Shifting global economic patterns may change the role of the World Bank, its lead economist said.

In the rapidly changing global economy, the World Bank will need to reassess its role and strategies in international development, David Rosenblatt said in a lecture before a full audience at the Sanford School of Public Policy Thursday. The talk was part of the Rethinking Development Policy Series held by the Duke Center for International Development.

“We’re willing to work through government to help government,” he said. “We have high ambitions but limited resources. We do as best as we can to make a difference.”

A graduate from the University of California at Berkeley, Rosenblatt worked on programs in Mexico and Brazil with the World Bank before becoming a lead economist for the organization.

In his talk, Rosenblatt drew on one of his recently published articles called “Shifting patterns of economic growth and rethinking development.”

The divide between developed and developing countries is shrinking in the changing global economy, Rosenblatt said. Factors such as strengthening international trade, a new focus on researching strategies for domestic development and collaboration between developing countries, contribute to this new global economic structure.

He added that the World Bank is currently rethinking its policies to help developing countries improve their economy. Facilitating international development will be long-term process.

Jason Guo, a second-year master’s student in political science, said that he was interested in learning more about the World Bank’s changing role.

“How will the World Bank play its role in advising developing countries to catch up with developed countries?” Guo said.

Daniel Xu, assistant professor of economics, said that given the importance of the World Bank in guiding developing countries, it is important that they use empirical evidence when reshaping their policies.

“What kind of actions and strategies [will] they take in the short term and the long term for countries who may be at different stages in development?” he asked.