Leonardo Iacovone

Lead Economist, World Bank Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice

Leonardo is a Lead Economist with Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice where he is responsible for coordinating all the activities related to Trade and Competitiveness in Mexico and 

Colombia. Beyond his role as coordinator, he is engaged in different tasks: (i) analytical, (ii) operational and (iii) impact evaluation work in areas dealing with microeconomic determinants of growth, related to innovation and entrepreneurship. In the last 4 years Leonardo’s work has focused on Latin America (in particular Mexico and Colombia) and Africa, but in the past Leonardo has also worked on East Asia (i.e. Indonesia) and ECA (i.e. Russia). While working on Africa Leonardo has worked on various fragile and conflict countries such as Guinea-Bissau and Togo. 

Leonardo joined the World Bank as Young Professional in 2008 and has worked in the Development Research Group and in the Financial and Private Sector Development Unit of the Africa Region. More recently, before joining the Trade and Competitiveness Latin America Unit, Leonardo worked as Senior Economist for the Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship Global Practice where he focused on developing and evaluating new pilots to support entrepreneurs with a specific focus on female and youth entrepreneurship. 

Before joining the World Bank Leonardo worked consultant in Latin America and Southern Africa for for UNDP, WTO, UNIDO, USAID and EU. Additionally, before his PhD, Leonardo worked for more than two years in Mozambique as advisor to the Government where he served as economic advisor for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development advising the director of the Unit for Development of Private Sector and Commercial Agriculture on agricultural trade negotiations, SPS/TBT, and agribusiness strategies to attract investments. In Mozambique he also worked as  advisor to the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the EPA negotiations with European Union. 

Leonardo was trained at Bocconi University of Milan, Italy, University Torquato di Tella of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and received a PhD in Economics from University of Sussex. His research has been widely published in top peer-reviewed journals such as Economic Journal, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of International Economics, World Development, World Economy, World Bank Economic Review and Industrial and Corporate Change

His research projects have received important recognitions such as the 2009 Paul Geroski Price for the most significant policy contribution awarded to top young economists by the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics. More recently, his novel project “Tomorrow’s  Jobs” was awarded an Innovation Challenge Grant to develop a new pilot aiming at analyzing the potential for job creation and global expansion of new business ideas. 

Recent work by Leonardo Iacovone