Hacking the World Bank (Ep. 197 Update)

Jim Yong Kim has an unorthodox background for a World Bank president — and his reign has been just as unorthodox. He has just announced he’s stepping down, well before his term is over; we recorded this interview with him in 2015.

Hacking the World Bank (Ep. 197)

Since its inception in 1944, the World Bank, a multilateral organization charged with financing the development of poor nations, has been led by macroeconomists, bankers, and government insiders. The White House’s 2012 nomination of President Jim Yong Kim -- a physician, anthropologist, and academic who used to advocate dismantling the Bank -- broke the mold. He is the focus of our latest Freakonomics Radio podcast, "Hacking the World Bank." (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.)

In less than three years, Kim has overhauled the Bank and laid out ambitious goals -- including a 2030 deadline to rescue the more than 1 billion people who live in extreme poverty. Kim is also -- along with the Bank’s chief economist Kaushik Basu -- eager to apply the insights of behavioral economics to development policy. That is the focus of Kim's conversation today with Stephen Dubner.