World Bank Discussion Papers

17 items available

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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 This series was superseded by the World Bank Working Papers series in 2003 and the World Bank Studies series in 2010.

Items in this collection

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Publication
    The Indian Pharmaceutical Sector : Issues and Options for Health Sector Reform
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002-09) Govindaraj, Ramesh
    This report assesses the pharmaceutical sector in India, particularly focusing on four key issues related to the production, procurement, and distribution of drugs in India: a) availability, b) affordability; c) quality, and d) the rational use of drugs. The results of a survey of three states indicate considerable variation across states in the above four areas in both public and private sectors. The report concludes that problems with the availability, affordability, and rational use of good quality, cost-effective, essential drugs have persisted in most parts of India, and that these health-related issues need be addressed as a priority. An overarching recommendation is the need to focus on strengthening the implementation and regulation of the pharmaceutical sector at the state level, rather than on simply introducing new regulations. Adequate pharmaceutical quality assurance needs to be particularly emphasized as, in its absence, other reform measures could be rendered moot. Similarly, the rational use of drugs needs to be emphasized as it is likely to yield significant cost savings to the government and to consumers, in addition to its positive impact on health.
  • Publication
    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.
  • Publication
    Unleashing Russia's Business Potential : Lessons from the Regions for Building Market Institutions
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002-03) Broadman, Harry G.; Broadman, Harry G.
    This analyzes, based on more than seventy company case studies across 13 Russian regions during the spring, summer, and fall of 2000, and the summer of 2001, examines four key issues that Russian firms face in carrying out business transactions in Russia's regional markets: 1) the state of enterprise competition; 2) the regulatory regime governing the delivery of infrastructure services (with a focus on the telecom, and Internet sector); 3) the sources, and use of corporate finance; and, 4) the efficacy of the court system in fostering the settlement of commercial disputes. The study formulates policy recommendations for each of the areas analyzed. In so doing, it sheds light on salient inter-regional differences in existing policy frameworks, and in the structure, and nature of the country's enterprise sector, as well as on how regional governments, and firms both respond to, and shape these differences. The study also highlights the evolution of inter-regional policy, and economic changes over time, assessing the extent to which, two years after the 1998 crisis, enterprise restructuring at the local level, has been affected by the devaluation of the ruble.
  • Publication
    Closing the Gap in Access to Rural Communications : Chile 1995-2002
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002-02) Wellenius, Bjorn
    The study documents, and reviews the Chilean experience in rural telecommunications, by focusing on the principles, practical organization, basic design, and outstanding issues for extension of a more advanced form of approach to communication, and access to information. It examines in depth the results, and success factors of the Telecommunications Development Fund, established in 1994, a success largely due to the extensive reliance on market forces to determine, and allocate subsidies, to minimal regulatory intervention, and relatively simple processing. The design of the Fund proved robust, and remains the leading example of a cost-effective solution to reduce access gaps in basic communication in emerging economies. However, questions remain on the sustainability of services for the long run, on how to support the small, but still excluded rural population, and on potential, further needs in urban areas.
  • Publication
    Telecommunications and Information Services for the Poor : Toward a Strategy for Universal Access
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002) Navas-Sabater, Juan; Dymond, Andrew; Juntunen, Niina
    Access to information, and communications technologies has become crucial to a sustainable agenda of economic development, and poverty reduction, and yet access remains concentrated in a few regions and population groups, with the contours of this new "digital divide" closely following, and supplementing existing income, and economic divides. However, technological innovations, economic pressures, and regulatory reforms, are making access to information, and communications technologies more affordable, and, providing opportunities to close the digital divide. This discussion paper outlines a number of policy, and regulatory measures, including incentives to attract investors to high cost, or challenging areas, that can be used under different scenarios, to close the digital divide. While Bank Group experience shows an increasing number of projects with specific universal access components, this paper proposes alternatives for Bank Group support for universal access policies, through an appropriate mix of technical assistance, and investments.
  • Publication
    Trade and Transport Facilitation : A Toolkit for Audit, Analysis, and Remedial Action
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-12) Raven, John
    This document is an expanded version of the paper published in 2000 under the title "Trade and Transport Facilitation: An Audit Methodology." It seeks to improve the effectiveness of diagnosis and corrective activities in the field of trade and transport facilitation by providing beyond guidelines on how to carry out the preliminary audit, insights on how to go over analysis, and preparation of appropriate remedial action.
  • Publication
    Farm Debt in the CIS : A Multi-Country Study of the Major Causes and Proposed Solutions
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-05) Csaki, Csaba; Lerman, Zvi; Sotnikov, Sergey
    The objective of this study is to support the farm privatization and restructuring process in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) by presenting a wide range of strategic and tactical options that could be applied to eliminate, or at least reduce, the main factors responsible for the destructive accumulation of debt in large farm enterprises. This objective has accomplished by documenting and analyzing the indebtedness of large-scale farms in five countries of CIS (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine) developing appropriate proposals, and initiating a dialogue with the government on the subject of farm debt resolution. The study presents a region-wide analysis of the farm debt problem based on data collected from selected countries in CIS, and develops proposals for the respective countries as well as for the region as a whole.
  • Publication
    Free Trade Area Membership as a Stepping Stone to Development : The Case of ASEAN
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-02) Fukase, Emiko; Martin, Will
    This 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.