Future of Food : Building Stronger Food Systems in Fragility, Conflict, and Violence Settings

Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals is impossible without addressing fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV), especially as two thirds of the extreme poor are projected to live in such situations by 2030. Conflicts as well as climatic and natural hazards displace millions of people each year. Strengthening food systems can be an essential lever of change that contributes to ending poverty while maintaining and restoring peace. This paper focuses on how stabilizing and improving food systems can have a positive impact in FCVs settings, not just by preventing hunger, but by ..

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A Tale of Two Programs : Assessing Treatment and Control in NREGA Studies

This paper revisits impact evaluation studies on the largest public workfare in the world, NREGA. In an environment where randomization is not feasible, I show why an impact evaluation exercise on NREGA should acknowledge the existence of an older program, SGRY. Using novel district-level expenditure data on SGRY, this article shows how ignoring the older program is likely to underestimate the general equilibrium impact of the employment policy on various relevant socio-economic outcomes. In most cases, ignoring SGRY underestimates NREGA’s impact by 30–40 percent.

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Assessing the Affordability of Nutrient-Adequate Diets

The affordability of nutritious diets is increasingly used as a metric of how well a food system provides access to nutritious diets for all. Recent work on least-cost diets has focused on individuals, while most food and anti-poverty programs and policies target the household level. Members within households have differing nutritional needs, presenting the methodological question: how should the cost of nutritious diets be estimated at the household level This study develops bounds on the cost, affordability, and seasonal variation of least-cost diets for whole households, illustrated with th..

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Empowering Migrants : Impacts of a Migrant’s Amnesty on Crime Reports

This paper studies whether undocumented immigrants change their crime-reporting behavior after receiving a regular migratory status. It exploits a natural experiment of a massive amnesty program that gave a regular migratory status to over 281,000 undocumented Venezuelan immigrants in Colombia. The findings suggest that following the amnesty there is an increase in reporting of crimes by Venezuelan immigrants, not explained by an increase in crime overall. The results are particularly strong for reports of domestic violence and sex crimes. Results are almost entirely driven by reports by &..

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Urban CO2 Emissions : A Global Analysis with New Satellite Data

This paper estimates an urban carbon dioxide emissions model using satellite-measured carbon dioxide concentrations from 2014 to 2020, for 1,236 cities in 138 countries. The model incorporates the global trend in carbon dioxide concentration, seasonal fluctuations by hemisphere, and a large set of georeferenced variables that incorporate carbon dioxide–intensive industry structure, emissions from agricultural and forest fires in neighboring areas, demography, the component of income that is uncorrelated with industry structure, and relevant geographic conditions. The income results provide t..

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Fair and Welfare-Consistent Global Income Poverty Measurement : Theory and Application

There is growing support for the idea that global income poverty should be assessed with a measure accounting for both own income and relative income. The trade-off that such a measure makes between own income and relative income is the key question. Non-paternalism requires that this trade-off be welfareconsistent, that is, related to individual preferences. This paper studies the implications of requiring that the poverty measure makes a fair and welfare-consistent aggregation of individual preferences. The results provide support for the absolute and relative global lines proposed in the li..

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Trade Networks in Latin America : Spatial Inefficiencies and Optimal Expansions

How do trade connectivity issues affect the efficient spatial distribution of economic activity within and across countries in Latin America This paper uses a spatial general equilibrium framework to construct optimal transport networks and optimal expansions to existing networks in most Latin American countries, as well as within MERCOSUR and the Andean Community. The paper assesses the average annual welfare losses due to inefficient domestic road networks in Latin America at 1.7 percent, ranging from 2.5 percent in Brazil to 0.2 percent in El Salvador. Spatial misallocation of transnational..

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Becoming Legible to the State : The Role of Detection and Enforcement Capacity in Tax Compliance

Tax revenue in many low-income countries is inadequate for funding government investment in infrastructure and public services. This paper examines two dimensions of low state capacity that hinder tax collection: the inability to ascertain the tax base (detection capacity) and the inability to enforce unpaid liabilities (enforcement capacity). A randomized experiment with Liberian property owners finds that using identifying information from a newly developed property database to alert property owners that their noncompliance has been detected quadruples the tax payment rate, but only when the..

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Competition and Firm Recovery Post-COVID-19

This paper examines the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the reallocation of economic activity across firms, and whether this reallocation depends on the competition environment. The paper uses the World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys COVID-19 Follow-up Surveys for about 8,000 firms in 23 emerging and developing countries in Europe and Central Asia, matched with 2019 Enterprise Surveys data. It finds that during the COVID-19 crisis, economic activity was reallocated toward firms with higher pre-crisis labor productivity. Countries with a strong competition environment experienced more reallocatio..

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Helping Families Help Themselves? Heterogeneous Effects of a Digital Parenting Program

Parenting practices are crucial for the development of children’s brains and social skills. However, parenting styles may be far from ideal, particularly those of caregivers with high stress levels. Using an individual-level experiment with male and female caregivers of young children in El Salvador, this paper evaluates the impact of a free digital stress management and positive parenting intervention. The results indicate that, for males, the intervention increased stress and anxiety and lowered caregiver-child interactions. The effect on males was concentrated among the poorer and those r..

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Financing Low Carbon Transport Solutions in Developing Countries

Transport is a key component to climate solution and therefore, pivotal to reach benchmarks established by the ambitious Paris Agreement. We have the technology, tools, and opportunities to advance markets, unlock investments, and scale up action. The climate action pathway – transport provides clear insights to advance and align transport with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and is complemented by the global roadmap toward sustainable mobility. However, by most measures, action is well off-track, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport are on the rise. At the same time, the..

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What was the Impact of Creating Better Jobs for More People in China’s Economic Transformation? What We Know and Questions for Further Investigation

The authors show that for China the movement of more people into better jobs with higher incomes formed a very important explanation for the country’s long-term success in growth and poverty reduction. China’s exporting cities created a virtuous cycle of new wage-employment-creating investments by new businesses making new products. The rapid increase in urban labor demand drew hundreds of millions of workers from the rural “traditional” sector to the “modern” sector, providing them with more reliable waged incomes. This dramatically raised the share of waged employment in China’..

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Groundswell Africa : Internal Climate Migration in West African Countries

This report, as part of the Groundswell Africa series, reaffirms the potency for climate change to drive internal migration in West African countries. The results described in this report are based on the application of an enhanced version of the pioneering Groundswell model with a more granular analysis and additional features better placed to inform policy dialogue and action. The study finds that without concrete climate and development action, up to 32 million people in West Africa could be compelled to move within their countries by 2050 as a consequence of slow onset climate impacts in response to water scarcity, declines in crop productivity and ecosystem productivity, and sea level r..

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Groundswell Africa : Internal Climate Migration in the Lake Victoria Basin Countries

This report, as part of the Groundswell Africa series, reaffirms the potency for climate change to drive internal migration in the Lake Victoria Basin. The results described in this report are based on the application of an enhanced version of the pioneering Groundswell model with a more granular analysis and additional features better placed to inform policy dialogue and action. Without concrete climate and development action, the five Lake Victoria Basin countries could see between 16.6 and 38.5 million people moving within their countries in response to water scarcity, declines in crop productivity and ecosystem productivity, and sea level rise, augmented by storm surge. Concrete climate ..

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Groundswell Africa : A Deep Dive into Internal Climate Migration in Nigeria

The World Bank’s flagship report, Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration (Rigaud et al. 2018), and the sequel (Clement et al. 2021), finds that that Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to witness high levels of climate-induced mobility. An expanded and deeper analysis through Groundswell Africa, focusing on West African countries, reaffirms this pattern region (Rigaud et al. 2021a). The recent study projects that by 2050, without concrete climate and development action, West Africa could see as many as 27.3 million people move because of slow-onset climate impacts, such as water stre..

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Groundswell Africa : A Deep Dive Into Internal Climate Migration in Uganda

Uganda is a diverse and verdant country. From the tall volcanic mountains along the eastern and western borders to the densely forested wetlands of the Albert Nile River and the rainforests in the center of the country, it encompasses many different ecosystems. Kampala, the capital city, is built around seven hills not far from the shores of Lake Victoria. These varying landscapes provide Ugandans with ample resources to capitalize on tourism and cultivate crops, including Ugandan coffee, which has become a favorite of coffee drinkers around the world. These rich and beautiful landscapes, howe..

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Groundswell Africa : A Deep Dive on Internal Climate Migration in Tanzania

Between its natural wealth with diverse cultures, increasingly rapid urbanization, and some of the world’s most impressive wildlife, Tanzania strikes visitors as a country of diversity and dynamism. At the same time, the country is facing challenges from climate change that will put its people, policymakers, and ecosystems to a test. Migration has long been a strategy of Tanzanians to deal with adverse climatic conditions, but as this report illustrates, climate change will put further pressure on people to leave their homes and look for new opportunities elsewhere within the country’s bor..

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Disaster Resilient and Responsive Public Financial Management : 360° Resilience Background Paper

Public financial management (PFM) is one of the key government instruments of supporting effective preparation, response, and resilience to disasters. Yet many PFM institutions, systems, and processes lack disaster resilience and responsiveness. In times of growing awareness of the impacts of climate change on good governance as well as the impacts of the recent COVID-19 pandemic on the way public finances are planned, executed, and accounted for, governments need to be able to optimize the allocation and execution of public resources. Disaster resilient and responsive public financial management (DRR-PFM) promotes (i) proactive and plann..

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Private and Financial Sector Resilience in the Caribbean : 360° Resilience Background Paper

The private sector in the Caribbean is crucial for economic growth and job creation and economic resilience is thus heavily determined by the shock absorbing capacity of individual firms and households. As the definition of the private sector is generally broad and includes economic agents of various size operating across different sectors, the assessment conducted in this chapter is multifaceted and considers different elements that determine vulnerabilities and resilience to exogenous shocks. The focus of the analysis is on the private sector’s vulnerability to tropical storms, the type of disaster most prevalent in the region, but th..

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Adaptive Social Protection in the Caribbean - Building Human Capital for Resilience : 360° Resilience Background Paper

The Caribbean region is highly exposed to different types of shocks, some with devastating effects, ranging from climate change and disasters to external economic stresses and epidemics like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Most Caribbean economies are small and open, and reliant on tourism and foreign investments, combined with high levels of poverty, which makes countries in the region vulnerable to such shocks. Shocks disproportionally affect the poor because they are often not only more exposed to them (e.g. due to their geographical location), but they are also more vulnerable to their effects. The sources of resilience available to th..

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Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants in Brazil

As more and more Venezuelans leave their country, fleeing the economic and social crisis, the number of Venezuelans in Brazil has risen steadily since 2016, constituting about 18 percent of Brazil's 1.3 million refugee and migrant population as of October 2020. Although the economic gains of immigration are well-documented in the literature, the impacts of forced displacement on the labor market and government budget are mixed and have mainly focused on developed countries. This paper extends the previous literature by exploring the short-run fiscal impact of Venezuelan refugees and migrants&#..

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What Have We Learned about the Effectiveness of Infrastructure Investment as a Fiscal Stimulus? A Literature Review

Since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and through the more recent Asian Crisis of 1997 and Great Recession of 2008/09, governments have experimented with Keynesian style fiscal stimulus to support employment and accelerate economic recovery. The effectiveness of these policies depends on the size of fiscal multipliers. A large body of economic literature has estimated such multipliers, with gradually increasing precision, due to econometric improvements and better ways to identify fiscal impulses. Overall, the largest multipliers are found to be associated with public investment, as opposed..

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Distributional Impacts of Taxes and Benefits in Post-Soviet Countries

This study compares the distributional impacts of the main tax and social spending programs in eight countries of the former Soviet Union (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, and Ukraine) by applying a state-of-the-art fiscal incidence analysis based on the Commitment to Equity methodology. The region is highly interesting due to a unique combination of strong elements of path dependency (socialist legacies) with radical liberalization and welfare state retrenchment. The study examines the actual outcomes in terms of inequality and pove..

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A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall? New Insights on Water Security and Fragility in the Sahel

Do Sahelian countries face specific risks of water-related conflict Sahelian countries face growing fragility and climate challenges—especially those belonging to the Group of Five Sahel States (known as the G5 Sahel)—Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. This study examines how their relation to water availability and irrigation infrastructure factors in. It documents that the G5 Sahel countries, given their high baseline water scarcity and state fragility, face a higher risk of conflict over water resources compared to the rest of Africa. This is demonstrated through empirical..

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Fair Inheritance Taxation

This paper studies the optimal taxation of bequests in a model in which agents have heterogeneous preferences over their consumption and the net-of-tax bequest received by their heir. The bequest left by an individual depends on both her degree of altruism and the bequest received from her parents. First, the paper studies two principles that are at the heart of the debates on taxing inheritances: (1) children should not be penalized by the lack of altruism of their parents, and (2) parents should be free to choose their bequests. Only one social welfare function satisfies these two principles..

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The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women-Led Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic has struck businesses across the globe with unprecedented impacts. The world economy has been hit hard and firms have experienced a myriad of challenges, but these challenges have been heterogeneous across firms. This paper examines one important dimension of this heterogeneity: the differential effect of the pandemic on women-led and men-led businesses. The paper exploits a unique sample of close to 40,000 mainly formal businesses from 49 countries covering the months between April and September 2020. The findings show that women-led micro-businesses, women-led businesse..

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Targeting for Social Safety Nets : Evidence from Nine Programs in the Sahel

Proxy-Means Testing (PMT) and Community-Based Targeting (CBT) are among the most widely used methods for poverty targeting in low-income settings. This paper analyzes household data from nine programs implemented in the Sahel region using a harmonized approach to compare PMT and CBT selection as conducted in practice, once geographical targeting has been applied. The results show that the targeting performance measured depends critically on the definition of the targeting objectives, share of beneficiaries selected, and indexes used to evaluate targeting. While PMT performs better in reaching&..

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Sectoral Value Added : Electricity Elasticities across Countries

Many developing countries face severe electricity constraints, which are reflected in low electrification rates, frequent and prolonged outages, and high electricity tariffs, all of which result in low electricity consumption that impedes economic development. This study estimates the impact of electricity consumption on value added through reduced form equations for three sectors: agriculture, manufacturing, and services. It uses panel data on 126 countries for 1996–2014 from the International Energy Agency and World Development Indicators databases. To control for endogeneity and reverse c..

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Decarbonizing Cities by Improving Public Transport and Managing Land Use and Traffic

Urban transport is a significant contributor to climate-warming greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in cities, with most urban transport emissions coming from cars. More than seventy percent of global carbon dioxide emissions come from cities, making mitigation efforts at the local level an important contributor to decarbonization. Urban transport also plays a fundamental role in the economic activity and welfare of urban citizens. Therefore, developing cities must find a way to continue to improve accessibility, while decoupling growth in travel demand from growth in GHG emissions. Affordable, saf..

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Cleaner Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure : Greening Passenger Fleets for Sustainable Mobility

Mobility is essential for economic and social development, but the transport sector in most countries is not sustainable in its existing form. Reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and local pollutants in the transport sector will create a cleaner, healthier and more livable future for everyone. Electric mobility (e-mobility) represents a crucial opportunity to develop a more sustainable transport system. Electrification of transport offers significant environmental benefits and at the same time produces a long-lasting economic impact. E-mobility is an important way to mitigate air pollution..

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