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Ghani, Ejaz

Econ. Policy & Debt Dept., World Bank
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Econ. Policy & Debt Dept., World Bank
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Last updated February 1, 2023
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Ejaz Ghani, an Indian national, is currently at The World Bank. He has worked on Africa, East Asia, and India/South Asia. He has written on poverty, growth, trade, fiscal policy, debt management, conflict, decentralization, entrepreneurship, employment, and agriculture. He has been a consultant at ILO, UNCTAD, and UNICEF. He has edited several books including Reshaping Tomorrow --Is South Asia Ready for the Big Leap? Oxford University Press 2011; The Poor Half Billion in South Asia, Oxford University Press 2010; The Service Revolution in South Asia, Oxford University Press 2010; Accelerating Growth and Job Creation in South Asia (with S. Ahmed) 2009, Promoting Economic Cooperation in South Asia (with S. Ahmed and S. Kelegama), 2009; and Growth and Regional Integration (with S. Ahmed) Macmillan 2007. He has taught economics at Delhi University (India) and Oxford University (U.K.). He is an Inlaks Scholar, and obtained an M. Phil. & D. Phil in Economics from Oxford University. He did his schooling in Bihar at St. Michael's High school Patna; undergraduate degree at St. Stephens College; and Masters degree at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Citations 103 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 45
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    Urbanization and (In)Formalization
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-02) Ghani, Ejaz ; Kanbur, Ravi
    Two of the great stylized predictions of development theory, and two of the great expectations of policy makers as indicators of progress in development, are inexorable urbanization and inexorable formalization. Urbanization is indeed happening, beyond the "tipping point" where half the world's population is now urban. However, formalization has slowed down significantly in the past quarter century. Indeed, informality has been increasing. This disconnect raises a number of questions for development analysis and development policy. Is the link between urbanization and formalization more complex than what had been thought? What does this mean for policy? The first core section of this paper asks what exactly is meant by formality and informality. The second core section turns to processes of urbanization and asks how these processes intersect with and interact with the incentives to formalize. The paper examines why cities attract the informal sector and the role that urbanization plays in growth and job creation through both the formal and informal sectors. Cities generate agglomeration benefits in the informal sector, perhaps more so than for the formal sector. The third core section is devoted to policy. At the current conjuncture, agglomeration benefits make a strong case for urbanization as an integral part of development strategy, but concerns about jobless growth and about urban poverty require a focus on the informal sector.
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    Diasporas and Outsourcing : Evidence from oDesk and India
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-04) Ghani, Ejaz ; Kerr, William R. ; Stanton, Christopher
    This paper examines the role of the Indian diaspora in the outsourcing of work to India. The data are taken from oDesk, the world's largest online platform for outsourced contracts. Despite oDesk minimizing many of the frictions that diaspora connections have traditionally overcome, diaspora connections still matter on oDesk, with ethnic Indians substantially more likely to choose a worker in India. This higher placement is the result of a greater likelihood of choosing India for the initial contract, due in large part to taste-based preferences, and substantial path dependence in location choices. The paper further examines wage and performance outcomes of outsourcing as a function of ethnic connections.
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    Political Reservations and Women’s Entrepreneurship in India
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-01) Ghani, Ejaz ; Kerr, William R. ; O'Connell, Stephen D.
    This paper quantifies the link between the timing of state-level implementations of political reservations for women in India with the role of women in India's manufacturing sector. It does not find evidence that overall employment of women in manufacturing increased after the reforms. However, the analysis finds significant evidence that more women-owned establishments were created in the unorganized/informal sector. These establishments were concentrated in industries where women entrepreneurs have been traditionally active and the entry was mainly found among household-based establishments. This heightened entrepreneurship does not appear linked to changes in reporting, better access to government contracts and business, or improved financing environments. One interpretation of these results is that the implementation of the political reservations inspired more women to open establishments, and they did so at a small establishment scale in industries where they had experience and/or the support networks of other women.
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    Highway to Success in India : The Impact of the Golden Quadrilateral Project for the Location and Performance of Manufacturing
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-01) Ghani, Ejaz ; Goswami, Arti Grover ; Kerr, William R.
    The infrastructure gap is one of the most significant impediments to India realizing its growth and poverty reduction potential. Although India s transport network is one of the most extensive in the world, accessibility and connectivity are limited. Only 20 percent of the national highway network (which carries 40 percent of traffic) is four-lane and one-fourth of the rural population does not have access to an all-weather road. It is estimated that the transport sector alone will require an investment of nearly US$500 billion over the next 10 years. This paper investigates the impact of the Golden Quadrilateral highway project on the Indian organized manufacturing sector using enterprise data. The Golden Quadrilateral project upgraded the quality and width of 5,846 km of roads in India. The analysis uses a difference-in-difference estimation strategy to compare non-nodal districts based on their distance from the highway system. It finds several positive effects for non-nodal districts located 0-10 km from the Golden Quadrilateral that are not present in districts 10-50 km away, most notably higher entry rates and increases in plant productivity. These results are not present for districts located on another major highway system, the North-South East-West corridor. Improvements for portions of the North-South East-West corridor system were planned to occur at the same time as the Golden Quadrilateral but were subsequently delayed. Additional tests show that the Golden Quadrilateral project s effect operates in part through a stronger sorting of land-intensive industries from nodal districts to non-nodal districts located on the Golden Quadrilateral network. The Golden Quadrilateral upgrades further helped spread economic activity to moderate-density districts and intermediate size cities.
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    What Does MFN Trade Mean for India and Pakistan? Can MFN be a Panacea?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-06) De, Prabir ; Raihan, Selim ; Ghani, Ejaz
    India and Pakistan, the two largest economies in South Asia, share a common border, culture and history. Despite the benefits of proximity, the two neighbors have barely traded with each other. In 2011, trade with Pakistan accounted for less than half a percent of India's total trade, whereas Pakistan's trade with India was 5.4 percent of its total trade. However, the recent thaw in India-Pakistan trade relations could signal a change. Pakistan has agreed to grant most favored nation status to India. India has already granted most favored nation status to Pakistan. What will be the gains from trade for the two countries? Will they be inclusive? Is most favored nation status a panacea? Should the granting of most favored nation status be accompanied by improvements in trade facilitation, infrastructure, connectivity, and logistics to reap the true benefits of trade and to promote shared prosperity? This paper attempts to answer these questions. It examines alternative scenarios on the gains from trade and it finds that what makes most favored nation status work is the trade facilitation that surrounds it. The results of the general equilibrium simulation indicate Pakistan's most favored nation status to India would generate larger benefits if it were supported by improved connectivity and trade facilitation measures. In other words, gains from trade would be small in the absence of improved connectivity and trade facilitation. The idea of trade facilitation is simple: implement measures to reduce the cost of trading across borders by improving infrastructure, institutions, services, policies, procedures, and market-oriented regulatory systems. The returns can be huge, even with modest resources and limited capacity. The dividends of trade facilitation can be shared by all.
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    Urbanization and Agglomeration Benefits : Gender Differentiated Impacts on Enterprise Creation in India's Informal Sector
    (World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2013-08) Ghani, Ejaz ; Kanbur, Ravi ; O'Connell, Stephen D.
    This paper presents an exploration at the intersection of four important themes in the current development discourse: urbanization, agglomeration benefits, gender and informality. Focusing on the important policy objective of new enterprise creation in the informal sector, it asks and answers four specific questions on the impact of urbanization and gender. It finds that (i) the effect of market access to inputs, on creation of new enterprises in the informal sector, is greater in more urbanized areas; (ii) This "urbanization gradient" also exists separately for the creation of female owned enterprises and male owned enterprises; (iii) there is a differential impact of female specific market access compared to male specific market access, on female owned enterprise creation in the informal sector ; and (iv) gender specific market access to inputs matters equally in more or less urbanized areas. Among the policy implications of these findings are that (i) new enterprise creation by females can be encouraged by urbanization, but (ii) the effect can be stronger by improving female specific market access, especially to inputs. The analysis in this paper opens up a rich research agenda, including further investigation of the nature of input based versus output based perspectives on agglomeration benefits, and exploration of policy instruments that can improve female specific market access, which is shown to increase female owned enterprise creation.
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    How to Avoid Middle Income Traps : Evidence from Malaysia
    (World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2013-04) Flaaen, Aaron ; Ghani, Ejaz ; Mishra, Saurabh
    Malaysia's structural transformation from low to middle income is a success story, making it one of the most prominent manufacturing exporters in the world. However, like many other middle income economies, it is squeezed by the competition from low-wage economies on the one hand, and more innovative advanced economies on the other. What can Malaysia do? Does Malaysia need a new growth strategy? This paper emphasizes the need for broad structural transformation; that is, moving to higher productivity production in both goods and services. This paper examines productivity growth for Malaysia at the sectoral level, and constructs several measures of the sophistication of goods and services trade, and puts these comparisons in a global context. The results indicate that Malaysia has further opportunities for growth in the services sector in particular. Modernizing the services sector may provide a way out of the middle income trap, and serve as a source of growth for Malaysia into the future.
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    Reshaping Tomorrow : Is South Asia Ready for the Big Leap?
    (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011) Ghani, Ejaz ; Ghani, Ejaz
    What will South Asia look like in 2025? The optimistic outlook is that India, which accounts for 80 per cent of the regional economic output, is headed towards double-digit growth rates. South Asia too will grow rapidly, primarily due to India. The pessimistic outlook is that, given huge transformational challenges facing the region, growth should not be taken for granted. Which of these two outlooks is likely to prevail? This is what this book is all about. It is about the future, and not the past, and how to make smart choices about the future. There is strong empirical justification in favor of the optimistic outlook. Growth will be propelled higher by young demographics, improved governance, rising middle class, and the next wave of globalization. There is democracy, for the first time since independence, in all countries in the region. Young demographics will result in nearly 20 million more people joining the labour force, every year, for the next two decades. Almost a billion people will join the ranks of the middle class. India's middle class is well-educated, enterprising, innovative, and more demanding of better services, products, and governance. The region will benefit from the new wave of globalization in services, and increased international migration and human mobility. Indeed the drivers of growth seem to have already moved from the rich world to the poor world. The room for catch-up is huge, given the big gap in average income between South Asia and the rich countries.
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    Friend or Foe or Family? A Tale of Formal and Informal Plants in India
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-09) Ghani, Ejaz ; O'Connell, Stephen D. ; Sharma, Gunjan
    This paper examines the interaction between formal (organized) and informal (unorganized) plants in the manufacturing sector in India. How has the size and productivity of the plants in the organized sector affected the plants in the unorganized sector? How have informal plants affected formal plants? Are the magnitudes of the effects symmetric in either direction? The evidence shows that there are positive horizontal and vertical spillovers in each direction. Informal firms are an important supplier of inputs to formal firms. Employment and output in the organized sector is greater in those states in India that have a greater presence of unorganized suppliers of inputs. Conversely, unorganized employment and output are greater in states that have a greater presence of organized buyers of inputs. But there are two important asymmetries in the relationship between the organized and unorganized sectors. First, the unorganized sector is much more dependent on and responsive to organized sector presence than vice versa. Second, unorganized sector productivity is dependent on and responsive to organized sector productivity and presence but the reverse is not true.
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    The Golden Quadrilateral Highway Project and Urban/Rural Manufacturing in India
    (World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2013-09) Ghani, Ejaz ; Goswami, Arti Grover ; Kerr, William R.
    This study investigates the impact of the Golden Quadrilateral highway project on the urban and rural growth of Indian manufacturing. The Golden Quadrilateral project upgraded the quality and width of 5,846 km of roads in India. The study uses a difference-in-difference estimation strategy to compare non-nodal districts based on their distance from the highway system. For the organized portion of the manufacturing sector, the Golden Quadrilateral project led to improvements in both urban and rural areas of non-nodal districts located 0-10 km from the Golden Quadrilateral. These higher entry rates and increases in plant productivity are not present in districts 10-50 km away. The entry effects are stronger in rural areas of districts, but the differences between urban and rural areas are modest relative to the overall effect. The productivity consequences are similar in both locations. The most important difference appears to be the greater activation of urban areas near the nodal cities and rural areas in remote locations along the Golden Quadrilateral network. For the unorganized sector, no material effects are found from the Golden Quadrilateral upgrades in either setting. These findings suggest that in the time frames that we can consider -- the first five to seven years during and after upgrades -- the economic effects of major highway projects contribute modestly to the migration of the organized sector out of Indian cities, but are unrelated to the increased urbanization of the unorganized sector.