Rentschler, Jun

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Economics of Development, Environment, and Climate
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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.
Citations 63 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
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    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, Brian
    The 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.
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    Lifelines: The Resilient Infrastructure Opportunity
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2019-06-19) Hallegatte, Stephane ; Rentschler, Jun ; Rozenberg, Julie
    From serving our most basic needs to enabling our most ambitious ventures in trade and technology, infrastructure services are essential for raising and maintaining people’s quality of life. Yet millions of people, especially in low- and middle-income countries, are facing the consequences of unreliable electricity grids, inadequate water and sanitation systems, and overstrained transport networks. Natural hazards magnify the challenges faced by these fragile systems. Building on a wide range of case studies, global empirical analyses, and modeling exercises, Lifelines lays out a framework for understanding infrastructure resilience—the ability of infrastructure systems to function and meet users’ needs during and after a natural shock—and it makes an economic case for building more resilient infrastructure. Lifelines concludes by identifying five obstacles to resilient infrastructure and offering concrete recommendations and specific actions that can be taken by governments, stakeholders, and the international community to improve the quality and resilience of these essential services, and thereby contribute to more resilient and prosperous societies.
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    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, Neave
    Globally, 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.
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    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, Nobuo
    Dar 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.
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    People in Harm's Way: Flood Exposure and Poverty in 189 Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10) Rentschler, Jun ; Salhab, Melda
    Flooding 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.
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    Infrastructure Disruptions: How Instability Breeds Household Vulnerability
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) Obolensky, Marguerite ; Erman, Alvina ; Rozenberg, Julie ; Rentschler, Jun ; Avner, Paolo ; Hallegatte, Stephane
    This 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.
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    The RISE Framework
    (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, Esteban
    The 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.