Sustainability and Infrastructure

March 15, 2023

Lasting poverty reduction requires sustainable natural resource management as well as infrastructure development. This research program encompasses energy, environment, land, agriculture, water, climate change, biodiversity, and urbanization.

Featured Research
  • Land Matters: New Report Highlights Deepening Land Crisis in MENA Region

    Land Matters: Can Better Governance and Management of Scarcity Prevent a Looming Crisis in the Middle East and North Africa?

    Across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, land is a scarce and valuable resource. The projected increase in land demand due to demographic trends, coupled with decreasing land supply due to climatic and governance factors, indicate a looming crisis happening at a time when the region is also facing dramatic social and political transformation. This report identifies and analyzes the economic, environmental, and social challenges associated with land in MENA countries, shedding light on policy options to address them.
  • Postcard for the event Local and Global Economic Impacts of the War in Ukraine

    Local and Global Economic Impacts of the War in Ukraine

    Policy Research Talk, December 2022
    The Russian invasion of Ukraine has had far-reaching consequences for human wellbeing, first and foremost for the citizens of Ukraine, but also for the world at large. Quantifying the costs of war is a challenging undertaking, given the lack of reliable data as well as the difficulty of capturing the complex welfare effects of war with typical indicators like GDP. In this Policy Research Talk, three World Bank researchers - Erhan Artuc, Klaus Deininger, and Bob Rijkers - rely on inventive methods and sources of data to paint a more complete picture of the appalling costs of war.
  • GDF Banner Satellite image with Sun

    Satellite-Based Carbon Emissions Database

    August 2022
    To better track carbon pledges and support mitigation finance, researchers have developed a new database and web facility that place carbon data at the user’s fingertips. The database meets the urgent need to track carbon pledges by providing objective, spatially-referenced, frequently-updated information for tracking CO2 trends in local areas and regions. With gridded information at 25 km resolution, the system can support analyses for states, provinces, urban areas and project areas.
  • Land Conference 2017

    Land Research, Data, and Policy Insights

    Land is at the center of many of the world's pressing challenges. The World Bank's Development Research Group is generating new insights into how countries can reform their land policies to effectively tackle rural poverty, rapid urbanization, equity, and environmental degradation.
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    Energy Subsidies in Russia: Size, Impact, and Potential for Reform

    Apurva Sanghi and Jevgenijs Steinbuks, December 2021
    This report seeks to understand the size, impacts, and potential for energy subsidy reform in the Russian Federation and highlights key areas for consideration by policymakers as they explore approaches to reduce energy subsidies.


Assessing the Impact of Renewable Energy Policies on Decarbonization in Developing Countries
Clara Galeazzi, Jevgenijs Steinbuks, Laura Diaz Anadón
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10329, February 2023

Scalable Tracking of CO2 Emissions: A Global Analysis with Satellite Data
Susmita Dasgupta, Somik Lall, David Wheeler
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10297, February 2023

Does Market Integration Increase Rural Land Inequality? Evidence from India
Claudia Berg, Brian Blankespoor, M. Shahe Emran, Forhad Shilpi
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10286, January 2023

Growing Up Together: Sibling Correlation, Parental Influence, and Intergenerational Educational Mobility in Developing Countries
Md. Nazmul Ahsan, M. Shahe Emran, Hanchen Jiang, Qingyang Han, Forhad Shilpi
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10285, January 2023

Tracking Methane Emissions by Satellite: A New World Bank Database and Case Study for Irrigated Rice Production
Susmita Dasgupta, Somik V. Lall, David Wheeler
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10224, November 2022

More Working Papers


Factors Driving Aggregate Service Sector Energy Intensities in Asia and Eastern Europe: A LMDI Analysis
Jianda Wang, Kangyin Dong, Gal Hochman, Govinda R. Timilsina
Energy Policy vol. 172, January 2023

Carbon Taxes
Govinda R. Timilsina
Journal of Economic Literature vol. 60, issue 4, December 2022

Island area changes in the Sundarban region of the abandoned western Ganga–Brahmaputra–Meghna Delta, India and Bangladesh
Sunando Bandyopadhyay, Nabendu Sekhar Kar, Susmita Dasgupta, Dipanwita Mukherjee, Abhijit Das
Geomorphology 108482, October 8, 2022

Structural Transformation of the Agricultural Sector In Low- and Middle-Income Economies
Klaus Deininger, Songqing Jin, Meilin Ma
Annual Review of Resource Economics vol. 14, October 2022

Sub-sampling a Large Physical Soil Archive for Additional Analyses to Support Spatial Mapping; A Pre-registered Experiment in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia
Robel Alemu, Aweke Gelaw, Dawd Gashu, Kibrom Tafere, Abdul Mossa, Elizabeth Bailey, William Masters, Martin Broadley, Murray Lark
Geoderma vol. 424, October 2022

Institutional determinants of large land-based investments’ performance in Zambia: Does title enhance productivity and structural transformation?
Daniel Ayalew AliKlaus Deininger
World Development vol. 157, September 2022

Plastic Waste Cleanup Priorities to Reduce Marine Pollution: A Spatiotemporal Analysis for Accra and Lagos with Satellite Data
Susmita Dasgupta, Maria Sarraf, David Wheeler
Science of The Total Environment vol. 839, September 2022

Discounting Disaster: Land Markets and Climate Change in the Indian Sundarbans
Sumana Bandyopadhyay, Sunando Bandyopadhyay, Susmita Dasgupta, Chinmoyee Mallik, David Wheeler
Ecology, Economy and Society vol. 5, issue 2, July 2022

Bridge to bigpush or backwash? market integration, reallocation, and productivity effects of Jamuna bridge in Bangladesh
Brian Blankespoor, M. Shahe Emran, Forhad Shilpi, Xu Lu
Journal of Economic Geography vol. 22, issue 4, July 2022

Microfinance, Moneylenders, and Economic Shocks: An Assessment of the Bangladesh Experience
M. Shahe Emran, Forhad Shilpi
Journal of Bangladesh Studies vol. 24, issue 1, June 2022

Biophysical Impact of Sunflower Crop Rotation on Agricultural Fields
Nataliia Kussul, Klaus Deininger, Leonid Shumilo, Mykola Lavreniuk, Daniel Ayalew Ali, Oleg Nivievskyi 
Sustainability vol. 14 (7), March 2022

Addressing Declining Female Labor Force Participation in India: Does Political Empowerment Make a Difference
Klaus Deininger, Songqing Jin, Hari K. Nagarajan, Sudhir K. Singh 
Journal of Development Studies vol. 58, issue 9, March 2022

Coastal dilemma: Climate change, public assistance and population displacement
Susmita Dasgupta, David Wheeler, Sunando Bandyopadhyay,Santadas Ghosh, Utpal Roy
World Development 150: 105707, February 2022

Fishing in Salty Waters: Climate Change, Saline Exposure and Women’s Health in the Indian Sundarbans
Susmita Dasgupta, David Wheeler, Santadas Ghosh
Journal of Management and Sustainability 12 (1): 2022 


Books and Reports
  • Sumidero Canyon, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico

    Minimizing Ecological Damage from Road Improvement in Tropical Forests: Evidence from Bolivia, Cameroon and Myanmar

    Susmita Dasgupta, David R. Wheeler, 2022
    The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the vulnerabilities of socio-economic systems globally and exposed the risks that natural capital degradation imposes on human health, economy, and society. This book studies the environmental challenges faced by developing economies in a post-COVID-19 world. This chapter appears in the book Environmental Economics in Developing Countries: Issues and Challenges.
  • A wind turbine in Moldova

    Economics of Renewable Energy: A Comparison of Electricity Production Costs Across Technologies

    Govinda R. Timilsina, Kalim Shah, May 2022
    This chapter appears in the book Oxford Encyclopedia of Environmental Economics. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Environmental Economics focuses on the most important research topics in environmental and natural resource economics, with a treatment of close to 100 different research areas.
  • Vietnam Inter-generational Deaf Education

    Economic Approach to Intergenerational Mobility: Measures, Methods, And Challenges in Developing Countries

    M. Shahe Emran, Forhad Shilpi, March 2022
    Social mobility is the hope of economic development and the mantra of a good society. There are disagreements about what constitutes social mobility, but there is broad agreement that people should have roughly equal chances of success regardless of their economic status at birth. Concerns about rising inequality have engendered a renewed interest in social mobility—especially in the developing world. This book chapter provides a critical survey and synthesis of the recent economic literature on intergenerational mobility in developing countries, with a focus on data and methodological challenges.
  • Regional Integration

    Energy Subsidies in Russia: Size Impact and Potential for Reform

    Apurva Sanghi, Jevgenijs Steinbuks, December 1, 2021
    This report seeks to understand the size, impacts, and potential for energy subsidy reform in the Russian Federation to inform policymakers as they explore approaches to reducing such subsidies.
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    Coping with Climate Change in the Sundarbans: Lessons from Multidisciplinary Studies

    Susmita Dasgupta, David Wheeler, Md. Istiak Sobhan, Sunando Bandyopadhyay, Ainun Nishat, and Tapas Paul, November 2020
    Climate change is a major threat to the Sundarbans — the world’s largest remaining contiguous mangrove forest — wetland of international importance, and the surrounding poor communities whose livelihoods depend on its natural resources. This book synthesizes multiyear, multidisciplinary studies that assess the vulnerability of this ecosystem and its neighboring coastal communities and recommend “resilient-smart” adaptation measures. The methods and findings will be of interest to development practitioners, policy makers, and researchers focused on island nations and countries worldwide that feature high density populations and economic activity in low-lying coastal regions vulnerable to sea-level rise.


Carolyn Fischer

Research Manager, Sustainability and Infrastructure
Research Staff »