World Bank Discussion Papers
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Informal documents that present unpolished results of research or country analysis. They are circulated to encourage discussion and comment. Papers for which rapid publication is particularly important were often issued in this series. This series was superseded by the World Bank Working Papers series in 2003 and the World Bank Studies series in 2010.
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The Environmental Implications of Privatization : Lessons for Developing Countries(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002-04) Lovei, Magda ; Gentry, Bradford S.Governments worldwide have increasingly recognized the economic potential and fiscal advantages of privatization. What is less well recognized is that, under the right conditions, privatization can also yield environmental benefits and contribute to sustainable development. This report reviews a number of case studies to draw lessons about the environmental implications of privatization. It emphasizes that privatization offers an opportunity for making strategic decisions with longer-term impacts; streses that integrating environmental and social considerations into the privatization process leads to better, more sustainable outcomes; and recommends approaches to building on the positive linkages between privatization and environmental protection.
Fostering Competition in China's Power Markets(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-03) Berrah, Noureddine ; Lamech, Ranjit ; Zhao, ZhaoThis report proposes a strategy for developing competitive pool markets in China's power sector and for increasing energy trade between competitive pool markets areas. A three-stage approach is offered for developing the competitive pool markets. During stage 1, a mandatory competitive pool will be created with a single buyer. During stage 2, wholesale competition will be permitted. During stage 3, retail competition will be allowed, making the market fully competitive. The staged approach allows competitive market principles to be introduced immediately within existing institutions. This will allow needed skills and parallel economic reforms to be developed gradually and so facilitate increased competition in the later stages. The report also discusses key elemetns of competitive market development, including the organization of transmission services and transition issues such as dealing with stranded costs and mitigating market power among generators.
Free Trade Area Membership as a Stepping Stone to Development : The Case of ASEAN(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-02) Fukase, Emiko ; Martin, WillThis study investigates the economic impacts of accession to the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) by the new member countries of Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam. The trade policies of these countries are examined, and a series of quantitative analyses were undertaken to evaluate the impacts of accession. The results showed that the static impacts of reducing tariffs against ASEAN members are beneficial, although the magnitude of the net gains is diminished by the trade diversion resulting from the discriminatory nature of the reforms. The binding commitments on protection rates under the AFTA plan provide an important initial step to more broader and more beneficial trade reforms. The study focuses on some of the key country-specific policy challenges associated with trade liberalization--such as declining tariff revenues in Cambodia, and the negative impacts on sensitive domestic industries in Vietnam. The study recommends that accession to AFTA be viewed as an important transitional step in the broader process of trade reform and institutional development needed for successful development and poverty alleviation.
Financing of Private Hydropower Projects(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2000-07) Head, ChrisThis study provides an overview of the issues and challenges related to the private financing of hydropower projects in developing countries. From the very limited pool of projects that have already reached or are nearing financial closure, ten have been chosen for the study from five countries with the most active in promoting private hydro development. Collectively the case study projects provide a reasonable cross-section of private hydro schemes that have been or are being developed. The financing of greenfield private infrastructure on a limited-recourse basis in developing countries faces certain common issues irrespective of the type of project. However, hydropower faces additional difficulties caused by the site-specific nature of projects, high construction risk and long construction periods, their capital-intensive nature with a high proportion of local costs, unpredictable output subject to river flows and broader water management constraints, complex concession process to achieve transparency in the award and pricing of output, and environmental sensitivities. The study suggests the need for longer-term financing to better suit hydropower characteristics, a regulatory framework and realistic public-private risk-sharing arrangements responsive to the requirements of hydropower projects, and the careful preparation of projects by the public sector to enable their formulation on an adequate technical and contractual basis for development as a private concession.