Estelle James, Ph.D.

Estelle James, PhD is a consultant to the World Bank, USAID and other international organizations. Previously she was Lead Economist at the World Bank and Director of the Bank’s flagship course on pension reform.

She has also served on the Governing Board of the new pension fund in Kosovo and the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security in the U.S.

Dr James is the principal author of Averting the Old Age Crisis: Policies to Protect the Old and Promote Growth, a World Bank study that provided the first global analysis of economic problems associated with population ageing and the framework for much of the Bank’s policy advice in this area. Recently she co-authored The Gender Impact of Social Security Reform (University of Chicago Press, 2008). She has lectured extensively on social security and pension systems, advised governments in China, Costa Rica, India, Thailand and other countries, and published numerous papers in professional journals.

Her recent research has focused on the administrative costs of individual accounts, how to handle the annuity stage, the impact of pension reform on the labor supply of older workers, disability and survivors’ insurance and the gender impact of alternative systems. Before joining the World Bank Dr James was Professor of Economics and Provost of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. Her previous research was an analysis of the economics of public and private education and the economics of non-profit organizations. She received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her PhD from MIT.