World Bank Technical Papers

45 items available

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Informal documents that present knowledge acquired through that Bank's operational experience. They contain material that is practical rather than theoretical and include state-of-the-art reports and how-to-do-it monographs. They can also concern matters that cut across sectoral lines, such as the environment and science and technology. This series was superseded by the World Bank Working Papers series in 2003 and the World Bank Studies series in 2010.

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  • Publication
    Food and Agricultural Policy in Russia : Progress to Date and the Road Forward
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002-07) Csaki, Csaba; Nash, John; Matusevich, Vera; Kray, Holger
    The overall finding of this report is that much agricultural policy is made at the regional level, and here the explicit price, and trade policy distortions are significantly worse than at the federal level. The result is patchwork of inconsistent policies, that has fragmented the Russian national market. The most serious policy issues at the federal level, are in the legal framework, the continued state domination of some markets, and, the administration of limited subsidies, in ways that undermine market development. A major problem is that large farms face soft budget constraints, with tolerance of non-payment of debt, resulting in an increasing debt burden, little incentive for true restructuring, and an uneven playing field with respect to the private sector. The government recently addressed the issue of farm insolvency, through the Resolution on Agricultural Debt Restructuring, and, a fundamental approach to this problem is being elaborated in the draft Law on Financial Rehabilitation of Agricultural Enterprises. But the key to giving enterprises an incentive to participate in real restructuring, will be to enforce sanctions - including bankruptcy procedures, and foreclosure - if enterprises fail to comply with the terms, and measures developed by creditors, and investors, as part of the restructuring procedures. A supportive environment of private individual farming, and private market development should be created, by revamping agricultural support policies, that halt public procurement at federal, and regional levels; that administer all subsidies to producers, by some incentive-neutral mechanism, not dependent on input usage, or output; and, where input, or credit subsidies continue, if administered by private channels on a competitive basis, not through state-owned, or monopoly suppliers.
  • Publication
    Structural Adjustment in the Transition : Case Studies from Albania, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Moldova
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002-01) Siegelbaum, Paul J.; Sherif, Khaled; Borish, Michael; Clarke, George
    The study reviews the performance of four transition countries - Albania, Azerbaijan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Moldova - in the areas of private, and financial sector development, identifying both their achievements, and challenges, to extract beneficial reform efforts, and alternative approaches, setting the pace for sustainable growth. These countries were selected because they are among the poorest in the region, whose problems are seemingly intractable, and have been largely detached from the international marketplace until the transition began. Thus, in terms of history, resource endowment, and proximity to markets they are viewed as "late reformers" in economic development, and competitiveness, despite policy reforms. Enterprise arrears, and soft budget constraints have been a significant problem in many transition economies, more often than not, manifested as some fiscal tightening occurred to offset budget constraints. Hence, a core challenge of the transition is to reduce the role of government from all encompassing presence, towards a professionally managed model, and one which provides high service delivery, strengthens civil institutions, and plays an effective regulatory role in a market economy. This requires improved financial discipline, reasonable fiscal policy, and structural adjustment, while privatization that promotes concentrated outsider ownership, and foreign participation, should be favored.
  • Publication
    Poverty in Albania : A Qualitative Assessment
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002) De Soto, Hermine; Gordon, Peter; Gedeshi, Ilir; Sinoimeri, Zamira
    This qualitative assessment of poverty in Albania seeks to deepen the understanding of poverty in the country, first, by involving poor Albanians in a process of exploring the causes, nature, extent of poverty, and how it affects their livelihoods. Second, it is intended to support the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). Third, it supports preparation of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), and the Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS) process. Fourth, it supports ongoing research on formal and informal institutions in the country that are relevant to poverty, and it identifies as well, emerging areas of concern. Findings suggest that poverty in the study sites, developed as a result of a weak economic base at the beginning of reform (as of 1990), worsened as the reforms continued and accelerated during the 1997 financial crisis. From household interviews, it is perceived that the causes of poverty are a result of unemployment, insufficient and low quality of land, absence of formal institutions, and marketing mechanisms to support industrial and agricultural development, and the government's inability to respond to infrastructure and basic needs. The study further examines the factors depressing and/or precluding (sector wide) the potential to compete, sustain livelihoods, attain employment, and receive economic and social assistance.
  • Publication
    Household Welfare, the Labor Market, and Social Programs in Albania
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-05) Rashid, Mansoora; Dorabawila, Vajeera; Adams, Richard
    The paper provides an overview of household welfare, labor markets, and social programs in Albania, outside of its capital, in 1996. At the time, Albania was in a cross roads, from a period of phenomenal growth, to a series of economic crisis, though still ranking as the poorest country in the Central and Eastern Europe Region. The main findings suggest that the majority of the poor are rural, self-employed in agriculture, a result of Albania's large rural population that is mainly employed in subsistence agriculture. These households also have the highest poverty incidence, followed by out of labor force individuals, and the unemployed. Not surprising, the highest poverty incidence is in the rural north, requiring subsidized wheat, and cash transfers to survive difficult winters. Interestingly, migration is a major coping strategy in Albania: households with no migrants, were poorer than those where a family member was working abroad. The study raises concern about the education system, and safety nets, considering there are high drop out rates in basic, and secondary education among the poor, and, education spending is biased against the poor, except in basic education. Moreover, health outcomes are particularly worse among the poor. The study notes that outside of pensions, Albania's social protection system appears moderately well targeted to the poor, however, high tax rates, and limited wage base, makes a contribution based social protection system questionable.
  • Publication
    The TB and HIV/AIDS Epidemics in the Russian Federation
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-05) Vinokur, Anatoly; Godinho, Joana; Dye, Christopher; Nagelkerke, Nico
    The Russian Federation has been confronting a major epidemiological crisis, which will have considerable human and economic costs if it is not swiftly addressed. Between 1999 and 2000, the country experienced the world's biggest increase in new cases of HIV/AIDS infection. The TB epidemic is at risk of becoming uncontrollable if the country experiences a moderate epidemic of HIV/AIDS. This report represents the analysis and recommendations of a group of experts from the World Health Organization and the World Bank, and focuses on the current epidemiological situation in the Russian Federation and the existing institutional arrangements available to tackle both epidemics. It encompasses projections for the TB epidemic, the interaction with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the impact of a spiraling duel epidemic. The report has four sections. The first briefly describes socioeconomic conditions. The second section discusses the impact on the population of the epidemic, incidence and prevalence in the general and prison populations, diagnosis and treatment processes, and current TB management and control structures. The third section profiles the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its impact, and the role of STIs in fostering the disease. Finally, the fourth section describes a mathematical model of health improvements possible under various TB control strategies with implications for HIV/aids as well.