Transport Global Practice
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Industrial organization, Development economics
Transport Global Practice
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated August 2, 2023
Atsushi Iimi is a Senior Economist in the Transport Global Practice of the World Bank where he specializes in development economics related to the Bank’s transport operations in Africa. He joined the World Bank in 2006 after earning a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University. Before joining the Bank, he also worked at IMF and JICA/OEFC, Japan. His research interests include spatial analysis, rural accessibility, evaluation of transport and energy projects, growth and public expenditure. His research on these topics has been published in scholarly journals, such as the Review of Industrial Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Applied Economics, the Development Economies, and IMF Staff Papers.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 65
(Un)bundling Public-Private Partnership Contracts in the Water Sector : Competition in Auctions and Economies of Scale in Operation(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-01) Iimi, AtsushiIn public-private partnership transactions in the water sector, one of the alleged concerns is that there is little market competition at the auction stage. This paper casts light on a tradeoff between the competition effect at the auction level and potential economies of scale in service operation. If the authorities design a large-scale public-private partnership water transaction, it is expected to exploit operational scale economies. But the competition effect may have to be sacrificed. The paper shows a risk that the selection of the contract size could be a very restrictive condition that excludes many prospective bidders. Moreover, the paper quantifies the optimal size of public-private partnership contracts in the sector by estimating a cost function. The analysis shows that economies of scale exist but tend to diminish quickly as production increases. When the amount of water sold exceeds about 40 million
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-07) Estache, Antonio ; Iimi, AtsushiInfrastructure is the engine for economic growth. The international donor community has spent about 70-100 billion U.S. dollars on infrastructure development in developing countries every year. However, it is arguable whether these financial resources are used efficiently, particularly whether the current infrastructure procurement prices are appropriate. Without doubt a key is competition to curb public procurement costs. This paper analyzes procurement data from multi and bilateral official development projects in three infrastructure sectors: roads, electricity, and water and sanitation. The findings show that the competition effect is underutilized. To take full advantage of competition, at least seven bidders are needed in the road and water sectors, while three may be enough in the power sector. The paper also shows that not only competition, but also auction design, especially lot division, is crucial for reducing unit costs of infrastructure. Based on the estimated efficient unit costs, the annual financial needs are estimated at approximately 360 billion U.S. dollars. By promoting competition, the developing world might be able to save at most 8.2 percent of total infrastructure development costs.
Multidimensionality and Renegotiation : Evidence from Transport-Sector Public-Private-Partnership Transactions in Latin America(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-07) Estache, Antonio ; Guasch, Jose-Luis ; Iimi, Atsushi ; Trujillo, LourdesMultidimensional auctions are a natural and practical solution when auctioneers pursue more than one objective in their public-private-partnership transactions. However, it is difficult to achieve auction efficiency with multiple award criteria. Using auction data from road and railway concessions in Latin America, the probability of renegotiation this paper estimates by a two-stage least squares technique with a binary selection in the first-stage regression. The findings show that auctioneers tend to adopt the multidimensional format when the need for social considerations, such as alleviation of unemployment, is high. This implies that such political considerations could hinder efficiency and transparency in auctions. The analysis also shows that the renegotiation risk in infrastructure concessions increases when multidimensional auctions are used. Rather, good governance, particularly anti-corruption policies, can mitigate the renegotiation problem.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-03) Costolanski, Peter ; Elahi, Raihan ; Iimi, Atsushi ; Kitchlu, RahulElectricity infrastructure is one of the most important development challenges in Africa. While more resources are clearly needed to invest in new capacities, it is also important to promote energy efficiency and manage the increasing demand for power. This paper evaluates one of the recent energy-efficiency programs in Ethiopia, which distributed 350,000 compact fluorescent lamp bulbs free of charge. The impact related to this first phase is estimated at about 45 to 50 kilowatt hours per customer per month, or about 13.3 megawatts of energy savings in total. The overall impact of the compact fluorescent lamp bulb programs, thanks to which more than 5 million bulbs were distributed, could be significantly larger. The paper also finds that the majority of the program beneficiaries were low-volume customers -- mostly from among the poor -- although the program was not targeted. In addition, the analysis determines the distributional effect of the program: the energy savings relative to the underlying energy consumption were larger for the poor. The evidence also supports a rebound effect. About 20 percent of the initial energy savings disappeared within 18 months of the program's completion.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-07) Iimi, AtsushiTransport infrastructure is an important driving force for economic growth. Africa has been lagging behind in the global manufacturing market. Among others, infrastructure is often an important constraint. The paper reexamines the impacts of transport infrastructure on firm productivity in Mozambique. A conventional cost function is estimated with two rounds of firm data collected in 2007 and 2018. It is found that improved transport connectivity, particularly access to a port, has a positive impact on firm production. Firm inventory is also an important determinant of firm productivity. Over the long term, agglomeration economies are also found to be significant and associated with port accessibility. These findings are consistent with the fact that the Government of Mozambique heavily invested in the primary road network during the first half of the 2010s. The improved transport network is considered to have contributed to the country’s robust economic growth in the industrial and service sectors until the mid-2010s.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-07-02) Iimi, AtsushiDespite the richness of the existing literature, it remains a challenge to find rigorous evidence of the impacts of transport connectivity on agricultural production. The paper aims at contributing to the prolonged debate on the transport-agriculture nexus in Africa, by taking advantage of the unique circumstances in Mozambique where the government intensively invested in road infrastructure during a relatively short period of time in the 2010s. With the highly disaggregated location-specific fixed-effects and instrumental variable technique used to control for the endogeneity issue, the paper shows that the improved road connectivity increased agricultural production significantly. In particular, access to domestic markets is found to be important. It is also found that agricultural production exhibits decreasing returns to scale, heavily depending on land input.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-04) Iimi, Atsushi ; Benamghar, RadiaThe world's climate is changing. It is well recognized that technical standards and project specifications of public infrastructure have to be adjusted, depending on the climate. However, it is less recognized that the public infrastructure procurement also needs to be adjusted. This paper examines a particular case of rural road procurement in Nepal. Severe weather conditions, such as heavy rains and storms, are likely to interrupt civil works and wash away unpaved or gravel roads. It is found that heavy precipitation causes delays, but not cost overruns. The paper also shows that budgetary efficiency and credibility could be improved by taking climate conditions into account. If future precipitation were anticipated by backward-looking expectations, many large project delays could be avoided. If the autoregressive precipitation model were used, the vast majority of the observed delays could be eliminated.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-04) Iimi, Atsushi ; Benamghar, RadiaProcurement packaging has important effects on not only the bidders' bidding behavior, but also contractors' performance. By changing the size of public contracts, procurers can encourage (or discourage) market competition and improve contract performance, avoiding unnecessary cost overruns and project delays. In practice, there is no single solution about how to package public contracts. With procurement data from road projects in Nepal, this paper examines the optimal size of road contracts in rural areas. The optimum varies depending on policy objectives. To maximize the bidder participation, the length of road should be about 11 kilometers. To minimize cost overruns and delays, the contracts should be much larger at 17 and 21 kilometers, respectively. Compared with the current procurement practices, the findings suggest that procurers take more advantage of enlarging road packages, although contracts that are too large may increase the risk of discouraging firms from participating in public tenders.
No Thumbnail AvailablePublication
Effects of Improving Infrastructure Quality on Business Costs : Evidence from Firm-Level Data in Eastern Europe and Central Asia( 2011) Iimi, AtsushiPublic infrastructure is one of the important determinants of economic growth. Not only access to but also quality of infrastructure affects firm productivity as well as people's livelihood. Frequent interruptions of the infrastructure-service supply impose extra backup costs on enterprises, hinder their timely business activities, and result in large losses of sales opportunities. This paper focuses on the impacts of improving the quality of public utilities (electricity, water supply, and telecommunications), using firm-level data from 26 transition economies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The results suggest that firm costs would significantly increase when electricity outages occur frequently and the outage duration becomes longer. Similarly, when more time is required to restore suspended water supply, firms' competitiveness would be weakened. Not surprisingly, the impacts tend to vary depending on industry. The construction, manufacturing, and hotel and restaurant sectors are found particularly vulnerable.
No Thumbnail AvailablePublication
Multidimensionality and Renegotiation: Evidence from Transport-Sector Public-Private-Partnership Transactions in Latin America( 2009) Estache, Antonio ; Guasch, Jose-Luis ; Iimi, Atsushi ; Trujillo, LourdesMultidimensional auctions are a natural, practical solution when governments pursue more than one objective in their public-private-partnership transactions. However, multi-criteria auctions seem difficult to implement and vulnerable to corruption and opportunistic behavior of both parties involved. Using data from road and railway concessions in Latin America, the paper examines the probability of renegotiation in connection with the selected award criteria. It shows that auctioneers tend to adopt the multidimensional format when the need for social considerations, such as alleviation of unemployment, is high. But more renegotiations would likely happen when the multidimensional format is used. Good governance, particularly regulatory quality and anti-corruption policies, can mitigate the renegotiation problem.