Jonathan Tebes | 2012 | Interns

Jonathan Tebes (’14)

Hamden, CT

Dana Mead Intern

Economics and Brain and Cognitive Sciences Major

The World Bank Group

This summer I worked at the World Bank to conduct research with economists from the Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship Global Practice of the International Finance Corporation as well as the Social Protection division of the Africa Region. As an economics major, my internship was a wonderful opportunity to learn how empirical tools can inform development policy.

On one of my projects at the Bank, I provided a behavioral profile of African youth for the Youth Employment Report of Sub-Saharan Africa. Using raw country-level data, I was able to show how African youth in certain occupations differ from comparable youth in more developed regions along various quality of life indicators. In working on this project, I refined my technical skillset while collaborating with development professionals at the frontier of development policy formation and implementation. In a second project, I worked with another MIT intern and the senior economist of ITE Global Practice on a macroeconomic analysis of why certain countries have greater levels of entrepreneurship than others. Our research culminated in a presentation to ITE Global Practice, and a summary of our work will be published in a World Bank periodical in the coming months.

Throughout the summer I also attended a number of forums, debates, discussion panels, and conferences at the Bank. These events exposed me to a myriad of current development issues, such as how best to structure a large knowledge-based organization or how to encourage inclusive business models and social enterprises in the developing world. A particularly noteworthy experience was attending the inaugural address of the Bank’s incoming President, Dr. Jim Kim. It was exciting to hear his vision for the World Bank and participate in the discussion of how the Bank’s employees would like to see their institution change over the next decade. My direct exposure to the policymaking process at the Bank, in which economic analysis plays a key role, has inspired me to pursue advanced study in development economics after MIT. I plan to enter academia to conduct research on reducing poverty and its sequelae and to work closely with organizations like the Bank that are focused on poverty reduction.