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
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

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  • Publication
    Will Markets Direct Investments under the Kyoto Protocol? Lessons from the Activities Implemented Jointly Pilots
    (2009) Larson, Donald F.
    Under the Kyoto Protocol, countries can meet treaty obligations by investing in projects that reduce or sequester greenhouse gases elsewhere. Prior to ratification, treaty participants agreed to launch country-based pilot projects, referred to collectively as Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJ), to test novel aspects of the project-related provisions. Relying on a ten-year history of projects, we investigate the determinants of AIJ investment. Our findings suggest that review-agency preferences related to national political objectives and possibly deeper cultural ties influenced project selection and limited the number of AIJ projects. Bilateral ties also appear to have affected investment decisions directly, possibly because of related transaction costs. The results suggest an investment process different from the assumptions that underlie well-known estimates of cost-savings related to the Protocol's flexibility mechanisms. We conclude that if approaches developed under the AIJ programs to approve projects are retained, the scale of investment under Kyoto's flexibility provisions and their cost-savings will be less than what is generally anticipated and the pattern of investment less driven by abatement costs.