“Lifting people out of poverty was and is precisely the mandate with which the World Bank was founded. Now, at last, we have a nominee with the experience and humility to move this agenda forward.” That's how Paul Farmer and NYU professor John Gershman described Jim Yong Kim in a Washington Post Op-Ed supporting his nomination to lead the World Bank.
Published on April 11 under the title "Jim Kim’s humility would serve World Bank well," the article argues that “recent claims from some economists that Kim is ‘anti-growth' are based on a willful misreading and selective reporting of passages from Kim’s co-edited volume Dying for Growth: Global Inequality and the Health of the Poor.” Both Farmer and Gershman have known Jim Kim and his views long and well — Farmer as a co-founder of PIH and Gershman as one of Kim's co-editors on Dying for Growth.
"Any reasonable reading of the book indicates that Dying for Growth is pro-growth, raising questions about particular policies and patterns of growth that exclude the great majority of people living in poverty," Farmer and Gershman wrote. "Hence the double entendre in the title.
"The conclusion of Dying for Growth contained an explicit call for research on the relationships among growth, inequality, poverty and health.
"That stance — of asking hard questions rather than assuming the answers — is a valuable one for whoever is at the helm of the World Bank or any development institution. We would argue that it is precisely this humility that has been missing for too long among those who claim to have a clear prescription for ending poverty.
"Jim Yong Kim is a physician and leader who has dedicated his life to advancing development — seeking brisk economic growth and ensuring that the most vulnerable also benefit."