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Publication(World Bank, 2009) Anderson, Kym ; Masters, William A.One of every two people in Sub-Saharan Africa survives on less than $1.25 a day. That proportion has changed little over the past three decades, unlike in Asia and elsewhere, so the region's share of global poverty has risen from one-tenth to almost one-third since 1980. About 70 percent of today's 400 million poor Africans live in rural areas and depend directly or indirectly on farming for their livelihoods. While that rural share was even higher in the past, it means policies affecting the incentives for farmers to produce and sell farm products remain a major influence on the extent of Africa's poverty. The case studies help address questions such as the following: where is there still a policy bias against agricultural production? To what extent are some farmers now being protected from import competition? What are the political economic forces behind the more-successful reformers, and how do they compare with those in less-successful countries where major distortions in agricultural incentives remain? How important have domestic political forces been in bringing about reform, as compared with international forces? What explains the cross commodity pattern of distortions within the agricultural sector of each country? What policy lessons and trade implications can be drawn from these differing experiences with a view to ensuring better growth-enhancing and poverty-reducing outcomes in the study's focus countries and in the region's other economies?
Publication(Washington, DC : World Bank, 2008) Anderson, Kym ; Swinnen, JohanThe main purpose of this study is to assess the changing landscape of agricultural protection and taxation patterns in the region. The study is based on the EU-10 sample, plus Turkey, as well as seven countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS): Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan (the CIS-7). In 2000-04, these countries accounted for 89 percent of the region's agricultural value added, 91 percent of the population, and 95 percent of total gross domestic product (GDP). In agricultural subsidy and trade policy, analyses of politically feasible reforms or policy options for coping with structural changes (such as the current boom in energy raw material prices that has intersectoral Dutch disease effects) need to be based on a clear understanding of the recent and current extent of policy interventions and the political and economic forces behind the evolution of these interventions. The second purpose of this study is thus to improve our understanding of the political economy of distortions in agricultural incentives in countries in the region. Based on this better understanding, the study's third purpose is to explore the prospects for additional reductions in the distortions in agricultural incentives and their implications for the agricultural competitiveness and trade of countries in the region.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2005) De Wulf, Luc ; Sokol, José B.This handbook aims to make a positive contribution to the efforts that many countries are undertaking to modernize their customs administrations. The handbook views a competent and well-organized customs service as one that successfully balances its various responsibilities to ensure a high level of compliance with revenue objectives and regulatory requirements while at the same time intervening as little as possible in the legitimate movement of goods and people across borders. The handbook recognizes that conditions differ greatly across countries, so that each customs administration will need to tailor its modernization efforts to national objectives, implementation capacities, and resource availability.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank and Centre for Economic Policy Research, 2005) Hoekman, Bernard M. ; Togan, SübideyThis volume analyzes the economic challenges confronting Turkey in its quest to accede to the European Union (EU). It focuses on the extent to which Turkey is ready to join the Single Market, comply with the EU's body of economic regulations and directives, the Acquis Communautaire, and meet the Maastricht criteria for fiscal, monetary, and exchange rate policies. This book also provides an assessment of Turkey's national program to meet the accession requirements. It describes briefly what Turkey needs to achieve on the economic policy front to satisfy the conditions for accession, the progress to date, and the likely consequences of implementing the full body of EU requirements. The book is divided into four parts: 1) An analysis of the macroeconomic policies for EU accession; 2) An analysis of the effects of integration on key sectors: agriculture; manufacturing; services industries, including banking, telecommunications, transportation, and natural gas; and network industries; 3) An exploration of key economic policy challenges, including labor market regulation, foreign direct investment challenges, and the costs and benefits of meeting the EU environmental Acquis; and 4) The quantification of the impact of EU accession and consideration of the welfare effects of integration. While the focus is on the specific situation of Turkey, the subject will be of value to all researchers with an interest in the challenges of deeper integration through regional agreements.