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

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Inclusive Green Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean
    (Washington, DC, 2013-01) World Bank
    Argentina has expanded the use of its portion of the Parana-Paraguay waterways system for the transportation of soy and other bulk commodities through an innovative tolling system that self-finances the dredging and maintenance of the rivers. Brazil, in turn, is pursuing a 'green trucking' strategy to improve efficiency of its cargo haulage industry, reduce petroleum usage, and curb pollution from trucking. For the entire hemisphere, the expansion of the Panama Canal will bring post-Panama vessels and introduce greater scale economies in shipping. The following sections of this paper provide a more detailed review of the sectoral objectives, challenges, and way forward in making Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) growth greener and more inclusive. It looks back over the achievements of the demand sectors of urban development and infrastructure services, energy, urban transport, and water and sanitation, as well as natural resources and rural development since Rio 1992. It highlights the achievements in those areas, and the ability of those accomplishments to establish a robust path for the region to inclusive green growth.
  • Publication
    Integrating Central American and International Food Markets : An Analysis of Food Price Transmission in Honduras and Nicaragua
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-03-17) Arias, Diego; De Franco, Mario A.
    In 2004 the Central American countries of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic signed the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) with the United States and are currently negotiating another agreement with the European Union and others. This study examines the dynamics among international and domestic food markets by assessing the transmission of international prices to domestic prices of key agriculture commodities in Honduras and Nicaragua. It analyzes to what degree, if at all, a change in the international price of a given food product influences the domestic price of that same good, at the level of the consumer and producer and in different regions in each country. This analysis provides important evidence of the price dynamics that guide public policy recommendations for a complementary agenda of agriculture trade liberaliza-tion in the region. There are two methods for analyzing the relationship between international and domestic prices. The first is to conduct a price wedge analysis-to evaluate the difference between international and domestic prices. The second method is to conduct a price transmission analysis by analyzing the variation in the percent growth of international versus domestic prices. Evidence from Nicaragua suggests that for most of the agriculture supply chains studied (except for beans) there is little competition in the country's domestic market structure. A few Nicaraguan companies own the majority share of the market, both to purchase and export agricultural products and to import and sell food domestically. Obtaining information about the structure of domestic agriculture and food markets could shed light on country-specific impediments from domestic market structure to increasing agriculture growth, reducing poverty, and improving rural competitiveness. Information on domestic market structure was difficult to obtain for this study, particularly for Honduras. But, even in a context where the domestic market structure concentrates purchasing and selling power in a few agribusiness companies, price transmission could be high.
  • 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.
  • Publication
    Crisis in LAC : Infrastructure Investment, Employment and the Expectations of Stimulus
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-07) Schwartz, Jordan; Andres, Luis; Dragoiu, Georgeta
    Infrastructure investment is a central part of the stimulus plans of the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region as it confronts the growing financial crisis. This paper estimates the potential effects on direct, indirect, and induced employment for different types of infrastructure projects with LAC-specific variables. The analysis finds that the direct and indirect short-term employment generation potential of infrastructure capital investment projects may be considerable averaging around 40,000 annual jobs per United States (U.S.) 1 billion dollars in LAC, depending upon such variables as the mix of subsectors in the investment program; the technologies deployed; local wages for skilled and unskilled labor; and the degrees of leakages to imported inputs. While these numbers do not account for substitution effect, they are built around an assumed basket of investments that crosses infrastructure sectors most of which are not employment-maximizing. Albeit limited in scope, rural road maintenance projects may employ 200,000 to 500,000 annualized direct jobs for every U.S. 1 billion dollars spent. The paper also describes the potential risks to effective infrastructure investment in an environment of crisis including sorting and planning contradictions, delayed implementation and impact, affordability, and corruption.