Sustainability and Infrastructure

January 12, 2022

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
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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.
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    Education as the Great Leveler? Not Necessarily, Says New Research

    November 2021
    Historically, education has often been seen as the great leveler—a mechanism that can allow even those from the poorest circumstances to succeed. But as a growing body of research has shown, educational systems can entrench rather than weaken inequality. When highly educated parents are able to ensure their children benefit disproportionately, education systems pass on advantages from one generation to the next. In this Policy Research Talk, World Bank economist Forhad Shilpi presented new research on intergenerational mobility in education in developing countries.
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    Carbon Pricing for Climate Action

    July 2021
    Carbon prices are considered efficient economic instruments for reducing greenhouse gases. This report looks at where and how carbon pricing fits into a broader set of policy instruments for stimulating low-carbon investments.
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    The Implications of Behavioral Economics for Public Utility Policies

    December 2020
    In this Policy Research Talk, World Bank economist Hanan Jacoby explored the cognitive limitations of consumers flagged by behavioral economics and how they interact with the policy questions faced by public utilities. The talk draws on recent research in Vietnam, undertaken in partnership with both a water and an electricity service provider. The electricity experiment allows a study of consumer inattention and the value of providing real-time usage information, while the piped water experiment addresses pricing of utility services when consumers form habits.
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    Electricity Availability and Economic Activity: Lessons from Developing Countries

    September 2020
    In this Policy Research Talk, World Bank economist Jevgenijs Steinbuks discussed key insights from recent studies of electricity access and reliability in developing countries, and lesson learned from his own recent empirical work on the power sector in Brazil, Nepal, Ukraine, and a number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • 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.


Urban CO2 Emissions : A Global Analysis with New Satellite Data
Susmita Dasgupta, Somik Lall, David Wheeler
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9845, November 2021 | Future Development Blog | Sustainable Cities Blog

Business Cycles and Environmental Policy: Literature Review and Policy Implications
Barbara Annicchiarico, Stefano Carattini, Carolyn Fischer & Garth Heutel
NBER Working Paper 29032, July 2021

Do Investments in Clean Technologies Reduce Production Costs?  Insights from the Literature
Govinda Timilsina, Sunil Malla
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9714, June 2021

Efficient Irrigation and Water Conservation: Evidence from South India
Ram Fishman, Xavier Giné, Hanan G. Jacoby
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9713, June 2021

More Working Papers


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. 

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

Potential impacts and challenges of border carbon adjustments
Christoph Böhringer, Carolyn Fischer, Knut Einar Rosendahl, Thomas Fox Rutherford
Nature Climate Change, January 3, 2022

Explaining regional variations in mother-child health: Additional identified determinants in India and Bangladesh
Susmita Dasgupta, Subhendu Roy, David Wheeler
Health Policy 2: 100038, December 2021 | Working Paper Version

Are Renewable Energy Technologies Cost Competitive for Electricity Generation?
Govinda Timilsina
Renewable Energy 180:  658-872, December 2021 | Working Paper Version

More birds than stones – A framework for second-best energy and climate policy adjustments
Carolyn Fischer, Michael Hübler, Oliver Schenker
Journal of Public Economics Volume 203: 104515, November 2021

Enhancing the Quality of Climate Policy Analysis in China: Linking Bottom-up and Top-Down Models
Govinda Timilsina, Jun Pang and, Yang Xi
Renewables and Sustainable Energy Reviews 151: 111551, November 2021 | Working Paper Version

Macroeconomic Impacts of Power Sector Reforms in China
Govinda Timilsina, Jun Pang,and Yang Xi
Energy Policy 157: 112509, October 2021 | Working Paper Version

Decentralizing corruption: Irrigation reform in Pakistan
Hanan G. Jacoby, Ghazala Mansuri, Freeha Fatima
Journal of Public Economics 202: 104499, October 2021 | Working Paper Version

Credit Rationing and Pass-Through in Supply Chains: Theory and Evidence from Bangladesh
M. Shahe Emran, Dilip Mookherjee, Forhad Shilpi, M. Helal Uddin
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 13 (3): 202-36, July 2021 | Working Paper Version

Books and Reports
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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 »