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 21
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) Rentschler, Jun ; Obolensky, Marguerite ; Kornejew, MartinThis study finds that natural shocks -- storms in particular -- are a significant and often leading cause for power supply disruptions. This finding is based on 20 years of high frequency (i.e. daily) data on power outages and climate variables in 28 countries -- Bangladesh, the United States and 26 European countries. More specifically: (1) Natural shocks are the most important cause of power outages in developed economies. On average, they account for more than 50 of annual outage duration in both the US and Europe. In contrast, natural shocks are responsible for a small share of outages in Bangladesh, where disruptions occur on a daily basis for a variety of reasons. (2) Outages due to natural shocks are found to last significantly longer than those due to non-natural shocks in -- e.g. more than 4.5 times in Europe. Reasons include the challenge of locating wide-spread damages, and the sustained duration of storms. (3) Several factors can reinforce the adverse effect of natural shocks on power supply. In the US, forest cover is shown to significantly increase the risk of power outages when storms occur. (4) There are significant differences in network fragility. For instance, wind speeds above 35 km/h are found to be 12 times more likely to cause an outage in Bangladesh than in the US. This difference may be explained by a range of factors, including investments in infrastructure resilience and maintenance.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) Obolensky, Marguerite ; Erman, Alvina ; Rozenberg, Julie ; Rentschler, Jun ; Avner, Paolo ; Hallegatte, StephaneThis review examines the literature on the welfare impacts of infrastructure disruptions. There is widespread evidence that households suffer from the consequences of a lack of infrastructure reliability, and that being connected to the grid is not sufficient to close the infrastructure gap. Disruptions and irregular service have adverse effects on household welfare, due to missed work and education opportunities, and negative impact on health. Calibrating costs of unreliable infrastructure on existing willingness to pay assessments, we estimate the welfare losses associated with blackouts and water outages. Overall, between 0.1 and 0.2 percent of GDP would be lost each year because of unreliable infrastructure -- electricity, water and transport.
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, 2019-06) Hallegatte, Stephane ; Rozenberg, Julie ; Rentschler, Jun ; Nicolas, Claire ; Fox, CharlesThis paper explores the benefits and the costs of strengthening infrastructure assets to make them more resilient, reducing the repair costs and infrastructure disruptions caused by natural hazards. Strengthening infrastructure assets in low- and middle-income countries would increase investment needs in power, transport, and water and sanitation by between $11 billion and $65 billion a year, i.e. 3 percent of baseline infrastructure investment needs. The uncertainty pertaining to the costs and benefits of infrastructure resilience makes it difficult to provide a single estimate for the benefit-cost ratio of strengthening exposed infrastructure assets. To manage this uncertainty, this paper explores the benefit-cost ratio in 3,000 scenarios, combining uncertainties in all parameters of the analysis. The benefit-cost ratio is higher than 1 in 96 percent of the scenarios, larger than 2 in 77 percent of them, and higher than 4 in half of them. The net present value of these investments over the lifetime of new infrastructure assets -- or, equivalently, the cost of inaction -- exceeds $2 trillion in 75 percent of the scenarios and $4.2 trillion in half of them. Moreover, climate change makes the strengthening of infrastructure assets even more important, doubling the median benefit-cost ratio.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-04) Rentschler, Jun ; Avner, Paolo ; Marconcini, Mattia ; Su, Rui ; Strano, Emanuele ; Hallegatte, Stephane ; Bernard, Louise ; Riom, CapucineAs countries rapidly urbanize, settlements are expanding into hazardous flood zones. This study provides a global analysis of spatial urbanization patterns and the evolution of flood exposure between 1985 and 2015. Using high-resolution annual data, it shows that settlements across the world grew by 85 percent to over 1.28 million square kilometers. In the same period, settlements exposed to the highest flood hazard level increased by 122 percent. In many regions, risky growth is outpacing safe growth, particularly in East Asia, where high-risk settlements have expanded 60 percent faster than safe ones. Developing countries are driving the recent growth of flood exposure: 36,500 square kilometers of settlements were built in the world’s highest-risk zones since 1985–82 percent of which are in low- and middle-income countries. In comparison, recent growth in high-income countries has been relatively slow and safe. These results document a divergence in countries’ exposure to flood hazards. Rather than adapting their exposure to climatic hazards, many countries are actively increasing their exposure.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-04-12) Rentschler, Jun ; Klaiber, Christoph ; Tariverdi, Mersedeh ; Desjonqueres, Chloe ; Mercadante, JaredHealthcare systems are at the frontline of delivering critical care during emergencies. Yet, already before the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries were struggling to meet even routine demands for health care. Climate change, disasters, pandemics, and demographic changes will increase pressures on already strained health systems. To strengthen the resilience of health systems to shocks and pressures, this note outlines five principles and priority areas for action. (1) Foundations: Building the capacity of health systems to effectively manage routine demands is a prerequisite for increasing their resilience to shocks. (2) Health care facilities: Facilities must be prepared to meet surge demand during emergencies and protected against shocks, such as earthquakes or floods. (3) Health care systems: Coordinated regional and system-level responses and flexible solutions are key during emergencies. (4) National emergency management: Crisis response by the health sector must be coordinated with emergency management systems, including civil protection and risk financing. (5) Quality infrastructure: Resilient water, electricity, transport, and digital systems are essential for effective health services. The principles presented in this note can help to better prepare health systems to respond to a wide range of shocks, from seasonal demand surges, to pandemics, climate change, and disasters.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-01-17) Balseca, Esteban ; Cuesta, Jose Antonio ; Damania, Richard ; Feng, Shenghui ; Moon, Jisung ; Rentschler, Jun ; Russ, Jason ; Triyana, Margaret ; Balseca, EstebanThe world has witnessed unparalleled economic progress in the last three decades. But success is not preordained, and several headwinds threaten this hard fought progress. Inequality is leaving many people and subgroups behind and excluding them from enjoying the benefits of this great economic expansion. More recently, the world has awakened to the reality of a new type of risk. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) struck at a time when the world was healthier and wealthier than ever before. There is little disagreement over the need to enable a recovery that is fairer, safer, and more sustainable. This report describes how these ambitious objectives can be achieved by providing evidence based tools and information to guide countries to spend better and improve policies. It is in this context that this document presents policy guidance to identify and diagnose key development challenges and develop solutions to help countries build better.
Publication(Washington, DC : World Bank, 2023-06-15) Damania, Richard ; Balseca, Esteban ; de Fontaubert, Charlotte ; Gill, Joshua ; Kim, Kichan ; Rentschler, Jun ; Russ, Jason ; Zaveri, EshaClean air, land, and oceans are critical for human health and nutrition and underpin much of the world’s economy. Yet they suffer from degradation, poor management, and overuse due to government subsidies. "Detox Development: Repurposing Environmentally Harmful Subsidies" examines the impact of subsidies on these foundational natural assets. Explicit and implicit subsidies—estimated to exceed US$7 trillion per year—not only promote inefficiencies but also cause much environmental harm. Poor air quality is responsible for approximately 1 in 5 deaths globally. And as the new analyses in this report show, a significant number of these deaths can be attributed to fossil fuel subsidies. Agriculture is the largest user of land worldwide, feeding the world and employing 1 billion people, including 78 percent of the world’s poor. But it is subsidized in ways that promote inefficiency, inequity, and unsustainability. Subsidies are shown to drive the deterioration of water quality and increase water scarcity by incentivizing overextraction. In addition, they are responsible for 14 percent of annual deforestation, incentivizing the production of crops that are cultivated near forests. These subsidies are also implicated in the spread of zoonotic and vector-borne diseases, especially malaria. Finally, oceans support the world’s fisheries and supply about 3 billion people with almost 20 percent of their protein intake from animals. Yet they are in a collective state of crisis, with more than 34 percent of fisheries overfished, exacerbated by open-access regimes and capacity-increasing subsidies. Although the literature on subsidies is large, this report fills significant knowledge gaps using new data and methods. In doing so, it enhances understanding of the scale and impact of subsidies and offers solutions to reform or repurpose them in efficient and equitable ways. The aim is to enhance understanding of the magnitude, consequences, and drivers of policy successes and failures in order to render reforms more achievable.
Building Back Better: Achieving Resilience through Stronger, Faster, and More Inclusive Post-Disaster Reconstruction(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-06-18) Hallegatte, Stéphane ; Rentschler, Jun ; Walsh, BrianThe 2017 Unbreakable report made the case that disaster losses disproportionately affect poor people. The Caribbean hurricane season of 2017 was a tragic illustration of this. Two category 5 hurricanes wreaked destruction on numerous small islands, causing severe damages on islands like Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Martin. The human cost of these disasters was immense, and the impact of this devastation was felt most strongly by poorer communities in the path of the storms. And yet, amidst the destruction it is essential to look forward and to build back better. In this 2018 report the authors explore how countries can strengthen their resilience to natural shocks through a better reconstruction process. Reconstruction needs to be strong, so that assets and livelihoods become less vulnerable to future shocks; fast, so that people can get back to their normal life as early as possible; and inclusive, so that nobody is left behind in the recovery process. The benefits of building back better could be very large – up to US$173 billion per year globally – and would be greatest among the communities and countries that are hit by disasters most intensely and frequently and that have limited coverage of social protection and financial inclusion. Small island states – because of their size, exposure, and vulnerability – are among the countries where building back better has the greatest potential. A stronger, faster, and more inclusive recovery would lead to an average reduction in disaster-related well-being losses of 59 percent in the 17 small island states covered in the report.