Other Poverty Study

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    Braving the Storm: Poverty and Inequality in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2007-2011
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-05) World Bank ; Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina ; FBiH Institute for Statistics ; RS Institute for Statistics ; AGe
    This note describes the trends in, and composition of, absolute poverty based on household expenditures, and is thus concerned, as a matter of policy objectives, with access of the population to a particular minimum standard of living. This should be viewed as complementary to the companion note on social exclusion based on Europe 2020 indicators including the relative at-risk-of-poverty (AROP) rate, focuses on low income in relation to other residents in a given country. In addition to the analysis of absolute poverty, the note also presents an analysis of inclusive growth, aimed at assessing whether income growth (losses) benefit (impact) differentially the lowest part (here, bottom forty percent) of the distribution. Other approaches, such as those including measures of poverty based on current income, or self-reported measures of affordability, or approached that differ in the way they set the poverty threshold exist. The choice of World Bank’s methodology for purposes of this report is primarily on pragmatic grounds: (i) it allows for the analysis of trends during 2007-2011; (ii) the same methodology was adopted in the previous report (World Bank 2009) to analyze poverty trends during 2004-2007, thus providing a longer trend; (iii) it allows for comparisons of trends across the entities of BiH.
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    More Jobs, Better Jobs : A Priority for Egypt
    (Washington, DC, 2014-06) World Bank
    Much of the current debate around the recent economic crisis in the Arab Republic of Egypt has focused on unemployment. Although unemployment is an important marker of labor market health, the jobs problem in Egypt precedes the recent crisis and is manifested markedly in other labor market metrics. Indeed, the link between growth and unemployment in Egypt is weak, particularly for men. This chapter argues that the reason for this weak link is partly related to decades of flawed industrial policies that have discouraged investment in employment-generating activities. Industrial policies, including those implemented in the mid-2000s, were never focused on mitigating market failures to promote the emergence of fast-growing, high-productivity firms. Instead, they have worked to preserve insider privileges, leading to growth in sectors that are not labor intensive. Policy makers therefore need to look beyond supply-side focused labor market policies to accelerate employment growth.
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    Market Accessibility and Regional Maps : Kyrgyz Republic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-04-01) Blankespoor, Brian
    Access to markets is argued to have a significant role in development. In order to quantify the access of places to markets, policy makers are showing increasing interest in accessibility indicators (Yoshida and Deichmann 2009). This paper seeks to examine the spatial relationship of access to market in the Kyrgyz Republic using a recent census and household survey in order to identify possible linkages with rates of poverty and other micro (spatial) information. This analysis uses the market accessibility index that measures the potential connectivity of population or expenditures between village/towns and big cities via the transport network. Results show that high market accessibility is located near the large cities with a concentration of infrastructure, while low access is more in the rural areas. Future work will use this indicator in economic models to statistical identify its significance with regards to per capita expenditure and poverty.
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    EU11 Regular Economic Report : Coping with External Headwinds
    (Washington, DC, 2012-06) World Bank
    This study claims that despite the challenging external environment, EU11 countries did well in 2011. First, economic growth strengthened to above 3 percent (from around 2 percent in 2010) and the region fully recovered its output losses from the global financial crisis. Second, fiscal measures delivered reduction of around 3 percent of GDP in the EU11 average fiscal deficit. Third, the financial sector remained resilient to renewed concerns about negative feedback loops between insecure sovereign debtors and fragile financial markets. However, the good performance conceals important shifts in economic sentiment that occurred during the year. While the growth momentum was still strong in the first half of 2011, it slowed toward the end of the year, as the region started to feel the impact of lingering concerns about European sovereign-debt markets, creeping oil prices, and the global slowdown. With the downward trend in economic activity, labor markets remained slack. Unemployment rates hovered around those recorded in the midst of the global financial crisis with sluggish employment growth. The paper points out that the European economic growth model has delivered unprecedented welfare to the continent over the last half century. In spite of its remarkable success, several aspects of the European economic growth model require reform to ensure that it is sustainable. Among the priorities for many European states today are providing incentives for labor mobility, making public finances more sustainable, and adapting social security systems to demographic developments, and harmonizing regulation across borders. This note zeroes in on the EU11 region to explore what is driving their prosperity and growth. The main messages related to the drivers of growth and prosperity in EU11 are as follows: 1) Convergence; 2) Trade and finance; 3) Enterprise and innovation; 4) Labor; and 4) Government.
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    Liberia : Strategic Policy Options for Medium Term Growth and Development
    (Washington, DC, 2012-03-15) World Bank
    This paper explores Liberia's policy options in support of the development of a Medium-Term Growth and Development Strategy (MTGDS) for 2013-2017 and its national vision, Liberia Rising 2030. At issue is the mismatch between available fiscal space and the enormous development needs that the government must resolve as it prepares to transform the economy into a middle-income country by 2040. This dilemma calls for the new administration to make trade-offs among various priorities if it is to achieve its aspirations. For this purpose, a Liberian version of a single-country Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model, MAMS (Maquette for Millennium Development Goal, or MDG simulations), was developed and informed by analytical studies as well as sector strategies prepared in support of Liberia's MTGDS. This paper examines the likely impacts on macroeconomic and social indicators of alternate strategic policy scenarios. A base scenario (designed to represent a central case for the evolution of Liberia's economy up to 2030) was first established, and thereafter a set of different assumptions were introduced for the mining sector, government spending on infrastructure and human development, and foreign borrowing. The paper is organized into five sections including this introduction. Section two presents the basic features of MAMS. The simulation analysis, which is the focus of the paper, is covered in the next two sections: the base scenario in section three and a set of alternative scenarios, which are contrasted with the base scenario, in section four. The final section summarizes the main findings and conclusion. Appendices one and two include a set of figures with selected simulation results and a brief discussion of the Liberian database for MAMS, respectively.
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    Jamaica : Poverty and Social Impacts of Fiscal Reforms
    (Washington, DC, 2012) World Bank
    This Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) explores the distributional effects of a package of fiscal reforms initiated by the Government of Jamaica and supported by the World Bank under the programmatic fiscal sustainability Development Policy Loan (DPL) series. The DPL series supports improved budget and debt management in order to reduce the debt overhang and create additional fiscal space for productive public spending, including social expenditures. The PSIA discusses the poverty and distributional impacts of the prior actions supported under the DPL, with a particular focus on two reform actions likely to have the most significant impacts: (1) tax reform and (2) public sector reform, focusing on rationalization of public bodies. The report offers both quantitative and qualitative assessments of the potential poverty and distributional effects of these policy changes. The report is structured as follows: section two analyzes the expected impact of changes in tax policy; section three investigates the potential impacts of public bodies' rationalization, and section four offers some caveats and concluding remarks. Each section begins with a discussion of the reform background as well as the major supporters and opponents of the reform. The analysis in each section is presented with the least possible amount of technical details in order to maximize the appeal to a broader audience. For the interested reader, the methodological details of the empirical approaches employed in this report are contained in the annexes.
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    Moldova - After the Global Crisis : Promoting Competitiveness and Shared Growth
    (World Bank, 2011-06-14) World Bank
    This report argues that in the future Moldova will need to develop a second engine of growth from exports of goods and services. We argue that Moldova needs to resurrect agro-based exports, to raise their value by exporting to higher value markets, and develop service exports in order to provide job opportunities for underemployed tertiary graduates. To be successful in doing so, the government will need to implement deep fiscal and structural reforms to break the cycle, while taking advantage of productivity gains. Much needs fixing, and Moldova's public sector does not have the capacity to fix it all. Moldova's leaders need to reach consensus on a comprehensive and sequenced growth and poverty reduction strategy. This report sketches out what such a strategy should contain. The author suggests that geography and the Government's policy stance fundamentally shape Moldova's economic growth potential and the path and priorities that a growth strategy should follow. Government needs to accelerate reforms so that the country can emerge from the global crisis-induced recession with faster and less vulnerable growth. Business as usual will not suffice. The world's capital markets have become tighter, foreign investors more demanding, and export markets more competitive. In April 2009, Moldova's youth indicated that that they can no longer stand aside and watch Moldova fall behind, they have called for a politics of aspiration, and they will demand economic policies consistent with these aspirations.
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    Timor Leste - Expanding Near-Term Agricultural Exports - Main Report
    (World Bank, 2011-06-01) World Bank
    The Government of Timor-Leste (GOTL) is committed to the development of the non-oil economy by enabling the diversification of domestic production and trade integration. The objective of the Timor-Leste Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) is to agree on priority actions to help overcome constraints to expanding agricultural exports in the near-term. It supports the government's efforts to develop a broader international trade strategy, which may include strategic sectors such as tourism and fisheries. The focus of the DTIS is on short-term results in areas with immediate export potential. It therefore looks only at the agriculture sector. Achieving export growth and diversification are essential for supporting overall economic growth and employment generation. Non-oil export growth is critical in light of the external sustainability risks of depending on exhaustible petroleum exports. Expanding output for domestic consumption is also a priority and may help reduce dependence on imports. Policy actions to expand exports will impact positively on domestic trade as well. Timor-Leste faces the challenge of having to mostly create a non-oil export sector, rather than reviving one that is stagnant or destroyed because of conflict. This context is quite unique even when compared to similar small-island or post-conflict countries.
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    2011 Philippines Development Report : Generating Inclusive Growth to Uplift the Poor
    (World Bank, 2011-02-01) World Bank
    The theme of the 2011 Philippines development report is 'generating inclusive growth, uplifting the poor and vulnerable'. This theme is follows from the priorities set in President Aquino's Social Contract and the emerging 2011-2016 Philippines Development Plan (PDP). The PDP details the vision of inclusive growth and poverty reduction that underlies the social contract (chapter one). Accordingly, the PDP focuses on three strategic objectives: (1) attaining a sustained and high rate of economic growth that provides productive employment opportunities, (2) equalizing access to development opportunities for all Filipinos, and (3) implementing effective social safety nets to protect and enable those who do not have the capability to participate in the economic growth process. While the country's development agenda remains broadly the same over the last decade, the Aquino government is focusing on stepped-up implementation and delivery. The pressing development issues confronting the Philippines in 2011 are not radically different from those of previous years. The critical difference is the new government's focus on effective implementation and delivery of public goods and services, starting with a firm approach to fighting corruption and improving governance.
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    Mauritius - Enhancing and Sustaining Competitiveness : Policy Notes on Trade and Labor
    (World Bank, 2010-12-03) World Bank
    Mauritius is a well known successful development story. The country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita rose from 38 percent below the world average in 1981 to 16 percent above the average by 2008. Such a performance is not the fruit of luck or use of natural advantages as it was accomplished through man-made efforts and policy actions. The combination of (i) active industrialization policies together with opportunistic use of preferential trade access; and (ii) participatory institutions that assured voice and rent redistribution across the society ensured labor intensive growth and the emergence of a virtuous cycle in development. Mauritius knew what needed to be done. A National Long-Term Perspective Study (NLTPS), also known as Vision 2020, started in 1990 and was completed in 1997. The goal of opening up and diversifying the economy by moving towards high value-added, skill and knowledge intensive service sectors was already well articulated in the study - with explicit reference to the potential of 'computer services' which today is embedded in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. The global crisis in 2008 was a threatening reminder of vulnerabilities. Mauritius is structurally vulnerable to external shocks. With a small domestic market unable to promote or sustain production growth by itself and a high dependence on raw materials, food and energy imports, the country is necessarily tied to developments in the world economy. An overarching challenge for Mauritius to achieve the envisaged transformation towards a higher value added economy and sustain economic growth is to improve its productivity performance. This report focuses on two key fundamental instruments for that: (i) trade policy and (ii) labor policy.