Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

W&L’s Blunch Served as Lead Consultant on World Bank Report Blunch served as the lead consultant on a Ghana case study for the World Bank's new index

Hugo-Blunch1-2019-scaled W&L's Blunch Served as Lead Consultant on World Bank ReportNiels-Hugo Blunch

Hugo Blunch, professor of economics at Washington and Lee University, served as the lead consultant on a Ghana case study for the World Bank’s new index, the Human Capital Index (HCI).

Blunch said the writing and researching process for this report began in early 2019. Ghana has made deliberate efforts to invest in health and education in the last 60 years, which has resulted in substantial gains in both economic growth and human capital outcomes. This case study examines the recent human capital developments in Ghana in the context of the World Bank’s HCI.

“The process was challenging but rewarding and included several visits to the World Bank,” said Blunch. “I interviewed World Bank specialists, as well as reached out to Ghana counterparts through video calls. I also reviewed a large number of reports and research papers from the Ghana government to identify the specific policies undertaken to improve Ghana’s health and education outcomes. The case study went through an intense vetting process before finally being published in June 2020, with an official launch date at a World Bank Forum in Singapore in January 2021.”

Blunch also used the project as a teaching tool in his classes.

“I noticed how students paid attention when hearing about how actual policymakers use statistics and econometrics for decision making,” said Blunch. “Using my real-life experience outside academia is one of the things that I enjoy and something which makes the ‘teacher-scholar model,’ which we cherish at W&L, an active, tangible ingredient in my classes rather than merely a theoretical construct.”

The case study will also appear in the World Bank’s HCI 2020 report.

Read the case study on the World Bank website.

If you know a W&L faculty member who has done great, accolade-worthy things, tell us about them! Nominate them for an accolade.