Policy Research Reports

14 items available

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This series brings to a broad audience the results of World Bank research on development policy. The reports are designed to contribute to the debate on appropriate public policies for developing economies. Titles in this series undergo internal and external review under the management of the Research Group in the World Bank's Development Economics Vice Presidency.

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Finance for All? Policies and Pitfalls in Expanding Access

2008, World Bank

This book, finance for all, presents first efforts at developing indicators illustrating that financial access is quite limited around the world and identifies barriers that may be preventing small firms and poor households from using financial services. Based on this research, the report derives principles for effective government policy on broadening access. The report's conclusions confirm some traditional views and challenge others. For example, recent research provides additional evidence to support the widely-held belief that financial development promotes growth and illustrates the role of access in this process. Improved access to finance creates an environment conducive to new firm entry, innovation, and growth. However, research also shows that small firms benefit the most from financial development and greater access-both in terms of entry and seeing their growth constraints relaxed. Hence, inclusive financial systems also have consequences for the composition and competition in the enterprise sector. This report reviews and synthesizes a large body of research, and provides the basis for sound policy advice in the area of financial access. The findings in this report also underline the importance of investing in data collection: continued work on measuring and evaluating the impact of access requires detailed micro data both at the household and enterprise level.

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Land Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction

2003, Deininger, Klaus

Land policies are of fundamental importance to sustainable growth, good governance, and the well-being of, and the economic opportunities open to, both rural and urban dwellers - particularly the poor. To this end, research on land policy, and analysis of interventions related to the subject, have long been of interest to the Bank's Research Department, and other academic, and civil society institutions. The report aims to strengthen the effectiveness of land policy in support of development, and poverty reduction, by setting out the results of recent research in a way that is accessible to a wide audience of policymakers, nongovernmental organizations, academics in the Bank's client countries, donor agency officials, and the broader development community. Its main message rests on three principles: 1) provision of secure tenure to land improves the welfare of the poor, particularly by enhancing the asset base of those whose land rights are often neglected, and, creates incentives needed for investment, paramount to sustainable economic growth; 2) facilitation of land exchange, and distribution, whether as an asset or for current services, at low cost, through markets, and non-market channels, will expedite land access by productive, but land-poor producers, so that once economic growth improves, financial markets would rely on the use of land as collateral; and, 3) governments' contribution to the promotion of socially desirable land allocation, and utilization. The report discusses mechanisms to promote tenure security, demonstrates the importance of rental market transactions, arguing the removal of impediments to these can generate equity advantages, and positive investments. It also illustrates mechanisms, ranging from taxation, to regulation and land use planning to address these issues.