How could the GovTech improve budget processes and execution efficiency? Could the GovTech strengthen redistributive function of public expenditure? Based on an event-study method, this paper finds that the introduction of digital budget payments and e-procurement could significantly enhance budget transparency and help expand the coverage of social assistance to reach the most vulnerable population. Exploiting staggered adoption of digital budget payments, a synthetic control regression identifies meaningful increase in pre-tax income shares among the bottom 50th percentile and female workers, especially for emerging market and developing countries, with effects materializing gradually over 10-year period. The paper delves into the potential mechanism driving these equity benefits, highlighting the reduction in business informality as a primary channel. However, the paper emphasizes that the mere adoption of GovTech strategies or digital technologies is insufficient to unlock its full potential. The outcomes are intricately linked to supporting policies, regulations, organizational and system integration, and robust digital connectivity. The paper underscores that inter-agency coordination facilitated by a dedicated GovTech institution emerges as a critical factor for reaping both efficiency and equity gains from GovTech initiatives.
Nuri Baek, Kaustubh Chahande, Kodjovi M. Eklou, Mr. Tidiane Kinda, Vatsal Nahata, Umang Rawat, and Ara Stepanyan
The ASEAN-5 region, which comprises Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, has benefited substantially from its integration to the world economy, particularly through trade. Rising risks of geoeconomic fragmentation could reverse some gains reaped from globalization over the past decades. In this context, advancing regional integration among ASEAN-5 members has the potential to enhance the region’s resilience against external headwinds. This paper shows that despite sizeable progress, particularly in regional trade integration, there is room to advance financial integration, which also lags trade integration in ASEAN-5. Empirical findings from the paper illustrate that a higher degree of regional financial integration could generate sizeable output gains for the region. Using firm-level data, the paper highlights that digitalization, an area where the region is thriving, can support regional integration by helping firms better integrate into global value chains, with the benefits being stronger for small and medium sized enterprises. The results also suggest that digitalization can help firms move up the value chain through the production of more sophisticated products, often coined as higher export sophistication.
David Amaglobeli, Ruud A. de Mooij, Andualem Mengistu, Mariano Moszoro, Manabu Nose, Soheib Nunhuck, Sailendra Pattanayak, Lorena Rivero del Paso, Frankosiligi Solomon, Ms. Rebecca Sparkman, Hervé Tourpe, and Gerardo Uña
Digital divide across countries and within countries continues to persist and even increased when the quality of internet connection is considered. The note shows that many governments have not been able to harness the full potential of digitalization. Governments could play important role to facilitate digital adoption by intervening both on supply (investing in infrastructure) and demand side (increase internet affordability). The note also documents significant dividends from digital adoption for revenue collection and spending efficiency, and for outcomes in education, health and social safety nets. The note also emphasizes that digitalization is not a substitute for good governance and that comprehensive reform plans embedded in National Digital Strategies (NDS) combined with legal and institutional reforms are needed to ensure that governments can reap full benefits from digitalization and manage the risks appropriately.