Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Economics of Development, Environment, and Climate
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated November 16, 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 - 6 of 6
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(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-01) Rentschler, Jun ; Hosoe, NobuhiroThis study develops a computable general equilibrium model for Nigeria, which accounts for informality, tax evasion, and fuel smuggling. By studying the impact of fuel subsidy reform on consumption, tax incidence, and fiscal efficiency, it shows that the presence of illicit activities substantially strengthens the argument in favour of subsidy reform: First, fuel subsidy reform can shift the tax base to energy goods, which are less prone to tax evasion losses than for instance labour. Second, by reducing price differentials with neighbouring countries, subsidy reform reduces incentives for fuel smuggling. Overall, the results show that considering illicit activities reduces the welfare losses of fuel subsidy reform by at least 40 percent. In addition, fuel subsidy reductions (and by extension energy tax increases) have a strong progressive distributional impact. The findings hold under different revenue redistribution mechanisms, in particular uniform cash transfers and the reduction of pre-existing labour taxes.
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.
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 ; Avner, PaoloGlobally, 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, 2022-05) He, Yiyi ; Rentschler, Jun ; Avner, Paolo ; Gao, Jianxi ; Yue, Xiangyu ; Radke, John ; Avner, PaoloThis study provides the first global evaluation of both direct and indirect flood hazard impacts on road transportation networks. It constructs topological road networks for 2,564 human settlements, representing over 14 million kilometers of urban roads. It assesses their exposure to pluvial and fluvial flood risks under 10 scenarios, corresponding to different flood intensities (1:5 year to 1:1,000 year return periods). Under each scenario, the study analyzes direct infrastructure exposure and assesses the indirect effects of flood-induced mobility disruptions: route failures, travel delays, and travel distance increases. The results document a positive relationship between flood return period and flood impact (both direct and indirect). Compared with direct flood hazard exposure, the indirect impact of floods on mobility is more prominent and heterogeneous. The average share of the road network that is flooded by at least 0.3 meters is 3.64 percent (or 24.84 percent) under the 5-year (or 1,000-year) return period, yet 11.58 percent (or 65.67 percent) of the simulated trips fail in the same scenario. The results enable comparisons of exposure and vulnerability of road networks to flood hazards across countries, allowing the identification and prioritization of urban transport resilience measures.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-04) Rentschler, Jun ; Avner, Paolo ; Marconcini, Mattia ; Su, Rui ; Strano, Emanuele ; Hallegatte, Stephane ; Bernard, Louise ; Riom, Capucine ; Avner, PaoloAs 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.