Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Economics of Development, Environment, and Climate
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated May 3, 2023
Jun Rentschler is a Senior Economist at the Office of the Chief Economist for Sustainable Development, working at the intersection of climate change and sustainable resilient development. Prior to joining The World Bank in 2012, he served as an Economic Adviser at the German Foreign Ministry. He also spent two years at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) working on private sector investment projects in resource efficiency and climate change. Before that he worked on projects with Grameen Microfinance Bank in Bangladesh and the Partners for Financial Stability Program by USAID in Poland. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Payne Institute for Public Policy, following previous affiliations with the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and the Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. Jun holds a PhD in Economics from University College London (UCL), specializing in development, climate, and energy.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 10
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-04) Rentschler, Jun ; Leonova, NadiaAir pollution is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, especially affecting poorer people who tend to be more exposed and vulnerable. This study contributes (i) updated global exposure estimates for the World Health Organizations's 2021 revised fine particulate matter (PM2.5) thresholds, and (ii) estimates of the number of poor people exposed to unsafe PM2.5 concentrations. It shows that 7.28 billion people, or 94 percent of the world population, are directly exposed to unsafe average annual PM2.5 concentrations. Low- and middle-income countries account for 80 percent of people exposed to unsafe PM2.5 levels. Moreover, 716 million poor people (living on less than $1.90 per day) live in areas with unsafe air pollution. Around half of them are located in just three countries: India, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Air pollution levels are particularly high in lower-middle-income countries, where economies tend to rely more heavily on polluting industries and technologies. The findings are based on high-resolution air pollution and population maps with global coverage, as well as subnational poverty estimates based on harmonized household surveys.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12) He, Yiyi ; Thies, Stephan ; Avner, Paolo ; Rentschler, JunTransportation networks underpin socioeconomic development by enabling the movement of goods and people. However, little is known about how flooding disrupts transportation systems in urban areas in developing country cities, despite these natural disasters occurring frequently. This study documents the channels through which regular flooding in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, impacts transport services, commuters' ability to reach their jobs, and the associated economic opportunity costs from travel delays. This assessment is based on transit feed specification data sets collected specifically for this analysis under normal and flooded conditions. These data sets were combined with travel survey data containing travelers' socioeconomic attributes and trip parameters, as well as a high-resolution flood maps. The results show that (1) flood disruptions cause increases in public transit headways and transit re-routing, decreases in travel speeds, and thus travel time delays, which translate into substantial economic costs to local commuters; (2) accessibility to jobs decreases under flooded conditions, hindering the establishment of an integrated citywide labor market; (3) there are spatial clusters where some of the poorest commuters experience among the highest travel delays, highlighting socio-spatial equity aspects of floods; (4) certain road segments are critical for the transport network and should be prioritized for resilience measures; and (5) the estimated daily cost of flood disruption to commuters’ trips in Kinshasa is $1,166,000. The findings of this assessment provide disaster mitigation guidance to the Office des Voiries et Drainage under the Ministry of Infrastructure, as well as strategic investment recommendations to the Ministry of Housing and Planning.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10-20) Rentschler, Jun ; de Vries Robbé, Sophie ; Braese, Johannes ; Nguyen, Dzung Huy ; van Ledden, Mathijs ; Pozueta Mayo, BeatrizIn a country that is among the most exposed to natural hazards, Vietnam’s coastline often bears the brunt. Typhoons, storm surges, riverine flooding, coastal erosion, droughts, or saline intrusion are all-too-familiar threats to most people living along the coast. Yet despite these risks, coastal regions host thriving economic sectors, providing livelihoods for a growing and rapidly urbanizing population. The coastal regions could be a powerful engine for Vietnam’s continued socioeconomic development, but rapid urbanization, economic growth, and climate change mean that disaster risks are bound to increase in the future. Although the government of Vietnam has made impressive progress in reducing and managing natural risks, current trends show that the work is far from complete. To guide effective action, this report provides an in-depth and multi-sectoral analysis of natural risks in coastal Vietnam and reviews current efforts in risk management, proposing a concrete action plan to balance the risks and opportunities of coastal development. These actions, if taken decisively, are an opportunity to strengthen the resilience of coastal communities and hence the prosperity of coming generations.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10) Rentschler, Jun ; Salhab, MeldaFlooding is among the most prevalent natural hazards affecting people around the world. This study provides a global estimate of the number of people who face the risk of intense fluvial, pluvial, or coastal flooding. The findings suggest that 1.47 billion people, or 19 percent of the world population, are directly exposed to substantial risks during 1-in-100 year flood events. The majority of flood exposed people, about 1.36 billion, are located in South and East Asia; China (329 million) and India (225 million) account for over a third of global exposure. Of the 1.47 billion people who are exposed to flood risk, 89 percent live in low- and middle-income countries. Of the 132 million people who are estimated to live in both extreme poverty (under $1.9 per day) and in high flood risk areas, 55 percent are in Sub-Saharan Africa. About 587 million people face high flood risk, while living on less than $5.5 per day. These findings are based on high-resolution flood hazard and population maps that enable global coverage, as well as poverty estimates from the World Bank's Global Monitoring Database of harmonized household surveys.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-09) Rentschler, Jun ; Kim, Ella ; Thies, Stephan ; De Vries Robbe, Sophie ; Erman, Alvina ; Hallegatte, StéphaneThis study explores how businesses in Tanzania are impacted by floods, and which strategies they use to cope and adapt. These insights are based on firm survey data collected in 2018 using a tailored questionnaire, covering a sample of more than 800 firms. To assess the impact of disasters on businesses, the study considers direct damages and indirect effects through infrastructure systems, supply chains, and workers. While direct on-site damages from flooding can be substantial, they tend to affect a relatively small share of firms. Indirect impacts of floods are more prevalent and sizable. Flood-induced infrastructure disruptions—especially electricity and transport—obstruct the operations of firms even when they are not directly located in flood zones. The effects of such disruptions are further propagated and multiplied along supply chains. The study estimates that supply chain multipliers are responsible for 30 to 50 percent of all flood-related delivery delays. To cope with these impacts, firms apply a variety of strategies. Firms mitigate supply disruptions by adjusting the size and geographical reach of their supply networks, and by adjusting inventory holdings. By investing in costly backup capacity (such as water tanks and electricity generators), firms mitigate the impact of infrastructure disruptions. The study estimates that only 13 percent of firms receive government support in the aftermath of floods.
Where Are All the Jobs ?: A Machine Learning Approach for High Resolution Urban Employment Prediction in Developing Countries(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-03) Barzin, Samira ; Avner, Paolo ; Rentschler, Jun ; O’Clery, NeaveGlobally, both people and economic activity are increasingly concentrated in urban areas. Yet, for the vast majority of developing country cities, little is known about the granular spatial organization of such activity despite its key importance to policy and urban planning. This paper adapts a machine learning based algorithm to predict the spatial distribution of employment using input data from open access sources such as Open Street Map and Google Earth Engine. The algorithm is trained on 14 test cities, ranging from Buenos Aires in Argentina to Dakar in Senegal. A spatial adaptation of the random forest algorithm is used to predict within-city cells in the 14 test cities with extremely high accuracy (R- squared greater than 95 percent), and cells in out-of-sample ”unseen” cities with high accuracy (mean R-squared of 63 percent). This approach uses open data to produce high resolution estimates of the distribution of urban employment for cities where such information does not exist, making evidence-based planning more accessible than ever before.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-09-18) Hallegatte, Stephane ; Rentschler, JunGovernments now have access to a large and growing range of financing instruments for rapidlymobilizing funds in the aftermath of a disaster. Instruments like reserve funds, contingent linesof credit, and insurance programs are critical for financing relief, recovery and reconstruction efforts, and they have a demonstrated impact on the ability of governments to manage large-scale disasters. The availability of financial resources however, is only half of the story. The capacity of a government to support post-disaster recovery and reconstruction depends substantially on its ability to deliver these resources effectively to where they are needed. Doingso requires that governments are prepared before a disaster hits, with the right instruments, institutions, and capacities in place. By preparing contingency plans, defining responsibilities, adopting appropriate regulations and norms, enhancing financial inclusion and insurance regulations, and establishing flexible and gender-inclusive social protection systems, governments could improve the reconstruction process and generate over 173 billion dollars per year inbenefits. There are major synergies between the financial instruments that make the resources available and the systems that deliver these resources where they are needed. In the next few years, the design and implementation of new financial instruments will offer an unprecedented opportunity to improve the last-mile delivery of post-disaster support. This opportunity should not be missed.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) Rentschler, Jun ; Braese, Johannes ; Jones, Nick ; Avner, PaoloThis paper analyses the degree to which infrastructure reliability and urban economic activity in several African cities is impacted by flooding. It combines firm-level micro data, flood maps, and several spatial data layers across cities through a harmonized geospatial network analysis. The analysis shows that a significant share of jobs in cities is directly affected by floods. It further details how transport infrastructure is subjected to significant flood risk that disproportionally affects main roads in many cities. While direct flood effects are revealed to be significant, this work further shows how knock-on implications for the entire urban economy might be even larger. Regardless of the direct flood exposure of firms, flooded transport networks mean that disruptions propagate across the city and drastically reduce the connectivity between firms. Access to hospitals is also found to be reduced significantly -- even during relatively light flooding events: From a third of locations in Kampala, floods mean that people would no longer be able to reach hospitals within the "golden hour" -- a rule of thumb referring to the window of time that maximizes the likelihood of survival after a severe medical incident. Overall, this study showcases the use of high-detail city-level analyses to better understand the localized impacts of natural hazards on urban infrastructure networks.
Wading Out the Storm: The Role of Poverty in Exposure, Vulnerability and Resilience to Floods in Dar es Salaam(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-08) Erman, Alvina ; Tariverdi, Mercedeh ; Obolensky, Marguerite ; Chen, Xiaomeng ; Vincent, Rose Camille ; Malgioglio, Silvia ; Rentschler, Jun ; Hallegatte, Stephane ; Yoshida, NobuoDar es Salaam is frequently affected by severe flooding causing destruction and impeding daily life of its 4.5 million inhabitants. The focus of this paper is on the role of poverty in the impact of floods on households, focusing on both direct (damage to or loss of assets or property) and indirect (losses involving health, infrastructure, labor, and education) impacts using household survey data. Poorer households are more likely to be affected by floods; directly affected households are more likely female-headed and have more insecure tenure arrangements; and indirectly affected households tend to have access to poorer quality infrastructure. Focusing on the floods of April 2018, affected households suffered losses of 23 percent of annual income on average. Surprisingly, poorer households are not over-represented among the households that lost the most - even in relation to their income, possibly because 77 percent of total losses were due to asset losses, with richer households having more valuable assets. Although indirect losses were relatively small, they had significant well-being effects for the affected households. It is estimated that households’ losses due to the April 2018 flood reached more than US$100 million, representing between 2-4 percent of the gross domestic product of Dar es Salaam. Furthermore, poorer households were less likely to recover from flood exposure. The report finds that access to finance play an important role in recovery for households.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) Rentschler, Jun ; Kornejew, Martin ; Hallegatte, Stephane ; Braese, Johannes ; Obolensky, MargueriteThis study constructs a microdata set of about 143,000 firms to estimate the monetary costs of infrastructure disruptions in 137 low- and middle-income countries, representing 78 percent of the world population and 80 percent of the GDP of low- and -middle-income countries. Specifically, this study assesses the impact of transport, electricity, and water disruptions on the capacity utilization rates of firms. The estimates suggest that utilization losses amount to $151 billion a year -- of which $107 billion are due to transport disruptions, $38 billion due to blackouts, and $6 billion due to dryouts. Moreover, this study shows that electricity outages are causing sales losses equivalent to $82 billion a year. Firms are also incurring the costs of self-generated electricity, estimated to amount to $64 billion a year (including annualized capital expenditure). At almost $300 billion a year, these figures highlight the substantial drag that unreliable infrastructure imposes on firms in developing countries. Yet, these figures are likely to be under-estimates as neither all countries nor all types of impacts are covered.