Measuring Up: New Directions for Environmental Programs at the World Bank

40 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Piet Buys

Piet Buys

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Susmita Dasgupta

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Craig M. Meisner

The World Bank; The World Bank

Kiran Dev Pandey

World Bank

David Wheeler

World Bank - Policy Research Department

Katharine Bolt

World Bank - Environment and Natural Resources Division

Kirk Hamilton

World Bank

Limin Wang

World Bank - Research Department

Date Written: July 8, 2003

Abstract

The World Bank's new environment strategy advocates cost-effective reduction of air and water pollutants that are most harmful to human health. In addition, it addresses threats to the livelihood of over one billion people who live on fragile lands - lands that are steeply sloped, arid, or covered by natural forests. The new approach will require accurate information about environmental threats to health and livelihood, as well as an appropriate resource - allocation strategy.

Drawing on recent research at the World Bank and elsewhere, this paper attempts to apply an optimal investment approach. It develops a rule for optimal cross-country resource allocation that reflects the Bank's investment policy. Using this rule, the paper estimates optimal country shares of the Bank's environmental investments from two sets of variables: threats from outdoor air pollution, water pollution, and fragile lands; and estimates of the likelihood that Bank projects will succeed. The paper combines the country shares with the Bank's investment data to estimate optimal country allocations for each environmental problem. Finally, it aggregates the country results to allocations for the major regions in which the Bank operates.

Combining optimal investments for pollution and fragile lands, it finds that the largest share of total investment goes to East Asia (44 percent), followed by South Asia (21 percent) and Sub-Saharan Africa (19 percent). Other regions get significantly lower shares.

This paper - a joint product of Infrastructure and Environment, Development Research Group, and the Environment Department - is part of a larger effort to implement the World Bank's new environment strategy.

Suggested Citation

Buys, Piet and Dasgupta, Susmita and Meisner, Craig M. and Pandey, Kiran and Wheeler, David and Bolt, Katharine and Hamilton, Kirk and Wang, Limin, Measuring Up: New Directions for Environmental Programs at the World Bank (July 8, 2003). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3097. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=636459

Piet Buys (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-522-3230 (Fax)

Susmita Dasgupta

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-2679 (Phone)
202-522-3230 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/sdasgupta

Craig M. Meisner

The World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street
Washington, DC 20433
United States

The World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street N.W
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Kiran Pandey

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

David Wheeler

World Bank - Policy Research Department ( email )

1818 H Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/dwheeler

Katharine Bolt

World Bank - Environment and Natural Resources Division ( email )

Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-7108 (Phone)
202-522-1735 (Fax)

Kirk Hamilton

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Limin Wang

World Bank - Research Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-7596 (Phone)
202-522-1735 (Fax)

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