Other Poverty Study

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  • Publication
    Are Skills Constraining Growth in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
    (World Bank, 2009-12-01) World Bank
    The shortage of skills sought by key export-oriented and import competing industries in Bosnia and Herzegovina (henceforth, 'BH') is substantial and if left unaddressed, threatens to constrain future economic growth of the country. Prior to the onset of the global economic crisis, BH enjoyed strong rates of economic growth based to a significant degree on the growth of exports. On average, exports grew at an impressive 34 percent per year between 1995 and 2008. Our analysis however confirms that the growth of exporting, as well as import-competing industries is increasingly becoming constrained by the shortage of skills in the labor force. In this report we seek to identify these shortages and their likely causes and recommend reforms and policies which can prevent the plummeting of economic growth due to lack of adequate skills. Firm-level evidence confirms that the shortage of qualified workers is becoming a serious obstacle to growth of BH exporting companies. This report investigates what types of skills firms are looking for and are not finding in the marketplace. The policy recommendation section of this study seeks to provide ideas and direction for the BH government to address these labor market challenges.
  • Publication
    Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan - Poverty Update : Appendices
    (World Bank, 2009-11-01) World Bank
    This report is a joint product of the Jordanian Department of Statistics (DOS) and the World Bank. The report has four goals: 1) update the official Jordanian poverty line based on the 2006 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) using the methodology previously applied for the poverty assessment in 2002; 2) describe recent poverty trends; 3) understand the reasons for the discrepancy between the results of formal statistical analysis and popular perceptions of poverty trends; and 4) provide preliminary information about the distributional impacts of fuel subsidies and measures to compensate for fuel subsidy elimination. Using 2006 as the base year, the Jordanian poverty line was JD 46.3 per person per month. In 2006, 13 percent of the population was below the poverty line. The highest rate of poverty was observed in Mafraq governorate. Although Amman has the lowest poverty rate of all governorates, it is home to the largest number of poor individuals due to the concentration of population in Amman. Several sub-districts, including Rwashed, Wadi Araba and Aghwar Janoobiyah have very high rates of poverty. Disturbingly, income would have fallen for most Jordanians if not for growth in transfer income. The growth in transfer income was primarily due to transfers made to compensate for the April 2006 fuel price increases and gifts to government employees announced by the King on holidays. Income before transfers is comprised mainly of property/rental and labor income. Property/rental income fell between 2002 and 2006, apparently reflecting the dis-saving trend also observed at the macro level. Labor income was stagnant for most Jordanians, although the wealthiest quintile saw significant gains.
  • Publication
    Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan - Poverty Update : Main Report
    (World Bank, 2009-11-01) World Bank
    This report is a joint product of the Jordanian Department of Statistics (DOS) and the World Bank. The report has four goals: 1) update the official Jordanian poverty line based on the 2006 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) using the methodology previously applied for the poverty assessment in 2002; 2) describe recent poverty trends; 3) understand the reasons for the discrepancy between the results of formal statistical analysis and popular perceptions of poverty trends; and 4) provide preliminary information about the distributional impacts of fuel subsidies and measures to compensate for fuel subsidy elimination. Using 2006 as the base year, the Jordanian poverty line was JD 46.3 per person per month. In 2006, 13 percent of the population was below the poverty line. The highest rate of poverty was observed in Mafraq governorate. Although Amman has the lowest poverty rate of all governorates, it is home to the largest number of poor individuals due to the concentration of population in Amman. Several sub-districts, including Rwashed, Wadi Araba and Aghwar Janoobiyah have very high rates of poverty. Disturbingly, income would have fallen for most Jordanians if not for growth in transfer income. The growth in transfer income was primarily due to transfers made to compensate for the April 2006 fuel price increases and gifts to government employees announced by the King on holidays. Income before transfers is comprised mainly of property/rental and labor income. Property/rental income fell between 2002 and 2006, apparently reflecting the dis-saving trend also observed at the macro level. Labor income was stagnant for most Jordanians, although the wealthiest quintile saw significant gains.
  • Publication
    Moldova - The Consequences of Several Shocks for Consumption and Poverty
    (World Bank, 2009-09-17) World Bank
    The distribution of consumption in Moldova implies that changes in workers' remittances, migration, and energy prices could influence consumption and poverty rates in some unexpected and even counter-intuitive ways. Relatively well-off groups, rather than the poor, benefit most from remittances and have the most to lose from a decline. The burden of an energy price shock is spread through the economy, although the poor are most affected because they consume somewhat more energy in proportion to their consumption. The consumption of relatively wealthy groups is linked directly to price of natural gas, while the consumption of the poor is linked more directly to the price of wood fuel. And, child poverty is most closely linked to family dissolution, rather than to migration in itself. Migrants come disproportionately from relatively rich households, and this is true even after adjustment for the income received from remittances. The conclusion is to urge research into the dynamics of family solidarity and dissolution in Moldova, since this may suggest interventions to reduce child poverty. To deepen understanding of child poverty, it will be useful to collect the data necessary to construct better indicators of outcomes for children with absent parents, for instance, on their school attendance, educational achievement, and nutrition.
  • Publication
    Armenia : Implications of the Global Economic Crisis for Poverty
    (World Bank, 2009-09-01) World Bank
    The global economic crisis seriously threatens the economic growth and poverty reduction that Armenia achieved in recent years. The most recent data indicate that the economy is now shrinking, with prospects worsening in 2009 and 2010 when the full impact of the crisis is expected to unfold. These developments are a setback for Armenia after a decade of nearly double-digit growth and substantial poverty reduction. Depending on the depth of the crisis in Armenia, in its main trading partners, and in its migrant workers' host countries, and depending on the effectiveness of policy responses, the crisis could have a protracted negative effect on Armenians' living standards. The economic downturn, coming on the heels of the food and fuel price increases last year, will have particularly difficult consequences for the poor and vulnerable who have limited coping means to deal with these successive shocks. The note identifies the main channels of transmission to households of the current global economic crisis and estimates its potential impact on poverty in Armenia. Given uncertainties regarding the scale of the crisis and how households are likely to cope, the note is intended to provide indicative estimates of the poverty impact of the crisis, rather than precise estimates. These estimates are made by simulating the effects of the anticipated slowdown on household consumption using data from the 2007 Integrated Living Conditions Survey (ILCS). The key messages that come out of the analysis are that the crisis will have potentially serious implications for poverty and that this calls for significant responses by the Government of Armenia and its development partners. The government is taking a number of steps to provide protection to the poor, including the protection of public spending on social protection and other pro-poor programs and to improve the targeting efficiency of the programs. These measures should help lessen the impact of the crisis on the poor and the vulnerable.
  • Publication
    How-to-Guide Note for the World Bank Technical Assistance to Burundi for the Adoption of a Semi-automatic Pricing Mechanism in the Petroleum Sector
    (Washington, DC, 2009-05-19) World Bank
    In May 2008, the government of Burundi requested Bank assistance to review the situation of the petroleum market, and evaluate the existing pricing mechanism. Following three Bank missions, a draft report was prepared and submitted to the Burundian authorities. Both the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Finance submitted comments on the draft report. The draft and the government s comments were discussed with a Bank economic mission in April 2009. The present note is focused on the petroleum pricing issue and takes into account the comments of the government and the conclusions of the discussions with the Bank mission in April. Following an analysis of the petroleum supply chain, the report presents the main conclusions and recommendations of the Bank s petroleum expert on the current pricing mechanism; summarizes the views of the authorities on recent changes in their management of domestic prices; and describes the new measures the government plans to take to consolidate the existing quasi-automatic price adjustment mechanism and to stabilize the market supply and the specific cost components. The report also discusses briefly how the social impact of price increases is already taken care of in the current pricing mechanism.
  • Publication
    Ethnic Minority Poverty in Vietnam
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-05-15) Baulch, Bob; Nguyen, Thi Minh Hoa; Nguyen, Thi Thu Phuong; Pham, Thai Hung
    Although economic reform has brought remarkable progress in poverty reduction in Vietnam, the scale and depth of ethnic minority poverty in Vietnam presents one of the major challenges to achieving the targets for poverty reduction set out in the Socio-Economic Development Plan, as well as the millennium development goals. The authors first review a series of monetary and non-monetary indicators which show the living standards of the ethnic minorities are improving but still lag seriously behind those of the majority Kinh-Hoa. The minorities' lower living standards result from the complex interplay of overlapping disadvantages, which start in utero and continue until adult life. Next an analysis of the drivers of the ethnic gap, in terms of both differences in characteristics and differences in returns to those characteristics, is undertaken. Mean and quantile decompositions show that at least a half of the gap in per capita expenditure can be attributed to the lower returns to characteristics that the ethnic minorities receive. The reasons underlying such differences in returns are discussed, drawing on both quantitative analysis and the large number of qualitative studies on ethnic issues in Vietnam. Finally, some of the short and longer term policy measures which the authors believe could help to counter ethnic disadvantages in the nutrition, education, and employment sectors are discussed. The authors also emphasize the importance of promoting growth that is geographically broad and socially inclusive without which, the current disparities between the Kinh-Hoa and the ethnic minorities will continue to grow.
  • Publication
    Bulgaria - Poverty implications of the global financial crisis
    (World Bank, 2009-05-01) World Bank
    There are visible signs that the global financial crisis is affecting economic growth and poverty reduction in Bulgaria. After a period of strong economic growth through 2008, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2009 is projected to shrink by 3.5 percent due to the crisis, with important implications for poverty. The note identifies the following channels as having particular relevance for poverty in Bulgaria: (i) the labor market and (ii) foreign remittances. Due primarily to its effect on trade and investment, the global financial crisis could affect household welfare through contraction in the labor market and slowdown in wage growth. Remittances from abroad, which are significant contributor to consumption of nearly 7 percent of the Bulgarian households, are likely to slow down in 2009. The note estimates the potential impact on poverty of the crisis. The poverty impact is projected by simulating the effects of the anticipated slowdown in growth and remittances on household consumption using data from the 2007 Multitopic Household Survey (MTHS) and macro and sectoral growth and employment projections. Given uncertainties regarding the scale of the crisis and how households are likely to cope, the note is intended to provide indicative estimates of the poverty impact of the crisis, rather than precise estimates.
  • Publication
    Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) : Reviewing the Link with In-Country Policy and Planning Processes - Synthesis Report
    (World Bank, 2009-05-01) World Bank
    The synthesis report concerns to go beyond a summary of the country studies to provide lessons and recommendations on how to further improve Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) effectiveness. To do so, it draws on findings from country case studies, the literature and recent internal Bank reviews (World Bank 2006, 2008) on PSIA. The synthesis is structured in three parts. Section two reviews the role of PSIA in country work drawing on internal guidance from the Bank and the wider literature. It introduces the PSIA framework and the main elements of an effective PSIA. Section two ends with a presentation of the review framework and the approach to sampling and methodology for the country studies. Section three presents the bulk of the review findings and lessons learned with a focus on lessons for embedding PSIA into country processes. Section four addresses the future of PSIA with recommendations aimed at: (i) improving the influence that PSIA has on policy and planning processes in-country, and (ii) ensuring that it is applied more routinely by partner governments and Bank programs.
  • Publication
    Czech Republic : Report on Vision and Strategy for an Integrated Revenue Administration
    (World Bank, 2009-04-22) World Bank
    This report is a result of the mission of the World Bank to the Czech Republic during November 17 to 27, 2008 for providing advisory service to the Government of the Czech Republic for the design and development of a modern, integrated revenue authority. Earlier, between February and April 2008, a World Bank mission had reviewed the draft merger plan prepared by the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic in January 2008 and examined the key issues for the merger of tax and customs administrations and the integration of the collection, enforcement and audit functions of social contributions. The preliminary findings of the World Bank are contained in the 'report on an integrated revenue administration' in two volumes which was disseminated in June 2008. This mission in November 2008 is the first in a series of missions over the next eighteen months for providing the advisory services as requested to the Government of the Czech Republic. During this first mission, the Bank has worked with the Czech counterparts to develop for the new Jednotni Inkasni Misto (JIM): (i) an integrated vision and key concepts (ii) major objectives and key elements of reform; (iii) a comprehensive strategy for reform of the organizational structure, human resources, business processes, and information systems; (iv) project management structure; (v) change management strategy; and (vi) key performance indicators.