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Last updated January 31, 2023
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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-09) Fritz, Verena ; Kaiser, Kai ; Levy, BrianPolitics and the political economy matter for whether and how reforms happen in developing as well as in developed countries. The World Bank as an institution and its individual country and task teams has been grappling with this issue for many years. The good practice framework described here is an attempt to summarize relevant analytic tools and approaches, to indicate how it can be used (more) systematically, and to make key lessons readily available. It also seeks to set out how such tools can be used in a way that is problem driven, that is, focused on specific issues and challenges rather than on developing broad overviews, in order to generate operationally relevant findings and implications. Integrating governance and political economy (GPE) analysis more systematically into Bank operational work is important to enhance development effectiveness, to better address risks, and to respond to client demands for approaches that are tailored to specific situations. The objective of this framework is to systematize approaches to GPE analysis and to provide orientation for teams that are considering undertaking it. The framework especially draws on the experience with a number of pilot studies undertaken in FY2008 and FY2009, as well as on earlier studies. Analysis focused on a variety of sectors- electricity, transport, and telecommunications, water, and public sector reforms and on thematic challenges, especially the management of natural resource wealth. The framework is therefore tailored to the context of Bank operations and strategy development (such as country assistance strategies) designed to show how GPE analysis can be used to inform and shape them to support more effective development. The framework is divided into six parts: part one discusses the overall rationale of this framework and sets out the key foundations. Part two discusses how PGPE analysis can be used to inform and shape Bank strategies and operations, and offers options for translating the analysis into action more broadly. Part three sets out the various levels of analysis that may be undertaken, from an overall country focus, to a sector or thematic focus, to a GPE analysis that is undertaken to inform specific projects or policy decisions. Part four addresses the issue of evidencing a GPE analysis, a key challenge in producing high-quality work. Part five addresses process issues that arise when undertaking GPE-type analysis. Finally, part six gives conclusion and looking forward.
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, 2006-05) Hofman, Bert ; Kadjatmiko ; Kaiser, Kai ; Suharnoko Sjahrir, BambangThis paper presents a methodology to evaluate fiscal decentralization focusing on the potential mis-targeting of intergovernmental fiscal equalization transfers. The approach builds on an explicit comparison and the summary measurement of different (horizontal) allocation distributions across states or localities. Whereas formula-based fiscal transfers have the merit of being transparent and promoting revenue predictability in fiscal decentralization, in practice, two challenges emerge: (1) What are the appropriate formula designs given the sub-national data constraints evident in most decentralizing developing countries? and (2) How costly in terms of mis-targeting to the presumed expenditure needs and fiscal capacity are deviations from these types of benchmark formulas (for example, due to historical factors or the need to meet establishment costs such as civil service wages)? The authors illustrate this approach by assessing Indonesia's evolving intergovernmental fiscal system instituted in the 2001 Big Bang decentralization. The discussion comes against Indonesia's recent policy decision to fully fund sub-national civil servant wages as part of the base general allocation grant (DAU) transfers, raising questions about both incentive effects for local governments and potential mis-targeting. The authors identify potential efficiency losses from the DAU's horizontal misallocation from half a dozen alternative scenarios found in the policy dialogue, ranging from 9 to 30 percent-on the order of US$ 3.9 billion-of the overall annual size of this large intergovernmental transfer. The scale of these tradeoffs highlights the importance of intergovernmental transfers in more general debates in public finance for decentralized countries.
Sin Tax Reform in the Philippines: Transforming Public Finance, Health, and Governance for More Inclusive Development(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2016-07-06) Kaiser, Kai ; Bredenkamp, Caryn ; Iglesias, RobertoExcise taxes on tobacco and alcohol products can be an effective instrument for promoting public health through curbing smoking and excessive drinking, while raising significant revenues for development priorities. In 2012, the Philippines successfully passed a landmark tobacco and alcohol tax reform—dubbed the “Sin Tax Law.” This book describes the design of the Philippines sin tax reform, documents the technical and political processes by which it came about, and assesses the impact that the reform has had after three years of implementation.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC and AidData, 2016-06) Custer, Samantha ; Rahemtulla, Hanif ; Kaiser, Kai-Alexander ; van den Brink, RogierFrom pork to performance illuminates the politics of how public resources are spent and the difficulty of the ‘last mile’ of service delivery. Crumbling facilities, absentee teachers, and roads to nowhere waste resources and retard development in many countries around the world. These failures in last mile service delivery underscore a more intractable development problem, a breakdown in accountability relationships, as politicians and civil servants act with impunity to extract private benefits at the expense of public goods. This study examines the extent to which technology and transparency can disrupt this low accountability status quo through turning information into collective action to improve government performance by strengthening the accountability relationships between politicians, service providers and citizens. In 2010, a new president came to power in the Philippines with a compelling message, ‘no corruption, no poverty’, and embraced open government as a vehicle to burn avenues of retreat and advance governance reforms. This study features examples from five sectors, education, reconstruction, roads, municipal development, and tax collection – where government champions sought to open up the black box of service delivery and use digital platforms to disclose data and strengthen accountability. This research provides guidance for public, private, and civil society leaders committed to using technology and transparency to curb pork-barrel politics and create digital dividends for their communities. The study combines rigorous political economy analysis with practical diagnostic tools and recommendations for open government initiatives to go deeper in the Philippines and around the world.