Regional and Sectoral Studies

8 items available

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This series provides an outlet for work that is relatively focused in its subject matter or geographic coverage and that contributes to the intellectual foundations of development operations and policy formulation. This series has been discontinued.

Items in this collection

Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    From Slash and Burn to Replanting : Green Revolutions in the Indonesian Uplands?
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Ruf, François; Lançon, Frederic; Ruf, François; Lançon, Frederic
    The most traditional and widely used farming systems in the humid upland tropics are based on fallowing and various forms of slash-and-burn agriculture. Their sustainability depends on the duration of the fallow; as long as the fallow stage is longer than seven or eight years, slash-and-burn systems usually remain efficient. They produce a moderate yield using a low-input technology that is especially efficient in terms of returns to labor. With a few exceptions, yield per hectare and labor returns decline when fallow duration drops below the threshold of seven or eight years. This decline can be interpreted as the loss of the "forest rent," one of the main concepts used in this study. Forest rent also applies to most perennials, which despite their name are often managed under a kind of shifting cultivation. As coffee, cocoa, and even rubber farms are sometimes abandoned to "fallow" and replanted later on, a tree crop system may well be considered as an extended form of shifting cultivation, hence the concept of tree crop shifting cultivation used in this study. If the coffee or cocoa farms are not abandoned for several years to enable a regrowth of a secondary forest, replanting is more difficult or more costly than initial planting. Yields and revenues can be expected to be lower. This decline of revenues and increase of costs matches the concept of the loss of forest rent.
  • Publication
    Evaluating Social Funds : A Cross-Country Analysis of Community Investments
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Rawlings, Laura B.; van Domelen, Julie
    The study seeks to answer four questions that summarize the fundamental issues in the international debate about the capacity of social funds to improve beneficiaries' living conditions: o Do social funds reach poor areas and poor households? Do social funds deliver high-quality, sustainable investments? Do social funds affect living standards? How cost-efficient are social funds and the investments they finance, compared with other delivery mechanisms? The findings and lessons from this research reflect a specific moment in the evolution of six social funds and therefore may not fully predict the future impact of current investments. The evaluation assesses subprojects identified and implemented between 1993 and 1999, a period when longer-term objectives-such as increasing access to and utilization of basic services-began to supplant the funds' original emergency mandates. The time period selected allowed enough elapsed time following the implementation of the social fund subprojects to make measurement of impact and sustainability possible. The evaluation does not consider the effects of social fund projects on employment or on income generation-the original objectives of the first generation of social funds, which were introduced in Latin America. It also does not discuss the effect of social fund investments on capacity building-a more recent emphasis of social funds seeking to assist decentralization and community development.
  • Publication
    Economic Growth, Poverty, and Household Welfare in Vietnam
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Glewwe, Paul; Agrawal, Nisha; Dollar, David; Glewwe, Paul; Agrawal, Nisha; Dollar, David
    Viet 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
    Income Support for the Unemployed : Issues and Options
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Vodopivec, Milan
    With 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
    Uganda's Recovery : The Role of Farms, Firms, and Government
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-03) Reinikka, Ritva; Collier, Paul; Reinikka, Ritva; Collier, Paul
    This 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
    Commodity Market Reforms : Lessons of Two Decades
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-03) Akiyama, Takamasa; Baffes, John; Larson, Donald; Varangis, Panos
    Structural 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.