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World Bank Office of the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Development Economics

Works: 102 works in 216 publications in 1 language and 3,470 library holdings
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by World Bank
In search of owners lessons of experience with privatization and corporate governance in transition economics by Cheryl Williamson Gray( )

6 editions published in 1996 in English and held by 65 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

April 1996 Although each approach to privatization has its advantages, well-designed voucher privatization may best meet the objectives of feasibility, governance, fairness, and institution-building. Gray reviews the goals of privatization and evaluates various methods used to achieve them in different transition settings. The task is not only to change ownership but to create good corporate governance and to further the development of legal norms and supporting institutions needed in full-fledged market economies. Initial results of privatization programs are only part of the picture. How they foster further evolution of ownership is equally important. Experiments in privatization abound, from extensive efforts at sales to strategic owners (as in Estonia and Hungary), to programs based primarily on insider buyouts (as in Russia and Slovenia), to innovative mass privatization programs involving the creation of large and powerful new financial intermediaries (as in the Czech and Slovak Republics and Poland). Each approach has inherent strengths and risks. But if the objectives are to sever the links between the state and the enterprise, to school the population in market basics, and to foster further ownership change, the initial weight of evidence seems to favor significant reliance on voucher privatization, especially given the difficulty most countries have finding willing cash investors. Formal programs of enterprise privatization are often only a small part of the picture, although they get the most attention. Even where formal privatization has been slow (as in Bulgaria and the Ukraine), a process of asset recombination is occurring, often behind the scenes -- whether a recombination from state to private firms or from some private firms to others. In the Czech Republic, for example, the ownership of enterprise shares by funds and of fund shares by individuals will change through formal and informal trading, but the ownership of enterprise assets may also shift to some extent as owners or managers sell or spin-off assets into new companies. In Russia, this shifting of assets to new, more closely held firms may be quite widespread, as managers with small minority ownership stakes in newly privatized firms try to gain greater control over assets. As one Hungarian observer noted, this is the period of primitive capital accumulation in the post-socialist world. Formal programs may lay important ground rules but uncertainties of every type overwhelm most formal efforts at privatization. The final outcome is far from predictable. This paper -- a product of the Office of the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Development Economics -- was produced as a background paper for World Development Report 1996 on transition economies. The author may be contacted at
An international statistical survey of government employment and wages by Salvatore Schiavo-Campo( )

4 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 64 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

August 1997 Detailed statistical and econometric evidence on government employment and pay, both global and regional. This paper complements a separate study in this Series (Government Employment and Pay: A Global and Regional Perspective, Policy Research Working Paper 1771, May 1997) by providing the detailed statistical and econometric evidence on which that separate study is based. Schiavo-Campo, de Tommaso, and Mukherjee briefly summarize the key findings of the earlier paper for the reader's convenience and to permit this paper to stand alone. However, the purpose of the paper is to provide the country-by-country statistics. The reader is referred to the companion paper for a description and analysis of the main findings. This paper-a joint product of the Office of the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Development Economics, and Europe and Central Asia, and Middle East and North Africa Technical Department, Public Sector Management and Information Technology Team-was produced as a background paper for World Development Report 1997 on the role of the state in a changing world
The economics and law of rent control by Kaushik Basu( )

6 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 63 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

What stirs most people against rent control laws in the United States and elsewhere are stories of people who have held apartments for many years and now pay absurdly low rents for them. There are important reasons for removing rent controls, but the shock value of a low rent is not one of them. Basu and Emerson construct a model of second-generation rent control, describing a regime that does not permit rent increases for sitting tenants - or their eviction. When an apartment becomes vacant, however, the landlord is free to negotiate a new contract with a higher rent. They argue that this stylized system is a good (though polar) approximation of rent control regimes that exist in many cities in India, the United States, and elsewhere. Under such a regime, if inflation exists, landlords prefer to rent to tenants who plan to stay only a short time. The authors assume that there are different types of tenants (where type refers to the amount of time tenants stay in an apartment) and that landlords are unable to determine types before they rent to a tenant. Contracts contingent on departure date are forbidden, so a problem of adverse selection arises. Short stayers are harmed by rent control while long-term tenants benefit. In addition, the equilibrium is Pareto inefficient. Basu and Emerson show that when tenant types are determined endogenously (when a tenant decides how long to stay in one place based on market signals) in the presence of rent control, there may be multiple equilibria, with one equilibrium Pareto-dominated by another. In other words, many lifestyle choices are made based on conditions in the rental housing market. One thing rent control may do is decrease the mobility of the labor force, because tenants may choose to remain in a city where they occupy rent-controlled apartments rather than accept a higher-paying job in another city. Basu and Emerson show that abolishing the rent control regime can do two things: shift the equilibrium to a better outcome and result in lower rents, across the board. A version of this paper - a product of the Office of the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Development Economics - was presented at an Applied Microeconomics Workshop at Cornell University. Kaushik Basu may be contacted at
The limits and merits of participation by Paulo Vieira da Cunha( )

6 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 63 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Once a shout from the radical fringe, the call for participation has resurfaced as a dominant voice in development thinking. But the new truth may be flawed. The goal of economic development is to increase growth and eliminate poverty. Recently, the goal has been broadened to include promoting participatory governance. Arguably, participation-for example, in community water committees-produces two desirable outcomes: democratic processes and better-targeted, more efficiently delivered public services. Participation is desirable as an end in itself, as a means of sharing resources, control, and responsibility within the social group. Yet participation is not always related to democracy. Fascism was a participatory, grassroots political movement. Participation is as much a problem as it is a solution, as much a goal as a tool. It is a problem when it is disorderly and if it is assumed to be a substitute for democratic representation. It is a solution when it changes conflict into negotiated losses. Participation can make development assistance more effective, but it works best for groups that are already participatory; for groups that can already help themselves. The recent literature on the effectiveness of foreign aid to developing countries presents an interesting analogy. Most foreign aid is useless. The only part that really helps development is that which follows rather than precedes policy change. Similarly, participation seems to work well only when the institutions of participation are in place before the need they address arises and when the institutions are compatible with the needÕs objectives. These conditions are not easily met. Discussions of participation cannot ignore issues of political power, local power, populism, and representation. They cannot ignore issues of moral pluralism (the variety of ways in which people value their lives) or cultural diversity. They cannot dismiss the ways in which people can be blocked from better lives by the beliefs of their cultures. They cannot avoid the pressure that a dominant group may exert to forge solutions that are morally unacceptable. These problems are not irrelevant or unimportant. Efforts to promote participation would seem strikingly banal were the history of development efforts not replete with failures to achieve participation where it would have made a difference. It has typically been assumed that people, especially poor people, lack the competence to decide for themselves. Similarly, the failures of participation would seem strikingly banal if people, especially those we are interested in, behaved the way we expected them to. But people do not behave as expected. Their interests may not be in the collective interest, and their goals may not coincide with broader social goals. This paper is a product of the Office of the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Development Economics
The costs and benefits of regulation implications for developing countries by J. Luis Guasch( )

5 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 59 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

June 1997 This paper examines the economic impact of regulation in industrial and developing countries. It argues that economic analysis can play an important role in restructuring regulated industries and developing more effective regulations, and in reducing politically driven regulation and capture. The past two decades have seen an unparalleled rise in new health, safety, and environmental regulations in industrial countries. At the same time, in some countries there has been substantial economic deregulation of several industries (including airlines, railroads, trucking, energy, telecommunications, and financialmarkets). Developing countries are engaged in deregulating some sectors of the economy and devising new regulatory frameworks for others. After reviewing the literature, Guasch and Hahn provide an overview of the costs and benefits of regulation throughout the world, highlight the potential gains from reform of regulation and deregulation in both industrial and developing countries, draw lessons from experience with government regulation, and suggest how to improve regulation in developing countries. They find that it is possible to explore systematically the costs and benefits of regulatory activities using standard economic analysis. They conclude that regulation - especially regulation aimed at controlling prices and entry into markets that would otherwise be workably competitive - can limit growth and significantly reduce economic welfare. Although unnecessary process regulation can hurt the economy, social regulations may significantly benefit the average consumer. But some regulations do not meet goals effectively and may sometimes reduce living standards. Developing countries can consider several regulatory policies, tools, and frameworks to improve their approach to regulation. What they choose will depend on available administrative expertise and resources, as well as political constraints and economic impacts. Generally, local and national capabilities for evaluating regulation need to be improved. Regulation is not generally undesirable, but it often has undesirable economic consequences, which result in part from political forces to redistribute wealth. These forces need can be mitigated by more sharply evaluating the consequences and tradeoffs of proposed regulations. This paper - a joint product of the Office of the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Development Economics and the Advisory Group, Latin America and the Caribbean Technical Department - was produced as a background paper for World Development Report 1997 on the role of the state in a changing world
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Alternative Names

controlled identityWorld Bank

World Bank. Development Economics Department. Office of the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist

World Bank. Development Economics Dept. Office of the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist

World Bank. Development Economics Senior Vice Presidency

World Bank. Office of the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Development Economics

World Bank. Office of the Senior Vice President, Development Economics

English (27)