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Vikram Nehru

Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence


Vikram Nehru is an expert on development economics, growth, poverty reduction, debt sustainability, governance, and the performance and prospects of East Asia. His research focuses on the economic, political, and strategic issues confronting Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.

From 2011 to 2016, Nehru was the Chair in Southeast Asian Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he continues to serve as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow. Prior to that, Nehru served in the World Bank, including in a number of senior management positions. His last position there was chief economist and director for poverty reduction, economic management, and private and financial sector development for East Asia and the Pacific. In this capacity, he advised the governments of developing countries in East Asia and the Pacific on economic and governance issues, including macroeconomic management, public sector and public financial management, financial and private sector development, and poverty reduction.

Before moving to the World Bank’s East Asia Region, Nehru was the Director of the World Bank’s Economic Policy and Debt Department, where he was responsible for managing global programs for debt relief and for developing new tools and techniques for growth analytics, fiscal-policy analysis, subnational and regional development, and small-states development. In addition, he chaired the Bank’s Economic Policy Sector Board, which provided strategic leadership for all of its country and macroeconomists.

In leading the World Bank’s Debt Department, Nehru managed the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, Debt Sustainability Framework, Debt Reduction Facility, Debt Management Facility, Debt Management Performance Assessment Program, and Medium Term Debt Strategies for Developing Countries.

His portfolio at the World Bank also included serving as lead economist on Indonesia and China as well as senior economist for Ghana. Prior to joining the World Bank, he held an administrative position with the government of India.

Nehru’s articles have appeared in numerous journals, he has contributed to several books, and has written many op-eds and opinion pieces for leading newspapers, journals, and think-tanks. Examples of his papers and reports include: “New Estimates of Physical Capital Stock: Estimates, Methodology, and Results;” “The Concept of Odious Debt: Some Considerations;” “When is External Debt Sustainable?” “Indonesia in Crisis;” “China 2030: Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative Society;” and “Indonesia: The Reluctant Giant.”



  • China
  • East Asia
  • India
  • Myanmar
  • South Asia
  • Southeast Asia


  • Debt Sustainability
  • Development Economics
  • Emerging Economies
  • Global Trade
  • Governance
  • Growth
  • Poverty Reduction

In the News

The real challenge for Indonesia's next president.

Vikram Nehru wrote in Nikkei Asian Review, 4/10