Publication: The Poverty and Welfare Impacts of Climate Change Quantifying the Effects, Identifying the Adaptation Strategies
The continued decline in global poverty over the past 100 years particularly in the past three decades is a remarkable achievement. In 1981, 52 percent of the world population lived on less than $1.25 a day. By 2005, that rate had been cut in half, to 25.0 percent, and by 2008 to 22.2 percent (World Bank 2012). Preliminary estimates for 2010 indicate that the extreme poverty rate has fallen further still; if follow-up studies confirm this, the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving world poverty will have been reached five years early (World Bank 2010). In recent years, poverty reduction has continued in most countries, even after the financial, food, and fuel shocks of 2008-09. Although poverty remains widespread in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, progress has been substantial: extreme poverty fell in South Asia from 54 percent in 1990 to 36 percent in 2008 (World Bank 2012). In Sub-Saharan Africa, where population growth exceeded the rate of poverty reduction, the number of extremely poor people increased from 290 million in 1990 to 356 million in 2008, yet over 2005-08, the region's poverty rate nonetheless 'fell 4.8 percentage points to less than 50 percent the largest drop in Sub-Saharan Africa since international poverty rates have been computed,' according to the latest edition of the World Development Indicators (WDI) (World Bank 2012). Although progress has been slower at the $2-a-day poverty line, the WDI noted that an increase in the absolute number of people living on $1.25-$2.00 a day reflects both the upward movement from extreme poverty and 'the vulnerabilities still faced by a great many people in the world.' climate change is likely to reduce agricultural productivity, especially in the tropical regions, and to directly affect poor people's livelihood assets including health, access to water and other natural resources, homes, and infrastructure (World Bank 2010). Moreover, increasing climatic variability manifesting as more frequent and erratic weather extremes, or 'weather shocks' will likely make poor households even more vulnerable, which could in turn exacerbate the incidence, severity, and persistence of poverty in developing countries. This volume not only surveys the research terrain concerning the effects of climate change on poverty but also looks closely at vulnerable rural populations (in a developing country, Indonesia, and in the newly industrialized Mexico) where weather shocks have measurable short term if not immediate effects on the farming livelihoods many depend on for both income and subsistence. The low-income farmers of rice in Indonesia and of corn and other staple crops in Mexico are at the human forefront of climate change.
“Skoufias, Emmanuel. 2012. The Poverty and Welfare Impacts of Climate Change Quantifying the Effects, Identifying the Adaptation Strategies. Directions in Development ; Poverty. © Washington, DC: World Bank. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/9384 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
Other publications in this report series
PublicationA Primer on Policies for Jobs(World Bank, 2012)A primer on policies for jobs is based on materials and input provided during the labor market courses conducted during the past 10 years. Its objective is to provide government policy makers, researchers, and labor market practitioners and other specialists with a practical guide on how to strengthen labor market institutions, especially in light of the global financial crisis. This primer emphasizes six pillars of labor market institutions: global trends, job creation, labor market policies, education, entrepreneurship, and globalization. Chapter one addresses current labor market trends and job creation, particularly in tough conditions. Chapter two examines channels of job creation and ways to strengthen labor market institutions to ensure sustainable job growth, considering factors such as investment climate, job policy, industrial policy, social protection, and other labor market issues. Chapter three focuses on labor market policies in developing countries. Chapter four highlights the impact of education and skills on labor market outcome. Chapter five discusses entrepreneurship along three key dimensions: development and growth, job creation, and female entrepreneurship. Finally, chapter six addresses the relationship between jobs and globalization.
PublicationGovernment Guarantees : Allocating and Valuing Risk in Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007)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.
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.