Blum, Jürgen René

Global Practice on Governance, the World Bank
Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Public sector management, Public sector reform, Impact evaluation, Public institutions
Global Practice on Governance, the World Bank
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
Last updated March 17, 2023
Jürgen René Blum is a Senior Public Sector Specialist at the World Bank. His recent work focuses on the governance-growth nexus in East Asian countries, especially China. He has contributed to the WDR 2017 on Governance and the Law and has worked on the political economy of public management reform in Africa and East Asia. His past work has focused on public employment and institutional reform especially in fragile countries. He co-leads the World Bank’s impact evaluation initiative on governance (ieGovern), with a focus on public procurement reform. Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked at the OECD on a policy dialogue between Arab and OECD countries on public management reform. He holds a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Diploma in International Studies of Economics, Politics and Languages from Passau University.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Thumbnail Image
    What Factors Predict How Public Sector Projects Perform? A Review of the World Bank's Public Sector Management Portfolio
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-03) Blum, Jürgen René
    This paper uses regression analysis to identify which country context, reform content, process, and project management variables predict the performance of public sector management projects, as measured by the Independent Evaluation Group's project outcome ratings. The paper draws on data from a large sample of World Bank public sector management projects that were approved between 1990 and 2013. It contributes to an emerging literature that uses cross-country regressions to analyze public sector management reform patterns. The findings suggest that political context factors have a greater impact on the performance of public sector management projects than on other projects. Specifically, public sector management projects perform better in countries with democratic regimes than autocratic ones. They fare better in the presence of programmatic political parties and in more aid-dependent countries. Project managers' subjective risk assessments predict performance in public sector management operations better than objective risk indicators. These findings suggest that the performance of public sector management projects would benefit from a better alignment of project design with political context and from a more open dialogue about risk between task team leaders and management.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Personal Income Tax Piggybacking
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-03-17) Chattha, Muhammad Khudadad ; Blum, Jürgen René ; Kelly, Roy
    Personal income tax (PIT) piggybacking is a local surcharge levied by Subnational government (SNGs) on top of the taxable personal income or on the personal income tax liability already being levied by the central government. In contrast to tax sharing arrangements, piggybacking provides more SNG autonomy since the SNG is granted the power to set and levy the piggybacking rate, typically within certain bounds established by the central government, thereby strengthening the accountability between SNGs and their residents. Different versions of PIT piggybacking have been implemented largely in high-income countries, including Denmark, Norway, US, Canada, Spain, and Portugal. Croatia, a middle-income country, has adopted a PIT piggybacking system. While PIT piggybacking is an important source of SNG revenue in these countries, if Indonesia were to adopt a PIT piggyback, it would be one of the first few major middle-income countries to do so.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Paths between Peace and Public Service: A Comparative Analysis of Public Service Reform Trajectories in Postconflict Countries
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2019) Blum, Jürgen René ; Ferreiro-Rodriguez, Marcos ; Srivastava, Vivek
    Building a capable public service is fundamental to postconflict state building. Yet in postconflict settings, short-term pressures often conflict with this longer-term objective. To ensure peace and stabilize fragile coalitions, the imperative for political elites to hand out public jobs and better pay to constituents dominates merit. Donor-financed projects that rely on technical assistants and parallel structures, rather than on government systems, are often the primary vehicle for meeting pressing service delivery needs. What, then, is a workable approach to rebuilding public services postconflict? Paths between Peace and Public Service seeks to answer this question by comparing public service reform trajectories in five countries—Afghanistan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, and Timor-Leste—in the aftermath of conflict. The study seeks to explain these countries’ different trajectories through process tracing and structured, focused methods of comparative analysis. To reconstruct reform trajectories, the report draws on more than 200 interviews conducted with government officials and other stakeholders, as well as administrative data. The study analyzes how reform trajectories are influenced by elite bargains and highlights their path dependency, shaped by preconflict legacies and the specifics of the conflict period. As the first systematic study on postconflict public service reforms, it identifies lessons for the future engagement of development partners in building public services.