Professor Francisco H. G. Ferreira

Professor Francisco H. G. Ferreira

Amartya Sen Professor of Inequality Studies and Director

International Inequalities Institute

English, Portuguese, Spanish
Key Expertise
Measurement, Causes and Consequences of Inequality and Poverty

About me

Francisco H. G. Ferreira is the Amartya Sen Professor of Inequality Studies at the London School of Economics, where he is also Director of the International Inequalities Institute. Francisco is an economist working on the measurement, causes and consequences of inequality and poverty in developing countries, with a special focus on Latin America. His work has been published widely and been awarded various prizes, including the Richard Stone Prize in Applied Econometrics and the Kendrick Prize from the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

He is also an Affiliated Scholar with the Stone Center at the City University of New York; a non-resident Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA, Bonn); and currently serves as President of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA). Prior to joining the LSE, Francisco had a long career at the World Bank, where his positions included Chief Economist for the Africa Region and Senior Adviser in the Research Department. He has also taught in the faculties of Economics at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro and at the Paris School of Economics. He was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Google Scholar 

Papers on SSRN

Papers on REPEC


Expertise Details

Measurement; Causes and Consequences of Inequality and Poverty

Event Recordings & Interviews

Recent event recordings and interviews:

  • "Inequality of opportunity and mobility in Latin America" - keynote lecture given for UNU-WIDER. Watch the event recording here.
  • "Combating inequality of opportunity: the role of human capital investments" - lecture given at the Inter-American Development Bank. Watch the event recording here.
  • "Measurement, Causes and Consequences of Economic Inequality: A Whirlwind Tour" - open lecture given at the Joint Vienna Institute. Watch the event recording here and access the slides here.
  • “Equality in an Unequal World" - inaugural lecture at Convoco! 2022. Watch the lecture here and watch Professor Ferreira in conversation with Professor Jens Beckert here.
  • "Oxfam says the rich got richer in the pandemic, and the wealth gap is killing the poor" - feature in NPR article. Read the article here.
  • COVID and the Global Wealth Gap: what can be done to fix it?" - video interview with DW News. Watch the video here.  
  • "Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic" - panel event organised by LSE School of Public Policy. Listen to a podcast recording of the event here or watch a video recording of the event here.
  • “Future of Capitalism and Inequality" - talk as part of CEO Oxford´s and LSE´s Virtual Series. Watch a video recording of the event here.
  • "Humanity: Pathway to Peace "- episode on the Drive Time Show Podcast. Listen to the episode here
  • "Estimates of the global mortality and poverty effects of the COVID-19 pandemic" - video interview with Faculti. Watch the interview here



Articles in Refereed Journals

"Not all inequalities are alike", Nature606(7915): 646-649. 2022. [paper]

“Inequality in the time of COVID-19”, Finance and Development58 (2): 20-23. 2021. [paper]

“Labor Market Experience and Falling Earnings Inequality in Brazil: 1995-2012”, World Bank Economic Review36 (1): 37-67. 2022. (with Sergio Firpo and Julian Messina) [paper]

“Death and Destitution: The Global Distribution of Welfare Losses from the COVID-19 Pandemic”, LSE Public Policy Review, 1(4): p.2. 2021. (with Olivier Sterck, Daniel Mahler and Benoît Decerf) [paper]

“Lives and livelihoods: Estimates of the global mortality and poverty effects of the Covid-19 pandemic”, World Development, Volume 146, October 2021, 105561. (with Olivier Sterck, Daniel Mahler and Benoît Decerf) [paper]

“Actual and Counterfactual Growth Incidence and Delta Lorenz Curves: Estimation and Inference”, Journal of Applied Econometrics, 34 (4): 385-402. 2019. (with Sergio Firpo and Antonio F. Galvão) [paper] [replication files]

“Inequality of Opportunity and Economic Growth: How Much Can Cross-Country Regressions Really Tell Us?”, Review of Income and Wealth, 64 (4): 800-827. 2018. (with Christoph Lakner, Maria Ana Lugo and Berk Özler) [paper]

“Tony Atkinson and his Legacy”, Review of Income and Wealth, 63 (3): 411-444. 2017. (with Aaberge, Bourguignon, Brandolini, Gornick, Hills, Jäntti, Jenkins, Marlier, Micklewright, Nolan, Piketty, Radermacher, Smeeding and Stern) [paper]

“A global count of the Extreme Poor in 2012: Data issues, methodology and initial results”, Journal of Economic Inequality 14 (2): 141-172. 2016. (with Shaohua Chen, Andrew Dabalen, Yuri Dikhanov, Nada Hamadeh, Dean Jolliffe, Ambar Narayan, Espen Prydz, Ana Revenga, Prem Sangraula, Umar Serajuddin and Nobuo Yoshida) [paper]

“Appraising cross-national income inequality databases: An introduction”, Journal of Economic Inequality 13: 497-526. 2015. (with Nora Lustig and Daniel Teles) [paper]

“Conditional, unconditional and everything in between: a systematic review of the effects of cash transfer programmes on schooling outcomes”, Journal of Development Effectiveness 6 (1): 1-43. 2014. (with Sarah Baird, Berk Özler and Michael Woolcock) [paper]

“The Measurement of Educational Inequality: Achievement and Opportunity”, World Bank Economic Review, 28 (2): 210-246. 2014. (with Jérémie Gignoux) [paper] [replication files]

“Multidimensional Poverty Analysis: Looking for a middle ground”, World Bank Research Observer, 28 (2): 220-235. 2013. (with Maria Ana Lugo) [paper]

“Rising Food Prices and Household Welfare: Evidence from Brazil in 2008”, Journal of Agricultural Economics, 64 (1):151-176. 2013. (with Anna Fruttero, Phillippe Leite and Leonardo Lucchetti) [paper]

“Is there a Metropolitan Bias? The relationship between poverty and city size in selected developing countries”, World Bank Economic Review , 26 (3): 351-382. 2012. (with Celine Ferré and Peter Lanjouw) [paper]

“The Measurement of Inequality of Opportunity: Theory and an application to Latin America”, Review of Income and Wealth, 57 (4): 622-657. 2011. (with Jérémie Gignoux) [paper] [replication files]

“Measuring Inequality of Opportunity with Imperfect Data: The case of Turkey”, Journal of Economic Inequality, 9 (4): 651-680. 2011. (with Jérémie Gignoux and Meltem Aran) [paper] [replication files]

“The Informal Economy in Developing Countries: An Introduction”, Review of Income and Wealth, 57 (SI): pp. S1-S7. 2011. (with Derek Blades and Maria Ana Lugo) [paper]

“Poverty Reduction without Economic Growth? Explaining Brazil’s poverty dynamics, 1985-2004”, Journal of Development Economics, 93, pp.20-36, 2010 (with Martin Ravallion and Phillippe G. Leite) [paper]

“Aggregate Economic Shocks, Child Schooling and Child Health”, World Bank Research Observer, 24 (2): pp. 147-181, 2009. (with Norbert Schady) [paper]

“The Rise and Fall of Brazilian Inequality: 1981-2004”, Macroeconomic Dynamics, 12 (S2), pp.199- 230. 2008. (with Phillippe Leite and Julie Litchfield) [paper]

"Beyond Oaxaca-Blinder: Accounting for Differences in Household Income Distributions", Journal of Economic Inequality, 6 (2), pp.117-148, 2008. (with François Bourguignon and Phillippe G. Leite) [paper]

“Local inequality and project choice: Theory and evidence from Ecuador”, Journal of Public Economics, 92, pp.1022-1046. 2008. (with M. Caridad Araujo, Peter Lanjouw and Berk Özler) [paper] [replication files]

“Inequality of Opportunity in Brazil”, Review of Income and Wealth , 53 (4), pp.585-618, 2007. (with François Bourguignon and Marta Menéndez) [paper]

“Inefficient Lobbying, Populism and Oligarchy”, Journal of Public Economics, 91, pp.993-1021, 2007 (with Filipe Campante) [paper]

“Equity, Efficiency and Inequality Traps: A Research Agenda”, Journal of Economic Inequality, 5, pp.235-256. 2007. (with François Bourguignon and Michael Walton) [paper]

“Ascensão e Queda da Desigualdade de Renda no Brasil”, Econômica, 8 (1), pp.147-171, 2006. (with Phillippe G. Leite, Julie A. Litchfield and Gabriel Ulyssea) [paper]

“Conditional Cash Transfers, Schooling and Child Labor: Micro-simulating Brazil’s Bolsa Escola Program”, World Bank Economic Review, 17 (2), pp.229-254, 2003. (with François Bourguignon and Phillippe Leite) [paper]

“Meeting the Millennium Development Goals in Brazil: can microeconomic simulations help?”, Economía, 3 (2), pp.235-279, 2003. (with Phillippe Leite)

“A Robust Poverty Profile for Brazil Using Multiple Data Sources”, Revista Brasileira de Economia, 57 (1), pp.59-92, 2003. (with Peter Lanjouw and Marcelo Neri) [paper]

“Qualidade e Eqüidade no Ensino Fundamental Brasileiro”, Pesquisa e Planejamento Econômico, 32 (3), pp.453-476, 2002. (with Ângela Albernaz and Creso Franco) [paper]

"Missing the Target: Assessing Social Expenditures in Brazil", The Brown Journal of World Affairs, VIII (2), pp.97-111, 2002 (with José Márcio Camargo) [paper]

"Education for the Masses?: The Interaction between Wealth, Educational and Political Inequalities", Economics of Transition, 9 (2), pp.533-552, 2001 [paper]

"Education or Inflation? The Micro and Macroeconomics of the Brazilian Income Distribution during 1981-1995", Cuadernos de Economia, 38 (114), pp.209-238, 2001. (with Julie A. Litchfield)

"Rural Nonfarm Activities and Poverty in the Brazilian Northeast", World Development, 29 (3), pp.509-528, 2001. (with Peter Lanjouw) [paper]

“La Educación y la Distribución del Ingreso en el Brasil Urbano, 1976-1996”, CEPAL Review, 71, pp.43-64 , 2000. (with Ricardo Paes de Barros) [paper]

“Calm After the Storms: Income Distribution and Welfare in Chile, 1987-1994”, World Bank Economic Review, 13, (3), pp. 509-538, 1999. (with Julie A. Litchfield) [paper]

“Economic Transition and the Distributions of Income and Wealth”, Economics of Transition, 7 (2), pp.377-410, 1999 [paper]

“The Slippery Slope: Explaining the Increase in Extreme Poverty in Urban Brazil, 1976-1996”, Brazilian Review of Econometrics, 19 (2) pp.211-296, 1999. (with Ricardo Paes de Barros) [paper]

"Income Distribution in Brazil, 1981-1990: Parametric and Non-Parametric Approaches", Journal of Income Distribution, 8 (1), pp. 63-76, 1998. (with Frank Cowell and Julie A. Litchfield) [paper]

“Inequality and Redistribution During and After Transition”, Discussion Forum on Distribution and Growth during Transition, Economic Systems, 22 (1), pp.56-59, 1998


Economic Mobility and the Rise of the Latin American Middle Class(Washington, DC: The World Bank). 2012. (with J. Messina, J. Rigolini, L. F. López-Calva, M. A. Lugo and R. Vakis)

Life Chances in Turkey: Expanding opportunities for the next generation(Washington, DC: The World Bank). 2010. (with J. Hentschel, M. Aran, R. Can, J. Gignoux and A. Uraz)

Measuring Inequality of Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean(Washington, DC: Palgrave MacMillan and The World Bank). 2008. (with Ricardo Paes de Barros, José Molinas and Jaime Saavedra)

The Microeconomics of Income Distribution Dynamics in East Asia and Latin America(Washington, DC; The World Bank and Oxford University Press). 2005 (edited with François Bourguignon and Nora Lustig)

Inequality in Latin America: Breaking with History?(Washington, DC: The World Bank), 2004 (with David de Ferranti, Guillermo Perry and Michael Walton)

Everyone’s Miracle? Revisiting Poverty and Inequality in East Asia ; (Washington, DC: The World Bank). 1997 (with Vinod Ahuja, Benu Bidani and Michael Walton)

Chapters in Books

“Prioritarianism and Equality of Opportunity” (with Paolo Brunori and Vito Peragine), Chapter 11 in Matthew Adler and Ole Nordheim (eds.) Prioritarianism in Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Forthcoming. [working paper]

“Shared prosperity: concepts, data, and some policy examples” (with Emanuela Galasso and Mario Negre), in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance. Oxford University Press. 2020 [paper]

“Own and Sibling Effects of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: Theory and Evidence from Cambodia” (with Deon Filmer and Norbert Schady), in S. Bandyopadhyay (ed.) Research in Economic Inequality, Volume 25, pp. 259-298. London: Emerald Publishing. 2018 [paper] [replication files]

“Individual Responsibility and Equality of Opportunity” (with Vito Peragine), Chapter 25 in Matthew Adler and Marc Fleurbaey (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2016 [paper]

“Understanding Recent Dynamics of Earnings Inequality in Brazil” (with Sergio Firpo and Julian Messina), Chapter 8 in Ben R. Schneider (ed.) New Order and Progress: Development and Democracy in Brazil. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2016 [paper]

“Desigualdad de Resultados y Oportunidades en Colombia: 1997-2010” (with Marcela Meléndez), Chapter 2 in A. Montenegro and M. Meléndez (eds.) Equidad y Movilidad Social: Diagnósticos y Propuestas para la Transformación de la Sociedad Colombiana . Bogotá: Univ. de los Andes. 2014 [working paper]

“Uma Política Social para uma Economia Competitiva” (with Marcio G. Firmo), Chapter 13 in Fabio Giambiagi and Claudio Porto (eds.) Propostas para o Governo 2015/2018. Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Elsevier Editora. 2014.

“Inequality of Opportunity, Income Inequality and Economic Mobility: Some international comparisons” (with Paolo Brunori and Vito Peragine), Chapter 5 in Eva Paus (ed.) Getting Development Right. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. 2013 [working paper]

“Distributions in Motion: Economic Growth, Inequality, and Poverty Dynamics”. Chapter 13 in Philip Jefferson (ed.) Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2012 [paper]

“Inequality of Opportunity in Latin America: Economic well-being, education and health” (with Anna Crespo), Chapter 2 in M. Blofield (ed.): The Great Gap: Inequality and the politics of redistribution in Latin America . University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. 2011 [book]

“Social Protection in Latin America: Achievements and Limitations” (with David Robalino). Chapter 33 in José Antonio Ocampo and Jaime Ros (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Latin American Economics. (Oxford, OUP). 2011 [paper]

“Inequality of Opportunity for Education: Turkey” (with Jérémie Gignoux), Chapter 6 in Ravi Kanbur and Michael Spence (eds.) Equity and Growth in a Globalizing World. (Washington, DC: Commission on Growth and Development). 2010 [working paper]

“Trade Liberalization, Employment Flows and Wage Inequality in Brazil” (with Phillippe G. Leite and Matthew Wai-Poi), Chapter 8 in M. Nissanke and E. Thorbecke (eds.) The Poor under Globalization in Asia, Latin America and Africa. (Oxford, OUP), 2010 [paper]

“Halving Brazil’s Poverty: 1983-2006” (with Phillippe Leite), Chapter 29 in von Braun, Hill and Pandya-Lorch (eds.) The Poorest and the Hungry: Assessments, Analyses, and Actions (Washington, DC: IFPRI). 2009 [paper]

“Poverty and Inequality: The Global Context” (with Martin Ravallion), Chapter 24 in Brian Nolan, Wiemer Salverda and Tim Smeeding (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Economic Inequality. (Oxford, OUP). 2009 [paper]

Entry on “Global Income Inequality” (with F. Bourguignon, B. Milanovic and M. Ravallion), in the Princeton Encyclopaedia of the World Economy (Princeton University Press). 2009 [book]

“Can the distributional impacts of macroeconomic shocks be predicted? A comparison of top-down macro-micro models with historical data for Brazil” (with Phillippe Leite, Luiz Pereira da Silva and Paulo Picchetti), Chapter 5 in Bourguignon, Bussolo and Pereira da Silva (eds.): The impact of economic policies on poverty and income distribution - Macro-Micro Evaluation Techniques and Tools . (Washington, DC: Palgrave Macmillan and The World Bank). 2008 [working paper]

“Os efeitos do antigo programa Bolsa Escola sobre a pobreza, a desigualdade, a escolaridade e o trabalho infantile: uma abordagem de microsimulação” (with François Bourguignon and Phillippe Leite), Chapter 22 in Barros, Foguel and Ulyssea (eds .): Desigualdade de Renda no Brasil: uma análise da queda recente (Volume 2) , (Rio de Janeiro, IPEA). 2007. (Reprint in Portuguese translation from WBER article, 2003.) [paper]

“Ascensão e queda da desigualdade de renda no Brasil: uma atualização para 2005” (with Phillippe Leite, Julie Litchfield and Gabriel Ulyssea), Chapter 11 in Barros, Foguel and Ulyssea (eds .): Desigualdade de Renda no Brasil: uma análise da queda recente (Volume 1) , (Rio de Janeiro, IPEA). 2007 [book]

“Inequality of Opportunity and Economic Development” (with Michael Walton), Opening Address in Kochendörfer-Lucius and Pleskovic (eds.): Equity and Development (Washington, DC; InWent and The World Bank). 2006 [book]

“Introduction” (with F. Bourguignon and N. Lustig), Chapter 1 in Bourguignon, Ferreira, and Lustig (eds.): The Microeconomics of Income Distribution Dynamics in East Asia and Latin America (Washington, DC; The World Bank and Oxford University Press). 2005 [book]

“Decomposing Changes in the Distribution of Household Incomes: Methodological Aspects” (with Bourguignon), Chapter 2 in Bourguignon, Ferreira, and Lustig (eds.): The Microeconomics of Income Distribution Dynamics in East Asia and Latin America (Washington, DC; The World Bank and Oxford University Press). 2005 [book]

“The Slippery Slope: Explaining the Increase in Extreme Poverty in Urban Brazil, 1976-1996” (with Ricardo Paes de Barros), Chapter 4 in Bourguignon, Ferreira, and Lustig (eds.): The Microeconomics of Income Distribution Dynamics in East Asia and Latin America (Washington, DC; The World Bank and Oxford University Press). 2005 [book]

“A Synthesis of the Results” (with Bourguignon and Lustig), Chapter 1 in Bourguignon, Ferreira, and Lustig (eds.): The Microeconomics of Income Distribution Dynamics in East Asia and Latin America (Washington, DC; The World Bank and Oxford University Press). 2005 [book]

“Educational Expansion and Income Distribution: A micro-simulation for Ceará” (with Phillippe Leite), Ch. 11 in van der Hoeven and Shorrocks (eds.) Growth, Inequality and Poverty, (London, Oxford University Press), 2004 [paper]

“Ex-ante Evaluation of Policy Reforms Using Behavioural Models” (with François Bourguignon), Ch. 6 in Bourguignon, F. and L. Pereira da Silva (eds.) The Impact of Economic Policies on Poverty and Income Distribution , (New York, Oxford University Press), 2003 [paper]

"Desigualdade, Pobreza e Bem-Estar Social no Brasil: 1981-95" (with Julie A. Litchfield), Ch. 2 in Henriques (ed.) Desigualdade e Pobreza no Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, IPEA). 2000 [paper]

"Os Determinantes da Desigualdade de Renda no Brasil: Luta de Classes ou Heterogeneidade Educacional", Ch.5 in Henriques (ed.) Desigualdade e Pobreza no Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, IPEA). 2000 [working paper]

“The World Bank and Structural Adjustment: Lessons from the 1980s” (with Louise Keely), Ch.6 in Gilbert and Vines (eds.) The World Bank: Structure and Policies, (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press). 2000 [book]

“Educacion o Inflacion?: Explicando la Desigualdad en Brasil en la Decada de los Ochenta” (with Julie A. Litchfield), Ch.4 in Cardenas and Lustig (eds.) Pobreza y Desigualdad en America Latina, (Bogota: Tercer Mundo Editores). 1999

“Desigualdad y Pobreza en la Decada Perdida” (with Julie Litchfield), Ch.9 in Bulmer-Thomas (ed.): El Nuevo Modelo Economico en America Latina, (Mexico City: El Trimestre Economico). 1997 [book]

"The World Bank as 'Intellectual Actor'" (with Nicholas Stern), Ch.12 in Kapur, Lewis and Webb (eds), The World Bank: Its First Half Century, Vol. 2, (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press). 1997 [book]

"Inequality and Poverty in the Lost Decade: Brazilian Income Distribution in the 1980s" (with Julie A. Litchfield), Ch. 10 in V. Bulmer-Thomas (ed.), The New Economic Model in Latin America and its Impact on Income Distribution and Poverty , (London: Macmillan). 1996 [book]

"The World Bank and the Analysis of the International Debt Crisis" (with B. Armendariz de Aghion), Chapter 13 in Harriss, J., J. Hunter and C. Lewis (eds): The New Institutional Economics and Third World Development , (London: Routledge). 1995 [book]

“Prioritarianism and Equality of Opportunity” (with Paolo Brunori and Vito Peragine), Chapter 11 in Matthew Adler and Ole Nordheim (eds.) Prioritarianism in Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Forthcoming.

Recent Working Papers

"The analysis of inequality in the Bretton Woods institutions", LSE International Inequalities Institute Working Paper 83, August 2022. [working paper]

 “Occupational Dualism and Intergenerational Educational Mobility in the Rural Economy: Evidence from China and India”, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper #9316, July 2020. (with Shahe Emran, Yajing Jiang and Yan Sun) [working paper]

“Opportunity-Sensitive Poverty Measurement,” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6728, December 2013 (with Paolo Brunori, Maria Ana Lugo and Vito Peragine) [working paper]