LAC Occasional Paper Series

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The LCSSD Occasional Paper Series is a publication of the Sustainable Development Department (LCSSD) in the World Bank’s Latin America and the Caribbean Region. The papers in this series are the result of economic and technical research conducted by members of the LCSSD community. The series addresses issues that are relevant to the region’s environmental and social sustainability; water, urban, energy and transport sector development; agriculture, forestry and rural development; as well as cross-cutting topics related to sustainable development such as climate change; logistics; crime and violence; and spatial economics. While all papers in this series are peer reviewed and cleared by the LCSSD Economics Unit on behalf of the Director of LCSSD, the findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper, as in all publications of the LCSSD Occasional Paper Series, are entirely those of the authors and should not be attributed in any manner to the World Bank, to its affiliated organizations or to members of its Board of Executive Directors or the countries they represent. The World Bank does not garantee the accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequences of their use.

Items in this collection

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  • Publication
    Agricultural Support Policies and Programs in Jamaica 2006-2011
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-11) Arias, Diego; Gurria, Martin; Pena, Hector; Brown-Knowlton, Mildred; Boyce, Rachel; Smikle, Conrad
    An analysis of Jamaica's agriculture support policies and programs shows that Jamaican consumers are financing the bulk of supports to the agriculture sector. This report estimates the agriculture public support policies and programs of Jamaica between 2006 and 2011. This analysis of the agriculture programs and policies provides an understanding of the level and composition by type of support for different crops and livestock producers during 2010-2011. The estimate of total agriculture supports (measured as the total support estimate, TSE) in Jamaica in 2011 was approximately United States (U.S.) 675 million dollars (J$58.071 million), representing 4.7 percent of total gross domestic product (GDP) and 22.7 percent of agriculture GDP. Jamaica has been facing significant development challenges over the last three decades. It is in this context of fiscal restrictions and potential further economic and social stagnation, that the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank have been prompted to take action to better understand the degree and type of support Jamaican farmers are receiving. Once the level of support is understood within Jamaica's economic context, policy and program recommendations can be made to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the support structure, addressing agriculture sector competitiveness issues and constraints. In this context, the report presents introduction; supports to agriculture; and summary and conclusions.
  • Publication
    Unintended Consequences of Food Subsidies : The Case of the Haiti Rice Subsidy
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-03-17) Arias, Diego; Carneus, Maxime
    Haiti is an important rice consumer, and a big rice importer. Around 86 percent of the Haitian population consumes rice. The decision to implement an indirect subsidy was made based on the fact that import prices had in the past been transmitted fully and immediately to rice consumers. Thus, a subsidy to the price of rice at the level of the importers was expected to be passed on immediately into benefits (savings) to rice consumers. The Government also prohibited rice exports to the Dominican Republic in order to avoid re-export of subsidized rice. The subsidy scheme was implemented by forming a public-private sector Presidential Commission between the Central Bank of Haiti (BRH), the President's Office and rice importers. Although the rice price subsidy program did produce the intended savings to Haitian consumers during the 4-month period of the subsidy program (April-August 2008), this intervention caused medium term distortions in the domestic market of imported rice such that domestic prices of imported rice have risen beyond the price that consumers would have faced without a subsidy program. The actual prices consumers faced after the subsidy program was implemented were much more volatile than the estimated price without a subsidy program, pointing to also an increased consumer uncertainty about local market prices for rice. Using a targeted food voucher as a subsidy mechanism is not only more efficient, but can have higher impact on nutrition as it can be used for a wide variety.
  • Publication
    Logistics, Transport and Food Prices in LAC : Policy Guidance for Improving Efficiency and Reducing Costs
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-08) Schwartz, Jordan; Guasch, Jose Luis; Wilmsmeier, Gordon; Stokenberga, Aiga
    This introductory section explains the rationale for the guidance note, reflecting on the relevance of food prices in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), their impact on the poor and the effect that logistics and transport costs have on those prices. Based upon that framework, the note provides an overview of the logistics and transport hurdles faced by importers and consumers in the region as food products move through the logistics chain. The final section of the report provides some policy guidance that could improve the efficiency of logistics systems in LAC and reduce the price of delivered foods.