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Last updated January 31, 2023
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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-02) Skoufias, Emmanuel ; Narayan, Ambar ; Dasgupta, Basab ; Kaiser, KaiThis paper takes advantage of the exogenous phasing of direct elections in districts and applies the double-difference estimator to measure impacts on (i) human development outcomes and (ii) the pattern of public spending and revenue generation at the district level. The analysis reveals that four years after the switch to direct elections, there have been no significant effects on human development outcomes. However, the estimates of the impact of Pilkada on health expenditures at the district level suggest that directly elected district officials may have become more responsive to local needs at least in the area of health. The composition of district expenditures changes considerably during the year and sometimes the year before the elections, shifting toward expenditure categories that allow incumbent district heads running as candidates in the direct elections to "buy" voter support. Electoral reforms did not lead to higher revenue generation from own sources and had no effect on the budget surplus of districts with directly elected heads.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014) Vinuela, Lorena ; Kaiser, Kai ; Chowdhurie-Aziz, MonaliIn resource-dependent countries, natural resources constitute one of the main assets available for financing local governments because the economy is not greatly diversified. The goal of this note is to highlight different critical dimensions of intergovernmental fiscal relations in these settings, present a survey of the range of arrangements used for managing resource rents across multiple levels of government, and synthesize basic principles or considerations in the implementation of revenue-sharing systems across different contexts. The design and implementation of measures to improve intergovernmental management of the oil, gas, and mining sector must consider the core policy objectives, fiscal context, and overall political structure. Paying attention to the constraints and political economy drivers that shape intergovernmental relations is critical to identify the feasible reforms and alternatives to improve performance that are available in a given country.
The “Resource Curse” in MENA? Political Transitions, Resource Wealth, Economic Shocks, and Conflict Risk( 2011-07-01) Ross, Michael ; Kaiser, Kai ; Mazaheri, NimahThe recent political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa region have exposed growing concerns about conflict risk, political stability, and reform prospects across its societies. Given the prevalence of oil and gas resource endowments in the region, which a voluminous literature suggests can be associated with adverse development consequences, this paper examines the interplay between their associated rents and political economy trajectories. The contribution of the paper is threefold: first, to examine the quantitative evidence of violent conflict in the region since 1960; second, to provide a nuanced review of the regional case study literature on the relationship between resource endowments, political stability, and conflict risk; and third, to assess how prospective political transitions have implications for the World Bank Group's work in the region on public sector management and private sector development. The authors find that resources and regimes have intersected to provide stability and limited violent conflict in the region, but that these development patterns have yielded a set of policy choices and development patterns that are proving increasingly brittle and unsustainable. A major institutional challenge for reforms will be to consolidate a requisite degree of inter-temporal credibility and stability in these regimes, while expanding inclusiveness in state-society relations.
Publication(World Bank, 2012) Barma, Naazneen H. ; Kaiser, Kai ; Le, Tuan Minh ; Vinuela, LorenaThis volume emphasizes instead the notion of 'good fit,' taking the position that welfare-promoting policies, institutions, and governance must be tailored, at least in part, to a country's specific context. In this vein, the volume presents an analytical framework for assessing a country's political economy and institutional environment as it relates to natural resource management and, on that basis, it offers a substantial set of targeted prescriptions across the natural resource value chain that are technically sound and compatible with the identified underlying incentives. In other words, the objective of this book is to help development practitioners unravel the political economy dynamics surrounding natural resource management in order to complement their technically grounded engagement. To this end, the analytical approach has been two-pronged. First, case studies were conducted on the political economy of the hydrocarbon and mineral value chains in 13 countries in the Africa, East Asia and Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean regions. Second, in light of this empirical material, the book highlights the current frontier of applied political economy analysis on resource dependence. This volume synthesizes the empirical and the theoretical with an emphasis on illuminating the implications for operational engagement in resource-dependent settings.
Publication(World Bank, 2011-06-24) Eaton, Kent ; Kaiser, Kai ; Smoke, Paul J.This volume presents a preliminary framework designed to help international development partners consider the relevance of political economy issues for their programmatic support to decentralization and local government reform. The intention is neither to advocate decentralization in general or in any particular form, nor to presume or privilege any particular decentralization objective. Instead, the purpose is to document the potential value of better understanding how (primarily national and intergovernmental) political and institutional dynamics do or could affect the scope for realizing decentralization reforms aligned with commonly advocated service delivery, governance, and poverty reduction goals. The underlying premise is that systematic analysis of these issues can productively complement the dominantly technical diagnostic work typically carried out by development partners. Specifically, development partners can benefit from better understanding the practical significance of motives that drive politicians and bureaucrats to support or oppose reform at various stages of the decentralization process, from making an initial reform decision to detailed design and implementation. In addition, the framework addresses how these incentives can weaken, strengthen, or shift in response to changes in political and economic conditions that arise after reform begins. A general approach to conducting political economy of decentralization analysis is outlined, recognizing the need to tailor such analysis to the particular country context. This volume is based on literature reviews and knowledge derived from selected country experiences.
Publication( 2011-03-01) Skoufias, Emmanuel ; Narayan, Ambar ; Dasgupta, Basab ; Kaiser, KaiThis paper takes advantage of the exogenous phasing of direct elections in districts and applies the double difference estimator to: (i) measure impacts on the pattern of public spending and revenue generation at the district level; and (ii) investigate the heterogeneity of the impacts on public spending. The authors confirm that the electoral reforms had positive effects on district expenditures and these effects were mainly due to the increases in expenditures in the districts outside Java and Bali and the changes in expenditures brought about by non-incumbents elected in the districts. Electoral reforms also led to higher revenue generation from own sources and to higher budget surplus. Finally, the analysis finds that in anticipation of the forthcoming direct elections, district governments tend to have higher current expenditures on public works.