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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Violence without Borders: The Internationalization of Crime and Conflict

2020-06-25, World Bank

Just like nearly every aspect of human experience, crime, civil conflict, and violence have become increasingly global. Around the world, civil wars, of which there are more today than at any time since the end of World War II, displace greater numbers of people ever further from their countries of origin. Transnational terrorism has reached a 50-year high, in terms of both its incidence and the number of reported fatalities. Cross-border criminal markets—illicit drugs, human trafficking, wildlife trade, and so forth—take a heavy toll on the many societies they affect. This Policy Research Report, The Internationalization of Crime, Conflict, and Violence, offers a unified framework to take stock of the theoretical and empirical literature on crime, conflict, and violence and to discuss how the international community organizes itself to address security as a regional and global public good. The increasingly global effects of crime and conflict require an equally global response to violence.

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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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Moving for Prosperity: Global Migration and Labor Markets

2018-06-14, World Bank

Migration presents a stark policy dilemma. Research repeatedly confirms that migrants, their families back home, and the countries that welcome them experience large economic and social gains. Easing immigration restrictions is one of the most effective tools for ending poverty and sharing prosperity across the globe. Yet, we see widespread opposition in destination countries, where migrants are depicted as the primary cause of many of their economic problems, from high unemployment to declining social services. Moving for Prosperity: Global Migration and Labor Markets addresses this dilemma. In addition to providing comprehensive data and empirical analysis of migration patterns and their impact, the report argues for a series of policies that work with, rather than against, labor market forces. Policy makers should aim to ease short-run dislocations and adjustment costs so that the substantial long-term benefits are shared more evenly. Only then can we avoid draconian migration restrictions that will hurt everybody. Moving for Prosperity aims to inform and stimulate policy debate, facilitate further research, and identify prominent knowledge gaps. It demonstrates why existing income gaps, demographic differences, and rapidly declining transportation costs mean that global mobility will continue to be a key feature of our lives for generations to come. Its audience includes anyone interested in one of the most controversial policy debates of our time.

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Globalization, Growth, and Poverty : Building an Inclusive World Economy

2002, World Bank

Societies and economies around the world are becoming more integrated. Integration is the result of reduced costs of transport, lower trade barriers, faster communication of ideas, rising capital flows, and intensifying pressures for mitigation. Integration--or "globalization"--has generated anxieties about rising ineuality, shifting power, and cultural uniformity. This report assesses its impact and examines these anxieties. Global integration is already a powerful force for poverty reduction, but it could be even more effective. Some, but not all of the anxieties are well-founded. Both global opportunities and global risks have outpaced global policy. The authors propose an agenda for action, both to enhance the potential of globalization to provide opportunities for poor people and to reduce and mitigate the risks it generates. This report presents three main findings that bear on current policy debates about globalization. First, poor countries with around 3 billion people have broken into the global market for manufactures and services; these "new globalizers" have experienced large-scale poverty reduction. The second finding concerns inclusion both across countries and within them; the authors highlight a range of measures that would help countries in danger of becoming marginalized become integrated with the world economy. A third issue concerns the anxiety that economic integration leads to cultural or institutional homogenization.

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Making Politics Work for Development: Harnessing Transparency and Citizen Engagement

2016-07-11, World Bank

Too often, even reform leaders in countries fail to adopt and implement policies that they know are necessary for sustained economic development. They are encumbered by adverse political incentives, running the risk of losing office should they try to do the right thing. When technically sound policies are selected on paper, implementation through the public system can run into perverse norms of behavior among public officials and citizens to extract private benefits from the public sector at the expense of the greater public interest. Making Politics Work for Development is about how to make politics work for economic development rather than against it. It focuses on research about two forces—citizens’ political engagement and transparency—that explain and hold the potential to improve political incentives and norms of behavior in the public sector. The research shows that the confluence of transparency and political engagement can be a driving force for countries to transition toward better functioning public sector institutions, starting with their own initial and contextual conditions. To harness the potential of these forces, policy actors should target transparency to nourish the quality of political engagement so that citizens can hold leaders accountable for the public goods needed for development.

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Finance for Growth : Policy Choices in a Volatile World

2001-04, World Bank

The overall impact of financial globalization on the domestic financial sector is profound. Liberalization of capital flows has effectively made domestic financial repression obsolete. The consequences have not been uniformly favorable. Following liberalization, domestic interest rates in developing countries have moved to a premium over industrial country rates, and can surge at times of currency speculation. Heightened interest rate and exchange rate volatility pose practical risk management difficulties for financial intermediaries and reinforce the need for appropriate infrastructures and incentives for risk containment, as well as for good macropolicies. On the other hand, the cost of equity capital has been reduced by allowing foreign investor access to local equity markets and allowing local firms to list abroad. Increased international flows through the equity markets have not been the major contributor to increased international sources of volatility. In addition to opening access to foreign-sourced financial services, more and more countries have been permitting foreign-owned banks and other financial firms to operate locally. Although this can represent a threat to domestic owners of financial firms, the drawback is outweighed by improved service quality. On all three fronts--debt, equity, and services--the costs and risks as well as the benefits of increased financial globalization. knowledges