professor of Economics, Department of Social Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
  100. Karl P. Sauvant, Senior Fellow, Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, Columbia University, NY, USA
  101. Rodney Schmidt, Vice-President, The North-South Institute, Ottawa, Canada
  102. Andrew Schrank, Professor of Political Science and Sociology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
  103. Mario Seccareccia, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada, and Editor, International Journal of Political Economy
  104. Stephanie Seguino, Professor of Economics, University of Vermont, USA
  105. Professor Paul Shaffer, Dept. of International Development Studies, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
  106. Anwar Shaikh, Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research, New York, NY, USA
  107. Peter Skott, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA
  108. Serena Sordi, Professor, University of Siena, Italy
  109. Irene van Staveren, Professor of Pluralist Development Economics, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Hague, The Netherlands
  110. Dr Servaas Storm, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  111. Osvaldo Sunkel, Full Member, Chilean Academy of Social Sciences, Politics and Ethics; Profesor,University of Chile; Former Professorial Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK; Chairman, Editorial Board, CEPAL Review
  112. Giuseppe Tattara, Economics Department, University of Venice, Italy
  113. Daniel Titelman, Chief, Development Studies Section, UN-ECLAC
  114. Victor Tokman, Presidential Advisor to President of Chile Ricardo Lagos; Assistant Director General, ILO; Regional Director for the Americas, Director of the Employment and Development Department and Director of Regional Employment Program LA and the Caribbean
  115. Andras Uthoff Botka, Director (s), Instituto de Administración de Salud de la Facultad de Economía y Negocios, University of Chile, Chile
  116. Gianni Vaggi, Full professor of Economics, University of Pavia, Italy
  117. Alessandro Vercelli, Professor, Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development, University of Siena
  118. K. Vela Velupillai, Professor of Economics, University of Trento, Trento, Italy; Senior Visiting Professor, Madras School of Economics, Chennai, India; Emeritus Professor, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
  119. Matías Vernengo, Associate Professor, University of Utah, USA
  120. Ulrich Volz, Senior Researcher, German Development Institute & Visiting Professor, School of Economics, Peking University, China
  121. Robert Wade, Professor of Political Economy and Development, Department of International Development (ID), London School of Economics, UK
  122. Thomas E. Weisskopf, Professor Emeritus of Economics and in the Residential College University of Michigan, USA
  123. Timothy A. Wise, USA, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University
  124. Pedro Paulo Zahluth Bastos, Head of the Economic Policy and Economic History Department, Economics Institute – State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil
  125. Prof. Stefano Zambelli, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italy

The Triple Crisis blog invites your comments. Please share your thoughts below.

30 Responses to “Over 100 Economists Endorse Jose Antonio Ocampo for World Bank President”

  1. MC says:

    This is incredibly impressive. If you add to these names the top 100 colombian economists who also sent two letters in support of Dr. Ocampo, as can be see on his website, there is no doubt that he is not only the candidate of the emerging economies but of the economists of the world. We are behind him because he is the most experienced and best prepared to bring the World Bank to the XXI century.

  2. A Citizen says:

    Thank you!!

  3. Bartosz B. says:

    I am not (yet) an economist, only an economics student, but you can add me to the list;-)

  4. Ebere says:

    Ngozi Okonjo Iwela comes with a better experience and a first hand understanding of the current situation at the world bank, I strongly suggest that she is given the position. Besides she is from the poorest continent where poverty and corruption are two major issues and her fight against both in the capacity of a supervising economy minister in her home country adds to her list of experiences that will enable her hit the ground running in delivery quality developmental programs in support of the the developing economies while helping the developed economies overcome huge debt crises.

  5. […] than either Okonjo-Iweala or Ocampo; certainly Kim has nothing like the intellectual weight of the petition in favor of Ocampo behind […]

  6. Per Kurowski says:

    Perhaps these days it could be more prudent not mentioning the endorsement of economists, who did little to nothing to prevent the crisis, and instead list the endorsement of 100 unemployed… that could be more significant

  7. Answermenow says:

    Mr Kurowski,

    Allow me the fair chance to ask you, now that we are speaking about being prudent:

    What was you contribution while in the WB that today there are still 3 billion people living under the poverty line?

    My understanding was that your direct mandate was to do something about it?

    Also, 40% of the world living under a dollar a day?

    And, and, and, in your somehow opportunistic sense of honesty, why is the member nation system a farce, and more than 70% of the world’s population is under the WB is in 2012 virtually handicapped in the joint effort toward the world’s future?

    Thanks a lot for your prudent reply.

  8. Otto says:

    This is impressive. A very distinguished line of economists. Wishing the best to Mr Ocampo.

  9. María Eugenia Garcés says:

    During many years developing countries have been awaiting such a reform. It is truly a blessing to count with Professor José Antonio Ocampo, and all of you the respectable thinkers advancing humanity above.

    María Eugenia Garcés

  10. Louis Lefeber says:

    As Founding Director (retired) of the Center for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), York University, Toronto,
    I would like to add my name as a supporter of Dr. Jose Ocampo for the Presidency of the World Bank.

  11. Odebode Oluyinka says:

    Permit me to bring to your notice, the fact that WB should, as one of it’s main objectives, assist growing the economies of poor nations that are strugling to stand.

    Could someone here please tell me how Ocampo intends to deal with this situation in the so called “third world” countries.

    The fairest of minds here would give it Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

  12. Jim Howe says:

    Ocampo can make a positive difference. It is time for this change.

  13. Angel Gz. Malaxetxebarria says:

    It would be difficult to dispute the professional and experience qualifications of Mr. Ocampo.But…he faces some facts that will conspire against his candidacy. Amogst them: he is a “latin”, what almost inmediately desqualifies him in the eyes of the “big brother”, whose direct or idirect intervention will, for sure, prevail at the end; second , he is a Colombian, a country that many – mainly ¡in the US- consider a problem-country for well known reasons; thirdly, the President of the Interamerican Development Bak happens to be also a Colombian. Peple may think that there would be too many Colombians in international development institutions.The other candidate comes from inside the establishment of the Bank, what means that she would not be able to contribute anything new to improve the many defficiencies of the institution (for which she may have been co-responsable); but, her country, not only corrupted and socially unstable, represents more powerfully the under developed world; lastly, for many gender hypocrites she offers the supreme atraction of being a woman….

  14. Martina says:

    Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is not only experienced to do the job, having served 25 years in the World Bank, she is also a woman of high relevant educational and professional qualifications. I sincerely believe that the world economy needs someone with her credentials to head the World Bank in these trying global economic times. The world economy will be better if she gets the job as she will operatate for both the developed economies (where she has worked in for several years) and the developing economies (one of which she comes from and currently serves as a top economy/finance Minister). Please put politics and sentiments aside and give her the job.

  15. […] whole more than 300 reknowned academic economists and researchers from Latin America, Colombia and across the world, together with members of the Colombian business community and the civil society, former Central […]

  16. […] Jose Antonio Ocampo. Last week, he and Triple Crisis blogger Stephany Griffith-Jones launched a petition signed by more than 125 economists endorsing Ocampo’s candidacy. Gallagher also published two […]

  17. nelson chalfun says:

    i also endorse professor ocampo’s candidacy.
    nelson chalfun, professor. institute of economics. university of rio de janeiro, brazil

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