• Simon Davies

    Economist. It's cool.

    Versatile economist. Into economic policy based on evidence, even when imperfect, and logic. Love number crunching, bouncing around (policy) ideas – and talking them through seriously – with governments, colleagues, and long-suffering friends. Realist on the optimistic end. Strong in fiscal policy, household and firm data, and clear, precise writing. Believe in understanding links between different policy areas. Worked on tax policy, public expenditures, carbon taxes, public debt, natural disaster impacts, energy from a fiscal perspective. Love languages (speak fluent English, French and getting there with Spanish) and economic psychology. Concerned that climate change may be the biggest economic and social issue of our time.


    On our pale blue dot.


    The World Bank

    Economist/Sr. Economist

    Sep 2010 - Present


    - Led teams working on analytical reports including: Western Balkan Regional Economic Report, Public Finance Reviews for Kosovo and Bangladesh, tax gaps and tax policy, and a Systematic Country Diagnostic for Bosnia and Herzegovina.


    - Developed tools for governments to estimate impacts of policy changes including: (i) impact of carbon taxes for fiscal receipts, energy prices and CO2 emissions compared to COP-21 commitments; (ii) impact of energy sector financing options for energy prices, public expenditure and public debt; (iii) impact of labor tax changes on fiscal receipts and distributional effects for employees. 


    - Estimated GDP, fiscal and trade impact of once-in-a-hundred year floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


    - Participated in budget support/policy lending in Macedonia, Romania, Mali, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Panama.


    - Original research papers/reports completed on migration in Romania; gender and SMEs in Mali; exports, employment and productivity growth in Kosovo, among others. (Links to some of the reports in publications below.)


    Ministry of Finance and Development Planning

    Senior Economist

    Oct 2008 - Sep 2010


    - Responsible for Medium Term Fiscal Framework and economic forecasting within Ministry of Finance and Development Planning including private sector growth forecasts. Played a key role in budget planning.

    - Developed strong relationships across government and private sector to ensure accuracy of forecasts. Collaborated closely with donors including IMF, World Bank, EU.

    - Provided regular high-level policy advice to Minister of Finance. Produced influential ‘just-in-time’ policy documents.

    Overseas Development Institute

    ODI Fellow

    Oct 2008 - Sep 2010


     - Employed as ODI Fellow in the Macroeconomic Management and Policy Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Lesotho.


    University of Bath


    Oct 2005 - Sep 2008


    - Taught under-graduate courses on: Econometrics; Statistics; Development Economics; Micro and Macro Economics.


    - Several consultancies including for DfID, Concern Worldwide and Metroeconomica.



    Feb 2008 - Jun 2008


    - Research for the UK Environment Agency on “Household and economy-wide impacts of changing environmental behaviors”. Used British household data to understand the likely effects of subsidizing certain environmentally-friendly goods on general household consumption patterns, and therefore overall pollution.

    Concern Worldwide


    Dec 2006 - Mar 2007


    - Evaluated the economic impact of a DfID-funded emergency cash aid program implemented by NGO, Concern Worldwide. Spent several months in rural Malawi interviewing small and medium sized businesses (including local private and state schools, and private and public health clinics) to collect quantitative and qualitative data to estimate the impact of the program using a regional multiplier. 

    - The report, "Making the Most of It: A Regional Multiplier Approach to Estimating the Impact of Cash Transfers on the Market", has been highly recognized and the regional multiplier methodology has been widely used since its publication to study the impact of cash transfer programs in Africa.


    Number crunching for pleasure.

    More-or-less updated list of publications, papers and most downloads available on ResearchGate. 



    (Unless specified, World Bank Group technical reports are always a team effort. Below is a selection of reports to which I have contributed.)



    • A Carbon Tax for Bangladesh? Focus Note in Bangladesh Development Update: Sustained Development Progress. World Bank Publication 108745. October 2016. [Publication]
    • Assessing policy trade-offs with easy-to-use models in PERs : examples from the energy sector. Macroeconomic and Fiscal Management Practice Note #14. [Note


    • Bangladesh Public Expenditure Review Update. World Bank Report 97067-BD. [Report
    • Bangladesh Development Update: On a Stable Path. World Bank Publication 100476. [Publication] (Minor contribution only)
    • Rebalancing Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Systematic Country Diagnostic. World Bank Report 95733-BA/101009. [Report]
    • South East Europe Regular Economic Report 7: Coping with Floods, Strengthening Growth. World Bank Publication 93611. [Publication]
    • Expanding Kosovo's Export and Production Base to Boost Growth and Employment. World Bank Report 97336-XK. Forthcoming


    • Kosovo Public Finance Review: Fiscal Policies for a Young Nation. World Bank Report ACS9351. [Report]
    • Tax Gaps, Tax Policies, and Tax Evasion in Kosovo. World Bank Report 89195-XK. [Report]
    • South East Europe Regular Economic Report 6: Brittle Recovery. World Bank Publication 87962. [Publication]


    • “Employment and Gender in the Mali Formal Sector”, in Mali Poverty and Gender Notes. World Bank Report 77752-ML. [Report]
    • Reviving Romania’s Growth and Convergence Challenges and Opportunities. World Bank Report 74635-RO. [Report]
    • South East Europe Regular Economic Report 5: Slow Road to Recovery. World Bank Publication 83136. [Publication]


    • SME Growth and Diversification: Mali Investment Climate Assessment. World Bank Report. 





    • “Intentions to return: Evidence from Romanian migrants”, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper WPS7166 (with T.Hinks). [Working Paper]  



    • "Sexual behaviour and HIV/AIDS knowledge and understanding amongst National University of Lesotho students", 2011, Lesotho Social Sciences Review, 15(1): 37-52 (with B.Honu).
    • "What motivates gifts? Intra-Family Transfers in Rural Malawi", 2011, Journal of the Family and Economic Issues, 32(3): 473-492 [Published Paper
    • "Income, Gender and Consumption: A Study of Malawian Households", 2011, Journal of Developing Areas. 44(2): 1-25. [Working Paper] [Published Paper


    • "Do Shocks have a Persistent Impact on Consumption? The Case of Rural Malawi", 2010, Progress in Development Studies. 10(1): 75-79 [Working Paper] [Published Paper]
    • "Crime and Happiness amongst Household Heads in Malawi", 2010, Journal of Happiness Studies. 11(4): 457-476 (with Tim Hinks) [Working Paper] [Published Paper]
    • Book Chapter: Why do people give? Motivations for remitting in rural Malawi.  2010. Ch.3 (pp.41-58), Economic Themes I, Ed. J.Roufagalas, ISBN: 978-960-6672-86-6.  [Book available for purchase].


    • "Mental Accounting and Remittances: A Study of Malawian Households", 2009, Journal of Economic Psychology, 30(3):321-334. (with J.Easaw and A.Ghoshray) [Working Paper] [Presentation] [Published Paper]


    • "A Regional Multiplier Approach to Estimating the Impact of Cash Transfers on the Market: The Case of Rural Malawi", 2008, Development Policy Review, 26(1):91-111. (with J.Davey) [Published Paper] [Working Paper] [4 Page Summary] [Presentation]
    • "Life Satisfaction in Malawi and the Importance of Relative Consumption, Polygamy and Religion", 2008, Journal of International Development, 20:888-904 (with T.Hinks). [Published Paper]


    • "Are natural resources really a curse? A study of firms in developing countries", Unpublished Paper. (with R.Record) [Working Paper] [Short Summary] [Presentation]
    • "Remittances as Insurance for Household and Community Shocks in an Agrcultural Economy: The Case of Rural Malawi", Unpublished Paper. [Working Paper
    • "Remittances as Insurance for Idiosyncratic and Covariate Shocks in Malawi: The Importance of Distance and Relationship - A Descriptive Study", Unpublished Paper. [Working Paper


    • "Why do People Give? Motivations for Remitting in Rural Malawi". Presented at the 3rd International Symposium on Economic Theory, Policy and Applications, held by ATINER, 3-6 August, Athens, Greece. [Paper] [Presentation - file 1 file 2]
    • "Supporting Households and Communities during Regional Disasters: Drought in Rural Malawi". Presented at the first Rehovot Conference on Regional Development: "Globalisation, Regional Development, and Local Initiatives", Rehovot, Israel, November 2007. [Paper] [Presentation]

    Much too much. Much too young.

    Selected training at IMF/WBG

    - EUROMOD: Simulating direct taxes and transfers by Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex and World Bank Poverty Global Practice's Fiscal & Social Policies for Poverty Reduction and Shared Prosperity. July, 2016.


    - Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool (TADAT) - Training for Assessors by IMF. June, 2016.


    - Domestic Revenue Mobilization-A Course for Practitioners by World Bank. May, 2016.


    - Tax Incidence Analysis by World Bank. May, 2016.


    - Behavioral Insights for Economic Policy by World Bank. May, 2015.

    Online courses

    - Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries by University of Cape Town on Coursera. Certificate earned on May 23, 2016.


    - Introduction to Neuroeconomics: How the Brain Makes Decisions by Higher School of Economics on Coursera. Certificate earned on May 8, 2016.


    - Global Sustainable Energy: Past, Present and Future by University of Florida on Coursera. Certificate earned on July 6, 2013.


    - Energy 101: The Big Picture by University of Georgia on Coursera. Certificate on earned May 9, 2013.




    University of Bath

    PhD Economics


    - Thesis Title: "Essays on Remittances in Rural Malawi".
    - Taught undergraduate courses on: Econometrics; Statistics; Development Economics; Micro and Macro Economics.
    - Several Consultancies undertaken during PhD including for DfID, Concern Worldwide and Metroeconomica.
    - Awarded full University scholarship.

    Università degli Studi di Torino

    Master Economics


    Dissertation on "Income, Gender and Consumption in Malawian Households"

    University of Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne

    MA International and Development Economics


    Graduated with "Mention".

    University of Dundee

    MA Hons. (First Class) Economics with French


    Departmental prizes in Economics and French.

    Université Pierre Mendès-France (Grenoble II)

    BA (Licence) Political Economy

    Graduated with "Mention"


    Many - according to Linked In - but juggling isn't one of them.

    Mostly, I'm good at making word clouds.


    Contributions to blogs reproduced here.


    Under-appreciated photos from my Instagram.


    In a word cloud (with links).


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