Tagged: World Bank eLibrary

The Little Green Data Book 2015

World Bank has now launched the 2015 edition of The Little Green Data Book. [doi]


The Little Green Data Book 2015 is a pocket-sized ready reference on key environmental data for over 200 countries. Key indicators are organized under the headings of agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, oceans, energy, emission and pollution, and water and sanitation. For the third year, The Little Green Data Book presents a new set of ocean-related indicators, highlighting the role of oceans in economic development.

Full-text of the book is available in PDF, by chapter or in its entirety, through a subscription to the World Bank eLibrary.

The Challenge of Stability and Security in West Africa

Alexandre Marc, Neelam Verjee and Stephen Mogaka. (2015) The Challenge of Stability and Security in West Africa. Washington, DC: World Bank. [doi]


Since independence, the West African sub-region has been an arena for a number of large-scale conflicts and civil wars, as well as simmering and low-intensity uprisings. Contrary to perceptions, West Africa in its post-independence history has experienced fewer conflict events and fatalities from conflict than the other sub-regions on the continent. The turn of the millennium has witnessed the recession of large-scale and conventional conflict, and it has ushered in new and emerging threats. The specters of religious extremism, maritime piracy, and narcotics trafficking threaten to undermine some of the progress achieved in recent years. The Challenge of Stability and Security in West Africa critically examines the key drivers of conflict and violence, and the way in which they impact the countries of the sub-region. In addition to emerging threats, these drivers include the challenges of youth inclusion, migration, sub-regional imbalances, and extractives, as well as challenges related to the fragility of political institutions and managing the competition for power, reform of the security sector, and weakness of institutions related to land management. The book explores how the sub-region, under the auspices of the regional organization ECOWAS, has become a pioneer on the continent in terms of addressing regional challenges. The Challenge of Stability and Security in West Africa also identifies key lessons in the dynamics of resilience in the face of political violence and civil war drawn from CĂ´te d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, that can be useful for countries around the world in similar situations. It incorporates knowledge and findings from leading experts and provides insights from academics and development practitioners. Finally, the book identifies possible policy and programmatic responses and directions for policy dialogue at the national and international levels.

Full-text of this publication is available in PDF through a subscription to the World Bank eLibrary.

Costa Rica Five Years After CAFTA-DR: Assessing Early Results

Friederike (Fritzi) Koehler-Geib and Susana M. Sanchez. (2015) Costa Rica Five Years After CAFTA-DR: Assessing Early Results. World Bank. [doi]


For Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic-Central America-free trade agreement (CAFTA-DR) has been more than a trade agreement. Costa Rica has used trade liberalization and promotion of international trade as a core development strategy for decades. CAFTA-DR consolidated benefits that had previously been unilaterally extended under the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) into a multilateral FTA, providing a much more stable environment for trade relationships. Beyond just being a trade agreement, CAFTA-DR brought about the opening of state monopolies in telecommunications and insurance, which polarized the country. No other trade agreement has generated as much controversy as this one about the potential impacts on the economy. Following a referendum with a small margin in favor of the agreement, Costa Rica was the last member country to ratify CAFTA-DR in 2009. Given the controversy at the time, the current study takes stock of the early impacts of CAFTA-DR during the five years since its ratification, addresses the following questions: What actual changes did the agreement bring about and what was their context? What was the impact of those changes on trade and FDI flows? How have the high tech, insurance, telecommunications, and pharmaceutical sectors been impacted?

Full-text of the publication is available in PDF, by chapter and in its entirety, through a subscription to the World Bank eLibrary.

The Little Data Book on Private Sector Development 2015

World Bank has now launched the 2015 edition of The Little Data Book on Private Sector Development. [doi]


The Little Data Book on Private Sector Development 2015 is a reliable cross-country data on aspects of private sector development, crucial in planning for economic recovery and growth. In targeting increased exports and investment, many governments prioritize an improved climate for business as a basis to attract capital, create jobs, and provide basic services. The availability of cross-country data on the business environment has rapidly expanded in recent years, including data from the World Bank Group s Doing Business project, Enterprise Surveys, and the Entrepreneurship Snapshots. Included in this guide are indicators on the economic and social context, the investment climate, private sector investment, finance and banking, and infrastructure. Though a pocket guide cannot include all relevant variables, the included indicators provide users with a general understanding of the private sector in each country. Indicators displayed in the tables are defined in the glossary, which also lists data sources.

Full-text of the book is available in PDF, by chapter or in its entirety, through a subscription to the World Bank eLibrary.

When Winners Feel Like Losers: Evidence From An Energy Subsidy Reform

Oscar Calvo-Gonzalez, Barbara Cunha and Riccardo Trezzi. (2015) “When Winners Feel Like Losers: Evidence From An Energy Subsidy Reform.” Policy Research Working Papers, no. 7265. [doi]


In 2011 the Government of El Salvador implemented a reform to the gas subsidy that increased the welfare of households in all but the top two deciles of the income distribution. However, the reform turned out to be rather unpopular, especially among winners. This paper relies on ad hoc household surveys conducted before the implementation and in the following two and a half years to test which factors help explain the puzzle. The analysis uses probit and logit models to show that misinformation (a negativity bias by which people with limited information inferred negative consequences), mistrust of the government’s ability to implement the policy, and political priors explain most of the (un)satisfaction before implementation. Perceptions improved gradually—and significantly so—over time when the subsidy reception induced households to update their initial priors, although political biases remained significant throughout the entire period. The results suggest several implications with respect to policy reforms in cases where agents have limited information.

Full-text article available in PDF through a subscription to the World Bank eLibrary.

World Bank Policy Lending and the Quality of Public Sector Governance

Lodewijk Smets and Stephen Knack. (2015) “World Bank Policy Lending and the Quality of Public Sector Governance.” Policy Research Working Paper, no. 7267. [doi]


This study investigates the impact of World Bank development policy lending for public sector governance on the quality of public sector management and institutions. The World Bank’s Country Policy and Institutional Assessments (CPIA) are used to measure the latter, the study considers only policy conditions targeted at improvements in those areas. The analysis uses a comprehensive country-year panel data set of aid receiving-countries and finds a significant and inverse U-shaped effect of public sector conditions on the quality of public sector governance. … The paper shows that conditions related to public financial management and tax reforms are more effective than those related to anti-corruption or civil service and administrative reform, where progress requires changing the behavior of a larger set of “deconcentrated” actors. The paper concludes by describing some innovative ideas in the Bank’s ambitious new public sector management strategy that could improve the effectiveness of its support for public sector governance reform.

Full-text article is available in PDF through a subscription to the World Bank eLibrary.

Agricultural Technology Choice and Transport

Rubba Ali, A. Federico Barra, Claudia N. Berg, Richard Damania, John D. Nash, Jason Russ. (2015) “Agricultural Technology Choice and Transport.” Policy Research Working Paper, no. 7272. [doi]


This paper addresses an old and recurring theme in development economics: the slow adoption of new technologies by farmers in many developing countries. The paper explores a somewhat novel link to explain this puzzle—the link between market access and the incentives to adopt a new technology when there are non-convexities. … Consistent with the theory, analysis finds that transportation costs are critical in determining technology choices, with a greater responsiveness among farmers who adopt modern technologies, and at times a perverse (negative) response to lower transport costs among those who employ more traditional techniques. In sum, the paper presents compelling evidence that the constraints to the adoption of modern technologies and access to markets are interconnected, and so should be targeted jointly.

Full-text article is available in PDF through a subscription to the World Bank eLibrary.