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Rentschler, Jun

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Economics of Development, Environment, and Climate
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Last updated: November 16, 2023
Biography
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 78 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • Publication
    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.
  • Publication
    Underutilized Potential: The Business Costs of Unreliable Infrastructure in Developing Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) Kornejew, Martin; Rentschler, Jun; Braese, Johannes; Hallegatte, Stephane; Obolensky, Marguerite
    This 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.
  • Publication
    Reforming Fossil Fuel Subsidies: Drivers, Barriers and the State of Progress
    (Taylor and Francis, 2016-06-24) Rentschler, Jun
    This article outlines the current state of affairs in fossil fuel subsidy reform, and highlights its contribution at the nexus of climate policy, fiscal stability and sustainable development. It discusses common definitions, provides quantitative estimates, and presents the evidence for key arguments in favour of subsidy reform. The main drivers and barriers for reform are also discussed, including the role of (low) oil prices and political economy challenges. Commitments to subsidy reform by the international community are reviewed, as well as the progress at the country level. Although fossil fuel subsidy reform indeed plays a critical role in climate policy, experience shows that the rationale for such reforms is determined in a complex environment of political economy challenges, macro-economic, fiscal and social factors, as well as external drivers such as energy prices. The article synthesizes the key principles for designing effective reforms and emphasizes that subsidy reforms cannot only yield fiscal relief, but should also contribute to long-term sustainable development objectives. Areas for future research are also identified.
  • Publication
    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
    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.
  • Publication
    Illicit Schemes: Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reforms and the Role of Tax Evasion and Smuggling
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-01) Rentschler, Jun
    This 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
    Three Feet Under: The Impact of Floods on Urban Jobs, Connectivity, and Infrastructure
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) Braese, Johannes; Rentschler, Jun; Jones, Nick; Avner, Paolo; Avner, Paolo
    This 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.
  • Publication
    Resilient Infrastructure for Thriving Firms: A Review of The Evidence
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) Braese, Johannes; Rentschler, Jun; Hallegatte, Stephane
    This review examines the literature on the role of infrastructure in determining the productivity and competitiveness of firms. It shows that the existing evidence base is clear in concluding that reliable and high-quality infrastructure is a crucial foundation for enabling businesses to thrive. It demonstrates that the provision of electricity, transport, water, and telecommunications systems increases firm-level productivity. It also shows that providing infrastructure per se is not enough to boost productivity, unless it offers reliable service. Disruptions and irregular service have substantial adverse effects on firms, not least due to disrupted supply chains, underutilization of production capacity, and costly adaptation measures.
  • Publication
    The Last Mile: Delivery Mechanisms for Post-Disaster Finance
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-09-18) Hallegatte, Stephane; Rentschler, Jun
    Governments 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
    Within Reach: Navigating the Political Economy of Decarbonization
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-11-16) Hallegatte, Stéphane; Godinho, Catrina; Rentschler, Jun; Avner, Paolo; Dorband, Ira Irina; Knudsen, Camilla; Lemke, Jana; Mealy, Penny
    Despite global commitments made through the Paris Agreement in 2015 to combat climate change, their translation into national policies has been slow, raising concerns about the feasibility of achieving climate targets. While policies face many obstacles, the political economy is one of the primary impediments to climate action, and urgency to reduce emissions makes slow and gradual approach increasingly insufficient. The report attempts to identify key political economy barriers and explore options to address them through the 4i Framework, considering how institutions, interests, ideas, and influence affect the political economy. The report offers a practical guide to help countries address political economy barriers when implementing climate policies with three prongs: (1) Climate Governance: governments can adapt their institutional framework, in ways that fit with the pre-existing political economy and moving from opportunistic and unstable to strategic and stable climate institutions. Establishing strategic climate governance institutions – such as climate change framework laws, long-term strategies, or just transition frameworks - can alter the political economy, set clear objectives, improve coordination across actors, and improve the ability to monitor progress and hold decisionmakers accountable. (2) Policy Sequencing: policies can be prioritized and sequenced based on dynamic efficiency, considering not only the economic costs and benefits, but also their feasibility and long-term impact on the political economy. The Climate Policy Feasibility Frontier tool can help identify policies that can overcome short-term political economy obstacles, and at the same time improve capacities and change the political economy to facilitate further climate action. (3) Policy Design and Engagement, considers the effective implementation of climate reforms by tactically navigating political economy constraints. This involves engaging citizens to create process legitimacy and reducing and managing distributional effects, not only across but also within income groups.