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Ms. Mercedes Garcia-Escribano, Ms. Tewodaj Mogues, Marian Moszoro, and Mauricio Soto
South Asia has experienced significant progress in improving human and physical capital over the past few decades. Within the region, India has become a global economic powerhouse with enormous development potential ahead. To foster human and economic development, India has shown a strong commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Agenda. This paper focuses on the medium-term development challenges that South Asia, and in particular India, faces to ensure substantial progress along the SDGs by 2030. We estimate the additional spending needed in critical areas of human capital (health and education) and physical capital (water and sanitation, electricity, and roads). We document progress on these five sectors for India relative to other South Asian countries and discuss implications for policy and reform.
Mr. Nicolas Arregui and Ian W.H. Parry
The UK has pledged to cut greenhouse gases 57 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, to be emisisons neutral by 2050, and to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030. Much progress has been made, but fully achieving these ambitious objectives with the current policy framework will be challenging as it involves multiple and overlapping pricing schemes with significant sectoral differences in carbon prices and may be difficult to scale up on political and administrative grounds. This paper discusses an alternative framework consisting of: (i) a comprehensive carbon price (ideally a tax) rising to at least £60 (US $75) per ton by 2030; and (ii) reinforcing sectoral policies, most importantly feebates for the transport, industrial, and building sectors. This framework could implement mitigation targets, while limiting burdens on households and firms to enhance acceptability, and still raise revenues of 0.8 percent of GDP in 2030. The UK could also leverage its COP26 presidency to promote dialogue on international carbon price floors and pricing of international transport emissions.
Michal Andrle and Patrick Blagrave
We assess the degree of cross-market price discrepancy (a proxy for market integration), its evolution over time, and proximate determinants, using monthly price data for 21 agricultural goods and 60 markets in India. Econometric analysis shows that cross-market price integration is positively associated with the level of transportation infrastructure, and distance between market pairs. There is no robust evidence that price integration has increased in recent years, suggesting that any positive effects of recent policy initiatives are either small, outweighed by the identified determinants of integration, or yet to come.
Reda Cherif, Fuad Hasanov, and Aditya Pande
Recent technological developments and past technology transitions suggest that the world could be on the verge of a profound shift in transportation technology. The return of the electric car and its adoption, like that of the motor vehicle in place of horses in early 20th century, could cut oil consumption substantially in the coming decades. Our analysis suggests that oil as the main fuel for transportation could have a much shorter life span left than commonly assumed. In the fast adoption scenario, oil prices could converge to the level of coal prices, about $15 per barrel in 2015 prices by the early 2040s. In this possible future, oil could become the new coal.
Cem Karayalcin and Mihaela Pintea
The process of economic development is characterized by substantial reallocations of resources across sectors. In this paper, we construct a multi-sector model in which there are barriers to the movement of labor from low-productivity traditional agriculture to modern sectors. With the barrier in place, we show that improvements in productivity in modern sectors (including agriculture) or reductions in transportation costs may lead to a rise in agricultural employment and through terms-oftrade effects may harm subsistence farmers if the traditional subsistence sector is larger than a critical level. This suggests that policy advice based on the earlier literature needs to be revised. Reducing barriers to mobility (through reductions in the cost of skill acquisition and institutional changes) and improving the productivity of subsistence farmers needs to precede policies designed to increase the productivity of modern sectors or decrease transportation costs.
Mr. Bright E Okogu
This paper discusses the rising profile of natural gas in global energy, factors constraining its further development, the gas contracting process, and the absence of a global market, which is analyzed in the context of the economic rent in the gas price and the opaque nature of gas contracts. A proposal for rationalizing the trade to ease these constraints is offered. Gas pricing, and factors driving demand are also analyzed using evidence from the literature. FDI can help to monetize some of the 'stranded' gas reserves, but success would depend on an investor-friendly climate, including appropriate tariff regimes in the domestic markets.
Mr. Ehtisham Ahmad and Mr. Luc E. Leruth
In the context of continuing adjustments in the economy, the Government of Indonesia proposes to bring energy prices closer to long run marginal cost, while adequately compensating the poor. We focus on the constraints on central government policy objectives towards the poor as decentralization takes effect. However, local governments currently lack credible social protection instruments and their objectives usually do not match those of the center, which imposes constraints on program designs. We discuss the suitability of a number of safety net mechanisms in a decentralized context and draw policy implications.
Mr. Carlos M. Asilis and Luis Rivera-Batiz
This paper presents a geographical theory of location and interregional trade. Location is treated as an endogenous variable by firms, consumers and perfectly mobile workers in a two-sector economy. Space plays a central role owing to transportation costs, market access, and distance from polluting industrial centers. The model is used to examine: (1) aspects of a compensating-differential theory of regional unevenness, (2) the theoretical formulation of a gravity theory of trade patterns, (3) the geographic basis for industrial and environmental policy, and (4) the interaction between reductions in transportation costs, location patterns, and technological improvements.