Documents & Reports

Vijayendra Rao

Lead Economist

VIJAYENDRA RAO is a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank and combines his training in economics with an interest in anthropology and social theory. He calls his approach to research, which blends economic and ethnographic methods to study the social and cultural dimensions of poverty, "participatory econometrics". He has published papers on a wide variety of topics using this interdisciplinary approach including dowries, domestic violence, sex worker behavior, festivals, and the political economy of village democracy. More recently he has been thinking about how incorporating a "cultural lens" into development theory and practice can help address problems of persistent poverty and has co-edited a volume, Culture and Public Action, on the topic published by Stanford University Press. An important theme in this effort is to evaluate and improve the quality of community based development, and to understand the process of democratic decentralization. Dr. Rao holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, and taught at the University of Michigan and Williams College before joining the World Bank. He serves on the editorial boards of Economic Development and Cultural Change and Journal of Development Studies.

The author's works below are drawn from the World Bank's institutional archives. You can also download other documents by this author.

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The anatomy of failure : an ethnography of a randomized trial to deepen democracy in rural India (English)

Programs that induce citizen participation to improve the quality of government at the local level are the subjects of large amounts of funding and intense debate. ... See More +

Policy Research Working Paper WPS6958 JUN 01, 2014

Ananthpur, Kripa; Malik, Kabir; Rao, Vijayendra

Conducting ethical economic research: complications from the field (English)

This essay discusses practical issues confronted when conducting surveys as well as designing appropriate field trials. First, it looks at the challenge of ensuring transparency while maintaining confidentiality. ... See More +

Policy Research Working Paper WPS6446 MAY 01, 2013

Alderman, Harold; Das, Jishnu; Rao, Vijayendra

Localizing development : does participation work? (English)

This new research report analyzes community development and decentralization projects, shows that such projects often fail to be sensitive to complex contexts, including social, political, historical and geographical realities, and fall short in terms of monitoring and evaluation systems, which hampers learning. ... See More +

Publication 73762 NOV 15, 2012

Mansuri, Ghazala; Rao, Vijayendra

Inequality in focus vol. 1 (no. 3) (English)

This Inequality in Focus newsletter includes the following headings: Community-driven development, participation, and inequality: what does the evidence say? ... See More +

Newsletter 76055 OCT 01, 2012

Bastagli, Francesca; Coady, David; Gupta, Sanjeev; Mansuri, Ghazala; Rao, Vijayendra Spanish, French

Inequality in focus vol. 1 (no. 3) (French)

This Inequality in Focus newsletter includes the following headings: Community-driven development, participation, and inequality: what does the evidence say? ... See More +

Newsletter 76055 OCT 01, 2012

Bastagli, Francesca; Coady, David; Gupta, Sanjeev; Mansuri, Ghazala; Rao, Vijayendra English, Spanish

Inequality in focus vol. 1 (no. 3) (Spanish)

This Inequality in Focus newsletter includes the following headings: Community-driven development, participation, and inequality: what does the evidence say? ... See More +

Newsletter 76055 OCT 01, 2012

Bastagli, Francesca; Coady, David; Gupta, Sanjeev; Mansuri, Ghazala; Rao, Vijayendra English, French

Can participation be induced ? some evidence from developing countries (English)

The World Bank has allocated close to $80 billion towards participatory development projects over the last decade. A comprehensive review of the evidence on the efficacy of the approach conducted by the authors for the forthcoming Policy Research Report, Localizing Development: Does Participation Work? ... See More +

Policy Research Working Paper WPS6139 JUL 01, 2012

Mansuri, Ghazala; Rao, Vijayendra

How and why does history matter for development policy ? (English)

The consensus among scholars and policymakers that "institutions matter" for development has led inexorably to a conclusion that "history matters," since institutions clearly form and evolve over time. ... See More +

Policy Research Working Paper WPS5425 SEP 01, 2010

Szreter, Simon; Rao, Vijayendra; Woolcock, Michael

Revisiting between-group inequality measurement : an application to the dynamics of caste inequality in two Indian villages : Revisiting between-group inequality measurement : an application to the dynamics of caste inequality in two Indian villages (English)

Standard approaches to decomposing how much group differences contribute to inequality rarely show significant between-group inequality, and are of limited use in comparing populations with different numbers of groups. ... See More +

Policy Research Working Paper WPS5337 JUN 01, 2010

Rao, Vijayendra; Lanjouw, Peter

Using mixed methods in monitoring and evaluation : experiences from international development (English)

This paper provides an overview of the various ways in which mixing qualitative and quantitative methods could add value to monitoring and evaluating development projects. ... See More +

Policy Research Working Paper WPS5245 MAR 01, 2010

Bamberger, Michael; Rao, Vijayendra; Woolcock, Michael

Dignity through discourse : poverty and the culture of deliberation in Indian village democracies (English)

Employing a view of culture as a communicative phenomenon involving discursive engagement, which is deeply influenced by social and economic inequalities, the authors argue that the struggle to break free of poverty is as much a cultural process as it is political and economic. ... See More +

Policy Research Working Paper WPS4924 MAY 01, 2009

Sanyal, Paromita; Rao, Vijayendra

Is deliberation equitable ? evidence from transcripts of village meetings in south India (English)

Deliberative decision-making processes are becoming increasingly important around the world to make important decisions about public and private goods allocation, but there is very little empirical evidence about how they actually work. ... See More +

Policy Research Working Paper WPS4928 MAY 01, 2009

Rao, Vijayendra; Ban, Radu

The political economy of village sanitation in south India : capture or poor information ? (English)

Despite efforts to mandate and finance local governments' provision of environmental sanitation services, outcomes remain poor in the villages surveyed in the four South Indian states. ... See More +

Policy Research Working Paper WPS4802 DEC 01, 2008

Das Gupta, Monica; Rao, Vijayendra; Ban, Radu

World development report 2006 : equity and development : Informe sobre el desarrollo mundial 2006 : Equidad y desarrollo (Spanish)

World Development Report 2006 analyzes the relationship between equity and development. The report documents the persistence of inequality traps by highlighting the interaction between different forms of inequality. ... See More +

World Development Report 32204 DEC 01, 2006

Walton, Michael; Menendez, Marta; Atinc, Tamar Manuelyan; Banerjee, Abhijit; Rao, Vijayendra; Robinson, James; Lanjouw, Peter; Ozler, Berk; Prennushi, Giovanna; Woolcock, Michael; Ferreira, Francisco H.G. English, Bahasa (Indonesian), Russian, Arabic

On inequality traps and development policy (English)

There are inequalities in the world, among individuals and among groups that get reproduced across generations. In the World Development Report 2006 these are referred to as inequality traps. ... See More +

Brief 38036 NOV 01, 2006

Rao, Vijayendra

Development outreach 8 (1) (English)

In this issue: Fostering Greater Equity; by Giovanna Prennushi, Francisco Ferreira, Peter Lindert and Michael Walton. Addressing Unequal Economic Opportunities: A case study of land tenure in Ghana; by Markus Goldstein and Christopher Udry. ... See More +

Newsletter 37250 FEB 01, 2006

Walton, Michael; Udry, Christopher; Sokoloff, Kenneth L.; Lu Mai; Ferreira, Francisco; Wiemer, Calla; Lindert. Peter; Ringold, Dena; Moene, Karl Ove; Rao, Vijayendra; Goldstein, Markus; Lanjouw, Jan O.; Puri, Sunetra [editor]; Prennushi, Giovanna; Wallerstein, Michael

World development report 2006 : equity and development (Russian)

World Development Report 2006 analyzes the relationship between equity and development. The report documents the persistence of inequality traps by highlighting the interaction between different forms of inequality. ... See More +

World Development Report 32204 JAN 01, 2006

Walton, Michael; Menendez, Marta; Atinc, Tamar Manuelyan; Banerjee, Abhijit; Rao, Vijayendra; Robinson, James; Lanjouw, Peter; Ozler, Berk; Prennushi, Giovanna; Woolcock, Michael; Ferreira, Francisco H.G. English, Bahasa (Indonesian), Spanish, Arabic

World development report 2006 : equity and development (Bahasa (Indonesian))

World Development Report 2006 analyzes the relationship between equity and development. The report documents the persistence of inequality traps by highlighting the interaction between different forms of inequality. ... See More +

World Development Report 32204 JAN 01, 2006

Walton, Michael; Menendez, Marta; Atinc, Tamar Manuelyan; Banerjee, Abhijit; Rao, Vijayendra; Robinson, James; Lanjouw, Peter; Ozler, Berk; Prennushi, Giovanna; Woolcock, Michael; Ferreira, Francisco H.G. English, Russian, Spanish, Arabic

World development report 2006 : equity and development (English)

World Development Report 2006 analyzes the relationship between equity and development. The report documents the persistence of inequality traps by highlighting the interaction between different forms of inequality. ... See More +

World Development Report 32204 SEP 19, 2005

Walton, Michael; Menendez, Marta; Atinc, Tamar Manuelyan; Banerjee, Abhijit; Rao, Vijayendra; Robinson, James; Lanjouw, Peter; Ozler, Berk; Prennushi, Giovanna; Woolcock, Michael; Ferreira, Francisco H.G. Bahasa (Indonesian), Russian, Spanish, Arabic

World development report 2006 : equity and development (Arabic)

World Development Report 2006 analyzes the relationship between equity and development. The report documents the persistence of inequality traps by highlighting the interaction between different forms of inequality. ... See More +

World Development Report 32204 SEP 19, 2005

Walton, Michael; Menendez, Marta; Atinc, Tamar Manuelyan; Banerjee, Abhijit; Rao, Vijayendra; Robinson, James; Lanjouw, Peter; Ozler, Berk; Prennushi, Giovanna; Woolcock, Michael; Ferreira, Francisco H.G. English, Bahasa (Indonesian), Russian, Spanish

Title Document Date Report No. Document Type Also available in
The anatomy of failure : an ethnography of a randomized trial to deepen democracy in rural India (English)
See More +
JUN 01, 2014 WPS6958 Policy Research Working Paper
Conducting ethical economic research: complications from the field (English)
See More +
MAY 01, 2013 WPS6446 Policy Research Working Paper
Localizing development : does participation work? (English)
See More +
NOV 15, 2012 73762 Publication
Inequality in focus vol. 1 (no. 3) (English)
See More +
OCT 01, 2012 76055 Newsletter Spanish, French
Inequality in focus vol. 1 (no. 3) (French)
See More +
OCT 01, 2012 76055 Newsletter English, Spanish
Inequality in focus vol. 1 (no. 3) (Spanish)
See More +
OCT 01, 2012 76055 Newsletter English, French
Can participation be induced ? some evidence from developing countries (English)
See More +
JUL 01, 2012 WPS6139 Policy Research Working Paper
How and why does history matter for development policy ? (English)
See More +
SEP 01, 2010 WPS5425 Policy Research Working Paper
Revisiting between-group inequality measurement : an application to the dynamics of caste inequality in two Indian villages : Revisiting between-group inequality measurement : an application to the dynamics of caste inequality in two Indian villages (English)
See More +
JUN 01, 2010 WPS5337 Policy Research Working Paper
Using mixed methods in monitoring and evaluation : experiences from international development (English)
See More +
MAR 01, 2010 WPS5245 Policy Research Working Paper
Dignity through discourse : poverty and the culture of deliberation in Indian village democracies (English)
See More +
MAY 01, 2009 WPS4924 Policy Research Working Paper
Is deliberation equitable ? evidence from transcripts of village meetings in south India (English)
See More +
MAY 01, 2009 WPS4928 Policy Research Working Paper
The political economy of village sanitation in south India : capture or poor information ? (English)
See More +
DEC 01, 2008 WPS4802 Policy Research Working Paper
World development report 2006 : equity and development : Informe sobre el desarrollo mundial 2006 : Equidad y desarrollo (Spanish)
See More +
DEC 01, 2006 32204 World Development Report English, Bahasa (Indonesian), Russian, Arabic
On inequality traps and development policy (English)
See More +
NOV 01, 2006 38036 Brief
Development outreach 8 (1) (English)
See More +
FEB 01, 2006 37250 Newsletter
World development report 2006 : equity and development (Russian)
See More +
JAN 01, 2006 32204 World Development Report English, Bahasa (Indonesian), Spanish, Arabic
World development report 2006 : equity and development (Bahasa (Indonesian))
See More +
JAN 01, 2006 32204 World Development Report English, Russian, Spanish, Arabic
World development report 2006 : equity and development (English)
See More +
SEP 19, 2005 32204 World Development Report Bahasa (Indonesian), Russian, Spanish, Arabic
World development report 2006 : equity and development (Arabic)
See More +
SEP 19, 2005 32204 World Development Report English, Bahasa (Indonesian), Russian, Spanish