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Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Glewwe, Paul ; Agrawal, Nisha ; Dollar, David ; Glewwe, Paul ; Agrawal, Nisha ; Dollar, DavidViet Nam is an economic success story - it transformed itself from a country in the 1980s as one of the poorest in the world, to a country in the 1990s with one of the world's highest growth rates. With the adoption of a new market-oriented policies, Viet Nam averaged an economic growth rate of 8 percent per year from 1990 to 2000, a growth rate accompanied by a large reduction in poverty, stemming from significant increases in school enrollment, and a rapid decrease in child malnutrition. The book uses an unusually rich set of macroeconomic, and household survey data, to examine several topics: the causes of the economic turnaround, and prospects for future growth; the impact of economic growth on household welfare, as measured by consumption expenditures, health, education, and other socioeconomic indicators; and, the nature of poverty in Viet Nam, and the effectiveness of government policies, intended to reduce same. Although the country's past achievements are impressive, future progress is by no means ensured.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Vodopivec, MilanWith the aim to provide guidelines for countries wishing to introduce or improve income support systems for the unemployed, the book summarizes the evidence about the performance of five such systems: unemployment insurance, unemployment assistance, unemployment insurance savings accounts, severance pay, and public works. These systems are evaluated by two sets of criteria: (1) performance criteria, evaluating how well these systems work - how they protect incomes and what other, particularly efficiency related, effects they may have; and (2) design and implementation criteria, evaluating how these systems fit the country - how suitable are these programs given country-specific conditions, chief among them being labor market and other institutions, the capacity needed for administering income support programs, the size of the informal sector, and prevalence of private transfers. This report also offers summary evaluations of alternative systems by describing the strengths and weaknesses of each system and pointing out the country specific circumstances that are particularly conducive to performance.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-03) Reinikka, Ritva ; Collier, Paul ; Reinikka, Ritva ; Collier, PaulThis book consists of series of studies written by a range of specialists who analyze the responses of private sector agents--households, farms, and firms--and of the government of Uganda itself, to the macroeconomic and structural reforms implemented since the late 1980s in a society recovering from a traumatic civil conflict. The importance of this line of inquiry cannot be underestimated because the success or failure of market-oriented reforms depends crucially on just how private sector agents are able to respond to incentives and opportunities created by the reforms. The analysis in this book draws on quantitative data derived from a series of household surveys and from surveys of firms conducted in the 1990s and more recently in 1999/2000. The household surveys permit analysis of the evolution of income, expenditures, and poverty during this period. The impact of reforms on rural factor markets, on crop and livestock production decisions, and on firms' investment decisions are also among the issues researched in this report. While this report praises Uganda's achievements where warranted, it provides an objective assessment of the reforms and does not shy away from identifying areas where policy mistakes were made. It points out where major weaknesses still exist, notably, public sector corruption, the still poor enforcement of contracts, and the deficiencies in the physical infrastructure.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-03) Akiyama, Takamasa ; Baffes, John ; Larson, Donald ; Varangis, PanosStructural reform of the economies of developing countries has been in the forefront of development interest since the early 1980s. This interest stems from a recognition that the structures and institutions of these countries are critical to any enhancement of economic and social development. One of the key reforms has been that of primary commodity markets, especially agricultural commodity markets, because many developing countries, including the poorest, depend heavily on these for foreign exchange earnings and employment, and hence for poverty reduction. This report focuses on the political economy and institutional aspects of agricultural commodity market reform. In order to explore in detail factors that are critical to the processes, consequences, and substance of reform, the authors have focused the analysis and evaluation on five commodities important in many developing countries, specifically cocoa, coffee, sugar, cotton, and cereal. In doing so, they highlight important lessons on how agricultural sector reform can be launched and implemented. Some of the factors identified in the report as being key to successful reform include the recognition that commodity markets often affect communities and even politics, that the initial conditions of markets are critical, and that government intervention can crowd out private sector initiatives, especially when it comes to building the institutions needed to develop a healthy agricultural sector.