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Understanding Changes in Poverty

August 27, 2014 Comments off

Understanding Changes in Poverty
Source: World Bank

Understanding Changes in Poverty brings together different methods to decompose the contributions to poverty reduction. A simple approach quantifies the contribution of changes in demographics, employment, earnings, public transfers, and remittances to poverty reduction. A more complex approach quantifies the contributions to poverty reduction from changes in individual and household characteristics, including changes in the sectoral, occupational, and educational structure of the workforce, as well as changes in the returns to individual and household characteristics. Understanding Changes in Poverty implements these approaches and finds that labor income growth that is, growth in income per worker rather than an increase in the number of employed workers was the largest contributor to moderate poverty reduction in 21 countries experiencing substantial reductions in poverty over the past decade. Changes in demographics, public transfers, and remittances helped, but made relatively smaller contributions to poverty reduction. Further decompositions in three countries find that labor income grew mainly because of higher returns to human capital endowments, signaling increases in productivity, higher relative price of labor, or both. Understanding Changes in Poverty will be of particular relevance to development practitioners interested in better understanding distributional changes over time. The methods and tools presented in this book can also be applied to better understand changes in inequality or any other distributional change.

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Reducing black carbon emissions from diesel vehicles : impacts, control strategies, and cost-benefit analysis

May 23, 2014 Comments off

Reducing black carbon emissions from diesel vehicles : impacts, control strategies, and cost-benefit analysis
Source: World Bank

A 2013 scientific assessment of black carbon emissions and impacts found that black carbon is second to carbon dioxide in terms of its climate forcing. High concentrations of black carbon in the atmosphere can change precipitation patterns and reduce the amount of radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface, which affects local agriculture. Acute and chronic exposures to particulate matter are associated with a range of diseases, including chronic bronchitis and asthma, as well as premature deaths from cardiopulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute lower respiratory infections. The transportation sector accounted for approximately 19 percent of global black carbon emissions in the year 2000. This report aims to inform efforts to control black carbon emissions from diesel-based transportation in developing countries. It presents a summary of emissions control approaches from developed countries, while recognizing that developing countries face a number of on-the-ground implementation challenges. This study applies a new cost-benefit analysis methodology to four simulated diesel black carbon emissions control projects – diesel retrofit in Istanbul, green freight (plus retrofit) in Sao Paulo, fuel and vehicle standards in Jakarta, and compressed natural gas (CNG) buses in Cebu taking into account the additional climate benefits of black carbon reductions. While this report focuses on quantifying just the health and climate benefits of transport interventions, it also serves to highlight the challenges that can be faced when undertaking more comprehensive evaluation of transport projects. A cost-benefit framework for economic analysis of diesel black carbon emissions control transport projects is also presented that factors in both climate and health benefits. Historically, technical interventions to control diesel black carbon emissions in developed countries have successfully relied on fuel quality improvements and vehicle emissions standards.

The State of Social Safety Nets 2014

May 23, 2014 Comments off

The State of Social Safety Nets 2014
Source: World Bank

This publication begins a series that will monitor and report on social safety nets in developing countries. This first report in the series provides key social safety nets statistics and explains trends using information from 146 countries, including detailed household survey data from 69 countries in the World Bank’s Atlas of Social Protection: Indicators of Resilience and Equity (ASPIRE) database. This report reviews important policy and practical developments in social safety net programs and highlights emerging innovations. While the primary focus is on developing and emerging countries, it also includes some references to high-income settings.

Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity

May 16, 2014 Comments off

Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity
Source: World Bank

This major new report distills vast data and hundreds of studies to shed new light on constraints facing women and girls worldwide, from epidemic levels of gender-based violence to biased laws and norms that prevent them from owning property, working, and making decisions about their own lives.

World Bank — The Little Data Book 2014

May 12, 2014 Comments off

The Little Data Book 2014
Source: World Bank

The Little Data Book 2014 is a pocket edition of World Development Indicators 2014. It is intended as a quick reference for users of the World Development Indicators database, book, and mobile app. The database covers more than 1,200 indicators and spans more than 50 years. The 214 country tables present the latest available data for World Bank member countries and other economies with populations of more than 30,000. The 14 summary tables cover regional and income group aggregates.

See also: World Development Indicators 2014

Which World Bank reports are widely read ?

May 12, 2014 Comments off

Which World Bank reports are widely read ?
Source: World Bank

Knowledge is central to development. The World Bank invests about one-quarter of its budget for country services in knowledge products. Still, there is little research about the demand for these knowledge products and how internal knowledge flows affect their demand. About 49 percent of the World Bank’s policy reports, which are published Economic and Sector Work or Technical Assistance reports, have the stated objective of informing the public debate or influencing the development community. This study uses information on downloads and citations to assesses whether policy reports meet this objective. About 13 percent of policy reports were downloaded at least 250 times while more than 31 percent of policy reports are never downloaded. Almost 87 percent of policy reports were never cited. More expensive, complex, multi-sector, core diagnostics reports on middle-income countries with larger populations tend to be downloaded more frequently. Multi-sector reports also tend to be cited more frequently. Internal knowledge sharing matters as cross support provided by the World Bank’s Research Department consistently increases downloads and citations.

East Asia Pacific at Work : Employment, Enterprise, and Well-being

May 9, 2014 Comments off

East Asia Pacific at Work : Employment, Enterprise, and Well-being
Source: World Bank

The unprecedented progress of East Asia Pacific is a triumph of working people. Countries that were low-income a generation ago successfully integrated into the global value chain, exploiting their labor-cost advantage. In 1990, the region held about a third of the world’s labor force. Leveraging this comparative advantage, the share of global GDP of emerging economies in East Asia Pacific grew from 7 percent in 1992 to 17 percent in 2011. Yet, the region now finds itself at a critical juncture. Work and its contribution to growth and well-being can no longer be taken for granted. The challenges range from high youth inactivity and rising inequality to binding skills shortages.

A key underlying issue is economic informality, which constrains innovation and productivity, limits the tax base, and increases household vulnerability to shocks. Informality is both a consequence of stringent labor regulations and limited enforcement capacity. In several countries, de jure employment regulations are more stringent than in many parts of Europe. Even labor regulations set at reasonable levels but poorly implemented can aggravate the market failures they were designed to overcome.

This report argues that the appropriate policy responses are to ensure macroeconomic stability, and in particular, a regulatory framework that encourages small- and medium-sized enterprises where most people in the region work. Mainly agrarian countries should focus on raising agricultural productivity. In urbanizing countries, good urban planning becomes critical. Pacific island countries will need to provide youth with human capital needed to succeed abroad as migrant workers. And, across the region, it is critical to ‘formalize’ more work, to increase the coverage of essential social protection, and to sustain productivity. To this end, policies should encourage mobility of labor and human capital, and not favor some forms of employment – for instance, full-time wage employment in manufacturing – over others, either implicitly or explicitly. Policies to increase growth and well-being from employment should instead reflect and support the dynamism and diversity of work forms across the region.

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