Iimi, Atsushi

Transport Global Practice
Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Industrial organization, Development economics
External Links
Transport Global Practice
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
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.
Citations 9 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • No Thumbnail Available
    Effects of Improving Infrastructure Quality on Business Costs : Evidence from Firm-Level Data in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
    ( 2011) Iimi, Atsushi
    Public 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 Available
    Complementarities between Grants and Loans
    ( 2008) Iimi, Atsushi ; Ojima, Yasuhisa
    A debate has emerged over the optimal delivery of official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries: through grants or through concessional loans. While some countries such as Japan provide aid through loans, other countries tend to rely on grants. An endogenous growth model is considered, in which public spending is financed through aid and the donor community can influence a recipient country's growth path by choosing a combination of grants and loans. Empirically, it is found that an increase in the concessionality attached to ODA loans can facilitate recipient countries' economic development. It is also found that grants and loans are complementary with an optimal grant-loan ratio of 1 to 0.2-0.4, depending on the specifications.
  • No Thumbnail Available
    Nonresidential Demand for Energy and Technical Inefficiency in Southeastern Europe: Evidence from Firm-Level Data
    ( 2010) Iimi, Atsushi
    Recent volatility in international energy prices has revealed Southeastern Europe as one of the most vulnerable regions to such external shocks. Under the current global economic downturn, in addition, the region's energy-intensive industries are faced with the challenge of weakening demand for their outputs. This paper casts light on the relation between the price and demand for energy. Based on firm-level data, it shows that the price elasticity of industrial energy demand is about -0.4 on average. There are a number of data issues in interpreting the results correctly, but Albania and Macedonia are systematically found to have a relatively elastic demand for energy on the order of -0.7 to -0.8. In these countries, therefore, price adjustments would be one of the effective policy options to balance demand with supply during the period of energy crisis. In other countries, the demand response would be much weaker; pricing cannot be the only solution. Other policy measures, such as facilitation of firm energy efficiency and improvements in the quality of infrastructure services, may be required.
  • No Thumbnail Available
    Financing Greener and Climate-Resilient Infrastructure in Developing Countries--Challenges and Opportunities
    ( 2010) Fay, Marianne ; Iimi, Atsushi ; Perrissin-Fabert, Baptiste
    Climate change complicates this challenge, affecting the way we design and manage infrastructure (defined here as transport, power, water, and sanitation) and increasing costs. But all is not negative: climate change affects both the economic and financial analysis of infrastructure projects in a way that could help achieve long-pursued but elusive goals, such as better maintenance and greener, more efficient design. Furthermore, climate finance could bring additional financing, although that will require increasing the scale of available resources and addressing the fact that climate finance tends to provide ex post financing, ill-suited to a sector characterized by a need for substantial ex ante funding.
  • No Thumbnail Available
    (Un)bundling Infrastructure Procurement: Evidence from Water Supply and Sewage Projects
    ( 2011) Estache, Antonio ; Iimi, Atsushi
    Public infrastructure has long been faced with difficulty in financing. Available public resources are often limited in many countries. Competitive bidding in public procurement systems is an important instrument to contain the public investment costs. But competition is often limited in the infrastructure sector. In such circumstances, better public procurement design can save a lot of public resources. There is a general tradeoff between the competition effect and economies of scale and scope; large contracts can benefit from the scale and scope effects but have to compromise competition. The unbundling approach can foster competition but may suffer from diseconomies of scale and scope. Using procurement data from water supply and sewage projects in developing countries, the paper analyzes the effects of the (un)bundling strategy on bidders' entry and bidding behavior. It shows that the bidder cost structure exhibits significant diseconomies of scope between two main public works in this sector, i.e., treatment plant construction and distribution network installation. There is no clear evidence of the competition effect. Therefore, there is no rationale of bundling these two works into a single contract. Unbundling can help governments to contain public infrastructure costs.
  • No Thumbnail Available
    Bidder Asymmetry in Infrastructure Procurement: Are There Any Fringe Bidders?
    ( 2010) Estache, Antonio ; Iimi, Atsushi
    Asymmetric auctions are among the most rapidly growing areas in the auction literature. The potential benefits from intensified auction competition could be enormous in the public procurement context. Entrant bidders are considered a key to enhance competition and break potential collusive arrangements among incumbent bidders. Asymmetric auction theory predicts that weak (fringe) bidders would bid more aggressively when they are faced with a strong (incumbent) opponent. Using data from official development projects, this paper shows that entrants actually submitted aggressive bids in the presence of incumbent(s) in the road sector and to a certain extent in the water sector. For electricity projects, the general competition effect is found to be particularly significant, but the entrant effect remains unclear. The results suggest that auctioneers should foster competition in public procurement, including fringe bidders, to contain public infrastructure investment costs.
  • No Thumbnail Available
    Multidimensionality and Renegotiation: Evidence from Transport-Sector Public-Private-Partnership Transactions in Latin America
    ( 2009) Estache, Antonio ; Guasch, Jose-Luis ; Iimi, Atsushi ; Trujillo, Lourdes
    Multidimensional 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.
  • No Thumbnail Available
    Joint Bidding, Governance and Public Procurement Costs : A Case of Road Projects
    ( 2009) Estache, Antonio ; Iimi, Atsushi
    To utilize public resources efficiently, it is important to take advantage of competition in public procurement auctions to the maximum extent. Joint bidding is a common practice that potentially facilitates competition. By pooling financial and experiential resources, more firms are expected to enter the market, but it will also directly reduce competition if more than one bidder who is solely qualified makes a coalition. In theory joint bidding may or may not be beneficial to auctioneers, depending on the model. The paper empirically examines the impacts of joint bidding on firms' entry as well as bidding behaviour, using data on public road projects in developing countries. It shows that coalitional bids, in particular by local firms, would be competitive, but foreign joint ventures would undermine competition. It is also found that good governance can encourage firms' entry into the tendering and facilitate joint bidding practices.