Journal Issue: World Bank Economic Review, Volume 24, Issue 1

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Technology Adoption and the Investment Climate : Firm-Level Evidence for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
(World Bank, 2010-02-15) Correa, Paulo G. ; Fernandes, Ana M. ; Uregian, Chris J.
Survey data for 7,000 firms in 28 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia are used to examine the correlates of technology adoption proxied by ISO certification and web use. Complementary inputs such as skilled labor, managerial capacity, research and development, finance, and good infrastructure are shown to be important correlates of technology adoption. The link between market incentives and technology adoption is more nuanced. While stronger consumer pressure is significantly associated with technology adoption, competitor pressure is not, suggesting that in developing economies where many input markets are imperfect, it is primarily firms with rents that are able to adopt new technology. Foreign-owned firms exhibit significantly better technology adoption outcomes, but privatized firms with domestic owners do not.
Financial Institutions and Markets across Countries and over Time
(World Bank, 2010-02-15) Beck, Thorsten ; Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli ; Levine, Ross
This article introduces the updated and expanded version of the Financial Development and Structure Database. The database includes indicators on the size, efficiency, and stability of banks, nonbank financial institutions, and equity and bond markets over 1960–2007. It also contains indicators of financial globalization.
On Analyzing the World Distribution of Income
(World Bank, 2010-02-15) Atkinson, Anthony B. ; Brandolini, Andrea
Consideration of world inequality should cause reexamination of the key concepts underlying the welfare approach to measuring income inequality and its relation to measuring poverty. This reexamination leads to exploration of a new measure that allows poverty and inequality to be considered in the same framework, incorporates different approaches to measuring inequality, and allows varied expressions of the cost of inequality. Applied to the world distribution of income for 1820–1992, the new measure provides different perspectives on the evolution of global inequality.
Early Academic Performance, Grade Repetition, and School Attainment in Senegal
(World Bank, 2010-02-15) Glick, Peter ; Sahn, David E.
Little is known in developing country environments about how a child's cognitive skills manifested in the first years of schooling are related to later educational success, because the panel data needed to analyze this question have been lacking. This study takes advantage of a unique data set from Senegal that combines test score data for children from the second grade with information on their subsequent school progression from a follow-up survey conducted seven years later. Measures of skills from early primary school, corrected for measurement error using multiple test observations per child, are strongly positively associated with later school progression. A plausible interpretation is that parents invest more in a child's education when the returns to doing so are higher. The results point to the need for remedial policies to target lagging students early on to reduce early dropout. Grade repetition policies target poorly performing students and are pervasive in Francophone Africa. Using variation across schools in test score thresholds for promotion to identify the effects of second-grade repetition, the analysis shows that repeating students are more likely to leave school before completing primary school than students with similar ability who are not held back, pointing to the need for alternative measures to improve the skills of lagging children.
Do Autocratic States Trade Less?
(World Bank, 2010-02-15) Aidt, Toke S. ; Gassebner, Martin
Does the political regime of a country influence its involvement in international trade? A theoretical model that predicts that autocracies trade less than democracies is developed, and the predictions of the model are tested empirically using a panel of more than 130 countries for 1962–2000. In contrast to the existing literature, data on the regime type of individual countries are used rather than information about the congruence of the regime type of pairs of trading countries. In line with the model, autocracies are found to import substantially less than democracies, even after controlling for official trade policies. This finding is very stable and does not depend on a particular setup or estimation technique.
The Effect of Refugee Inflows on Host Communities
(World Bank, 2010-02-15) Alix-Garcia, Jennifer ; Saah, David
Despite the large and growing number of humanitarian emergencies, there is little economic research on the impact of refugees and internally displaced people on the communities that receive them. This analysis of the impact of the refugee inflows from Burundi and Rwanda in 1993 and 1994 on host populations in western Tanzania shows large increases in the prices of nonaid food items and more modest price effects for aid-related food items. Food aid is shown to mitigate these effects, though its impact is smaller than that of the increases in the refugee population. Examination of household assets suggests positive wealth effects of refugee camps on nearby rural households and negative wealth effects on households in urban areas.