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Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-03-28) World BankFiscal Incidence Analysis (FIA) is the study of how fiscal policies benefit (or burden, in the case of taxes) people and households at different parts of the income distribution. The objective of this note is to highlight lessons learned in capacity building and skill transfer for FIA, including Commitment to Equity (CEQ) assessment. The goal is to uncover effective strategies for transferring the skills and capacities to government officials and other fiscal experts in countries around the world to enable them to carry out this type of analysis themselves. The note is based on interviews with experts, both within and outside of the World Bank who have been conducting FIA assessments and building and using microsimulation tools, often in close collaboration with officials from the government. The rest of this note: (i) describes the common engagement models and capacity building approaches that have been taken; (ii) assesses the extent to which these have been successful and distils lessons learned from some of these efforts, and (iii) identifies a few concrete ways in which similar efforts in the future could be made more effective.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2022) World BankThe Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is the most unequal region in the world. While there has been some progress in recent years, inequality has remained almost stagnant in the most unequal countries. Using an innovative framework, this report provides a systematic and comprehensive analysis of inequality in the region. The main conclusions are as follows: first, inherited circumstances over which an individual has little or no control (i.e., inequality of opportunity) drive overall inequality, and their contribution has increased in recent years. This is an important concern particularly because this type of inequality is not the result of people’s efforts. Second, lack of access to jobs and means of production (education, skills, land, among others) by disadvantaged populations slows progress towards a more equitable income distribution. In a context where jobs are scarce, having post-secondary or tertiary education is key to both accessing jobs, and obtaining better wages once employed. Third, fiscal policy helps reduce inequality through the use of targeted transfers, social spending, and progressive taxation, but results are below expectation given the level of spending. Fourth, vulnerability to climate risks and economic shocks makes any gains towards a more equal society fragile. Looking ahead, accelerating inequality reduction will require concerted action in three policy areas: (a) expanding coverage and quality of education, health, and basic services across subregions and disadvantaged populations to reduce inequality of opportunity; (b) strengthening access to and availability of private sector jobs. It is important to accompany structural reforms with measures that facilitate entrepreneurship and skills acquisition of disadvantaged populations, and to improve land distribution and productivity in rural areas; and (c) investing in adaptive social protection systems to increase resilience to climate risks and economic vulnerability, while enhancing targeting of safety net programs for more efficient use of fiscal resources.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06-19) World BankA decade of rapid economic growth has supported upward mobility and the expansion of the middle class in the Philippines. While the Philippines’ record of economic growth has been sound, many East Asian countries have performed better, resulting in higher levels of economic mobility and more rapid middle-class expansion. This study aims to inform these efforts through an in-depth examination of varying factors that affect upward mobility and middle-class expansion in the Philippines.
Using Remittance Transaction Data for Timely Estimation of the Foreign Worker Population in Malaysia(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06-06) Ahmad, Zainab Ali ; Simler, Kenneth ; Yi, SoonhwaMalaysia has been grappling with understanding how many foreign workers reside in the country and thus faces challenges in formulating evidence-based foreign worker policies. This paper investigates how to use micro-level remittance transaction data collected from money transfer service providers to estimate the number of foreign workers. Most foreign workers remit a large portion of their earnings to support family members back home. They are low-income earners, are sensitive to remittance costs, and thus opt for money transfer service providers to remit money rather than regular banks, where transfer services are more expensive. Therefore, the remittance data provide a useful source to conduct the investigation. Existing estimates range from two to five million foreign workers; our results narrow that range considerably, estimating a total of 2.99 million to 3.16 million foreign workers in Malaysia as of 2017–18. State and nationality distributions of foreign workers in our estimates are consistent with the Ministry of Home Affairs data, lending support to the validity of our estimates. Nevertheless, authors note that the Bank Negara Malaysia remittance data could potentially underestimate the number of workers in states with low access to money service providers, as well as nationalities that have access to alternative money transfer mechanisms such as commercial banking and informal transfer channels.