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 - 6 of 6
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-04) Iimi, AtsushiInformal public transport has been growing rapidly in many developing countries. Because urban infrastructure development tends to lag rapid population growth, informal public transport often meets the growing gap between demand and supply in urban mobility. Despite the rich literature primarily focused on formal transport modes, the informal transport sector is relatively unknown. This paper analyzes the demand behavior in the “informal” minibus sector in Antananarivo, Madagascar, taking advantage of a recent user survey of thousands of people. It finds that the demand for informal public transport is generally inelastic. Essentially, people have no other choice. While the time elasticity is estimated at −0.02 to −0.05, the price elasticity is −0.05 to −0.06 for short-distance travelers, who may have alternative choices, such as motorcycle taxi or walking. Unlike formal public transportation, the demand also increases with income. Regardless of income level, everyone uses minibuses. The estimated demand functions indicate that people prefer safety and more flexibility in transit. The paper shows that combining these improvements and fare adjustments, the informal transport sector can contribute to increasing people’s mobility and reducing traffic congestion in the city.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-08) Iimi, AtsushiUnderstanding how land prices are determined is of particular importance for policy makers; however, there is little evidence in African countries, which are currently experiencing rapid urbanization. The paper examines the relationship between land prices and locational characteristics using data from Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. It is found that the land value gradients are relatively steep, indicating that the land and housing prices tend to overshoot in the middle of the city, pushing the poor away from the city to suburban areas. It is also found that access to transport infrastructure and services, such as minibuses, is an important determinant of land value. Not only transport connectivity, but also other factors, such as proximity to amenities and administrative centers, are found to be important. Better land management and urban transport policies are called for to promote these aspects in the city.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-06) Iimi, Atsushi ; Rajoela, Voahirana HanitrinialaHealth care access is a challenge in rural areas in Africa. On the demand side, rural people are often poor, and transport connectivity is typically bad in rural and remote areas. Because of limited transport connectivity, the quality of health care services provided is also often compromised. In Madagascar, the poor condition of the road network has long hampered the sustainability of the medical supply chain in rural areas. The paper shows that people's demand for health care services is affected not only by local transport connectivity, but also availability of medical supplies at the health facility level, which is also determined by primary and secondary road network connectivity. This in turn further suppresses people's demand in rural areas. The results also indicate that it is important to ensure financial affordability among the poor, which is found to be one of the most crucial constraints.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-06) Iimi, Atsushi ; You, Liangzhi ; Wood-Sichra, UlrikeThe literature suggests a wide range of impacts of improved transport connectivity on agricultural growth. Still, the infrastructure-growth nexus remains somewhat mysterious, particularly in the African context, because many rural farmers do not have their own transport means. Using data from Madagascar, the paper reexamines the important roles of agrobusinesses. By applying the spatial autoregressive model, it is shown that proximity to input-oriented agrobusinesses, such as input dealers and equipment suppliers, is particularly important to increase rice production. Fertilizer and irrigation use is also found important, indicating the needs for intensification in rice production. Market accessibility is always found as a significant determinant: transport infrastructure connecting farmers and markets, especially the capital city, Antananarivo, is therefore important to develop and maintain.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-08) Iimi, AtsushiIn recent years, there has been renewed interest in access to jobs in relation to transport connectivity. In Sub-Saharan Africa, about 14 million working age people are added to the labor market every year. Ensuring sustained access to jobs seems to be a prerequisite for inclusive and robust economic growth. The paper examines the impact of public transit connectivity on access to jobs, especially focusing on wages. Using data from Antananarivo, Madagascar, it is shown that the wages earned by commuters are systematically higher than the wages earned by those who decided not to commute and are self-employed or engaged with family businesses around their neighborhood. Proximity to public transport, especially taxi-be, is important to promote people's access to jobs. It is also found that there is a substantial gender inequality in wages in the country: Women are more likely to use buses to commute, and yet, they earn less than men. In addition, the poor tend to benefit less from public transportation. Public bus services are affordable, however, the quality of the services may remain low.
Optimal Locational Choice for Agribusinesses in Madagascar: An Application of Spatial Autoregressive Tobit Regression(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-06) Iimi, AtsushiThe traditional location theory predicts that firms' locational choice is independent of the output demand. However, firms are often concentrated in large markets. In Africa, agrobusinesses are expected to play an important role to facilitate agricultural growth but are hardly available in rural areas. This paper examines the question of why agribusinesses are not located in local production areas despite the clear benefits expected from close proximity to their inputs. By applying the spatial autocorrelation Tobit model, the paper estimates the impacts of market and farm accessibility on agglomeration of new agrobusinesses in Madagascar. The findings show that market accessibility and agglomeration economies are important for attracting more agrobusinesses. The quality of labor is also an important determinant for their locational choice. The findings are consistent with some models of location theory: firms move away from rural areas where they may still have monopsony power, toward urban areas where productivity is higher.