WBI Development Studies

22 items available

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These studies, sponsored by the World Bank Institute (WBI), seek to improve the understanding and capacity for reform of policymakers and practitioners in developing countries in the main economic and social areas.

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Publication

Building Knowledge Economies : Advanced Strategies for Development

2007, World Bank

Knowledge has always been an essential force in economic development. Chapter one, describes the knowledge revolution, which is leading us into a postindustrial age in which brains, not brawn, are the best means of coping with intensified competition and new challenges, including those related to human development and the global environment. In explaining the foundations and the model of knowledge economies, chapter two outlines the four knowledge economies (KE) pillars, provides elements of the benchmarking methodology, and relates KE achievements to recorded growth and competitiveness. To understand the KE process, chapter three starts with the examples of three KE champions, Finland, Ireland, and the Republic of Korea. The ensuing chapters examine and document in detail the four KE policy pillars. Chapter four on the economic and institutional regime discusses governance, regulation, finance, and trade as they bear on the KE development process. Chapter five on innovation addresses the question of support for innovators, the strengthening of research and technology infrastructure, the diffusion of basic technologies, and the promotion of specific industries. Chapter six deals with the national information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, addressing related applications, institutions, and regulations, as well as access to that infrastructure and the development of the skills needed to build, maintain, and use it. Chapter seven looks at primary and secondary education, higher education, and lifelong learning from a KE perspective, providing insights on the mobility of human resources and the role of diasporas. Chapter eight discusses policy agendas for selected sets of countries.

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Privatization and Regulation of Transport Infrastructure : Guidelines for Policymakers and Regulators

2000-06, Estache, Antonio, De Rus, Gines, Estache, Antonio, De Rus, Gines

The 1990s saw a dramatic increase in the liberalization of transport policies and a strengthening of the role played by private operators and investors in transport infrastructure. Most of these reforming countries are creating new regulatory agencies. This book aims is to contribute to the development of these regulatory skills. The book has two parts. Chapter 2 in the first part provides an overview of why economic regulation is important. It provides theoretical support to the sector-specific chapters that constitute the second part of the book. The second part covers four subsectors: airports, ports, railways, and roads. Each chapter follows exactly the same structure. The first section provides snapshot of the key economic characteristics of the sector and discusses their relevance from the viewpoint of a regulator. The second section summarizes the main privatization and regulation trends that have been observed in the sector. It gives an overview of main options offered by international experience and covers a few case studies that illustrate those options. The third section covers price regulation and highlights the price-related issues that characterize the sector. The fourth section does the same for quality regulation. The fifth section discusses the main performance indicators that the sector's regulators should be able to rely on to be effective in their jobs.

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Granting and Renegotiating Infrastructure Concessions : Doing it Right

2004-01, Guasch, J. Luis

In most developing and industrial countries, infrastructure services have traditionally been provided by government enterprises, but in developing countries at least, these enterprises have often proven to be inefficient, unable to provide much-needed investments, and manipulated to achieve political objectives. By contrast, many studies have shown that over the past 30 years, private (or privatized) enterprises in developing countries have, on average, delivered superior performance and needed investments. Explanations differ on why this discrepancy exists. Private enterprises are driven by a desire for profits and may have more professional know-how in management, operating procedures, and use of appropriate technology. But perhaps the most important reason for their stronger performance is that privatization makes intervening in enterprise operations difficult for governments and politicians, so government manipulation is less likely. However, the issue, in general, has been how to ensure that the improved performance and efficiency gains are passed through to the users through lower tariffs and increased coverage, while allowing firms to earn a fair rate of return on their investments.

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A Primer on Efficiency Measurement for Utilities and Transport Regulators

2003-01, Coelli, Tim, Estache, Antonio, Perelman, Sergio, Trujillo, Lourdes

This book is intended to help regulators learn about the tools needed to measure efficiency. It is based on lecture notes from courses the World Bank Institute offers in English, French and Spanish throughout the developing world and has benefited from feedback received during those courses. It provides an overview of the various dimensions of efficiency that regulators should be concerned with. It also summarizes the main quantification techniques available to facilitate decisions in the most common regulatory processes. The issues covered should be of particular interest to those policymakers and regulators interested in measuring relative efficiency and in implementing any incentive-based regulatory mechanism that requires the measurement of efficiency, such as price caps, revenue caps, or yardstick competition. The book focuses on methodology selection, data collection, and related issues. It provides readers with all the conceptual tools they need to make real-life decisions. It is also supported by a web site from which readers can download software they can use to implement the techniques described.