Leonardo Iacovone

Visiting Professor at Hertie School, Lead Economist, World Bank Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice at The World Bank

Leonardo is Lead Economist with the Europe and Central Asia Vice-Presidency of the World Bank where he has worked across multiple departments including the Research Group, Africa Region, Latin America and Caribbean Region, East Asia and Pacific Region. At World Bank Leonardo is the Global Lead for Firm Growth and Productivity and is involved in a number of projects across the world (Georgia, Poland, Romania, Uganda, Egypt, Mexico, Colombia, etc.) as well as global projects such as the one assessing the impact of COVID-19 on firms and digital adoption at firm-level. Leonardo’s research spans across various topics including firms’ dynamics and productivity, trade and FDI, access to finance, entrepreneurship, management, innovation and technology adoption, and youth employment. During the last few years an important part of his work has focused on advising governments in assessing the impact of the programs and policies through rigorous impact. Leonardo has worked across more than 30 countries in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia including fragile and conflict countries such as Guinea-Bissau or Togo, as well as upper-middle income countries and emerging markets such as Mexico, Colombia, Russia and Romania. Before joining the World Bank Leonardo worked consultant in Latin America and Southern Africa for for UNDP, WTO, UNIDO, USAID and EU. Additionally, before his PhD, Leonardo worked for more than two years in Mozambique as advisor to the Government where he served as economic advisor for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development advising the director of the Unit for Development of Private Sector and Commercial Agriculture on agricultural trade negotiations, SPS/TBT, and agribusiness strategies to attract investments. In Mozambique he also worked as advisor to the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the EPA negotiations with European Union. Leonardo was trained at Bocconi University of Milan, Italy, University Torquato di Tella of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and received a PhD in Economics from University of Sussex. Leonardo is also Adjoint Professor of Economics at Hertie School, a Research Affiliate with IPA SMEs Initiative and Affiliated Researcher with JPAL. Leonardo’s research has been widely published in top peer-reviewed journals such as Review of Economic Studies, Economic Journal, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of International Economics, World Development, World Economy, World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Research Observer, and Industrial and Corporate Change. His research projects have received important recognitions such as the 2009 Paul Geroski Price for the most significant policy contribution awarded to top young economists by the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics.