Other ESW Reports

241 items available

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This includes miscellaneous ESW types and pre-2003 ESW type reports that are subsequently completed and released.

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    Bulgaria - Administrative and regulatory barriers to business
    (World Bank, 2010-11-01) World Bank
    The present report on the Administrative and Regulatory Barriers to Business is part of an ongoing World Bank analytical and advisory support to the Government of Bulgaria in the area of regulatory reform. Since 2006, the World Bank has provided analytical and advisory support to the government in this area. In 2007, the Bank reviewed administrative procedures in the tourism, food, and road transportation sectors, calling for reduction and simplification of certain burdensome administrative regimes and emphasizing superfluous regulation at the municipality level. This report aims to identify ways in which Bulgaria can further remove obstacles to business regulation, recognizing that achieving pre-crisis growth levels, raising labor productivity and improving the business environment will require continued reforms to eliminate administrative and regulatory barriers to business. The report serves three purposes, such as: 1) providing the economic backdrop and comparators of Bulgaria's regulatory environment; 2) reporting on survey results including assessments by and perceptions of senior managers of Bulgarian enterprises; and 3) identifying strategic reform recommendations, including regulatory changes, institutional upgrading and capacity building, and legislative amendments.
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    Better Regulation for Higher Growth : Bulgaria's Business Regulation - Achievements and Recommendations
    (World Bank, 2010-11-01) World Bank
    Removing regulatory obstacles that create barriers to business is a major objective for economic policymakers. There is broad understanding among policymakers and development practitioners that microeconomic reforms aimed at strengthening property rights, unleashing competition, and reducing the cost of doing business are critical to creating a sound investment climate and promoting economic growth (World Bank 2004; World Bank 2005; Lewis 2004). It is also commonly agreed that these changes need to be credible and sustained for private firms to respond by increasing investment and production (World Bank 2005). This report summarizes the findings of three topical studies of the World Bank: Administrative and Regulatory Barriers to Business (volume two) studies the overall burden of regulation for companies in comparison to other new European Union (EU) peers and specifically assesses Information Technology (IT) and manufacturing companies and the role of key stakeholders. The ex-post impact assessment of the act on limiting administrative regulation and administrative control on economic activity (Volume three) makes an assessment of how the act has been enforced, identifies and estimates the impacts of the act, and provides recommendations for amendments. Reforming the regime of state fees (volume four) examines how reforms to the structure of state fees could decrease the regulatory burden for firms.
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    Bulgaria - Ex-post impact assessment of the act on limiting administrative regulation and administration control on economic activity
    (World Bank, 2010-07-01) World Bank
    The ex-post impact assessment of the Limiting Administrative Regulation and Administrative Control on Economic Activity Act (LARACEAA) is part of the World Bank's support to the Government of Bulgaria through on-going analytical and advisory work in the area of regulatory reform. The purpose of the present ex-post impact assessment of the LARACEAA is to: (i) assess how the Act has been enforced, (ii) identify and estimate the impacts of the Act, and (iii) provide recommendations for amendments to the Act. Chapter one emphasizes the importance of the Act as part of the Bulgarian Government's role in advancing regulatory reform and improving the business environment; gives the scope of the assessment and presents the sources of information utilized; and delineates general limitations of the analysis. Chapter two outlines a policy framework by discussing coherence with the Governmental and European Union (EU) policies, as well as touching upon relevant documents on regulatory reform, followed by analysis of the goal and objectives of the Act, and identification of performance indicators for the measurement of the impact of the Act. Chapter three depicts the results of the ex-post impact assessment, while the final chapter four identifies the main problem; discusses underlying drivers and effects of the problem; and proposes recommendations for amendments to the Act.
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    Romania - Poverty Monitoring Analytical and Advisory Assistance Program : Are the Most Vulnerable Protected?
    (Washington, DC, 2008-06) World Bank
    The rapid economic growth since 2000 has been the main driver of poverty reduction in Romania. However, even under the current positive growth scenario, there are still people who live in poverty, and some who are unlikely to benefit from future growth and thus may continue to be left behind. For these people an effective redistributive social policy and targeted interventions are needed. The purpose of this note is to assist the Ministry of Labor, Family and Equal Opportunities (MLFEO) to analyze and monitor the effectiveness of the main social safety net benefits to fight social exclusion and reduce poverty. To determine the extent to which social transfers offer protection to the poorest groups of the population, the paper uses the last available (2004-2006) rounds of the household budget survey data. The analysis presented here uses the consumption aggregate and the absolute poverty definition presented in the 2003 and 2007 poverty assessments. Three main indicators are used to assess the effectiveness of social protection (SP) programs: coverage (share of population covered by the programs), targeting (share of funds directed to each welfare group of population), and adequacy of benefit (share of the benefit in the consumption of beneficiaries). The paper begins with a review of the main findings, followed by an overview of the social protection system and its overall effectiveness. Then it assesses the main social assistance programs, and concludes with a review of key issues.
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    Russian Federation : From Transition to Development, A Country Economic Memorandum for the Russian Federation
    (Washington, DC, 2005-03) World Bank
    The purpose of this Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) is to assess the extent of structural change in the Russian Federation, and its contribution to long-term growth - a prerequisite for meeting the government's ambitious economic objectives. The report starts with the hypothesis that Russia's economy is still "in transition," with further scope to boost growth by reallocating existing resources and restructuring existing production processes. Structural change therefore is a powerful determinant of Russia's medium-term growth and long-term prospects. There are other contributors to growth, most notably, the role that high hydrocarbon prices have played in Russia's rapid recovery from the 1998 crisis. In order to separate the role of structural change from other growth determinants as clearly as possible (without denying mutual influences and feedback loops), Part B of the report analyzes the determinants of growth, other than structural change, that have been important in Russia since the crisis.
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    Lithuania : Issues in Municipal Finance
    (Washington, DC, 2002-05-16) World Bank
    Since the establishment of Lithuania's independence, the country achieved substantial progress in transforming its local governments into independent units of Government: structural reforms to prod intergovernmental relations were made in 1994 and 1997, and will continue in 2002. Nevertheless, several issues remain, requiring particular attention from the Government. First, revenue and expenditure assignment between levels of government, and the degree of central regulation over local finance, needs to be reviewed. Local governments face fiscal constraints, for revenues are centrally collected, and distributed at centrally determined rates. And, although local governments have nominal authority over their expenditures, major items (salaries and welfare payments) are subject to Government control, resulting in local governments being faced with running arrears, or borrowing from the Government or private lenders. Although high per capita jurisdictions are required to share revenues with poorer counterparts, it is not clear that distribution mechanisms actually allocate revenues as needed. Upcoming reforms are likely to change this, but a greater change in the revenue distribution criteria, would be by funding delegated functions, but distributing according to sector-specific indicators of need, as well as budgeting financial availability. Second, financing capital investment may be improved by a greater fiscal autonomy to local governments, and mostly, by improving the quality of financial information, with reforms that include the separation of current, and capital accounts, and the adoption of accrual accounting for expenditures.
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    Romania : Local Social Services Delivery Study, Volume 2. Main Report
    (Washington, DC, 2002-01-16) World Bank
    The study seeks to identify institutional, and procedural factors which may facilitate, or hamper the effectiveness of social services, and inter-governmental fiscal arrangements. Based on existing research on decentralization, the success of decentralized service delivery depends on factors, that include the quality of intergovernmental institutions, a stable fiscal framework, and a well established civil society, and social structure. The study focuses on public social services, where local governments play the greatest role, and, throughout the report, the greatest emphasis is on social assistance benefits, and services, addressing those cash benefits which are delivered, and financed by local governments, including national programs such as birth grants, emergency assistance, and the main poverty alleviation program. In education, the study focuses on compulsory, and secondary education, though it does not address specialized secondary education, which is under the purview of central ministries. The study comprises two volumes: volume 1 provides an overview of the issues, summarizes major findings, and presents policy options; volume 2 includes the detailed discussion, and analysis, and presents the empirical underpinnings of the report. The study finds that fiscal decentralization of poverty alleviation benefits, has undermined its effectiveness, and eroded social safety nets; thus the government is preparing the Minimum Income Guarantee Program Law to centralize financing of social assistance cash benefits. And, education seems to be the policy area with greatest potential for further decentralization, suggesting a careful capacity evaluation to decide whether to attain complete autonomy.
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    Romania : Local Social Services Delivery Study, Volume 1. Summary Report
    (Washington, DC, 2002-01-16) World Bank
    The study seeks to identify institutional, and procedural factors which may facilitate, or hamper the effectiveness of social services, and inter-governmental fiscal arrangements. Based on existing research on decentralization, the success of decentralized service delivery depends on factors, that include the quality of intergovernmental institutions, a stable fiscal framework, and a well established civil society, and social structure. The study focuses on public social services, where local governments play the greatest role, and, throughout the report, the greatest emphasis is on social assistance benefits, and services, addressing those cash benefits which are delivered, and financed by local governments, including national programs such as birth grants, emergency assistance, and the main poverty alleviation program. In education, the study focuses on compulsory, and secondary education, though it does not address specialized secondary education, which is under the purview of central ministries. The study comprises two volumes: volume 1 provides an overview of the issues, summarizes major findings, and presents policy options; volume 2 includes the detailed discussion, and analysis, and presents the empirical underpinnings of the report. The study finds that fiscal decentralization of poverty alleviation benefits, has undermined its effectiveness, and eroded social safety nets; thus the government is preparing the Minimum Income Guarantee Program Law to centralize financing of social assistance cash benefits. And, education seems to be the policy area with greatest potential for further decentralization, suggesting a careful capacity evaluation to decide whether to attain complete autonomy.
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    Slovak Republic : Living Standards, Employment, and Labor Market Study
    (Washington, DC, 2001-08-09) World Bank
    By most indicators the Slovak Republic has achieved a high level of human and social development. Despite the country's generally high living standards and overall level of development, there are families in Slovakia whose living conditions are below what is considered to be socially acceptable. By societal standards, these families and individuals are poor. The objective of this study is to analyze this poverty, so as to help design measures and policies to reduce it. The study also seeks to understand the phenomenon of unemployment--the main cause of poverty--and propose actions to alleviate it. The report is organized as follows: After Chapter 1, which explains the background of poverty and inequality in the Slovak Republic, Chapter 2 addresses the challenge of generating employment, including rising unemployment and inactivity, job reallocation during transition, the importance of the regional and skills mismatch, and conclusions and policy recommendations that enhance employment creation. Chapter 3 explores the role of the safety net system, particularly unemployment insurance and other forms of social assistance; presents a brief simulation analysis of the disincentives provided by unemployment insurance, social assistance, and social support; provides an empirical analysis of disincentive effects; and ends with a discussion of the policy implications. Chapter 4 focuses on the poverty and welfare of the Roma population. Finally Chapter 5 telescopes regional disparities.
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    Poland : Labor Market Study--The Challenges of Job Creation
    (Washington, DC, 2001-06) World Bank
    The study reviews recent labor market developments in Poland, examining the factors behind the rise in unemployment, and, proposing actions that should contribute to increased job creation rates. Its main purpose is to inform - based on research findings - on the policy dialogue regarding the current labor market situation in the country. Those main findings indicate that the rise in unemployment results primarily from an acceleration of job destruction, that begun with the wave of enterprise restructuring in the aftermath of the Russia crisis, and has persisted in part, because of an imbalance in the fiscal-monetary policy mix. It also finds that the recent rise in unemployment has highlighted important barriers in the transition from old, to new jobs. These barriers include a binding minimum wage, high taxes on labor income, limitations in the labor code, and a relatively easy access to early retirement, and other social benefits. Additionally, the problems with the ongoing restructuring of the Polish labor market have been compounded by an increase in new labor market entrants, primarily recent school graduates joining the labor force, and, of particular concern are the new labor market entrants with only basic vocational education or less, namely in rural areas, given that educational attainment is a determining factor on employment status. The policy agenda needs to gradually address unemployment issues, through better fiscal-monetary policy mix, through greater flexibility in the wage structure, and, through tax reductions on labor income, and changes in the labor code. Moreover, investments in worker's education and training needs to be improved, realigning the incentives under labor market programs, and lowering the costs of starting, and running businesses.