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 This series was superseded by the World Bank Working Papers series in 2003 and the World Bank Studies series in 2010.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
    Technical Note on Accessibility: The Narrative
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-04-28) World Bank
    This technical note focuses on various dimensions of accessibility. The note describes various accessibility barriers, recommendations, methodologies, and strategies, with a particular focus on persons with disabilities. However, as highlighted throughout the entire document, it is stressed that accessibility is a universal issue that concerns a much larger population and intersects with other identities, including those of children, older persons, persons who have terminal or transient illnesses/diseases, women and girls, Indigenous Peoples, youth, sexual and gender minorities, people with temporary injuries, and mothers/fathers/caregivers using strollers and other supportive devices to carry their children. The technical note on accessibility is primarily meant for World Bank Task Team Leaders (TTLs), Project Implementing Units (PIUs) and Environmental & Social (E&S) specialists. However, it can also serve as a reference for other internal teams that are working on accessibility issues with the private sector (for example with the International Finance Corporation, IFC), and the procurement sector, as well as for the Bank’s development partners, borrowing countries, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs). This note focuses primarily on Investment Project Financing (IPF).
  • Publication
    Institutional Elements of Tax Design and Reform
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2003-01) McLaren, John; McLaren, John
    This is a collection of papers that study the constraints on fiscal systems, imposed by problems of institutions, administration, and incentives in developing, and post-Socialist economies. Chapter two focuses on the administration of indirect taxation, and provides a case study of indirect taxation in Tanzania. This shows how evasion can be documented, and quantified, through a case study that looks at a particular type of reform, aimed at curbing evasion: franchising, or privatizing the right to tax, which has been tried in several Tanzanian towns as a way of collecting vendor fees, for access to a public market. Chapter three is a theoretical study of evasion under a value-added tax (VAT), and the inefficiencies it can create. Chapter four studies the fiscal constraints within the federal politics of Russia, while Chapters five and six examine case studies (India) in fiscal federalism, in which the determination of fiscal outcomes is - to a considerable degree - a matter of bargaining between political entities in the center, and in the periphery. In both cases, it appears that large-scale distortions, away from an ideal tax system, emerge as a result, suggesting corruption can be fought by increasing functional specialization within a tax bureaucracy. The last chapter looks at the problem of opportunistic taxation, particularly regarding the African context, and studies various ways in which the problem can be alleviated.
  • Publication
    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.
  • Publication
    Poverty and Ethnicity : A Cross-Country Study of ROMA Poverty in Central Europe
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002-11) Revenga, Ana; Tracy, William Martin
    ROMA are the main poverty risk groups in many of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. However, information on their living conditions, and the characteristics of their poverty is scarce, fragmented, and often anecdotal. This paper analyzes data from a new cross-country household survey, conducted by the Center for Comparative Research, at Yale University. The survey is the first of its kind which addresses the ethnic dimension of poverty across countries, covering Roma in Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania. The paper finds that welfare among Roma households is significantly lower than that of non-Roma, in terms of both material deprivation (consumption and income), and other measures of deprivation, including housing status, education levels, and employment opportunities. Multivariate analysis confirm that, controlling for other household characteristics, there is a strong negative association between Roma ethnicity, and welfare. A large part of this association appears to be due to differences in endowments, and opportunities, but there is also an important component that is "structural". This component may reflect the influence of past, and present discrimination, exclusion, and cultural factors which may affect access to public services, e.g., through language barriers.
  • Publication
    Transport Policies for the Euro-Mediterranean Free-Trade Area : An Agenda for Multimodal Transport Reform in the Southern Mediterranean
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002-08) Muller-Jentsch, Daniel
    This study argues that the 15 European Union (EU) countries and their 12 Mediterranean Partners should complement their Euro-Mediterranean free-trade area for industrial goods with a common transport space. This would require the removal of policy-induced frictions in the region's multi-modal transport system in order to facilitate the flow of foods, people, and investments within this emerging trade block. The purpose of this report is to identify the bottlenecks and inefficiencies that currently exist and to map out the reforms in the legal, regulatory, and institutional framework that should be implemented to address them. This includes both national and cross-border policy measures in the various modes (air, maritime, and land-based transport) as well as in transport logistics. The study compares sector performance and sector policies within the concerned countries and it benchmarks these against international best practice. It draws on policy lessons from other developing regions, such as Latin America and Eastern Europe and assesses the extent to which the policy framework of the EU Single Market in the transport sector could provide guidance for the creation of a common transport space throughout the Mediterranean region.
  • 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
    Does Eurosclerosis Matter? Institutional Reform and Labor Market Performance in Central and Eastern Europe
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002) Riboud, Michelle; Sánchez-Páramo, Carolina
    This paper examines the labor market dynamics of six CEE countries over the last 10 years, paying special attention to the nature of labor market institutions these countries have adopted and their impact on labor market performance. This paper finds that, compared to EU countries, CEE countries fall in the "middle" of the flexibility scale regarding their employment protection legislation. While the effect of labor market institutions is hard to uncover, it should not be disregarded and they are likely to play an important role in the coming years.
  • Publication
    Furthering Judicial Education : Proceedings of the Conference of Judicial Schools in Latin America
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002) Malik, Waleed Haider; Larios Ochaita, Carlos Esteban
    The conference meeting was organized by the Supreme Court of Justice of Guatemala, in partnership with the World Bank, where judicial school directors, judges, practitioners, law students, and officials from different countries participated. The meeting aimed to harness good practices, and knowledge for furthering judicial education, based on the premise that the knowledge, and skills of judges, of court staff, and of other justice sector professionals, and users, impact significantly on the performance of the judicial system. Discussions centered around different themes, that included concepts of judicial excellence, judicial ethics, and the role of human rights, e-learning, and distance education, in-service training and evaluation methodologies, attitudinal change in the courts, and the role of education and strategies to inspire future generations of law students, and professionals. The report comprises various facets of judicial education, its challenges, and opportunities.
  • Publication
    Sustainable Amazon : Limitations and Opportunities for Rural Development
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002) Schneider, Robert R.; Arima, Eugenio; Verissimo, Adalberto; Souza, Carlos, Jr.; Barreto, Paulo
    The report contributes to the debate surrounding land use in the Brazilian Amazon. It sets the context by reviewing the evidence concerning the deleterious effect of increasing levels of rainfall on agricultural settlement, and productivity. Next, it compares the economic future of an Amazonian community, under the traditional "predatory logging followed by ranching" model, and under sustainable logging. Last, the authors investigate the potential to create a system of national forests. The authors make four conclusions: 1) they demonstrate that increasing levels of rainfall, seriously undermine agricultural productivity, and sustainability. At the highest extreme, in the 45 percent of the Amazon with annual rainfall of over 2,200 mm, only forestry, and possibly some palm crops, are likely to be economically viable; 2) the authors assert that in this area of the Amazon, and much of the transition area (rainfall between 1,800 mm and 2,200 mm), sustainable forestry would provide more stable communities, and a higher standard of living than agriculture; 3) the authors conclude that regulatory competition, and a short local political time horizon, prevent sustainable forestry from being adapted, despite its better long-run performance; and, 4) some 10 percent of the Amazon could be put into national forests, in a way that would both meet current demand for Brazilian Amazonian timber, and reinforce the Amazon park system, which is expected to fully conserve 10 percent of the Brazilian Amazon.
  • Publication
    Forest Concession Policies and Revenue Systems : Country Experience and Policy Changes for Sustainable Tropical Forestry
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002) Gray, John A.
    Forest concessions have been an important element of forestry, and forest management in many countries, including many developing countries. More often than not, the concessions experience of these countries has not been successful, and, improving their performance is not likely to be popular. Therefore, if sustainable management if tropical forests is to be achieved, and deforestation brought under control, it may be necessary to strengthen the on-the-ground performance of existing forest concessions, and to control the allocation of new concessions. The forest concessions discussed in this study involve both forest utilization contracts, and forest management services contracts. Part one of the study examines the forest concessions experience on public lands, with a focus on natural forests in developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Experiences provide the basis for proposals to strengthen the allocation of forest concessions, and improve their forest, and environmental management. Economic, and procedural incentives for improved forest management performance are introduced, as are proposals to strengthen monitoring, supervision, and compliance with contract terms. Part two evaluates forest revenue systems, and presents proposals for revised forest fees, designed to reflect the values of both the timber, and the concessions. Additional concessions suggest ways to ease the collection of fees, and to structure forest fees to provide economic incentives for concession management, and performance.