Transport Global Practice
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Industrial organization, Development economics
Transport Global Practice
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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 - 8 of 8
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.
Port Rail Connectivity and Agricultural Production: Evidence from a Large Sample of Farmers in Ethiopia(Taylor and Francis, 2019-03-27) Iimi, Atsushi ; Adamtei, Haileysus ; Markland, James ; Tsehaye, EyasuAgriculture important in Africa, employing a large share of the labor force and earning foreign exchange. Transport connectivity has long been a crucial constraint in the region. In theory, railways have the advantage of shipping bulky freight, such as fertilizer, at low costs. However, in many African countries, railways were in virtual bankruptcy in the 1990s. Using a large sample of data comprised of more than 190,000 households over eight years in Ethiopia, the paper estimates the impacts of rail transport on agricultural production. The paper takes advantage of the historical event that a major rail line connecting the country to Port Djibouti was abandoned during the 2000s. With the fixed effects and instrumental variable techniques combined, an agricultural production function is estimated. It is found that deteriorated transport accessibility to the port had a significantly negative impact. The use of fertilizer particularly decreased with increased transport costs.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-06) Iimi, Atsushi ; You, Liangzhi ; Wood-Sichra, UlrikeSpatial analysis in economics is becoming increasingly important as more spatial data and innovative data mining technologies are developed. Even in Africa, where data often crucially lack quality analysis, a variety of spatial data have recently been developed, such as highly disaggregated crop production maps. Taking advantage of the historical event that rail operations were ceased in Ethiopia, this paper examines the relationship between agricultural production and transport connectivity, especially port accessibility, which is mainly characterized by rail transport. To deal with endogeneity of infrastructure placement and autocorrelation in spatial data, the spatial autocorrelation panel regression model is applied. It is found that agricultural production decreases with transport costs to the port: the elasticity is estimated at -0.094 to -0.143, depending on model specification. The estimated autocorrelation parameters also support the finding that although farmers in close locations share a certain common production pattern, external shocks, such as drought and flood, have spillover effects over neighboring areas.
Port Rail Connectivity and Agricultural Production: Evidence from a Large Sample of Farmers in Ethiopia(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-06) Iimi, Atsushi ; Adamtei, Haileyesus ; Markland, James ; Tsehaye, EyasuAgriculture remains an important economic sector in Africa, employing a large share of the labor force and earning foreign exchange. Among others, transport connectivity has long been a crucial constraint in Africa. In theory, railways have a particularly important role to play in shipping freight and passengers at low cost. However, most African railways were in virtual bankruptcy by the 1990s. Using a large sample of data comprised of more than 190,000 households over eight years in Ethiopia, the paper estimates the impacts of rail transport on agricultural production. Methodologically, the paper takes advantage of the historical event that a major rail line connecting the country to the regional hub, the Port of Djibouti, was abandoned in the 2000s. With spatially highly disaggregated fixed effects and instrumental variables incorporated, an agricultural production function is estimated. The elasticity with respect to port connectivity is estimated at 0.276. The use of fertilizer is also found to increase with transport cost reduction, supporting the fact that a large amount of fertilizer is imported to Ethiopia.
Energy-Saving Effects of Progressive Pricing and Free CFL Bulb Distribution Program: Evidence from Ethiopia(Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank, 2019-06) Iimi, Atsushi ; Elahi, Raihan ; Kitchlu, Rahul ; Costolanski, PeterIn Africa, about 70 percent of the total population still lives without electricity. Significant resources are needed to meet the gap. Demand-side management is crucial to curb the increasing demand even in developing countries. A traditional approach is to raise prices, but promoting energy-efficient products such as compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs is also a win-win proposition. While end-users can reduce their spending, power utilities can avoid costly investments in new generation capacity. This paper estimates the effects of progressive pricing as well as CFL distribution program in Ethiopia. It is found that the increasing block tariff structure reduced the demand: the price elasticity is estimated at 0.29. This is particularly useful to influence large-volume users, who are presumably the rich. The CFL program is also found effective to contain the electricity demand. The estimated impact is about 45 kWh per customer. This is significant energy savings particularly for low-volume users.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-09) Diaw, Issa ; Elahi, Raihan ; Iimi, AtsushiEnergy-efficient products generally offer a win-win proposition, because they pay for themselves. End users can reduce their energy costs, and power utilities can avoid costly investments in extra generation capacity. Moreover, energy efficiency can contribute to mitigating global warming. This paper casts light on the sustainability of the residential use of compact fluorescent lamps after the free compact fluorescent lamp distribution program in Ethiopia. It is found that the direct program effect has been sustained for at least four years after the program. The effect of the distributed compact fluorescent lamps may taper off, if some of the program beneficiaries reinstall relatively cheap incandescent bulbs when the compact fluorescent lamps are burned out. However, many households replaced burned out compact fluorescent lamps with new compact fluorescent lamps. This effect is found to be statistically significant, particularly among relatively low-income households, whose demand is more price-elastic. All the indications are that program participants were generally convinced that compact fluorescent lamp bulbs are more cost-effective in the long run and the program effect is sustained over time.
Publication( 2016-11) Iimi, Atsushi ; Ahmed, Farhad ; Anderson, Edward Charles ; Diehl, Adam Stone ; Maiyo, Laban ; Peralta-Quiros, Tatiana ; Rao, Kulwinder SinghTransport connectivity is essential to sustain inclusive growth in developing countries, where many rural populations and businesses are still considered to be unconnected to the domestic, regional, or global market. The Rural Access Index is among the most important global indicators for measuring people’s transport accessibility in rural areas where the majority of the poor live. A new method to calculate the Rural Access Index was recently developed using spatial data and techniques. The characteristics of subnational Rural Access Index estimates were investigated in eight countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. It was found that for the countries in Africa, road density and road condition are important determinants of the Rural Access Index. For the South Asian countries, improvement of road condition is particularly relevant. The evidence suggests that significant resources are likely to be required to achieve universal access through rehabilitating the existing road network and expanding the road network.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-08) Iimi, Atsushi ; Mengesha, Haileyesus ; Markland, James ; Asrat, Yetmgeta ; Kassahun, KefargachewRural access is among the most important infrastructure constraints in rural Africa. Using the results from comprehensive household surveys and other data from Ethiopia, the paper recasts light on the heterogeneous impacts of road accessibility on agriculture and nonagricultural growth. It is found that crop production is increased by major and feeder road improvements. Significant synergy is also found. When investigating further into this effect, there are two impacts: farmers' access to the input market, especially fertilizer, was improved mainly by major corridor improvement. And output market access was improved by feeder road improvement. In addition, the household's nonagricultural income is somehow increased by improved road connectivity. There must be secondary effects. The transport demand function estimated with additional data indicates that as the road network improves, people's mobility increases. Furthermore, local business employment is found to increase with road improvements. To meet the increasing demand for mobility, efficiency and frequency of transport services are important.