Xavier Sala i Martín, a celebrated Catalan-American economist, was born on June 17, 1962 in Catalonia, Spain. Martin received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and later in 1990, he earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Martin, currently serves as Professor of Economics at Columbia University in New York and the Chief Economic Advisor to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He also holds the posts of a consultant to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, a member of the Counseling Board of Telefonica Catalunya, and an associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He ranks among the prominent economists of the day, and has made immense contributions to the field of economic growth.
Before joining Columbia University, Martin also served as a lecturer of Economics at the Yale University. He has served as a research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Research (CEPR) in London. Martin has worked both as a teacher and a research economists throughout his career. His economic foresight is valued all over the business world and he is often approached by companies wishing to venture out in a foreign market, conglomerates planning mergers etc., to benefit from his intellect. He also serves as the chief economic advisor to the World Economic Forum.
Xavier Sala i Martín conducted a study that led to the construction of the estimate of the World Distribution of Income, through which he was able to track the flow of income and measure the estimate poverty rates and measures of income inequality. Based on the results of the study, Martin proposed that, contrary to the beliefs of the United Nations and the World Bank, the total number of poor people were falling along with the poverty rates. Moreover, the United Nations and World Bank were wrong in their deduction that individual income inequalities were rising, Martin’s calculations proved it to be otherwise.
Martin has made notable literary contributions to the field of economics, and he has repeatedly been ranked among the most-cited economists in the world for works produced in the 1990s. He is the author and the researcher behind the creation of the globally acclaimed Global Competitiveness Index. The index is annually published in the Global Competitiveness Report, it ranks 142 countries of the world based on their competitiveness and also, provides a competitive strategies to enhance economic growth to the respective governments. GCI is the world’s most regularly followed index, governments and business all over the globe make use of it to plan their economic strategies. Martin has also done extensive research on the topics of economic growth, development in Africa, monetary economics, social security, health and economics, classical-liberal thinking and convergence. Sala i Martin, along with co-auther Robert Barro, penned down the textbook Economic Growth, the book has been translated into French, German, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese. He also serves as a columnist for the Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia.
Martin is also a much sought after conference speaker at prominent financial events all over the world, due to his light and jovial manner of delivering complex economic theories. He often collaborates with the Catalan Independentism, speaking at conferences all over Catalonia. He makes a weekly appearance on the Catalan radio network RAC 1 and the television show Divendres. He is often invited to speak on CNN as well. Martin is the founder of a non-profit organization, Umbele: A Future for Africa, that works to instigate economic prosperity in the continent.
Xavier Sala i Martín has received several awards for his services to the field of economics, such as the award for Best Economist in Spain and Latin America by the Bank of Spain, the prize for the Distinguished Teacher in Graduate Economics (at Columbia and Yale), the 2004 King Juan Carlos I Prize, the 2006 Lenfest Prize awarded to the best teacher at Columbia University and best Health Economist in the World by the International Health Economics Organization. Martin was a member of the board at FC Barcelona from 2003-2010, he also served as the treasurer of the club from 2004 onwards. In 2006, he was made president of the club, and the team went on to win major fame and success during his tenure.