Ravi Kanbur’s biography, net worth, fact, career, awards and life story

Intro British development economist
Is Economist 
From United Kingdom 
Type Finance 
Gender male
Birth 28 August 1954
Age: 65 years
Star sign Virgo

Sanjiv M. Ravi Kanbur (born 28 August 1954), is T.H. Lee Professor of World Affairs, International Professor of Applied Economics, and Professor of Economics at Cornell University. He worked for the World Bank for almost two decades and was the director of the World Development Report.

Kanbur will be the president of the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) from September 2016 to September 2018. He will first serve a year as president elect from September 2015.

Early life

Ravi Kanbur is British, he was born in India and brought up in India and England.


Kanbur gained his degree in economics from the Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge in 1975. He studied for his masters (1979) and doctorate (1981), also in economics, at Worcester College, University of Oxford. He studied under the Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen and Sen has stated that his association with Kanbur has been beneficial to his writing.

Resignation as Director of the World Development Report

In May 2000 Kanbur resigned as director and lead author of the World Bank’s World Development Report. His resignation followed the publication of the initial draft of the 2000/2001 report on the internet. Kanbur’s initial draft argued that, “anti-poverty strategies must emphasise ’empowerment’ (increasing poor people’s capacity to influence state institutions and social norms) and security (minimising the consequences of economic shocks for the poorest) as well as opportunity (access to assets).” The final version of the report still contained the three central pillars of: (a) empowerment, (b) security and (c) opportunity, however the order was changed to (a) opportunity (with emphasis given to market-driven economic growth and liberalisation as ways of reducing poverty), (b) empowerment and, (c) security. The World Bank denied that US treasury secretary Larry Summers or anyone else had influenced the report to make it less radical. Kanbur’s resignation came a year after the resignation of the World Bank’s senior vice-president and chief economist, Joseph Stiglitz.


  • 1991 Quality of Research Discovery Award from the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) for the paper How serious is the neglect of intrahousehold inequality?
  • 1994 Honorary Professor of Economics, University of Warwick

    Personal life

    Kanbur is married to Margaret Grieco, Professor of Transport and Society at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland.