Person:
Larson, Donald F.

Development Research Group, World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Rural Development Policy; Natural Resource Policy; Agricultural Productivity and Growth; Climate Change Policy and Markets; Commodity Markets and Risk
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Development Research Group, World Bank
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Biography
Donald F. Larson is a Senior Economist with the World Bank’s Development Research Group. He holds a B.A in economics from the College of William and Mary, an M.A. in economics from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland. With colleagues, he has authored or edited five books, including An African Green Revolution: Finding Ways to Boost Productivity on Small Farms, a forthcoming volume from Springer, and The Clean Development Mechanism: An Early History of Unanticipated Outcomes, a forthcoming volume from World Scientific. He has published numerous book chapters and journal articles, with an emphasis on agricultural productivity and growth; food and rural development policies; natural resource policies; the institutions and markets related to climate change; and the performance of commodity futures and risk markets. During his time with the World Bank, Don has participated in policy discussion in Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, East Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He was a member of the team that launched the World Bank’s Prototype Carbon Fund.  
Citations 168 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    Rural Development and Agricultural Growth in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand
    (Canberra: Asia Pacific Press, 2004) Akiyama, Takamasa; Larson, Donald F.; Akiyama, Takamasa; Larson, Donald F.
    Understanding economic growth is central to the study of development. Rural economic growth is an important aspect of economic growth. Historically, rural agriculture has employed most people in most countries, and continues to do so today. Nevertheless, the casual relationship between economic growth and growth in agriculture remain poorly understood. This volume focuses on economic growth in the agriculture sectors of Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. Starting from similar positions, the agriculture sectors of these economies have diverged considerably over the last 40 years. This volume investigates the ways in which policy, institutions, investments, resource constraints and the reallocation of agricultural labor have driven this divergence. It volume documents the interplay of endowments, technology, the accumulation of productive factors, policy, and advocacy in the rural sectors of these three countries. It contributes in its own ways to an explanation of the past. Good policy rests on an understanding of successes and failures in the past. This book is a critical contribution to such an understanding.
  • Publication
    Commodity Market Reforms : Lessons of Two Decades
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-03) Akiyama, Takamasa; Baffes, John; Larson, Donald; Varangis, Panos
    Structural reform of the economies of developing countries has been in the forefront of development interest since the early 1980s. This interest stems from a recognition that the structures and institutions of these countries are critical to any enhancement of economic and social development. One of the key reforms has been that of primary commodity markets, especially agricultural commodity markets, because many developing countries, including the poorest, depend heavily on these for foreign exchange earnings and employment, and hence for poverty reduction. This report focuses on the political economy and institutional aspects of agricultural commodity market reform. In order to explore in detail factors that are critical to the processes, consequences, and substance of reform, the authors have focused the analysis and evaluation on five commodities important in many developing countries, specifically cocoa, coffee, sugar, cotton, and cereal. In doing so, they highlight important lessons on how agricultural sector reform can be launched and implemented. Some of the factors identified in the report as being key to successful reform include the recognition that commodity markets often affect communities and even politics, that the initial conditions of markets are critical, and that government intervention can crowd out private sector initiatives, especially when it comes to building the institutions needed to develop a healthy agricultural sector.
  • Publication
    Commodity Market Reform in Africa : Some Recent Experience
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-03) Akiyama, Takamasa; Baffes, John; Larson, Donald F.; Varangis, Panos
    Since the early 1980s, dramatic changes in export commodity markets, shocks associated with resulting price declines, and changing views on the role of the state have ushered in widespread reforms to agricultural commodity markets in Africa. The reforms significantly reduced government participation in the marketing and pricing of commodities. Akiyama, Baffes, Larson, and Varangis examine the background, causes, process, and consequences of these reforms and derive lessons for successful reforms from experiences in markets for four commodities important to Africa-cocoa, coffee, cotton, and sugar. The authors' commodity focus highlights the special features associated with these markets that affect the reform process. They complement the current literature on market reforms in Africa, where grain-market studies are more common. The authors suggest that the types of market interventions prior to reform are more easily classified by crop than by country. Consequently, there are significant commodity-specific differences in the initial conditions and in the outcomes of reforms related to these markets. But there are general lessons as well. The authors find that the key consequences of reform have been significant changes in or emergence of marketing institutions and a significant shift of political and economic power from the public to the private sector. In cases where interventions were greatest and reforms most complete, producers have benefited from receiving a larger share of export prices. Additionally, the authors conclude that the adjustment costs of reform can be reduced in most cases by better understanding the detailed and idiosyncratic relationships between the commodity subsector, private markets, and public services. Finally, while there are significant costs to market-dependent reforms, experiences suggest that they are a necessary step toward a dynamic commodity sector based on private initiative. This is particularly true in countries and sectors where interventions were greatest and market-supporting institutions the weakest.