World Bank Technical Papers

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 This series was superseded by the World Bank Working Papers series in 2003 and the World Bank Studies series in 2010.

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    Expenditure Policies Toward EU Accession
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2003) Funck, Bernard ; Funck, Bernard
    The report discusses the set of public expenditure policies that might be conducive to rapid growth, and convergence among Central and Eastern European countries. It was left to others' complementary contributions, to discuss two other key dimensions of expenditure reforms: the overall macroeconomic framework in which they take place, and to which they contribute, and, the institutional and political economy conditions under which successful reform strategies can be designed, find political support, and be implemented. In this report, the authors seek to take stock of the countries' own public expenditure policy objectives, and to distill the best practices and lessons learned in the design of expenditure reforms within those countries. And, the authors conclude that the general thrust of the expenditure strategies candidate countries have put forward, in their (European Union) pre-accession economic programs, appears both appropriate, and at least theoretically feasible. The report highlights ways in which key expenditure programs could be redirected to be more fully supportive of growth objectives, as well as the factors related to a country's political economy, and to the institutional framework of public resource management, which will undoubtedly play a determining role in framing what actual policy choices will eventually be made.
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    European Integration and Income Convergence : Lessons for Central and Eastern European Countries
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-08) Martin, Carmela ; Velazquez, Francisco J. ; Funck, Bernard
    The prospect of enlarging the European Union (EU) to Central and Eastern European countries with income levels far below those of present members, questions how, and when the candidates' aspiration to converge towards EU standards of living, could possibly by fulfilled. To address these questions, this paper seeks to assess of the convergence experience of the four less developed EU members, i.e., Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Greece, after joining the EU, and, to explore what lessons can be learned from that experience. The discussion suggests that, while theoretically possible, there is little empirical reason to fear that European integration would cause economies to diverge. Rather than being spontaneous, however, real convergence would seem to depend crucially, on the capacity of countries to tap international technological spillovers, particularly through foreign direct investment. Macroeconomic stability, effective competition on goods, and factor markets, and, a good human capital endowment are essential to harness benefits. Nonetheless, lingering worries about the possibility that integration would lead to real divergence between countries, or regions of Europe, has led to the creation of large transfers under the EU's Regional Policy. Pending more conclusive evidence of their effectiveness, the candidate countries would seem wise to put greater store by those domestic policies, than by EU grants to fuel their convergence.