Dilip Ratha








Working to lower remittance fees and provide innovative financing solutions for people, businesses, and governments


About me


A person wearing a suit and tie

Description generated with very high confidenceHead, KNOMAD

Lead Economist, Migration and Remittances

The World Bank

Washington D.C.


I am an economist specializing in migration, remittances and innovative financing. Currently I'm developing a low-cost remittance platform originally proposed in my TED Talk, while concurrently working on market-based financing solutions for poor households, small businesses, and low- and middle-income countries.

Related work includes remittance-linked loans, bonds and insurance products; diaspora bonds; and harnessing diaspora philanthropy. Relevant innovative financing tools include shadow sovereign ratings for unrated countries and future-flow securitization (of payment rights and other future flows) to access capital markets during a financial crisis.

 In 2012, I founded KNOMAD, a global knowledge hub on migration, and in 2010, co-founded Migrating out of Poverty Research Consortium with its HQ at the University of Sussex. Around the same time, I also conceived the idea of the Africa Institute for Remittances. I serve as focal point on migration, remittances and diaspora bonds for the World Bank, and a co-coordinator of the Global Remittances Working Group that grew out of the G7 and the G20 processes.

During 2009-2015, I participated in the World Economic Forum global agenda council on migration. In 2015 I was affiliated with South Asia Institute, Harvard University as a Senior Visiting Fellow, and during 2011-13, with University of Sussex as a Visitor Professor of Economics. I served as the chair of the advisory group of Migrating out of Poverty Consortium during 2014-17, and as a member of the first advisory committee of the Migration Policy Center of European University Institute, Florence.

Prior to joining the World Bank, I worked as a regional economist for Asia at Credit Agricole Indosuez, Singapore where I advised institutional investors on Asian equity, fixed income and foreign exchange markets. I have also worked as an assistant professor of economics at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and as an economist at the Policy Group, New Delhi. I have a Ph.D. in economics from the Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi where I also worked as a visiting lecturer and helped build a CGE planning model for India.

A group of people in a room

Description generated with very high confidenceIn October 2014, I was invited by TED to speak at TEDGlobal, Rio de Janeiro. This Talk, “The hidden force in global economics: sending money home,” has 1.3 million views. Writing in June 2017, Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group included this at the top of five TED Talks that inspired him.

“No one has done more than Mr. Ratha to make migration and its potential rewards a top-of-the-agenda concern in the world’s development ministries,” wrote Jason DeParle in “World Banker and His Cash Return Home,”  New York Times, March 17, 2008. (Photo taken from the same article – shows a classroom in Sindhekela High School where I studied.)

Since the publication of my article on the significance of remittances in 2003, I have been fortunate enough to participate in all UN-level high-level forums on migration: Global Commission on International Migration, 10 Global Forums on Migration and Development, and three UN High-Level Dialogues on migration. During 2013-2015, I was able to contribute to the advocacy for including migration in the post-2015 development agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals now include targets to reduce remittance costs and recruitment costs, and I continue to lead, with others, the efforts to achieve these targets.

I blog on PeopleMove.