Publication: Government Guarantees : Allocating and Valuing Risk in Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects
Government guarantees can help persuade private investors to finance valuable new infrastructure. But because their costs are hard to estimate and usually do not show up in the government's accounts, governments can be tempted to grant too many guarantees. Drawing on a diverse range of disciplines, including finance, history, economics, and psychology, Government Guarantees : Allocating and Valuing Risk in Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects aims to help governments give guarantees only when they are justified. It reviews the history of government guarantees and identifies the cognitive and political obstacles to good decisions about guarantees. It then develops a framework for judging when governments should bear risk in an infrastructure project (seeking to make precise the oft-invoked principle that risks should be allocated to those best placed to manage them); explains how guarantees can be valued; and discusses how aspects of public-sector management can be modified to improve the likely quality of government decisions about guarantees.
“Irwin, Timothy C.. 2007. Government Guarantees : Allocating and Valuing Risk in Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects. Directions in Development; Infrastructure. © Washington, DC: World Bank. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/entities/publication/c56d0ed0-29d7-5cfd-be95-00778dc9e381 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
Other publications in this report series
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PublicationKnowledge, Productivity, and Innovation in Nigeria : Creating a New Economy(World Bank, 2010)Harnessing knowledge for development is not a new concept. Knowledge has always been central to development and can mean the difference between poverty and wealth. The knowledge economy is not just about establishing high-tech industries and creating an innovative and entrepreneurial culture. Economic literature indicates that simply adopting existing technologies widely available in developed countries can dramatically boost productivity and economic growth. This paper highlights the knowledge economy (KE) issues that confront Nigeria and offers policy prescriptions that will allow the country to take advantage of the opportunities available in moving toward a knowledge-based economy. The Knowledge Assessment Methodology (KAM) developed by the World Bank considers four pillars: a) skills and education, b) business environment, c) information and communications infrastructure, and d) innovation system.
PublicationUnderstanding and Measuring Social Capital : A Multidisciplinary Tool for Practitioners(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002-06)The importance of social capital for sustainable development, is by now well recognized. Anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, and economists have in their own ways, demonstrated the critical role of institutions, networks, and their supporting norms and values, for the success of development interventions. This success often hinges on accurate assessments of social capital in target communities. But the nature, and impact of social capital - the institutions, relationships, attitudes, and values that govern interactions among people - are not easily quantified. "Understanding and Measuring Social Capital" provides a conceptual review, and measurement tools, in a form readily available for development practitioners. The book discusses the respective value of quantitative, and qualitative approaches to the analysis of social capital, illustrating the discussion with examples, and case studies from many countries. It also presents the Social Capital Assessment Tool, which combines quantitative, and qualitative instruments to measure social capital at the level of household, community, and organization, drawing on multidisciplinary, empirical experiences, an application which can provide project managers with valuable baseline, and monitoring information about social capital in its different dimensions.
PublicationBuilding a Sustainable Future : The Africa Region Environment Strategy(Washington, DC, 2002)This environment strategy outlines the current thinking in the World Bank Group Africa Region about priorities and actions for the institution in the environmental arena. The Africa Region Environment Strategy (ARES) outlines the Bank's commitment to help its clients achieve sustainable poverty reduction through better environmental management. It identifies the most urgent issues at the interface of environment and poverty and discusses targeted actions for addressing them. It reviews the lessons from experience to date and proposes new approaches. The strategic context in which the ARES has evolved and will be implemented is defined by the Bank's mission statement and operational policies, the World Bank Environment Strategy (WBES), and by the Bank's broader objectives, priorities, and strategies in the Africa Region. Like the WBES, the ARES approaches environment through a "poverty lens" and targets four main objectives: a) ensuring sustainable livelihoods, b) improving environmental health, c) reducing vulnerability to natural disasters, and d) maintaining local, regional, and global ecosystems and values. Key elements of the ARES include integrating environment into development and poverty reduction strategies; building an enabling environment and the institutional and human capacity for sustainable environmental management; promoting environmentally sustainable and equitable private sector-led economic development; improving governance; and encouraging decentralization.
PublicationAgriculture, Trade, and the WTO : Creating a Trading Environment for Development(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2003)Developing countries have an enormous stake in the new round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, taking place now, and scheduled to be completed by January 1, 2005. Their full participation in the global trading system could lift and additional 300 million people our of poverty by 2015. Since 1970, these countries have increased their share in all trade, from one-quarter to one-third. Most of these gains, however, have come from increased exports of manufactured goods, which primarily benefit the middle-income developing countries. Agricultural products, historically the more important exports for poor countries, have lagged far behind. The main reason for this is the protection - in the form of subsidies and other support, running at roughly U$S 1 billion per day - afforded agriculture in industrial countries. This is more than six times all development assistance. This report contains results of region-specific studies that will prove a vital resource for policymakers, analysts, and others working in the development field. It provides answers to questions such as, What lessons were learned from the Uruguay Round? What is the relationship between trade liberalization, and rural poverty? And, What is the role of the international development community in fostering a trading system that will result in development? The authors argue that only by reshaping the world's trading system, and reducing the barriers to trade, can truly global expansion take place.