Other ESW Reports

266 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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  • Publication
    Brazil - Minas Gerais - World Bank Partnership : Building on a Strong Foundation and Leading to Next Steps
    (2007-06-06) World Bank
    This document, Minas Gerais World Bank partnership: building on a strong foundation and leading to next steps, points the direction for next steps and emphasizes the elements and principles of a possible follow-up operation to the Development Policy Loan (DPL) that completed disbursement in April 2007, recognizing that it was premature to discuss the specifics of such an operation during this exercise. These elements and principles would provide the incentives and motivations for the choice of focus sectors under a possible Bank operation with Minas Gerais. Lead actively by the Governor and Deputy Governor, the Minas authorities have clearly identified enhancing the living conditions of citizens in the state as the overall priority. Nevertheless, the Minas Gerais targets are ambitious and by international standards there is ample room for additional progress. The report points out that fiscal policies and public sector reforms in Minas Gerais could be expected to yield continued stronger than national average economic growth and progress in creating jobs. The focus of this Partnership document is mainly on the Plano Mineiro de Desenvolvimento Integrado (PMDI) 2007-2023 long-term development strategy with an emphasis on broadening reforms. In short, the sectoral assessments are at the heart of the Partnership dialogue and could be used as the foundation for future development of the relationship, especially in areas of technical assistance or future Bank operations with Minas Gerais.
  • Publication
    Indonesia : Selected Fiscal Issues in a New Era
    (Washington, DC, 2003-02-14) World Bank
    Despite the substantial progress in managing its fiscal challenges post-1997 financial crisis, Indonesia's risks to the budget have not disappeared, though the Government continues to be committed to fiscal consolidation. While debt sustainability is improving, the budget remains vulnerable to shocks, and, large non-discretionary spending (interest payments, transfers to the regions, personnel spending) still constrain the use of fiscal policy for macroeconomic stabilization, and social risk protection, and, as the fiscal situation improves, and decentralization proceeds, a rethinking of resource allocation becomes necessary. This report assesses Indonesia's progress in dealing with challenges that have altered the fiscal system since the crisis, and reviews options for fiscal consolidation, as well as sectoral issues in the new decentralized environment, including public expenditure management reforms. Suggestions include an increased revenue mobilization to make the budget more risk proof, and an improved tax administration, rather than streamlining the tax structure alone, while the Government's decision to eliminate the fuel subsidy remains critical for fiscal consolidation (which has little social implications). Moreover, the large interest payments burden incurred during the crisis, is crowding out development spending, and similarly, increased transfers to local governments are limiting discretionary spending (which could be accompanied by a decrease in central development spending in areas of regional responsibilities). A refinement of the budget management system is necessary, where the Finance Law would be instrumental in establishing accountability between the Executive, and Parliament.
  • Publication
    Brazil : Jobs Report, Volume 1. Policy Briefing
    (Washington, DC, 2002-12-20) World Bank
    This report, conducted jointly by researchers in Brazil and at the World Bank, aims to address the debate on how the Brazilian labor market functions. It does so not by focusing on labor market functioning but on its outcomes. What is central are labor market outcomes, such as adequate employment growth so that job-seekers can find gainful employment, acceptable worker productivity levels that are fairly compensated, and reasonable income security for workers and their households. This report is structured as follows: Chapter 1 argues that labor laws have begun to show signs of obsolescence. Chapter 2 shows this is reflected in deteriorating outcomes. Key indicators--employment growth, labor force participation, unemployment rates, and income security--all point to worsening labor market functioning since the mid-1990s. The report then examines how changed macroeconomic circumstances call for changes in labor market institutions, regulations, and interventions. Using a characterization of the economy in which informality has a central role, Chapter 3 illustrates the correspondence between the three main macroeconomic phenomena of the 1990s--greater openness, stabilization, and fiscal adjustment--and Brazil's labor market priorities. Chapter 4 concludes that the labor market has signaled the shortage of educated workers since the 1990s, and the onus is now on the education and training systems to respond. Analysis of how Brazil's labor market functions in Chapter 5 points to evidence that indicates that Brazil's poorer workers and smaller firms are especially disadvantaged by how the labor market functions. The report identifies three sets of priorities for reform: changes in mandated non-wage benefits and minimum wage setting to price labor correctly and encourage empoloyment growth (Chapter 6), changes in severance legislation and functioning of labor courts to better align incentives and increase productivity (Chapter 7), and improvements in interventions to increase income security for all workers (Chapter 8). Chapter 9 summarizes and highlights the main policy implications. Volume 2 contains in-depth examination of the issues of interest in Brazil and the relevant international experience, on which Chapters 1 through 8 of the first volume are based.
  • Publication
    India - Maharashtra : Reorienting Government to Facilitate Growth and Reduce Poverty, Volume 2. Statistical Appendix, Other Annexes, and Workshop Programs
    (Washington, DC, 2002-10-31) World Bank
    Maharashtra's leadership position in India is under threat. The State is facing several bottlenecks to development: the private sector is no longer embracing Maharashtra and the public sector banks are increasingly reluctant to assist Maharashtra in its off-budget endeavors. Thus, the status quo is not an option. Regaining its leadership position is well within Maharashtra's reach. Among its many strengths are: the large pool of literate and skilled labor force, a well-developed financial system, a talented bureaucracy, and willingness to break with the ways of the past. If the State can successfully implement its reform agenda, it can quickly rebound and be back on the path of growth and prosperity. The lessons of the past decade suggest two guiding principles: First, the Government needs to articulate the message that its reforms are not to hurt, but to help the farmers. If reforms are to succeed, they have to be pro-farmer and pro-poor. Maharashtra's fiscal stress, be it due to power and irrigation subsidies or due to the losses in cotton and sugar interventions, has a close connection with the rural sector. However, as analyzed in Chapter 4, the current rural interventions are imposing a huge and unsustainable fiscal cost on the state, and more importantly, the bulk of the benefits are accruing to the rural rich. the challenge for the government, therefore, is to provide more efficient, equitable, and sustainable assistance to the rural poor. Second, the government's reform program needs to be designed and implemented with a medium- to long-term perspective. Piecemeal, short-term reforms can only bring short-term gains. The Government of Maharashtra faces a simple choice: to try to succeed in a difficult reform endeavor, or, since the policies of the past no longer work, to give up without trying and condemn itself to developmental and fiscal failure. Through its 2002-03 Budget Speech, the Government has indicated that it has chosen the former path. The quicker it moves along it, the greater the chances of success.
  • Publication
    South Africa - Constraints to Growth in Johannesburg's Black Informal Sector : Evidence from the 1999 Informal Sector Survey
    (Washington, DC, 2002-06) World Bank
    The report is the third in a series of reports that evolved from a collaboration between the local government of the City of Johannesburg, and the World Bank in 1999-2000 on the theme of local economic development. It presents the main findings of the 1999 World Bank informal sector survey, which covered a number of mostly black informal firm owners across manufacturing, and service sectors, based on firm owners responses, and firm level data. The objectives of the study are to a) examine the characteristics, and constraints facing informal firms in Johannesburg. The government has since 1994, rested its goal of poverty, and inequality-reduction in South Africa, on private sector-led job creation, and, has made a political commitment to black empowerment, allocating resources for credit, and training, as well as other small and medium scale enterprise (SMSE) promotion programs; and, b) explore the policy implications of government assistance to the informal sector, on grounds of poverty reduction, and job creation for the poor. The merit of supporting the sector on the basis of apartheid-created racial inequality, is also examined. Based on international experience, micro-finance should focus on outreach, quality of services, and measures of financial sustainability. Issues for further research, specific to South Africa, include fiscal feasibility of micro credit, and training programs, incorporating the element of firm growth, and prospects for graduation to formal SMSE, with credit availability being contingent on successful completion of small business training.
  • Publication
    Mexico : Technology, Wages and Employment, Volume 2. Technical Papers
    (Washington, DC, 2001-12-13) World Bank
    The report examines two components of new technology adoption by Mexican manufacturing firms. First, it questions which firms, under what circumstances, and performance adopt such technology. To measure performance, productivity wages, and net employment of a firm were used, leading to further questions on whether technological change helps workers - of a certain skill level - disproportionately. Second, it argues that adoption of new technologies happens under the right circumstances, and further reviews which are the firms, and circumstances surrounding the choice of technology. The analysis is based on data from the National Survey of Employment, Wages, Technology and Training (ENESTYC), and the National Industrial Survey (EIA) for 1992, 1995, and 1999. Results largely suggest that performance (including statistics, and measures on job creation, and/or job dislocation), is superior with technology adoption, though it does not imply performance increases in all firms. Rather, the effects of technology vary depending on location, and size of enterprise. Nonetheless, investments in human capital - training in conjunction with technology adoption - increases productivity benefits. In addition, the likelihood for new technologies, also varies markedly by time period, and, the complexity of the technology correlates both with the size, and skill levels of a firm's work force. Policy recommendations include widespread technology know-how, facilitating inter-firm linkages, supported by both government financing to encourage a competitive business environment, and by a continued increase in research and development funding, public as well as private funding.
  • Publication
    Armenia : Growth Challenges and Government Policies, Volume 1. Main Conclusions and Recommendations
    (Washington, DC, 2001-11-30) World Bank
    This report reviews growth trends in Armenia for the period 1994-2000, outlines major weaknesses of existing development patterns, and suggests a package of policy recommendations designed to accelerate enterprise restructuring, attract investment, and encourage the creation of new businesses in the medium term (three to five years). Such steps are needed to systain (and preferably to increase) the current growth rates, to stop emigration among the young and skilled, and to reduce poverty. The government needs to focus much more clearly on generating the environment for private sector led growth by removing bottlenecks in policies, infrastructure, and institutions that prevent new private businesses from flourishing. International aid donors can help by supporting the removal of administrative barriers for investments, the rehabilitation of infrastructure, and the creation of "restructuring agencies" that will enable firms in key sectors to overcome or avoid common constraints to business growth in Armenia. Successful restructuring by such firms should have a demonstration effect on the country's economy and help consolidate public support for moving forward the program of reform begun a decade ago.
  • Publication
    Indonesia : The Imperative for Reform
    (Washington, DC, 2001-11) World Bank
    In the one hundred days since assuming office, the new administration of Megawati Soekarnoputri has made little progress on structural and governance reforms. The events of September 11 and the slowdown in the global economy worsened the investment climate in Indonesia, adding to the government's already formidable array of challenges. Indonesia's recovery has lagged behind its neighbors and over half its population vulnerable to poverty, more than any other crisis country. Moreover, its fragile banking and corporate sectors, and the precarious state of its government finances, make the country highly vulnerable to risks--with immediate implications for fiscal sustainability. Donors need to be realistic about what is feasible, given strong vested interests, severe institutional weaknesses, the uncertainties arising from decentralization, and a turbulent transition to democracy. Progress is most needed in the key areas of structural reforms, good governance, and empowering and investing in the poor. Together with fiscal sustainability, they are consistent with the premise that stability, growth, and effective government are the key ingredients for long-lasting and sustainable poverty reduction.
  • Publication
    Ghana - International Competitiveness : Opportunities and Challenges Facing Non-Traditional Exports
    (Washington, DC, 2001-06-21) World Bank
    The report first reviews macroeconomic aspects in Ghana, identifying that much of the non-traditional exports' expansion, reflects sporadic foreign investments in key agro-processing activities - which enjoy preferential treatment in European markets - but, its value-added seems at best marginal, questioning its sustainability, should preferences be removed. Besides compliance with a growing number of European Union regulations on environmental, and food safety standards, Ghana will need to create a favorable business environment to attract foreign investment, and raise competitiveness of exporting firms. The study then analyzes microeconomic competitiveness, through four case studies on natural resource-based exports; efficient import substitution, and expansion into regional markets; labor-intensive, light manufactures and services; and, culture and arts manufactures. Constraints identified by exporters are industry specific, while, main cross-cutting issues, relate to the trade regime, and the provision of infrastructure. Findings of this report suggest that an export strategy for a country at Ghana's stage of development, should be based on two basic principles: maximizing the returns to current comparative advantage; and, over time, "catalizing" export diversification towards more sophisticated sources of advantage.
  • Publication
    Mexico : Land Policy--A Decade after the Ejido Reform
    (Washington, DC, 2001-06-15) World Bank
    This study aims to assess the extent to which reforms have actually been implemented, the impact they have had on the rural population, and the challenges which, as a consequence, need to be addressed by the new administration. This report is organized as follows: Section 1 describes Mexico's rural economy. It reviews the broad context of macro, trade, and sector-level reforms, the strengths and weaknesses of both the productive and socio-economic structure of agriculture and the social sector, highlighting in particular the socio-economic and natural resource characteristics that make the ejido sector central to Mexico's development. Section 2 details the rationale behind the 1992 legal reforms intended to to end almost a century of politically motivated interventions in the internal structure of te ejido and improve the functioning of land and labor markets in the social sector. This section reviews the way reforms were implemented, the procedural safeguards adopted to prevent abuse, and the advances, both in terms of numbers as well as impact, made in implementing them. Section 3 assesses PROCEDE (the National Certifcation Program of Ejido Rights and Urban Lots) and its impact on the functioning of land rental and sales markets, ejidatarios' access to credit, and investment. Section 4 sums up policy recommendations in six key areas, including land policy, completion of PROCEDE, and ensuring the sustainability of the advances made under PROCEDE.